Coming July 2019: A Women’s Setout Backpack

Taylor Coil

We’re launching a 35L black version of the Women’s Setout Backpack in July 2019.

The Setout Backpack is designed to work well for just about anyone taking a 1-2 week international trip. Internally, we’ve nicknamed it the “goldilocks” bag — not too much, not too little, but just right. Because it’s the just-right carry on, the Setout Backpack has become our most popular product. By far.

We could just leave it at that and let our bestseller be our bestseller. But we’re not that brand. We believe in constant improvements, constant iteration, and in solving your travel frustrations in better ways. 

One thing we’ve learned through internal testing and customer feedback: the Setout Backpack’s suspension system is more comfortable on a man’s body than a woman’s body. It’s not uncomfortable for women, but it’s certainly less ideal.

We aren’t satisfied with less than ideal. We want to make your favorite luggage, not just luggage that gets the job done. 

To clarify: When we talk about a suspension system, we’re referencing the shoulder straps, load lifters, chest strap, and hip belt. Those four things work together to “suspend” a backpack on your back so that all the weight isn’t digging into one spot on your shoulders. With a proper fit, the hip belt distributes 80% of your bag’s weight away from your shoulders so that your stronger leg muscles can do some of the work.

Listening to Customer Feedback

Physiologically, women tend to have shorter torsos, narrower shoulders, and smaller hips than men. We saw those physiological trends manifest in customer feedback. We’d hear things from our female customers like:

  • I can’t get the hip belt tight enough to distribute weight, or
  • The chest strap cuts across my boobs, or
  • The shoulder straps are too hard and too wide

The women on our team (including me) have echoed similar thoughts; many of us choose to travel with the Outbreaker Backpack instead. The Setout Backpack is not uncomfortable, really, I just know that it fits far better on male Tortuganauts. We want to make travel easier and more enjoyable — and that starts with ergonomic, organized luggage.

We’re launching a 35L black version of the Women’s Setout Backpack in July 2019. If it’s a hit, we’ll release more colors and sizes later on.

What’s Different About the Women’s Setout Backpack

The Women’s Setout Backpack has a suspension system that is ideally suited for a woman’s torso. In order to accomplish a perfect fit, we changed the shape and construction of the shoulder straps, the size of the hip belt, and the placement of the chest strap.

Shoulder Straps

We completely redesigned the shoulder straps for the Women’s Setout Backpack, focusing on a few specific changes:

  1. A combination of soft and hard foam for a blend of cushiness and durability
  2. Strap curvature to fit ideally on a woman’s torso
  3. Higher-placed chest strap to hit just below the collarbone, not across the nipple line


In the coming weeks, we’ll go into more detail about the types of foam we’re using in the Women’s Setout Backpack’s shoulder straps for the ideal blend of cushiness and durability. 

Hip Belt

The “fins” of the hip belt – meaning the padded sections with the zippered pockets – are slightly smaller to fit more comfortably on a woman’s hips. The hip belt itself tightens down more than the men’s version so that people with smaller frames can still enjoy the benefits of weight distribution. It extends to fit larger frames, too.

Chest Strap

When we did a test fit for this product on lots of women of varying heights and weights, we noticed a trend: everyone tried to move the chest strap higher than it was designed to sit. Therefore, we adjusted the chest strap’s connection point to be higher up on the shoulder straps to better accommodate that fit requirement — because boob squishing chest straps are fun for nobody.

What’s Staying the Same

We didn’t change the shape of the backpack, or change the colors, or add an arbitrary “women’s” label just to charge more. In fact we aren’t charging more at all — no pink tax here. The Women’s Setout Backpack 35L will retail at $179, just like the men’s version.

It’s the same backpack with the same three-compartment layout, the same internal organization, the same black polyester made from recycled water bottles. It’s the bag you already know and love with different shoulder straps and a smaller hip belt.

In the coming weeks, we’ll share more details about the Women’s Setout Backpack. If you want to be the first to know about the launch, sign up for the wait list below. 


Stay Updated on the Women’s Setout Backpack Launch