Measure Your Torso
>> Recruit a friend and find a soft tape measure.
>> Bow your head so the C7 vertebra at the base of your neck protrudes. This is the top of your
>> Find your hips. Place your thumbs on your iliac crests (tops of hipbones). Draw an imaginary line across your back connecting your thumbs. The point where the line crosses your spine is the bottom of your torso.
>> Take the measurement. Have your friend measure from the top of your torso to the bottom. Most adults fall between 15 and 22 inches. For a video demo go to backpacker.com/torso.
Pack capacity is measured in liters or cubic inches. Multiply liters by sixty to get cubic inches–or use our chart to gauge real-world space.
Daytrip or overnight
Weekend or weeklong
Weeklong+ or family trips
Balance your load for a more comfortable fit—and to reduce wear and tear on your pack. Follow Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter’s tips for on-trail pack adjustments at backpacker.com/packstraps.