Backpacks: Adjusting the Fit
Backpacks: Adjusting the Fit Your goal is to have 80% to 90% of the load weight resting on your hips. To achieve this, start by putting about 10 to 15 lbs. of weight into the pack to simulate a loaded pack. Follow the steps below in front of a mirror.
Six Steps to a Great Fit
Your goal is to have 80% to 90% of the load weight resting on your hips. To achieve this, start by putting about 10 to 15 lbs. of weight into the pack to simulate a loaded pack. Follow the steps below in front of a mirror. Get a friend to help if possible, or visit an REI store for more assistance.
Step 1: Hipbelt
- First make sure all the pack's straps and hipbelt are loosened.
- Put the pack on your back so that the hipbelt is resting over your hip bones.
- Close the hipbelt buckle and tighten it.
- Check the padded sections of the hipbelt to make sure they wrap around your hips comfortably. Keep at least 1" of clearance on either side of the center buckle.
- Note: If the hipbelt is too loose or tight, try repositioning the buckle pieces on the hipbelt straps. If this doesn't solve the problem, you may need a different pack (or hipbelt).
Step 2: Shoulder Straps
- Pull down and back on the ends of the shoulder straps to tighten them.
- Shoulder straps should fit closely and wrap over and around your shoulder, holding the pack body against your back. They should NOT be carrying the weight.
- Have your helper check to see that the shoulder strap anchor points are 1" to 2" inches below the top of your shoulders.
- Load-lifter straps are located just below the tops of your shoulders (near your collarbones) and should angle back toward the pack body at a 45-degree angle.
- Gently snug the load-lifter straps to pull weight off your shoulders. (Overtightening the load lifters will cause a gap to form between your shoulders and the shoulder straps.)
Step 4: Sternum Strap
- Adjust the sternum strap to a comfortable height across your chest.
- Buckle the sternum strap and tighten until the shoulder straps are pulled in comfortably from your shoulders, allowing your arms to move freely.
Step 5: Stabilizer Straps
- Pull the stabilizer straps located on either side of the hipbelt to snug the pack body toward the hipbelt and stabilize the load.
Step 6: Final Tweak
- Go back to the shoulder straps and carefully take a bit of tension off of them. Now you're ready to go!