I was looking around a bit for new backpacks, and encountered, as examples this 55L+10L backpack and 70L+10L backpack.

The first one is especially designated as a women's backpack. Why? Only because of the volume?

  • 5
    Men's have wider shoulders and upper backs, while women have narrower ones, this might be the key feature in designing women's and men's backpacks. Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 9:33
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    I'm guessing it's something like the BIC for Her pens. cough
    – Tim S.
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 14:57
  • 1
    anyone puzzled by Tim's BIC for Her link should scroll down on that page to read the hilarious satirical reviews - and on this page, which has even better ones Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 23:43
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    @TimS.: In this case it's the exact opposite of that. Same with bicycles (designed for a different leg length/torso length ratio) and sleeping bags (designed for a different rate of loss of body heat). Probably many more items, but those are the first to come to mind.
    – Jumbogram
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 1:36
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    There is a structural element due to differences in typical male and female physiologies, but there is also a marketing element. Companies making women's backpacks that are different from their men's backpacks only in their naming and colour choices would be taking a pretty cynical approach. I'm a guy but my current backpack is a women's backpack because the girl who bought it decided it was too big for her. It's by a big name brand though so surely does have structural differences but works great for me since it was free (-: Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 2:34

2 Answers 2


According to the producer of the backpacks:

“SL“ stands for Slim Line. The entire pack, including the carrying system, is designed with a woman’s physique in mind, but can also be used by anyone with a smaller torso and frame.

Features of the SL system:

  1. A slightly shorter back length (to accommodate a shorter torso). The SL back system with its lower shoulder strap anchor point is a bit shorter than the standard version.
  2. A more conical shaped hip belt, which further accommodates a greater arch in the spine. The SL hip belt anchor points are set closer together, and are slightly curved angling diagonally upward. The fins are also pre-shaped so that the fastened hip belt has a conical shape delivering a customized fit.
  3. SL shoulder straps are both narrower in width and shorter in length, have narrow tapered ends and smaller buckles. They avoid chafing in the armpits and eliminate pressure points in the chest area. Further, the SL shoulder straps are set closer together. Thus, they stay in place and do not slip off the shoulders.
  4. The SL shoulder straps have an S-shape and feature softly lined edges on both sides, allowing them to curve around sensitive areas, and not chafe.

Who else can wear SL?

Our SL rucksacks are designed to fit the average athletic female build. However, since not everyone fits the norm it is likely that standard models also fit female users perfectly well and vice versa: SL models fit men with slim builds and younger guys.


The women's backpacks have different shape to accommodate for the fact that most women have narrower chest, so women's backpacks are generally narrower. Some have shoulder straps shaped differently (S-shape) not to go on top of breasts. Same goes for the shape of the hip belt to accommodate for different shape of men's and women's hips. Also general size adjustment range is different, backpacks harness for women are generally smaller.

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