How to fit your pack

How to fit your pack

Getting the pack that's right for you

Fit is the key to pack performance. Take the time to get it right. Once you have selected the pack model that meets your needs, you will need to choose the right size.

Step 1 - Pack Sizing

All of our packs, save the lumbar models and Synchro series, are available in multiple sizes to fit a range of torso lengths. To find your torso length, have a friend measure your back along the spine (as shown in the illustration) from the level of your iliac crest (the top of your hipbones) to your C7 (the knobby bone at the base of your neck). Then check the chart below to get the right size for your pack. Note that the adjustability of torso length in all packs allows some overlap between sizes.

Measuring the torso length

Torso Sizing Chart
Most Osprey packs offer interchangeable components for a custom fit:

Component Chart

Step 2 - Hipbelt Sizing

Once you have the right size pack body selected, you will need to pick the hipbelt size. Sizing is quite straightforward. Measure around your hips, not your waist. A properly fitted hipbelt rides centered over the hipbones and needs to be very snug; after all it will be carrying the bulk of the pack's weight. The padded portion should wrap well around your hips, leaving a gap of 3 to 6 inches between the tips of the pads when securely tightened.

Hipbelt Sizing Chart

Changing out an Aether, Ariel or Eclipse belt is a simple matter of disconnecting the hip compressor straps, sliding your hand behind the lumbar pad to break the hook and loop connection and pulling the belt out.

ReCurve packs have a drop down lumbar pad. Reach in behind it and pull outward to expose the stays and the belt. You'll notice that the sleeves for sliding the belt onto the stays are on the belts backside. Be sure to undo the hip compressors (2 each side) before removing the belt. Reverse the process to replace the belt. On ReCurve packs, the hip compressors act as an attachment and not an adjustment, so be sure to crank them all the way down.

ErgoPull All our padded hipbelts use our exclusive ErgoPull design. The ErgoPull creates mechanical advantage to provide extra leverage in cinching down the hipbelt. The ErgoPull design draws tension along the top and bottom of the belt, not through the center, so it distributes pressure more evenly over the padding and relieves direct pressure on the hipbones. To operate the ErgoPull, loosen the webbing enough so you can connect the center buckle. Then grasp the loose ends of the webbing on either side, and pull in and across with both hands at the same time. To equalize the pressure on the belt, pull outward on the webbing with both hands (as shown in the illustration) and then draw the webbing in and across once again. The ladderlock buckles at either side of the belt control the tension. To loosen the belt, pull the lip of the ladderlock up and out from the belt. A tip: When you want to get out of the belt, always release the tension on the ladderlocks before disconnecting the center buckle. This way the straps will be loose and long enough to allow you to get back into the belt easily.

Step 3 - Harness

To allow a fully customized fit, nearly all of our packs offer interchangeable shoulder harnesses that attach to the packs using heavy-duty hook-and-loop panels. This system allows positioning of the yoke in the backpanel for precise torso length adjustment. For most people, the choice of harness size matches the pack size. To adjust torso length, reach down into the backpanel to break the hook-and-loop connection, and slide the harness up or down as necessary (see illustration). When properly positioned in the backpanel, the top of the yoke (where the shoulder straps are sewn in) should reach about 1 to 2 inches below your C7 (the knobby bone at the base of your neck). With the torso length set correctly and the hipbelt snug, tighten down the shoulder straps. If the ends of the shoulder straps don't reach at least 2 inches below your armpits, try the next larger harness size. If the adjustment bottoms out, try the next smaller size.

Lovely Frauline in well fitting pack... Overall Fit

Once you have the correct size pack, harness and hipbelt, and the torso length set properly, it's time to put some weight in the pack (20 to 30 pounds of well distributed weight will do) and dial in the fit. First, snug down the hipbelt and harness. Connect the sternum strap (A) - position it about 2 inches below your collarbones and snug it down lightly. Finally, tighten the load lifter straps to draw the load solidly against your back. The lift straps (B) should come off your shoulders at a 45 to 60 degree angle in our ReCurve and Ethereal Suspension packs. In other models these straps serve more as compression straps and ride flatter; they may even angle downwards.

In a good fit, there should be no pressure points and no gaps between your body and the pack. With our ReCurve and Ethereal suspension packs, final tweaking may involve custom fitting the aluminum stays to your back. 

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