How to Fit and Adjust Your Pack

What’s the best way to fit and adjust your pack?


1-Loosen all straps.

This will set you up to make all the right adjustments. Make sure to fill the backpack with a realistic weight.  Put the pack on.

2- Position the middle of the hip belt over the hip bones and tighten.

If positioned too high it will constrict the stomach. If the position is too low, the fins might chafe. The main weight should be on the hip belt.

3- Now tighten the shoulder straps, but not too tight.

Tight shoulder straps will deliver more load control and transfer more weight to the shoulders. As noted above, make sure that most of the weight is sitting on your hips.

Here’s what to take into consideration:

  • The anchor points of the shoulder straps are ideally positioned between the shoulder blades.
  • If the straps are sitting on the shoulder blades they will slide off easily.
  • If they are sitting to close to the neck the straps run down to the armpits which could cause chafing.

4- Adjust load stabilizer straps.

These are used as the name suggests; to stabilize the load near the top of the pack.

Here’s what to take into consideration:

  • The straps should have tension but not be overtightened. If they pull the padded shoulder strap up, there is too much tension. Tighten for more load control. Loosen for more freedom of movement.
  • Tension the shoulder stabiliser straps on the shoulder straps of larger capacity packs. Loose for improved ventilation and more weight on the waist belt for easy passages. Tighter they deliver more load control and transfer more weight to the shoulder straps on rugged terrain.To perfectly fulfil their function the stabiliser straps should be horizontally angled between 30° and 45°.
  • For smaller capacity packs, the straps fulfill a different role. They allow the fine-tuning of the back length. Loosen or tighten stabiliser and shoulder straps to perfectly fit the pack’s back position. Here, the angle can be significantly smaller or even negative.

 5- Attach and adjust sternum strap so it’s comfortable and does not restrict breathing.

The sternum strap will help to keep the shoulder straps positioned on the chest.


You’re done. Following this simple guide will make all your outings more enjoyable. Have a fantastic trip!

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