Sunday, March 15, 2015

Consider waist size when purchasing backpack for day hikes

Getting the right wait size can maximize comfort on your hike.
Photo courtesy of Photoree.
When purchasing a backpack, among the measurements to consider is the waist size, which often is referred to as hip size. The waist size isn’t as important as the backpack’s fit (aka torso length), but different body shapes may require a larger or smaller hip belt (aka a waist belt) to ensure comfort.

To measure your waist size, starting at your belly button wrap a tape measure around the top of your hips. This is a higher point than where the top of your pants sit, so your pants’ waist size likely will be a little different than the backpack’s waist size.

Next, check the backpack tag to see that it matches your waist size. If you’ve got the right waist size, the belly button will be at the center of the hip belt when you wear backpack.

Sometimes a backpack model, regardless of its torso length, comes in only one hip belt size. Usually manufacturers provide hip belts that can be switched out, however.

Troubleshooting hip belt issues
Hip belt covers the hip bones or slides below them
Try tightening the hip belt. If that doesn’t help, the hip belt is too long and needs to be replaced with a shorter one.

Hip belt rests on lower back rather than sides of hips
The belt is too short. Lengthen it, and if that doesn’t work, replace it with a longer one.

Hip belt’s pocket is behind your arms when they hang at your side.
The belt is too short. Lengthen it, and failing that, replace it with a longer belt.

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