Backpacking season is just around the corner and we know many of you are getting your flint, camping pads and stuff sacks all lined up for the perfect hiking getaway. One thing to make sure, especially when first buying a multi-day pack, is that you’ve got the right fit for your body type.

That’s right up our alley here at WildyX. Our superstar pack-fitter Peter Manley says that the pack-fitting process takes about 20 minutes in the shop, starting with the all-important torso and waist measurements.

“Most multi-day packs come in various sizes and offer some level of adjustability,” Peter says. “It’s important to get these measurements and then start with the right sizing. It takes some time so it’s not always a service you’ll get at a big box store.”

We carry multiple kinds of packs, models and sizes so that every body type can find the proper option. Osprey’s line of Men’s Aether and Women’s Ariel multi-day backpacks have removable hipbelts and harnesses so that you can mix and match the sizing.

Osprey's AG, or Anti-Gravity, suspension system.

“This can be very helpful to fit non-traditional body types. So someone who is shorter and stouter might need a large hipbelt with a smaller-sized pack,” Peter says.

There are a myriad of features but some, like Osprey’s new AG (Anti-Gravity) suspension system, offer special fitting features like the Fit-on-the-Fly harness. It has a Velcro extension that is pulled out of the hipbelt to provide a customized fit.

After fitting a pack to your torso and waist, additional adjustments include the sternum strap above the pectoral muscles, and the “load adjusters,” located just above your shoulders.

“These adjustments help keep the center of gravity properly aligned on the pack,” Peter says.


Osprey's Fit-on-the-Fly hipbelt feature

Once the straps are set, weight is added to the pack and a few minutes are spent “trekking” around the store to make sure there are no pressure points.

A shop expert like Peter and others in our store can help you avoid little — and large — discomforts out on the trail. If you need help fitting a new pack, or want tips about how to properly pack your load, stop by the store and let’s have a chat!

As always, happy trekking!