With increasing number of women now engaging in outdoor activities, many well known backpack manufacturers now offer men and women specific models as well as unisex versions. The significant differences among these are the fit, size and weight. Women’s backpack is usually smaller in size to match the often shorter torso, other features such as the shoulder strap and hip belts are also designed to better fit women’s body shapes. These makes women’s specific models much lighter in weight, more comfortable and better fitting than men’s models. Therefore, choosing a women specific backpack matters a lot especially if you are planning for a long or multiple days trek.
In general, woman tend to have a shorter torso than man, hence, the backpack’s frame is smaller in size. The hip of women is wider compared to men, so the design of the hip belt usually follows those curves closely. The suspension of the backpack which dictates comfort and fit should be adjustable and distribute the majority of load weight to the hip area with little pressure on the shoulders. To determine what is the right frame size, simply measure the torso length which is from the top of the hip bone to the base of the neck.
Women’s shoulder is also narrower, hence, for women specific backpack the shoulder straps are usually closer to each other to avoid sliding off the shoulders and down to the arms. The straps are also design and curve in a way as to the discomfort of pressing against the bust.
Since backpacks are frequently used for hiking, the better the backpack fits to your body’s shape and contour, the trekking will turn out to be more enjoyable and comfortable, even for longer haul.
Backpack fit is crucial for women as they usually have to carry almost the same weight as men. Due to their smaller size, they are actually carrying a much higher percentage of body weight compared to men. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to select a backpack that fits comfortably.
Noe that we are aware there are major differences between men’s and women’s backpacks, some women due to their different shapes and figures may actually find that a men’s model is a better fit or a unisex type offers more comfort.