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March 2008 Backpacks Review: Start Smart

Start Smart
Measure your torso in 5 easy steps and guarantee a perfect fit with your next pack

1 Enlist a friend Unless you’re a contortionist, you can’t do this alone.

2 Roll the tape You’ll need a soft tape measure that can follow the curve of your spine.

3 Tuck in your chin Tilt it down so the C7 vertebra at the base of your neck protrudes. This knob marks the top of your torso measurement.

4 Grab your love handles Then use your thumbs to feel for your iliac crests–the tops of your hipbones. Draw an imaginary horizontal line across your back between your thumbs; where this line crosses your spine is the bottom of your torso measurement.

5 Take the measure Have your friend drape the tape from top to bottom (C7 to the point on your spine). Most adults have a torso length between 16 and 22 inches.

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