fitting backpack guide

It is essential to adjust your backpack before wearing to ensure that it fits correctly. It will help you to prevent injury and reduce fatigue. A well-fitted bag takes into account your torso, body shape, gender and height measurements.

Here’s the deal:

If you are experiencing hip pain, shoulder or back pain while you are carrying a pack, there is a big chance that your bag isn’t the right size for you. It can’t be too small or too big because it will make you uncomfortable while on the trail. The most important thing when hiking is to stay safe so you need to choose the bag that will fit you.

In this article, we will show you how to fit a backpack properly. Keep reading to know more.

1. Measure Your Torso Length

To accurately determine your torso size, you will need help from a friend and a soft measure tape. You can also buy a pack that has an adjustable torso length, but you should know that they are a little bit heavier.

Your bag torso size is too long if there is space between your shoulder straps and the tops of your shoulders. Make it shorter if the backpack is adjustable. If this is not an option, get one with the shorter torso length.

If you notice that you are carrying all of the weight on your shoulder, that means the length is too short. Again, if your bag is adjustable just make the torso length longer. If not, return this one and buy a new one with the right torso length.

2. Hip Belt

This belt may be too long if it keeps falling below your hips and you can’t tighten it. Or, it may be too short if your belt doesn’t rest on the sides of your hips. Use a soft tape measure and wrap it around your hips where you can feel the iliac crest.

This way you will measure your “latitude line” size.

The iliac crest is the curved superior border of the ilium, the largest of the three bones that merge to form the os coxa or hip bone. It is located on the superior and lateral edge of the ilium very close to the surface of the skin in the hip region” – according to InnerBody.

3. Shoulder Straps

Tighten these straps to fit close to your back and wrap them around the shoulders. Stand in front of the mirror and see if they are flushed with your upper back and shoulders. If there is too much space between your back and straps that means that the bag doesn’t match your torso size.

Try to shorten the length, and if this doesn’t work out, you need to buy some other model that will fit you perfectly.

4. Sternum Straps

The sternum straps are located on your chest. With it, you can move your arms freely because they are preventing the shoulder straps from slipping off. The critical thing to do is to adjust it correctly to the height that is comfortable for you.

backpack features

5. Load Lifters

These lifters are attached to the top of the bag to the shoulder straps. They are located above the collarbones. To take some weight off your shoulders, gently pull these lifters.

6. Stabilizer Straps

You will find your stabilizer straps near the hip belt on the bottom. To stabilize and secure your load evenly pull them forward into your body.

7. Try on Backpack Before You Buy It

When you are purchasing a pack, you should always try it on before you make a decision. It would be wise to try different models, load the bags and test them. Bear in mind that some of them won’t fit you because you are too skinny, too round, to short or too tall.


Sometimes it can be a challenge to find a perfect backpack. But, when you are trying them out in the store, knowing how to fit one is the most important thing. Our goal is to help you understand that and make your outdoor adventure as enjoyable as possible.

So, follow these steps, and you will find the right backpack for you.