Sizing up Your Body for the Right Backpack

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Choosing the right backpack is very important for any kind of outdoor activity that you are planning – especially a long one like extended hiking or mountaineering. Everything you need has to be on your back – and to carry everything you need the perfect backpack. But the perfect backpack isn’t the one that will have the most capacity although that is a huge bonus, the perfect backpack is the one that fits right to your body and that allows for proper weight balance so you don’t end up hiking with a bent back or with aching shoulders and bloody feet at the end of the hike. Yes, the right backpack can save you from injury – not only will it keep you from getting exhausted but it also from losing your balance on the trail which makes all the difference on rough terrain.

Determining Torso Length

The torso is probably the least measured part of anyone’s body – it isn’t measured for cloths, or new suits, or even custom fit instruments. But when you’re deciding on the backpack you want to buy, torso length is a crucial piece of information. This is because there are three points of security on backpacks available in the market:

  • Sternum support
  • Load lifter straps
  • Sternum straps

All three must work together to give you optimum comfort when hiking and for all three to work together they need to be placed exactly where they need to be. This placement is best allocated when you know the length of your torso.

To measure you torso properly, place one end of a flexible measuring tip at the base of your neck and run it down to the small of your back between both hips. The exact torso length is not necessary, because backpacks are mostly adjustable. But it is important to know which size category you fall in:

  • Extra small: 15.5 inches
  • Small: 16 – 17 inches
  • Medium: 18 – 19.5 inches
  • Large: 20 inches or more

Waist Size

Although most backpacks come with adjustable straps that can adjust to almost everyone’s waist, but it’s better to have one that fits right especially if you have a waist that is less than 26 inches or more than 50 inches. There are ranges of women and youth backpacks that come with smaller straps, but if you find the strap doesn’t fit, it’s is a good idea to invest in a custom hip belt, since up to 80% of the weight of your gear will be resting on your hips.

Apart from sizing up your body, you also need to know the right size of backpack you need to buy, since there are different sizes for different trip durations. Keep in mind that your backpack is supposed to hold all the survival essentials. So determine how long you intend to stay outdoors, and make sure you buy a backpack that can all your gear, food and other essentials that you might need when you’re on a hike or out camping!

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