For feminine thru-hikers on the hunt for an ultralight backpack that truly suits their our bodies, Symbiosis Gear’s Aspen pack is an thrilling new choice. The pack is made for individuals with boobs — and quite than taking the “shrink it and pink it” method, the pack truly combines consolation with versatility.

As a feminine backpacker for over seven years, I’ve but to search out an ultralight pack that’s actually match my physique in each regard. I’ve battled with packs that merely don’t sit proper, irrespective of how I pack them; shoulder straps which are too large, inflicting painful chafing for days on finish; sizing points the place I’ve been informed to only “select the higher of the 2 unhealthy choices” and a lot extra.

I think that lots of my fellow girl thru-hikers have additionally skilled the identical limitless search, making do with what’s on the market as a result of it’s higher than the choice.

Symbiosis Gear goals to vary that, beginning with their flagship product, the Aspen backpack.

Symbiosis Gear The Aspen Ultralight Backpack

Loaded up and able to go! The Aspen in motion on a weekend backpacking journey in Moab.

Symbiosis Gear Aspen At a Look

MSRP: $299
Capability: 38L
Weight: 25 oz
Sizes: One measurement suits many; finest for girls 5’2″ to five’10” with bust sizes A to DDD, however might be worn exterior of that vary
Supplies: 400D Extreema (Dyneema) and Spandura UHMWPE

Circumstances of Evaluation

I’m a 5’5″ lady with an average-sized bust, and I had no points dialing in my match on this pack. I examined the Aspen on a backpacking journey in Canyonlands Nationwide Park, the place I carried as much as 25 kilos and hiked throughout terrain that required numerous mobility: scrambling, climbing, and usually extra vertical motion than a typical thru-hike would require.

I additionally examined this backpack with 15 and 20 kilos on varied day hikes round Colorado’s entrance nation.

Meant Use

The Aspen is a minimalist, ultralight backpacking pack designed for multi-day journeys. Plainly put, this pack is tailored for individuals with boobs (this actually is the corporate’s slogan) and suits ladies of various physique styles and sizes. It’s area of interest, it’s particular, and it’s designed for feminine thru-hikers and backpackers wanting a frameless, ultralight pack that matches.

These with an light-weight or ultralight gear setup will get probably the most from this pack. The corporate suggests it’s finest for backpackers with a base weight of round 10 kilos, and maxes out at a complete load of 20 kilos.

That mentioned, I do suppose you’ll be able to stretch the 20-pound restrict. I carried as much as 25 kilos within the Aspen and was stunned by how snug it was over a weekend of backpacking.


The Aspen options S-shaped shoulder straps, an accessible telephone pocket, and stretchy adjustable sternum strap with a cushioned again panel

Boob-Pleasant S-Curve Straps

Conventional backpack straps typically trigger discomfort and chafing and are sometimes too straight or large to suit a girl’s chest. The S-curved shoulder straps seamlessly accommodated the pure contour of my physique, distributing weight extra evenly and lowering stress factors.

3-Means Adjustable Sternum Strap

One of the crucial distinctive elements of the pack, the Aspen’s three-way adjustability and stretchy sternum strap permit for a custom-made match that accommodates a variety of bust configurations and dimensions.

With conventional sternum straps that haven’t any elastic inbuilt, I typically really feel like my respiration can change into restricted with stress on my chest. But the stretchy strap on this pack made it straightforward to regulate when including or taking off layers, bettering total consolation whatever the person’s physique sort.

Holster Cellphone Pocket

In right now’s digital age, having fast entry to important gadgets akin to your telephone is essential, even on path. The Aspen’s easy-access telephone pocket is stowed on the shoulder strap, offering cupboard space for telephones or different small necessities, like snacks, sun shades, or lip balm, with out disrupting the move of a hike.

Adjustable Hip Belt

This pack has a large, non-load bearing waist belt that may be stowed away to extend mobility across the hips. I used to be skeptical of this characteristic at first, as my private choice is to hold the brunt of my pack’s weight on my hips, however I used to be pleasantly stunned by the belt’s performance.

For the reason that higher portion of the pack match considerably higher than most I’ve tried, I felt extra snug distributing extra weight to my shoulders, thus releasing up my decrease physique to scramble and climb with ease.

The non-load bearing hip belt made scrambling up and over slot canyons a breeze, with full vary of mobility in my legs and hips.

Practical Pockets

Symbiosis Gear is dispelling the parable that girls’s gear and attire ought to solely have modern, not practical, pockets. Along with a big, sturdy again pocket with zigzag compression straps to stow gear away on the skin of the pack, the Aspen boasts two extra-large facet pockets with shock cords to tighten if wanted.

