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mens vs women's backpacks - much actual difference?

astria
1 post
mens vs women's backpacks - much actual difference?

Hola, my girlfriend is looking for a backpack for general backpacking and little hiking, she's been offered a lowe alpine kongur quite cheap. But however it's a men's version, not the 'nd' women's version. Same size but what are the real differences between the too? Is the suspension normally very very different? Or the width/depth? She's fairly slim but tall, can you normally get away with the wrong version? Thankyo

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
Level Contributor
17,367 posts
30 reviews
1. Re: mens vs women's backpacks - much actual difference?

She would need to try it out. Often women's ones have straps designed to fit around boobs so a mans one can be very uncomfortable.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
35,110 posts
1 review
2. Re: mens vs women's backpacks - much actual difference?

Depends on the person - it's all about body shape and how the rucksack fits it. Women's packs are generally designed for a broader hip than the male version but a slim hipped female might find the men's sack better

Stourbridge, United...
1 post
3. Re: mens vs women's backpacks - much actual difference?

I've had both men's and women's rucksacks and I've found the women's ones to be far more comfortable. Part of it is where the straps are when you're wearing it, it's a good job I'm not too busty or I would be physically unable to wear one of my rucksacks. The other part is the hip straps, the men's ones don't sit right on me and so don't balance the weight of the rucksack properly. However, the ultimate test of a rucksack is simply wearing it.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
19,743 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: mens vs women's backpacks - much actual difference?

"... However, the ultimate test of a rucksack is simply wearing it..."

=============

Bullseye.

Don't get too caught up in labels, just try it. It'll either work or it won't.

Cheers,

Terry

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
8,410 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: mens vs women's backpacks - much actual difference?

I am fairly small, and my experience is that unisex packs are really built for men. It's the rare female backpacker who can find a unisex pack that really fits. Women's packs are made for women's shorter, curvier torsos (a key factor), wider hips & chests and often curvier bums. They are usually narrower overall to account for the fact that women tend to have smaller builds and don't have big guy shoulders. (I have very slim hips and guys packs fit worse than women's packs). It's important to note that even a taller woman could have a shorter torso - height and torso size are not necessarily closely correlated.

The above comments are right - you need to try it on and try it on FULLY LOADED. You can't tell how a pack will really fit until you have weight in the pack. A pack that is too long in the torso might work with a small amount of weight, but you won't realize the issue until it's fully loaded and sitting down on your hips.

I would have your girlfriend also try on other backpacks. If you just try on one backpack, you won't necessarily realize if there is something else with a much better fit. Or realize that another brand may be a better fit. A good backpack will last a long time, so it's worth shopping around and not just getting something because it is cheap.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
19,743 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: mens vs women's backpacks - much actual difference?

One final point to remember...

1.) If it's going to be used for stereotypical hostel/hotel backpacking where it only gets worn for short periods between the taxi/bus/train and the hostel/hotel with almost no walking then fit isn't crucial. Much more important is packing sensibly and having a backpack with the features you require.

2.) If it's going to be used for hiking then fit is obviously paramount. There's nothing more aggravating/irritating than an ill fitting backpack 15 minutes into a day long hike... Pure hell...

Cheers,

Terry

Edited: 3:50 pm, May 20, 2014
7. Re: mens vs women's backpacks - much actual difference?

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