Here is a simple guide that will help you ensure your pack is of an optimal size for peak performance.
When selecting your outdoor gear, it is important to make sure it is the correct size for you. It seems obvious, but in store we do see many needing assistance in finding the correct pack size.
The key to finding the right torso sized pack for you is all in a very simple measurement. Once you have it nailed and an adequate pack purchased in the correct size, then you will see quite how light the heaviest loads will seem.
You’re going to need a few things to get a proper measurement:
1 x Friend (if you lack those, feel free to come into the store and let us take care of it for you)
1 x Flexible measuring tape (again, we have this in-store)
Also, a piece of paper and pen/ notetaking system for the forgetful. It’s easily done.
First off, Measure your torso length
In order to accurately determine this measurement, you’ll need that friend/store staff member and your flexible tape measure.
1. Tilt your head forward and feel for the bony bump where the slope of your shoulders meets your neck. This is your 7th cervical vertebra—and the top of your torso length.
2. On each side of your body, slide your hands down the ribcage to the top of your hip bones (aka the iliac crest). With index fingers pointing forward and thumbs pointing backward, draw an imaginary line between your thumbs. This spot on your lumbar is the bottom of your torso measurement.
3. Stand up straight and have your friend measure the distance between your 7th vertebra and the imaginary line between your thumbs. That’s your torso length!
The average torso length for women is 42 to 48cm and for men is 46 to 52cm. How average are you?2
Now, Measure your hips
While it’s rare for a pack’s waist/hips sizing to be off if your pack size is correct for your torso length, it’s still important to check your hip measurement. You’ll be carrying most of your pack weight on your hips, so a good hip belt fit is critical.
To measure your hip size, wrap your tape measure around the top of your hips, hugging the iliac crest you found when measuring your torso length. This line is slightly higher than your beltline, so hipbelt size differs slightly from your trouser fit.
Alternatively, if you’re looking at Osprey’s packs, why not check out their measuring tool HERE!
If things are still a little complicated, feel free to come into store and take advantage of our expert pack fitting service.
For a little inspiration, here is a look at our full technical pack range!