Backpacking is challenging as it is and having an uncomfortable backpack, will make the trip even more difficult for you. In order to make backpacking easier, you should find a backpack that really fits. In order to know what kind of a backpack you need, you need to know your measures.
Although a lot of people would think that the size of the backpack is all about how tall people are, the truth is that it has more to do with the length of the torso. To find out how big the backpack should be, you should have a friend help you measure your torso.
First of all, you will have to find the C7 vertebrae. This is located in the place where the neck meets the slope of your shoulder. This is the point you or a friend should start measuring from. The next step is to find the iliac crest. Run down your fingers on your rib cage until you find your hip bone. Place your hand on this spot with the thumbs pointing towards your spine. This is the iliac crest that represents your pelvic girdle.
Draw The Line
You will have to draw an imaginary line between the thumbs. You are interested in the point where the line intersects your spine. Have your friend measure the length between the C7 vertebrae and the imaginary spot. You will have to compare this length with the sizes you find on the backpacks.
The Correct Frame
Once you know the length of your torso, finding the right backpack will be a piece of cake. The sizes may differ from one manufacturer to the other, but the guidelines are the same unless the manufacturer mentions different guidelines. You should also know that all professional backpacks can be adjusted to be suitable for a larger torso.
Extra small size means maximum 15 inches or 39 cm. Small size means between 16 and 17 inches, meaning 40 to 45 cm. Medium or regular size is the most common, of 18-19 inches or 46 to 50 cm. For tall people there are the backpacks of 20 inches or 51 cm or larger.
Although they are less common, there are some backpacks especially created for women as well. The shoulder yokes of these are narrower, the hip belts have conic shapes and the torso lengths are adjusted to women’s size.