Great Packs for Short Waists

by Dave Baker Tuesday, February 24th 2009

At the Summit Hut, we are always on the lookout for products that solve problems; a boot that fits a challenging foot, a piece of climbing gear that fills a particular need, or as discussed here, a large capacity day pack that fits people with short torsos.

Many of us need and use big day packs. Rock climbers, search and rescue personnel, and winter sports enthusiasts are all examples of users who may need a large capacity day pack.

With this class of pack, a correct fit is critical for optimum comfort and performance, because somewhat heavier loads are often carried in them.

And here’s the rub: it can be challenging to find a well made, big day pack that fits adults who are relatively short from the waist to the top of the shoulders.

Women ranging in height from 5’0” to 5’4” are often faced with this problem: large day packs with the carrying capacity and support they need are simply too long to fit correctly and hence virtually unusable.

To solve this problem, we often look at youth packs because they are designed to fit shorter torsos; but we are sometimes frustrated because many manufacturers of youth packs don’t offer the features or quality components that short-waisted, adult users are looking for.

Jib 35

Jib 35 by Osprey

We have been very impressed with the “Sprint Series” for youth from Osprey. Don’t be fooled by the playful graphics; these packs are well built, feature an adjustable suspension system, and have a light frame to support heavier loads. Osprey suggests that these packs are excellent for youngsters ready to start carrying their own gear on overnight trips (and they are), but we quickly learned they also make a fantastic big day pack for smaller women, or anyone with a short torso.

The Jib 35 is especially versatile as a large day pack because of its 2,100 cubic inch carrying capacity. Stop by one of our Summit Hut stores and check this pack out, especially the fit; I think you’ll be impressed.


The Authors

Dave BakerDave Baker

I'm Dave Baker, founder of Summit Hut, an independent outdoor retailer based in Tucson, Arizona since 1969. As an experienced and passionate hiker, climber and backpacker, my blog is intended to be an informative and interesting look into the outdoors and the outdoor industry.

Dana Davis

Dana Davis

I’m Dana Davis, co-owner of the Summit Hut. I mostly enjoy hiking and road biking though I often do other things to keep it interesting (mountaineering, motorcycling, backpacking, climbing, you name it!) My biggest challenge is sometimes finding the balance between career, family, and fun but it’s working out so far!

Dan Davis

Dan Davis

I'm Dan Davis, after retiring from the National Park Service as a Ranger and manager, I worked for the Summit Hut until 2009, then retired for good (maybe). I'm now spending my time traveling around the southwest writing and working on my nature and fine art photography business.

Emily Gindlesparger

Emily Gindlesparger

I’m Emily Gindlesparger, a member of the Summit Hut floor staff. Since moving here from the Midwest, I’ve been taking advantage of all possible adventures in Arizona: rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, whitewater kayaking, caving and trail running; I’m always excited to see what’s next!