There's nothing worse than heading off into the bush with the wrong backpack. A poorly fitting backpack will rub against you where it shouldn't, create pressure points, and flop around behind you with a mind of its own. If you're loaded up with gear for a few days, you're not going to have fun.
A well fitting backpack has to work with you, not against you. At the core of all backpacks is the harness system. The harness needs to be strong yet supportive, and it needs to transfer the load to the right places. Whilst a lot of backpack harnesses can be adjusted to some extent, it's important to start with the right pack and harness for your body to begin with, before fine tuning the fit.
A lot of pack manufacturers these days provide harness sizing charts, which allow you to take your own measurements and match them to the right size pack. Whilst this can be a useful starting point, it's no substitute for trying packs on in person.
When a customer comes into the store looking for a new pack, we start by asking what the pack will be used for. Will it be for light day walking? Multi-day bush bashing? City travelling? We can then determine the ideal capacity (anywhere from 10 litres all the way up to 110 litres), pack features (top loader or front panel ope), as well as the best pack material (ultralight nylon up to heavy duty core-spun canvas).
Next it's time to work out the correct pack harness size. This is based on a few measurements, like torso length and hip circumference. Once we've worked out the right harness size for the customer, we'll get them to try on a pack and make some harness adjustments to dial in the fit. We'll then load the pack up with some weight and get the customer to spend some time walking around the store to get a feel for it.
The right pack might take a bit of time to have properly fitted, but it's worth doing it right. When it's time to buy a new backpack come in and see one of our friendly team and we'll be happy to help.