Sunday, October 18, 2009


First, i have an obsession with bags and luggage. i love them. Second, REI's having its massive sale---it ended today so sorry if you missed it. So, to conbine my two loves, Adam had a 20% off coupon which we had decided it was okay to use on buying me a proper hiking backpack. The one i had from back in the day (an Eagle Creek) was really a rolly bag/carryon that happened to have pack straps on it. It is heavy and awkward to carry.

Every time we've gone into REI over the last couple months i've tried on different packs. Mostly, the point has been to convince myself that the cheap packs (the REI ones) felt comfortable. For anyone reading this who hasn't met me in person, before i start reviewing backpacks, let me tell you that i am tiny. I'm barely 5'3, my torso is pretty short, and usually weigh between 100 and 105lbs. I'm also obsessed with not having ugly stuff.

when we started looking at bags, the first thing i tried was a Gregory pack. It has all this lumbar support which i thought would be good---but it ended up not sitting right and pushed the bag off my back making the weight feel like i would fall over backwards. boo. boo gregory and your pretty backpacks that don't fit. I tried on a couple of the REI bags too...but they also had interesting problems. it took a lot of work to get the frame down to the right size for me, then the padding in the back was like i could feel the outline of everything that was supposed to be soft pushing into me, and again, the weight felt like it was pulling backwards. More annoying than anything else though, to be honest is that fact that if i put the waist strap actually around my waist, because it was so fat the top of it was nearly at the bottom of my sternum. Not comfy and really awkward.

I had tried on an Osprey 50 bag on one of our previous visits---but Adam was pretty sure what i should get was a 65 so we could do longer trips. The Ospreys have this neat design where the back isn't padding but mesh (check out the pics of my bag below). that meant that it contoured to fit my shape...the weight felt more like it conformed and wrapped around me. The waist thing was flexible, so it could wrap over the top of my hip bones. I kept switching between the Osprey Aura and the other bags as we went. Nothing felt nearly as good. The only thing that came close was actually an external frame pack. i would have gotten it considering it was way cheaper had it not bonked the back of my head evertime i moved. Alas.
So for all you short girls out there....try Osprey bags!!


  1. i told you my opinion, and it looks like you didnt follow it.
    oh well, your loss (well, and i suppose mine.)

  2. Just make sure you don't put more than 8 pounds in that thing, lest it tip you over.

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