View Full Version : How to fit a pack to you

06-27-2015, 05:25

Just how accurate is this? And are there any other things I should look for?

06-27-2015, 08:21
I thought it was both accurate and comprehensive. The only thing I sometimes do a little differently is while I'm leaned forward buckling my hip belt, I'll go ahead and cinch down my shoulder straps, then rise and buckle the sternum strap. I just find that is easier for me to draw the pack in close to my spine (while the straps aren't loaded).

06-27-2015, 09:04
I didnt bother to look at it.
There are differences between how a heavy conventional pack and a lightweight pack should fit though.

06-27-2015, 09:10
I think what he calls the "load lifter straps" are tightened too much in this video. The tighter they are, the more weight you have on your shoulders...this is the mistake most newbies make that end them up with sore shoulders at the end of the day. Most of the weight should ride on your hips. What I recommend is that you loosen these "load lifters" as loose as they will go. Put your pack on, tighten your hip belt so that all of the weight rests on your hips, tighten your shoulder straps, and then stand up straight and have someone watch you from the side (or look at yourself sideways in a mirror) while you tighten the load lifters. The pack should start out leaning away from your body when the load lifters are completely loose. Whiles standing up straight tighten the load lifters until the pack is perfectly vertical...not leaning away from your back but not leaning on it either. If you tighten it down too much you will shift the weight from your hips to your shoulders and you'll end up miserable. Remember that your legs are the largest muscles in your body, so you want the majority of your weight pulled by them...the rest of the straps are just there to center your gravity.

06-27-2015, 09:34
Good basic info. Not much on how to acurately measure torso length. A little vague on positioning details of hip belt on hip bones. Good detail on one good way to adjust straps once pack is on.

Personally, I shrug my shoulders to fine tune the hip belt position and keep some weight on my shoulders, although, sure, if I drop my shoulders I can move the weight to my hip belt and make room to slip a finger under the shoulder strap.

06-27-2015, 10:23
Agree that the load lifters look to be a little over tight, but everyone is a bit different on how they want their pack to feel on their back and I adjust for feel more than appearance.

I also think that his torso was a wee bit short for the pack he had in the video and that extra tightening on the load lifters probably provides a little compensation for that so it's like we all experience - you adjust your pack to fit your body.

Overall I like the video and think that it's a good tool for someone who doesn't know this information.

Tipi Walter
06-27-2015, 10:26
Thanks for the vid. Very impressed with how you highlighted the pack review link with your hands at minute 00.12. That simple video edit would've taken me 3 hours to figure out.

You mention using your compression strap but my pack has only one compression strap and it's inside cinching down the contents and bringing the front of the pack towards the back. All those compression straps---The less I have to do with my pack adjustments the better.

Harness quality (or lack thereof) is very important and separates a good pack from a great pack when hauling weights above 70 lbs. Hipbelt size is vital and I go with Small as it must be tight and you'll lose weight on a long trip.

Putting a pack on is totally dependent on pack weight. Try throwing on an 85 lb pack with one arm. Instead I sit down and tighten the shoulder straps first in order to stand and then adjust the hipbelt and then the load lifter straps. Doing the sternum strap before tightening the shoulder straps? Heck no. Sternum strap is rarely used and only when negotiating tough terrain or creek crossings.

Here's my Sequence---
** Sit down and tighten shoulder straps.
** Stand up with tight shoulder straps and clip in hipbelt and tighten.
** Tighten load lifter straps (they must be completely loose every time I saddle up).

Most of the time my load lifter straps are moderately tight, but sometimes after hiking a couple hours with 85 lbs I like to pull the load straps very tight which pulls the pack closer and higher up on my back, offering a different and pleasant sensation for awhile.