I'm a woman, and I downsized to the Kestrel 48L from a 50 +10L backpack (nobody needs to carry 60L of stuff on a 6 month backpacking trip - trust me!), and so far I've used it on a 2 month trip through South America and while there are a couple of things that my old bag had that I wish this one did (a small, removable day pack and full frontal access), overall I really love it! I have a very long upper body so none of the women's bags worked for my height, so the only problem I have is that the wasit adjustment doesn't go quite small enough for my waist, but the length adjustment is worth it, and it's still manageable and far more comfortable than the shorter women's bags. I highly recommend this bag for any other women out there that have this problem. I do find the side access a bit annoying as I don't find it super accessible. I read a previous comment that stated you can't remove the bottom compartment flap, but this is false; you can unhook it from the inside, near the back. I prefer the bag without the bottom compartment as I find there is more space this way. The side pockets are a bit tricky to reach when carrying the bag, but I use it for my main backpack and carry a separate daybag for my water, so that's not a concern for me, and I like how strechy yet secure the pockets are. Also, the statement about not being able to use the front pocket when the bag is full is also false; as long as you fill the front pocket first you should notice that the space is fully utilized. In fact, when I took the time to pack properly (as opposed to quickly throwing everything in for a quick hostel change), I found this bag to be a little bit TOO big! It says that you can sinch it up and use it for a day hike, but even then the top pocket buldges and the bag just doesn't sit quite right when it it fully sinched. That being said, I may just invest in the 38L for my next trip and ditch the extra 10L. I love this bag!