Having a backpack that does not fit properly can potentially make any backpacking trip painful and not very fun. Today we are going to take a look at how to measure your torso and your waist to ensure a proper fit. All major retail stores and outfitters who specifically cater to outdoor sport like hiking and backpacking should know how to properly measure you. This may not be the case at every store and if you know the sizes you need you can make shopping for your next backpack a breeze.
Measuring your torso.
To measure your torso you will need to first ask a friend or family member to help you. You also need a piece of string, shoelace, or a flexible measuring tape.
Step 1. Place your hand flat on your neck. Slide your hand down your neck until you find a bump. That is your C7 Vertebra.
Step 2. With your hands extend your thumb and pointer fingers to create an L in your left hand and a backwards L in your right hand. Place your “Ls” on your waist at your hip bones.
Step 3. Make sure you are standing up straight and lower your head to look at the floor.
Step 4. Have your friend place the measuring tape or string on your the C7 Vertebra and create a straight line down the middle of your back stopping where your thumbs meet. If you you are using a measuring tape have your friend tell you the number they measure. If you are using string or rope measure that with a ruler. That number will be your torso length.
Backpack Size Measurement Chart.
|Men’s and Women’s
||Up to 15½”
||16″ to 17½”
||18″ to 19½”
Measuring your waist.
Using the string, rope, or measuring tape have your friend measure your waist making sure the measuring tool is going around your waste just above your hip bones.
Now that you know your measurements you can take that information to your local outfitter and try on some packs. Having the proper measurements to provide you with a proper fitting pack is key to comfort when on the trail. 80% of your pack weight will be transferred from your shoulders to your hips and if not sized correctly you will experience pain and could potentially harm your back with prolonged use.
In our next post we will discuss a few tips on how to get the pack feeling perfect for the trail.