I used to be in a position to carry two Smartwater bottles and a filter in only one pocket. The pack additionally has a stealth backside pocket, excellent for housing your sit pad, map, or extra layer.

Intentional Options

Though it’s a fairly minimal setup, as most ultralight backpacks are, it might be remiss to not point out the intentional options that made on a regular basis use so handy. The pack encompasses a Y-strap and roll-top closure, permitting for optimum versatility and capability when packing.

The pack is especially crafted out of 400D Dyneema, assuring thru-hikers of its skill to face up to rugged terrain, tough-on-gear thru-hikes, and water resistance. It even included an adjustable ice axe and trekking pole loop.

Y-strap and roll-top closure on the Aspen make the pack extremely versatile

Ladies’s vs. Males’s/Unisex Backpacks

Is there actually a distinction between a backpack for a feminine vs. male hiker? The reply is a convincing sure. Whereas backpack match is commonly private choice, some key options can account for feminine physiology when crafting a super backpack, notably regarding match and luxury.

Usually, ladies’s packs have a shorter torso vary, embrace shoulder straps which are extra slender and shorter in design, and have narrower, flared hip belts which are extra load-bearing since our middle of gravity sits lowers within the hips.

S-curve straps, which the Aspen does characteristic, should not truly the defining factor of this pack; many different female-specific backpacks incorporate this design. As an alternative, it’s the Aspen’s S-curve straps coupled with the match and stretchy sternum strap that actually made it match like a dream for me. The pack sat completely on my mid-lower again, felt snug on my shoulders with no lifeless house, hugged my physique, and was adjustable from practically each match standpoint.

The idea of a female-specific pack isn’t new, however an ultralight pack that’s particularly designed for feminine our bodies? Now that’s one thing I’ve struggled to discover a cogent model of.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear and Gossamer Gear ultralight packs are sometimes “unisex,” however what that actually means is that it’s going to work higher for some and never others. As a former HMG wearer, I sometimes discovered myself between sizes or coping with the inevitability of a pack sitting too excessive on my again.

Frameless vs. Framed Packs

Frameless packs just like the Aspen are characterised by their light-weight design and minimalist building. They’re ultralight as a result of the dearth of a body removes a big quantity of weight. They are usually cheaper (however you’ll be able to typically make up the associated fee in ultralight supplies like Dyneema), supply much less carrying capability, and don’t embrace a lot built-in air flow, because the pack sits instantly in your again.

A frameless pack additionally might have a extra forgiving match, as a much less inflexible again panel might be extra versatile with torso sizing, which is normally the place the unisex label is available in.

A framed pack can both have an exterior or inner body, permitting you to hold extra weight on account of a stronger construction. These packs are identified for ventilated again panels that hold your sweat from pooling, are heavier in nature, and normally characteristic an adjustable torso.

Whereas frameless packs are actually not everybody’s cup of tea, the Aspen’s frameless design prioritizes agility and effectivity on path. But it doesn’t sacrifice the consolation as a lot as many different ultralight packs do, with extra cushioning within the again panel and shoulder straps.

Symbiosis Gear Aspen Ultralight Backpack Execs

All-Day Consolation

The Aspen is by far probably the most snug frameless backpack I’ve ever worn. I used to be pleasantly stunned at how nicely it contours each inch of my physique, from the way in which it hugs my shoulders to the place it sits on my again. There are seemingly limitless adjustment factors, from the stretchy sternum strap that may be moved on a daisy chain going all the way in which down the shoulder straps, to a prolonged hip belt and shoulder straps.

With different ultralight packs I’ve used, I’ve typically needed to take breaks, giving my weary shoulders a relaxation if I’ve pushed the burden capability. With the Aspen, I felt no main distinction in the way in which it carried with a further 5 kilos over the beneficial weight restrict.

The face of pure happiness as a result of my pack lastly suits. After two days of lengthy miles and scrambling, my shoulders and again hardly felt it because of the Aspen’s snug match.

Stretchy Sternum Strap

I’ve tried packs with adjustable sternum straps earlier than that transfer vertically alongside the pack’s shoulder straps, however by no means one with horizontal stretch. It was a sport changer, and I’m by no means going again. My respiration didn’t really feel restricted, and it made adjusting the sternum strap seamless based mostly on the layers I used to be carrying.

This is a perfect characteristic for girls with bigger bust sizes, as there may be loads of room for adjustment.

