How Do I Size an Internal Frame Backpack to a Person?

How Do I Size an Internal Frame Backpack to a Person?A good internal-frame backpack will transfer 80 percent or more of the weight on your back directly to the hips and legs, allowing a backpacker to carry huge loads without injuring her back. In order to achieve this weight transference, the backpack must be properly sized. A general guide to backpack size can be made with a simple backpack measurement. The next step is to try the pack on for size.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Measuring tape
  • Helper
Step 1
Stand up straight with your eyes facing front, and tell your helper to measure from the C7 vertebra (the bump at the base of your neck) to the top of your hips. This will give you the information to determine you general size measurement, so you can start trying on internal-frame backpacks for size.
Step 2
Loosen all the straps and the hip belt before checking the fit. Put something with a little heft into the pack so you can feel for how the weight will be distributed while you are wearing it. Between 3 and 6 lbs. will be fine.
Step 3
Put the pack on, set the hip belt over your hip bones and buckle it up. It should be comfortable, snug and have at least 1 inch of strap remaining on either side of the belt buckle.
Step 4
Pull down on the ends of the shoulder straps to tighten them up. The draw-straps for the shoulder straps are located near the shoulder strap bottoms. If the fit of your hip belt is right, this should only draw the pack snugly onto your back, and not put weight on your shoulders. Have a helper check to see if the anchor point for the shoulder straps are between 1 and 2 inches below your shoulders.
Step 5
Tighten up the load-lifting straps. These are located at the tops of the shoulder straps. These should take whatever weight is on your shoulders completely off, but have your helper watch-out for over-tightening. If you over-tighten these straps, it will deform the fit of the pack to your back.
Step 6
Buckle up the sternum strap running between the shoulder straps and across your chest. Adjust it so that the shoulder's straps are not interfering in the movement of your arms.
Step 7
Pull in the body of the pack by tightening up the stabilizer straps on the sides of the hip belt. If there were any problems that prevented you from completing Steps 2 through 7 successfully, the pack is a bad fit and should be discarded in favor of another.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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