View Full Version : 17 1\2" tourso, borderline small-medium,best to go with smaller pack?

12-20-2003, 00:15
the salesman at campmor measured my tourso at 17 1\2". most small packs are 17" or less, most medium packs are 18" or more. I am interested in Osprey packs but there website doesnt show small packs for all their models, some start at medium. if i am on the borderline would it be best for me to go with the smaller pack? i am also interested in the lowe alpine

i can ride a small or medium sized mountain bike but when i do real technical terraine i prefer the more nimble small.

12-20-2003, 08:49
The best way to buy a pack is to buy all your other gear first. Then, make an appointment with a knowledgeable pack fitter. I'm sure there are some at Campmor. Take all your gear, food, filled water bottles, and go to the store. Load up all your gear into various packs and see what feels best for you. Be prepared to spend hours doing this.

12-20-2003, 11:55
Peaks makes a good point. I would even see if they will give you a demo and allow you to take it out for the weekend. The pack will wear differently after 6 hours than it felt in the showroom. And it will wear even more differently after three weeks of walking.

I was in between a medium and a large with my Gregory pack (Reality). I went with the large. With the weight that I lost on the trail that ended up being a mistake.

I ended up with three packs, the Reality (later swapped straight up for a Forrester that was a medium), a vapor trail that I used in the summer, and a huge WindRiver I used in New Hampshire and Maine. It was nice rotating bags, because each had a different spot that it would irritate.

04-03-2004, 00:46
My back measures at 17'' and after a few hours at Bob Smith's Wilderness House, I left with a size small Osprey pack, and I am very happy with the fit. The size small Osprey pack comes with a size small hip belt, which fit my size 8 frame very well. I found the medium sized pack felt like it was, literally, riding my butt. Even with the harness adjusted to it's smallest, if was just too long. The medium hip belt would have left me with little room for adjustment. Also, I have adjusted the harness to make it as long as possible so that my boyfriend could try on my pack, and now he borrows it all the time.
I should also mention that I have an Ariel 60- the Ariel/Aether 75 + 90 models, and most other Osprey's have interchangeable hip belts. You should also note that there is considerable difference in the capacity of different sized Osprey packs in the same model.
Another thing to take into consideration when you're trying on the pack-
I chose the Ariel 60 over the Ariel 75 because, honestly, I'm barely 5'3'' and the Ariel 75 was just too big- even in size small. It felt like the Ariel 60 in size medium, and rode uncomfortably low the same way and it felt like it loomed over me on top. Even though I really, really wanted the sleeping bag divider and the interchangable hip belt that the 75 had, the Ariel 60 has worked out much better simply because it is more comfortable now, and I know that as I continue to become leaner from backpacking the pack will continue to fit just as well. And if by some miracle I, or just my torso, grows another few inches, I'm sure the pack will still fit just as well.
Good luch, see you on the trail!

04-03-2004, 00:50
ps. Osprey just doesn't make men's packs in size small- only the women's (which are pretty much the same thing just curved a little differently) come in size small. If you get a good salesperson they will switch out the harness/hipbelt for you in a men's osprey pack for the size small ones.

Two Speed
04-03-2004, 08:57
While I am not a fan of REI, the do rent gear. Why not borrow or rent a couple of packs before you make your decision?

05-08-2004, 20:29
The size will depend on the brand of the pack. Go to a reputable outfitter and get them to fit you to the pack. Put all your stuff in a bag and carry it up there and pack the pack you like the way you like and get them to look at the pack and make adjustments as necessary. I bought a Gregory Z Pack today. I took all of my stuff including food to the outfitter and they measured me between a small and a medium. I tried the medium first since I was borderline. It fit perfectly and then I loaded everything into it and walked around for about a half an hour. They made the sale, and I was happy with the way it packed, which I wouldn't have known with just sand bags in it!:banana

05-12-2004, 05:25
A 17 1/2 inch torso is a small in most pack manufacturers. This can be confusing as companies seem to have a gap between sizes, for example Gregory lists the following:
14-15: XS
16-17: S
18-19: M
20-21: L

Most good pack companies use two inch increments when sizing their packs, so when it says 14-15 inch torso...it means 14-15 3/4 most of the time. A very common mistake is to go up to the larger size when in doubt, this does not always work. Please remember also that the pack size is just the size of the frame, the harness and hipbelt should be fitted on their own and swaped if necessary. Most of the time you will be fine in what the stock pack comes with but it's critical that you get the most outta your pack's fit options.

Osprey has pissed off alot of pack fitters as their sizing does not really follow the industry's standard. They generally run small, by about one inch compared to other manufacturers. Also when they say Womens Large, it's about the same length as a Mens Medium. Many people will have to go up a size in Osprey packs. Like someone stated earlier you can swap everything out so if you're a male and have a short torso you just simply get a "womens" pack with male components. They could make things alot easier by just offering 6 frame sizes instead of 3 for each gender.

05-17-2004, 15:20
i also have a 17.5" torso. when choosing my size for a Gregory pack, i opted for the Small. i've been using the pack for 5 months now and the fit is excellent.