How to Choose the Right Backpack for Women

Being a petite 5-feet Filipina, buying a backpack for my frame was difficult. After researching for hours on the internet, I decided on a Deuter Futura Pro 34 SL. I’ve been using it for hiking and trips abroad for almost a year. Has it got my back or should I switch packs? Read on for my verdict!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFit 
For an extra-small Asian, fit is most critical when purchasing a backpack and so I was glad to purchase my Deuter Futura Pro 34 SL after visiting its SM North The Block branch, fitting it and loving how it snugly wrapped around my hips and shoulders. The hip belt and chest belt were fully adjustable and I was able to tighten it to my size.

Comfort
 Second on my priority when picking a pack is how comfortable I was despite carrying a heavy load. Happy to say, this Futura Pro passes with flying colors. The back has an airmesh system so my back never gets in direct contact with the pack itself and I never get a hot, sweaty back carrying it.

Capacity As a general rule, a fit person should carry no more than 20-25% of his/her body weight over a long duration. I weigh 46 kilos and not very fit so using 20%, I should carry max of 12 kilos on my back. I restricted myself to 7 kilos, however, due to it being the maximum allowable for handcarry when boarding planes. Needless to say, I have no issues with my Futura Pro’s capacity.

The 34L capacity of the Deuter Futura Pro SL is more than adequate to carry a week’s worth of clothes, food and camera equipment.

Weight Now this is where my Futura Pro falls short. Weighing 3lb 11 oz or  1.67 kg, it is not the lightest backpack in the market. Moreover, seeing how airlines have become stricter with their maximum handcarry luggage, I have now just realized how important backpack weight is in looking for my ideal pack. Now that weight has become a main priority, I have recently scouted for lightweight backpacks in the market.

Read here for a list of lightweight backpacks in the market.

Compartments Compartments of this Futura Pro has its positives and negatives. I love that it has a valuables pocket which is accessible from the inside of the top flap and the bottom compartment is perfect for separating my clothes from camera equipment which I prefer to store in my main space. On the down side, I find the wet compartment insufficient while the side compartments normally used to store water bottles is very difficult to reach in to when wearing the backpack. It’s always a frustrating exercise in contortionism to get my bottle out and back into that side bellow pocket! Lastly, the zippered compartment on both sides of the hip belt are just WAY TOO SMALL to fit my cellphone, or most cellphones for that matter and so I have to stash it in my valuables compartment and need to take off my pack each and every time I need to use my phone – extremely inconvenient!

Aesthetics I got my Futura Pro in a beautiful purple and violet combination. I love the color! Rarely do you see backpacks designed for female and Deuter nailed the colors of this piece.

Value for Money I purchased this item online at Lazada.com, for about Php6000++ (I cannot remember exactly). At this price point, I must say it is definitely value for money.

VERDICT There are so many things I like about my Futura Pro 34 SL. The capacity is perfect for multi-week trips, it fits me like a glove and it is a very comfortable pack to wear even for hours. However, I cannot get over the fact that I need to take off my pack and reach into its inner pocket to get my cellphone every time I need to use it.

I’ve also started looking at more lightweight backpacks and I have shortlisted my options to one of the following:

Gossamer Gear Gorilla

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Backpack

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider 3400

Zpacks.com Arc Blast Backpack

GoLite Jam 50 Backpack

What do you think? Should I switch packs? Do you have lightweight backpacks for women that you can recommend? Help me decide by leaving your comment below!

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