Gigantic Aspect Pockets

The facet pockets on this pack had been virtually comically giant, however Symbiosis Gear considered the whole lot, together with shock wire to tighten the facet pockets as wanted. I simply match two Smartwater bottles in a single pocket, plus a water filter and snacks.

Though the pack is simply listed as 38 liters, the facet pockets added many alternatives to holster easy-access gadgets. Plus, it was astronomically simpler to achieve again and seize my waters with out taking my backpack off, one thing I actually appreciated once I was grinding to make miles with out stopping.

Further cupboard space galore! These gigantic pockets had been adjustable with shock wire.

S-Curve Straps

This goes with out saying, however the S-curve straps contributed tremendously to the quintessential match of this pack. They prevented chafing on my arms, and allowed the backpack to sit down comfortably.

Mobility of Hip Belt

To be clear, I truly thought I’d hate the non-weight bearing hip belt. As I discussed above, I truly choose to hold extra of my weight on my hips, so I used to be frightened this wouldn’t be the pack for me.

Let me be the primary to confess that the Aspen modified me. The waist belt straps are thick sufficient that they don’t really feel like they’re slicing into your pores and skin, and so they’re so snug and light-weight that you simply’ll neglect they’re there. I loved the excessive vary of mobility that got here with the hip belt, particularly when scrambling up and over fallen timber or climbing slick rock in Moab.

Symbiosis Gear Aspen Cons

Compression Straps Too Quick

The most important oversight, and one that might be a simple DIY repair, was the size of the zigzag compression straps on the again of this pack being too brief. I used to be excited to make the most of this characteristic, as I sometimes stash my rest room merchandise, first help child, camp footwear, and an additional layer on the again of my pack.

Nevertheless, until my backpack was solely packed half-full, the zigzag compression straps turned too tight to make use of, making it unattainable to entry the again pocket as nicely.

That is one thing I may simply substitute myself (and possibly will). However, I used to be a bit disillusioned I couldn’t use the again pocket and compression straps in any respect when my backpack was stuffed usually.

For the reason that zigzag compression straps had been too brief, it rendered the again pocket (and straps themselves) fairly ineffective. I used to be in a position to simply barely stuff my camp footwear in there when partially packed.

Open Cellphone Pocket

Whereas the entrance telephone pocket was total extremely handy, it was simply sufficiently small that I used to be frightened my telephone may topple out when scrambling or crossing rivers.

If you happen to’re on path the place there’s not a lot dynamic motion aside from vertical strolling, this might be a moot level, so take it with a grain of salt. However for those who’re trekking on one thing just like the Hayduke or Sierra Excessive Route, I’d recommend a safer telephone pocket.

Restricted Sizing Choices

Since this pack actually is one- size-fits-many, it’s restricted to ladies (or males with a slender body). Selfishly, this wasn’t a con for me. I’m a hiker with boobs, I’ve by no means had a backpack match me 100%, and I used to be ecstatic to discover a female-specific pack that was deliberately designed with my physique sort in thoughts.

Nevertheless, for those who’re a person questioning why this pack wasn’t made for you or a girl considerably shorter than 5’2 or taller than 5’10, it’s potential the pack might not match as comfortably, regardless of its well-thought out options. That mentioned, there are many different nice packs for males, so I’ll get pleasure from this specialised pack with no qualms.

Restricted to Ultralighters

Due to the decrease carrying capability, this pack is especially supreme for people with an ultralight setup. Though it maxes out round 20 kilos, I may comfortably carry over that vary. You probably have a base weight that’s considerably greater than 10 kilos, this pack might not be for you. In spite of everything, it’s frameless, ultralight, and 38 liters.

Total Worth

The Symbiosis Gear Aspen ultralight backpack gives distinctive worth for feminine backpackers looking for consolation, performance, and efficiency on the path. Its revolutionary design, tailor-made match, and premium supplies make it a standout selection within the ultralight backpacking market, particularly catering to the ache factors that feminine backpackers typically face with gear.

As a ladies with boobs who’s been looking for a pack that really suits since, nicely, the primary day I ever purchased a backpack seven years in the past, I’m thrilled to have discovered an choice for brief weekend journeys that can make its approach into my gear rotation.

With a dedication to inclusivity and luxury, Symbiosis Gear has efficiently elevated the backpacking expertise for girls, paving the way in which for extra inclusive and user-centric gear options.

Store the Symbiosis Aspen Backpack

Comparable Packs

Granite Gear Perimeter 35 Ladies’s Match

  • MSRP: $229.95
  • Weight: 3 lbs

Osprey Eja 38L Ladies’s

  • MSRP: $220
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs

The Symbiosis Aspen ultralight backpack was donated for goal of evaluation



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