Hike New Hampshire
Trips in NH
Camp Trails NightsongCampTrails Nightsong

Review By Pamela
Quick Facts
(And Overall Rating)
I like it! Good fit, well organized, and roomy.
Size (capacity) 3120-4020 in3
(Depends on frame size)
Frame Style External
Key Features:
  • Designed exclusively for women
  • 5 lb. 5 oz.
  • 3 External Pockets
  • External water bottle sleeve

The Camp Trails Night Song pack is a roomy, external frame pack; Iíve had this pack for two years now, and Iíve been very pleased with it. It is also, I believe, the only external frame pack currently on the market that is designed specifically for a woman.

The first time I went on a backpacking trip, I borrowed a friendís pack. Chris helped me adjust the pack so it was as fit to me as possibleósince the person I borrowed it from is 6í2" and Iím 5í4", it could only be adjusted moderately well. However, the pack was reasonably comfortable, and the trip was fun. I decided to do it again, but this time the friend with the pack was going along. I borrowed a pack from a different person this time, and again we adjusted the pack. We got rained out of this hike just a few miles in (it was cold, and we were soaked through)ólucky for me. Even though we hiked for less than two hours, I was bruised all across my lower back and sore for three days. I quickly learned the value of a properly fitting pack; I also learned how important it is to acknowledge the differences in my anatomy compared to my male friends.

I determined it was time to invest in my own pack, so Chris again (see the ASOLO boot review) took me shopping. I started asking about packs designed for women, and found there werenít many. Now, I wasnít about to buy a pack just because someone said it was built for a woman. Instead, I compared every pack possibleóI literally tried on every pack at the Kittery Trading Post. We visited EMS, and again I tried on numerous packs. I decided to focus on external frame packs at this point, for several reasons. I discovered that I didnít like having the whole pack pressed up against my backóI donít perspire, I sweat, and the internal frame pack seemed "hotter". I also knew from experience that a thickly padded hip belt was crucial for me, along with a good sternum strap and well-padded shoulder straps. The Kittery Trading Post provides weights so you can experience what your pack will feel like when youíre out on the trail. This exercise was crucial to my decision-making. Once the weight went in, the Night Song was the clear winner. The pack distributed the weight in all the right places, making this pack the most comfortable one I tried.

Camp Trails says: Designed especially for women by a woman, the Night Song External is designed to fit a womanís anatomy with more curve in the frame at the hips and a proportioned hip belt and shoulder straps. This pack rides naturally over a womanís lower center of gravity. The top loading main compartment and bottom panel opening gives you easy access and organization. Four pockets allow for greater organization and storage. Lash-on points on the front along with the bungee cord lash-on system make it easy to carry light, bulky gear. Quick-release vertical compression straps let you stabilize the load top to bottom, while the spindrift collar allows you to over-stuff the pack.

I say: This is an excellent pack, a really does fit the womanís body well. The sternum strap keeps in mind the chest of a woman, and the shoulder straps and hip belt are thickly padded and easily adjustable. This pack holds everything I need for a solid two or three-day trip, and allows me to organize my things well.

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Chris Oberg & Robert Havasy