Nov 21, 2010 at 8:08 am #1265729
Hey there. I'm looking to make myself a pack that will be heavily based on Jay Ham's 5 Yards to SUL Pack – just some different materials and a few additions. My question is how do I make a pack like this fit my specific torso size? Is 'torso length' as commonly measured (iliac crest to #7 vert) the distance between where each end of the straps connect to the pack? Maybe this is a dumb question but I'm new to the MYOG scene. Any help would be mighty fine. Thanks!Nov 21, 2010 at 8:47 am #1666593
I could be wrong, but I don't think that torso size is important if you don't have a hip belt.Nov 21, 2010 at 9:16 am #1666599
Steve, thanks for the reply. I should've mentioned that a hipbelt is one of the things I'm planning to add to the pack.Nov 21, 2010 at 10:19 am #1666608
The measurements for a frameless and a framed pack differ – and various pack makers offer slightly different info on how to measure for thier packs anyway.
For a myog frameless pack I suggest building the pack with a measure from where the shoulder straps connect to the pack measured to the bottom of the pack- or to the bottom of where any hipbelt connects to the pack.
S= 18" 5'5- 5'8
M=20" 5'9 – 6'
L= 22" over 6'
These general measurements seem to fit most people and more than a few LW no frame pack mfgrs including MLD size their packs very close to this.
Idea is with the pack very lightly fully loaded- the shoulder straps are right at or 1" below the shoulder and the bottom of the pack/hipbelt lands about 1" below top of hipbone.
Note that when using the pack on the trail with reg loads there will be a little pack compression and the packs functional torso measure will shrink an inch or so. So- an inch tall at first ends up about right on the trail.
As the other posted hinted at- little or no belt does add some additional flexibility to the need for an exact fit.Nov 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm #1666651
Thanks very much for the comments Ron – exactly the info. I was looking for.Nov 22, 2010 at 9:36 am #1666922
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
Torso size is important even if you don't use a hip belt. And I strongly advise against using one. They simply don't work well on frameless packs.
Torso length depends on whether you want the pack bumping your butt with every step, how close to the back you want it to ride, how you attach the shoulder straps and other factors.
I make my packs short. They tuck into the small of my back and fit close to my back. I am over 6 feet tall and have a long torso, but the distance from the bottom strap anchors to the top of the straps (not the top anchors, but the top of the arcs they form) is 19-21 inches depending on how tigh I pull the straps. It's just a different design approach but one that has worked for over 4000 miles for me.Nov 22, 2010 at 10:19 am #1666934
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Why do you strongly advise against hip belt on frameless pack?
I've gone back and forth on that and I'm not sure it matters, at least for low pack weights like 20 pounds.
I've done maybe 100 nights/1000 miles without hip belt and been fairly comfortable.
I've recently done 7 nights/50 miles with hip belt and maybe it's a little more comfortable. I can shift weight – go for a while with just shoulder straps, then use mostly hip belt. It keeps pack off my back for better ventilation if nothing else. Maybe 2 ounces – 1/4" foam, 200 D nylon, 1 inch webbing and buckle.Nov 22, 2010 at 10:33 am #1666939
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
I'm in agreement with Jerry. I've used a number of different frameless packs and I always prefer a hipbelt. I use it most of the time, especially at first when my pack is heavier. I also like the flexibility of being able to shift weight back and forth.Nov 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm #1667341
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
I prefer not to use hip belts for packs weighing less than 36#. I advise against any hip belt on any frameless pack. Years ago Ryan Jordan did a test of frameless packs with hip belts. He found that the comfort of a pack depended almost exclusively on whether the distance between the shoulder strap anchors decreased during use. Without a frame to maintain the spacing between the shoulder strap anchors – top and bottom – the distance would compress causing back pain. Simple, and my field experience agrees.
You might want to look at this article:
I couldn't find Ryan's srticle. It's out there somewhere. I hate BPL's search engine.
Other reasons to dislike hip belts. Heat. Weight. Galling. Fiddle factor. Unnecessary complexification. I DO put a waist strap on my heavy-duty packs for stability when climbing difficult trail. It is for stability, not support. Properly designed shoulder straps will stabilize a pack at surprisingly sharp angles, so the strap doesn't get much use.Nov 25, 2010 at 7:11 am #1667869
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
I agree with Ron B about sizes. Those will work for most.
Shoulder straps seem to be a given. They don't have to be though. A larger torsos trap will work, coupled with a waste strap to carry the weight. Most people believe that the weight (20# or so) should be carried on the hips to maintain your balance a bit better and take the load off your spine. The shoulder straps typically carry next to no load, or shouldn't if done correctly. Your feet, legs and buttocks have much larger muscles. Anyway, this is a bit radical in concept to most…sort’a like front packs to help offset and balance back packs, very Aarn-like.
I agree that a slouching pack is uncomfortable, and, at higher weights, can cause some pain when coupled with a waste belt. Again, this is through independent research (and personal pain.) However, an incorrectly loaded pack is usually the cause of this.
Of the frameless packs I have carried, about half have had no waste belt. These were all given away or simply not real comfortable for long periods of time and not used…well, they make OK book bags. But that’s only me. I do not care for only shoulder straps while backpacking. After 4-5 hours, I like to be able to shift the weight around…without a waste belt, I do not have this luxury.
Simply placing longer objects upright in your pack will stiffen it enough to help the waste belt carry the weight without collapsing. Roll up your tarp into a 20” long, tight, roll and place it in the center of the pack, for example. Do the same for your sleeping pad and put one roll on either side, as another example. The “frame” created this way does not need to be rigid, simply firm. Coupled with firming up the pack and contents itself, you can make good use out of the waste belt, should you go that route…
To belt or not to belt…your choice. But, I will always recommend one. Worst case, you can slice it off if you find it in the way…If it is not there, you may miss it, and it will be harder to add it later.
My thoughts only . . .Sep 8, 2011 at 10:12 am #1777351
if you use a stiffening agent in your pack, that goes the full length and will actually support the load, then a hip belt matters. otherwise its only for stability. You need a stiff system cabable of actually transfering the load (and a rolled up pad may not really work). Essentially, you need to be able to have the pack on, hip belt on, and remove the straps and have the load supported, or none will be supported.straps just keep it from falling backwards. the reason is that fabric is tension only, and without any built in support to hold up the straps, the load will go all on them.
loading the spine isnt always as bad as it seems. the spine is designed to help carry loads, it helps stabalize and cushion loads. otherwise your knees and legs are all that do this, a relatively small group of muscles. sure, the lower body muscles are BIGGER, but there are a lot of stabalizing muscles in the core and back.
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