Homer's Travels: A Proper Fitting

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

A Proper Fitting

I went to my local outdoors store today to get my new backpack fitted.  I was a teensy bit nervous.

You buy backpacks based on the length of your torso and my 21" torso was at the upper extreme for my medium Osprey Aether 60.  I'd bought the medium because it came with a medium belt that was better suited for my narrow waist and nearly non-existent hips.  I'd bought size large packs for both my Caminos and, with both packs, I found I couldn't tighten the belt enough for a proper fit - especially after a few weeks on the trail and a few pounds lighter.  If the pack had been too small I would have had to exchange it - not a terrible thing but still a potential hassle.

It turns out that the pack fit me perfectly, contouring to the curve of my back.  They adjusted the straps slightly and explained how to properly tighten them.  They talked about the proper way to pack the backpack with heavier items close to the back and higher up.  They loaded the pack with a weighted sack and adjusted it a little more.  They explained how to properly adjust the load lifter straps for different types of terrain - loosening for down hills, tightening for up hills.  After the explanation and a few tweaks the packs felt like it was an extension of my body.  Perfect.

Next the belt came off the pack and put in the oven.  The purpose of this is to accelerate break in.  The belt is heated, then a small lumbar pad is added to the belt and then the belt is worn as tight as you can get it for about ten minutes.  They says this fifteen minute process is equivalent to wearing, and breaking in, the pack for fifteen days.

The fitting, along with some dry sacks to keep my gear dry, were all paid for with a gift card the Wife gave me for Christmas - Thank you Honey!!!  I am now ready to take the pack for a spin.  Hopefully that will be later this month.

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