To measure your torso size you will need to measure from your C7 Vertebrae down to your iliac crest/hip shelf. To get the most accurate measurement, it is best to have someone else measure your back with a flexible measuring tape. The measurement will most likely fall somewhere within our sizing chart. If you do not fall somewhere in our sizing chart shoot us an email and we can discuss custom torso sizing.
The goal for packs with a padded hip belt is to get the belt to ride so that the center line is close to riding on your hip bones. That way you will get the best load transfer to your hips, removing a bulk of the load from your shoulders.
Torso sizing is not quite as critical on packs that do not have a padded hip belt, as you do not have to line up the belt with your hip bones. It is still best to select a torso size that is close to your measurement despite the fact that there is no belt.
We have three different torso sizes, Sm 16-18", Med 18-20", and Lg 20-22".
If you are on the upper end of a torso size we recommend sizing up. If you have any questions about sizing or think you might need a custom torso size, send us an email at email@example.com.
Measurements on Backpacks
In addition to measuring your back to find your correct torso size, it can also be useful to measure a backpack that you currently own. If you have a backpack that fits you well, you can measure it using the following guidelines and we can compare it to one of our backpacks to find the size that will work best for you.
On frameless Superior packs that do not have a padded hip belt, we measure the torso size from where the straps are sewn into the pack down to the bottom of the pack.
Measurements on Internal Frame Packs
Our backpacks that come with an internal frame have two measurements on them. The first is measured from the center of the hip belt up to the crest between the shoulder straps. This is the torso height on the pack.
The image below is an example of how we measure torso height on one of our internal frame packs.
The second is measured from the bottom of the pack up to the seam that the load lifters are sewn into. This is the frame height.
The image below is an example of how we measure the frame height on one of our internal frame packs.
Example of frame sizes
This photo shows the standard frame that comes on our Long Haul packs. Notice that the load lifters are down lower closer to the shoulders.
This frame is optimized for loads of 40lbs or less. You can push it up to 50lbs for short stretches, but if you regularly carry more than 40lbs I would look into the tall frame that comes on our load hauling packs such as the Big Wild or the Wendigo.
This photo shows the fit of our load hauling frame. This frame is taller and puts the load lifters higher up closer to your ears which gives you better functioning load lifters. With the load lifters up high like this they do a great job of pulling heavy loads up off of your shoulders and onto your hips which is very comfortable for moderate to heavy loads.
If you regularly carry 40+lbs, then this may be a good option for you. This makes loads of 50-60lbs much more manageable. This is the suspension and frame setup included on our Big Wild and Wendigo packs.
Hip Belt Sizing
26" belt for waist sizes 26-30"
30" belt for waist sizes 30-34"
34" belt for waist sizes 34" and up
We currently offer three hip belt sizes which are 26", 30" and 34". Each measurement is referring to the amount of padding that the belt will have. Each hip belt will come with enough adjustable webbing to fit up to about a 50" waist or so.
To find your correct hip belt size you will need to measure the circumference around your hips rather than your waist size. This measurement should be at least 4" larger than the padded portion of the hip belt.
When in doubt size down, as you do not want the belt to be too large. If the hip belt is too big, you will not be able to tighten the belt down all the way making for poor load transfer to your hips.
If you want a lighter pack/hip belt you can always size down on the belt. This will however make hip belt pockets less accessible while wearing the pack.
Shoulder Strap Sizes
We offer three different shoulder strap sizes. Our small torso packs come with 16" long shoulder straps that are 2.5" wide. Our medium and large torso sizes come with 18" long straps that are 3" wide. We can do extra long shoulder straps upon request. Generally if you wear an XL or XXL shirt size, or if you have a chest measurement of 43" or more then you will likely need longer shoulder straps.
All of our straps have a slight S curve to them, and we have found them to work well for both men and women. Sometimes women will benefit from having the smaller 2.5" wide straps, even on a medium torso pack.
All of our shoulder straps and hip belt wings are made with thick 1/2" EVA foam and do not have any binding on the edges which makes them very comfortable.