What are some good backpacks for petites (women's)?
May 8, 2008 11:30 AM   Subscribe

What are some good backpacks for petites (women's)?

Hi all!

I'm having awful back problems from carrying a messenger bag with me everywhere, but when I put a normal backpack on my 5'1" body, I look like some sort of comic book turtle-villain.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a modern, stylish (not kids'!) backpack that is designed for a tiny person? Bonus points if it's under $75.

Any and all ideas much appreciated - Julia
posted by jdruk to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
How much stuff do you need to carry? Try MEC http://www.mec.ca
I have something like: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524441773719&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302699687&bmUID=1210271779326
Its better to go in person but they're only in anada
posted by captaincrouton at 11:39 AM on May 8, 2008

If you're near an REI, I'd suggest heading down to the store and trying a few. I'm small too, and every backpack I've ever gotten there has fit me well. They have a huge selection and lots of different styles.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:07 PM on May 8, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks! I'll check those out... no REI nearby, though. :( Maybe I'll take a road trip to a town that has one.
posted by jdruk at 12:12 PM on May 8, 2008

North Face makes some nice packs with a smaller scale. So does Kelty.
posted by padraigin at 12:15 PM on May 8, 2008

nthing REI.

While not petite I am atypically slender for my height. I have had pretty good luck with their selection of women-specific backpacks. Osprey makes a pretty small "small" women's pack, and even the REI branded packs are worth a look.

Make sure you're looking at women-specific... the mens smalls are ... huge!
posted by Incognita at 12:24 PM on May 8, 2008

mudpuppie and others beat me to the punch: your local REI (or Patagonia/North Face/outdoor outfitter) should have a number of different options. I'm not petite (5'7"), but purchased this backpack and love it. REI is also currently having a pretty big sale through May 11th (this Sunday), so if you do find the opportunity to take a short trip out of town over the weekend, I highly suggest it.
posted by numinous at 12:43 PM on May 8, 2008

Jansport always has a nice selection.
posted by netbros at 3:38 PM on May 8, 2008

I have the same problem as you -- I'm 5'2" and while I use a messenger bag most days, when I need to carry my laptop or a bunch of books a one-shoulder bag just won't cut it.

I bought an Olympia backpack from eBags a few years ago, and it's been fantastic. I was skeptical because it was so cheap, but it's held up extremely well and it's really comfortable. They don't have the model I bought anymore, but I think it's probably similar to this: http://www.ebags.com/olympia/scholar_back_pack/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=87848

Basically, you want to find something where the listed dimensions are large enough to accommodate a few notebooks, but small enough that the reviewers all a) complain that it's too small, or b) say "this is a great purse!"
posted by pluckemin at 5:38 PM on May 8, 2008

I have the Rumor daypack from Timbuk2, a backpack with a space for a laptop that's "built for a woman's frame." This is code for "small." I wear it every day on my (bike) commute to work--it's held up wonderfully and is perfect for my (also small) self. Unfortunately, Timbuk2 doesn't seem to carry that particular bag any more, but you might be able to find it at online outlets or on Ebay. Maybe here or here ?
posted by ethorson at 4:07 AM on May 9, 2008

In high school (after reaching my grand height of 5'3") I bought a backpack from Land's End. Their packs are "for kids" but they don't look like it.

I currently use a Tumi backpack but I have a longish (17.5") torso for a short woman.
posted by herbaliser at 12:54 PM on May 9, 2008

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