How to adjust a backpack - title

How to Adjust Your Backpack

Ensure a comfortable fit prior to embarking on a hike. A well-adjusted backpack should feel like a seamless extension of your body. Conversely, a poorly fitted backpack can increase the risk of injury and feel as burdensome as a sack of bricks.

How to Adjust Your Backpack

Choosing a hiking backpack that suits your body type and adjusting its fit.

Choosing a hiking backpack that fits your body type is important for optimal comfort during your hikes. You need to consider your back length, shoulder width, and waist circumference to choose the best fitting backpack. Adjustmenting the shoulder straps and lumbar belt should also be taken into account for a perfect fit.

How to Adjust Your Backpack

Loosen all adjustment straps on the backpack before putting it on

This approach will facilitate achieving a comfortable fit. Remember to evenly distribute the load prior to setting off on your trails! A well-adjusted backpack not only enhances comfort but also conserves energy and helps prevent a range of potential injuries.

How to adjust your backpack - belt

Fasten the hip belt

The hip belt should rest securely over your hipbones, positioned just above the buttocks. Ensure it is tightened sufficiently without impeding your breath. When the hip belt is properly fastened, the weight of the backpack should feel noticeably reduced on your shoulders.

How to adjust your backpack - back

Adjust the shoulder straps

Ensure that the top of the backpack does not protrude above your shoulders. The bulk of the load should be borne by your hips, rather than resting on your shoulders.

Check if the back panel can be adjusted

Some bags have a back panel that can be adjusted to fit to the length of your back.

How to adjust your backpack - chest

Buckle and tighten the chest strap

The chest strap serves to stabilize the backpack and enhance your comfort during hikes. Be careful not to over-tighten it—the strap should not feel as though it's constricting your breath.

How to adjust your backpack - shoulders

Tighten the load-lifter straps

Load-lifter straps bring the bag forward, help distribute the weight, and ensure comfort while hiking. As with other straps, avoid over-tightening them.

How to adjust your backpack - small bags

Fitting a smaller lightweight bag

If you're hitting the trails with a small bag, choose one with a hip belt. The fitting steps are the same, but if your bag doesn't have a hip belt, you can use the shoulder straps to make sure the bottom of the bag is flush with your hips. Make sure it's not too low on the buttocks or too high on the back. Even for smaller bags, distributing the load evenly is essential.

How to Adjust Your Backpack

How to properly position and adjust a backpack

To properly position a backpack, it's important to follow a few key steps. First, adjust the straps of the lumbar belt so that it's placed on your hips. Next, adjust the shoulder straps for a comfortable fit, without being too tight or loose. Finally, adjust the load straps to maintain a vertical and balanced position of the bag on your back.

Good to know!

A person in good physical condition can carry up to 20 or 25% of their body weight. So even with the best bag and the best fit, you can hurt your back carrying loads that are too heavy. Children should not carry more than 10 to 15% of their weight.

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