I recently had a bunch of equipment stolen and am now in the market for a new backpacking pack. I used to have the Osprey Ariel AG 65L and it's capacity was great for my needs and I usually filled it to the brim, but synched. Gear capacity was 59L on an XS frame.
Even though I can buy this pack again, I am leaning more towards the design, fit and features of the Gregory Deva pack. Comparing the gear capacity of Deva 60 vs. Deva 70 to my old pack, the 60 has 56L and Deva 70 has 66L on XS frame.
I am nervous that if I were to go with the Deva 60 that I would lose needed space for extra clothing etc., however with the Deva 70 is that just too much backpack?
Typically I carry about 30lbs and keep it generally light for a 3-4 day trip. That said, I tend to have a bear box with me depending on where I am going. Such a tough call and would appreciate any input from other ladies out there with XS frames! Seems there is not much out there discussing gear capacity loss with our size.
Wow! you carry much more than me- I keep it closer to 45L and have strapped things to the outside for longer trips- that being said, I have never taken a bear can along. I would personally lean smaller and plan some tie-down areas or a fanny pack.
@kakeumi , I use a small frame, not an XS, so you might not find this as helpful. But I have a Deva and I absolutely love it. It is the old style however but the features of the Gregory packs beat the Osprey hands down. I did however buy an Osprey last fall (haven't used it yet as plans got COVID cancelled) just for the weight reduction. The old Gregory packs were heavy. The one thing I do not like about the new Gregory packs, which are much lighter than the old ones, and the reason I went with the Osprey is the arched frame. Its great for keeping the pack off your back, but if you put a full 3L water bladder in it, the bladder sticks out into the middle of the pack as it doesn't arch with the frame. That makes it hard to get stuff in/out of the bottom of the pack and just makes packing difficult, and probably really messes things up with the bear can.
Just my two cents.
I'm not a petite female but...
The best thing to do would be to get one and see. Assuming you are not in a hurry, you can always return it to REI and get something else if it is not the right thing.
If you can, get fitted first with the gear weight and bulk you carry to make sure the pack will work for you as far as comfort. It will be different from the Osprey so may or may not suit you. If you still have your typical gear take it with you including your bear can. REI also do virtual fittings but you may have order the bag first (not sure how it works) and you may already know enough to fit it yourself. Even so I think having someone knowledgeable to help can still be useful.
I doubt you will notice a huge difference between 59L and 56L but given what you say I suspect you may find the Deva 70 easier to pack. I have an older Baltoro 70 (the male version) and while they don't make the best day packs, they compress down well when lightly stuffed so the extra capacity is unlikely to be a problem
However, you may have a problem with the height of the bag. A shorter female friend had problems with this when fitting bags. She chose a Deuter I think partly for that reason although I'm not sure of the specifics. I think it was a Futura Vario 45 + 10 SL and I think she liked the expansion aspect so she could have a shorter bag when she didn't need the extra capacity. I may have this all wrong but I can ask if that is of interest.
The larger pack does add extra weight (and cost if you get the current model) to the bag though and there is no reason to carry that weight (or spend the money) if you will never need that extra capacity for anything. If REI have it correct it is only 2oz for the current model so that might be worth. ( I note that there seems to be a lot of overstock on the previous model (2018?) and I think REI may have the weights wrong on their listings of those but it is hard to check).
These bags are designed to be fairly rugged and carry large loads comfortably so that is the reason to buy one. If you don't anticipate needing the extra capacity, you only ever carry 30lb including water and supplies you might be able to use a lighter weight pack....although I realize that only expands the choice so may not be a helpful thing to say. Lighter weight packs tend to be less durable depending on the material they are made from so if you bushwhack you need to bear that in mind and chose appropriately.