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You chaps are really spoiled when it comes to choice of a lightweight pack. If you are a chapess, well - you are not well catered for. Having the correct back length and also women specific shoulder straps are two aspects I've found crucial. The original W Jam was brilliant and available in various back lengths. Unfortunately shorter backs mean fewer litres so I never could quite squash enough in for the challenge though it has done me proud on shorter trips. I now use a Lightwave W Wildtrek which fits well. I would have preferred the lighter Fastpack but the available back lengths are not short enough. Well, that's my two penn'orth anyway.
Aaaah, the Karrimor Jaguar 65 (or even better the earlier Jaguar E65 if you are old enough to remember it) is/was the pack of choice for the true hill connoisseur. Alas many are sadly over the hill, mine replaced by a Golite Terrano 70 but not a patch on the comfort and functionality of the old Jaguar and already showing signs of wear after only two years. Karrimors "new " Jaguar weighs a ton. My average Challenge pack departure weight =18 kgs.
I still have a Jaguar 65, perhaps the best rucksack I've ever had. It's light enough, packs and carries very well - trouble is, after 20 years, it's now completely worn out.
I'd pay a lot of money for a new one. New stuff just isn't up to the mark.
Aye, they're completely knackered too!
JJ. The old Jaguar 65 often appears on eBay - and they seem to sell quite well. In fact I sold Miss W's last year for £50.
Obviously still a popular choice for the discerning backpacker.
Judith, I haven't yet read through all the other responses, but I use a Golite Quest which is a fine sac for up to about 14kg, but I insert a stiffened Karrimor backpad which is easily shaped for your own lordosis, or to create an airgap of sorts, depending on your individual needs. Just an idea!