Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Beginner Skills

Beginner Basics: Fitting A Backpack

Even the best backpack isn't comfortable if you don't fit and adjust it correctly. To start: Pick a pack that's the proper gender and general size for you. For example: women's small or men's medium.

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.


Pack-Fitting-1-445x298

Step 1: Load the pack with about 20 pounds, then loosen the hipbelt, shoulder straps, hipbelt stabilizers, and load lifters.

Pack-Fitting-3-445x298

Step 3: Properly sized, there should be no gap atop the shoulders, and the load lifter anchor point should be at collar-bone level.

Pack-Fitting-4-445x298

Step 4: The hipbelt should sit over your pelvic bones.

Pack-Fitting-5-445x298

Step 5: Once the basic torso length, hipbelt and shoulder strap length is dialed in, snug the hipbelt stabilizer straps.

fit a backpack

Step 6: Snug the load lifter straps for a more stable load.

fit a backpack

Step 7: Fasten the sternum strap. Position it properly between chest and collarbone level.

fit a backpack

Step 8: If the sternum strap is too low, it will restrict chest expansion and breathing.

fit a backpack

Step 9: When correct, it will keep the shoulder straps from slipping outward during scrambles, while letting you breathe deeply.

Photos by Jennifer Howe / howephoto.us

How to Pack for Backcountry Skiing

Get to know the winter safety gear you need in your pack.

Keywords: