Backpacks are supposed to alleviate pain, not create it. Even so, many people wear them in such a way as to cause discomfort. If you've figured out the best ways to deal with your backpack so it helps your back
, let us know what they are! How do you wear a backpack so it's comfortable? And what are your least favorite ways to wear a backpack? Share your tips (and your story) on how to wear a backpack so you don't have back pain. Share Your Favorite Tips
it hurts alot!
- Ive tried everything, except yoga, i cant do that anymore because I'm a 6'th grader not a 5'th or 4'th grader so i cant do it in school, and cant afford to do it at home.
- —Guest an eleven year old
- I know it sounds obvious, but pack smart. By using contemporary ultralight materials, and bare-minimum volumes of consumables, small weight savings can add up.
Don't over load the backpack
- I agree with all the advice about measuring the straps and belts properly. I'll just add that the less you pack, the less you have to carry. Be merciless in editing your belongings, whether for hiking or traveling.
- Backpack sizes matter. If you are a tiny person, you should wear a smaller pack and carry less. Women's packs are built to fit a woman's frame, so check the size and even the style of the pack. Also, for smaller people an internal frame might be easier than an external metal frame, which adds bulk.
- —Guest Gigi
Test It Out
- I agree with the others to use both straps, choose a backpack with a waist/chest belt and load it properly. If you're carrying a serious pack (e.g., backpacking or camping), practice packing and carrying the pack around several times before your trip. It always starts out fine until about an hour into a hike, when you realize something's off balance or causing pain.
Use the Belt
- I didn't realize how much I loved using the belt to hold my backpack close to my body until I bought a backpack that didn't have one. Now I miss it horribly and may need to upgrade - tying the adjustment straps around my waist just isn't cutting it.
shorten the straps
- I make sure that the straps are the right length - if they're too long, it rides too low on my back and hurts.
- —Guest Cheri
Share the Load
- When my husband and I go walking or hiking together, we either both wear backpacks, putting half the items we're taking in each - or we take only one backpack, but switch off so that neither of us is carrying it all the time. It seems simple, but I've observed many couples where one seems to be the person who carries the load all the time and the other doesn't.
- —Guest healpatricia
Always use both straps
- Always take the time to put on both straps so the load is balanced. Walking around with it on one shoulder is a sure way to end up with aches and pains.
- —Guest WB
In to Center
- I think it's important to pack the back pack properly. That means putting the heaviest things in the bottom, close to your body, and toward the center.
I like a padded shoulder strap that has an ergonomic shape. I have also found that the chest straps and compression straps are actually helpful with bigger loads.
- —Guest OMPilates