One question that we get asked quite a bit is how to properly fit a backpack. When a rucksack is fitted perfectly, fatigue is massively reduced and the potential chances of injury are alleviated.

As there are a variety of different styles, please note that this guide might need some tweaking depending on what is actually available in regards to adjustability.

First off, let’s talk about the size of the rucksack. With a smaller rucksack, there are usually fewer options to adjust the bag. A larger rucksack, on the other hand, will require a little more adjustment.

The next thing to consider is actually the size of the bag. There are a few on the market which have different lengths designed for taller or shorter people, so take that into consideration too. But this guide assumes you already have a large or small rucksack.

Shall we get started? Loosen everything on the rucksack. I find it is good to fill it with a few bits and pieces to make it the correct shape, especially if the bag is new. It will also give you a feel for how it sits with a little weight in the bag.

Next, adjust the shoulder straps so that the backpack sits at a level of which the hip supports sit alongside the hip at the top of the bone. This varies slightly between females and males, but you’ll get the feel for it with a bit of weight. Should you get any discomfort, try raising it slightly.

Now do up all of the straps and ensure they’re secure, but they shouldn’t be too tight. On some bags, there will also be a secondary set of straps that are for stabilising heavy loads. These need to be tightened to roughly 30 degrees.

At this point, I would recommend going for a walk, doing a few jumps and generally moving around. The bag shouldn’t move at all and it definitely shouldn’t rub. If it does, tighten all of the straps slightly and ensure that on the bigger bags your stabilisation straps are slightly looser.

Bags should move slightly though. It might take a few times to get it fully tweaked and perfect but there you go! Follow that order and adjust as necessary.

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