Saturday, June 19, 2010

Proper Backpack Fit: Useful Tips for Choosing and Fitting a Backpack

Having proper backpack fit is something that you must consider when selecting a backpack and is an important topic in beginner backpacking.  When fitting a backpack, you have to remember that your backpack is the most important tool you can carry with you on your trip and if you don't have proper backpack fit, then you might not have such a good time.  A good fitting backpack will help to set the mood for your entire backpacking trip.

Certain things, which you may think are important, such as pockets and storage, is actually a minor detail compared to proper backpack fit.  If the backpack does not fit well you will not want to use it, even if it has all of the features you want.  You will have wasted money; another reason why fitting a backpack is so important.  

Here is a list of backpacking tips and tricks to consider when choosing a backpack:

  • You will want to think about the weight that you will typically be carrying.  The heavier the load you carry, the lighter the actual backpack weight should be. 
  • Take measurements of your torso.  Take a measurement from the top of your back to your lower back.  Torso size is used for sizing of backpacks. Knowing your torso size will ensure you will get a proper backpack fit.  If you find that you are a 1/2 size, you will want to go with the next larger size.
  • When you try on the backpack, the hip belt should be right at your hips and the lumbar pad should rest on your lower back region.  Following these two suggestions can mean a better fitting backpack. 
  • When fitting a backpack, make sure that you have a good range of motion with your arms, and that your shoulder harness does not get in the way.  
  • Place items in the backpack in order to get an idea of how much weight will be comfortable with the pack, and how many items are going to fit.
  • Once you have added some weight, you will want to make sure that all the straps are fastened and in correct position.  After you have secured the straps, make sure that you have a proper backpack fit, and that you feel comfortable.  At this point, you will want to walk around, do some squatting.  Use areas such as stairs when doing this.
  • Make sure that you are able to take the pack off easily, and then get it back on.
  • You will want to be able to adjust weight as needed. 
After you have went through the above steps, you can be assured that you are more than likely going to have a good fitting backpack when you get out on the trail.  You will be able to use it with comfort and ease.  When you have done the above tips and tricks to get proper backpack fit, you will not only be comfortable, but you will be able to have a good trip!!!

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