Forum Index » GEAR » what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps


Display Avatars Sort By:
mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps on 05/12/2012 06:26:04 MDT Print View

I have these on all my packs but don't notice much of a difference if any at all when I buckle it up. What's it there for in the first place? what's it's design purpose?

Many thanks.

Mik.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps on 05/12/2012 07:10:17 MDT Print View

The sternum strap is there to keep the shoulder straps from sliding off your shoulders and help with pack stability.

I never use mine, as I find no difference when doing so. Might be a different story if my pack did not fit me as well.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Sternum strap on 05/12/2012 07:51:17 MDT Print View

If your pack fits properly, the sternum strap won't make a lot of difference. I often forget to fasten mine, and it's one more strap to remember when taking the pack off. I often forget here, too--I undo the waist belt and then try to take the pack off without first undoing the sternum strap. If I'm scrambling or crawling over/under logs, though, I find that the sternum strap does add a little extra stability. For that reason I haven't cut them off my packs, although I've been tempted.

The whistles now being put on almost all sternum straps (didn't Gossamer Gear start that some years ago? ) are not very loud and are not something you'd want in an emergency situation if you want someone to hear them!

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps on 05/12/2012 07:53:23 MDT Print View

Some people like them. It's the first thing I cut off a new pack.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps on 05/12/2012 07:53:30 MDT Print View

It's purpose is to constrict your breathing so you're uncomfortable : )

No, that was a sarcastic response, the purpose is it's a fashion thing to make it look cool. Especially the first pack maker to come up with the idea

No, that was sarcastic too, the purpose is if the straps don't fit properly then the sternum strap will keep them from sliding sideways

No, that was sarcastic too, I've tried sternum straps a little but never noticed a difference, positive or negative. My philosophy is to try removing every feature and put it back only if it only makes a positive difference

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
Re: Re: what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps on 05/12/2012 08:04:26 MDT Print View

Awesome!!

Sarcasm....bring it!! Love it and as soon as I saw your smiley I knew it was a joke LOL.

This site really needs the smiley faces. They I think are a must in any/every public forum as it's sometimes the only way to accurately portray a meaning with the words people type!

Thank you.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps on 05/12/2012 08:18:16 MDT Print View

I have wide shoulders and find the strap a must. On long days, it permits me to adjust pressure points on my shoulders.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 07/08/2013 13:34:09 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Smilies on 05/12/2012 08:37:59 MDT Print View

There's always :-) or :)

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/12/2012 08:39:52 MDT.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Re: Re: what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps on 05/12/2012 09:01:37 MDT Print View

I'm with David.

I'm glad he fessed up to liking them, it was gettin lonely.

I guess I have wide shoulders too? People say I have broad shoulders (but I say they're men's shoulders! Buh-dum ting) and my sternum strap sure lets me move the pressure points of the straps. ...maybe its cause my back is weird and I have to adjust the straps on my packs every couple of hours.

And yes my packs fit fine... I've known how to fit a pack since my teen years, and I have multiple, quality packs.


Tons of people don't use them, at least two people use them. nobody is wrong

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps on 05/12/2012 09:06:34 MDT Print View

"Tons of people don't use them, at least two people use them. nobody is wrong"

And that is the thing to take away from this thread. Use them or no. You now know what they are there for.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps on 05/12/2012 09:14:41 MDT Print View

NM

Edited by FamilyGuy on 07/08/2013 13:34:57 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Re: what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps on 05/12/2012 10:12:14 MDT Print View

I'm with David and Barry. I even prefer them over a waist strap of webbing on light packs. I'll adjust mine throughout the day, depending on comfort and trail conditions. YMMV.

Oh, I have broad shoulders too, and few packs have the right contour to fit over my trapezii and shoulders.

Jeff LaVista
(LaVista) - F
one more for sternum straps on 05/12/2012 10:24:42 MDT Print View

Important for me. I also have broad shoulders. I'll adjust the sternum strap and load lifters to change the way my pack carries over the course of the day to give various muscle groups a break.
Alternating between thin & wide shoulder straps placement, and also switch between my hip belt and my shoulder straps for primary weight transfer.

This is with 30lb loads for weekenders, if I could be down at 20 or less the straps become less important.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: one more for sternum straps on 05/12/2012 10:29:52 MDT Print View

I like mine, i am the opposite and have fairly skinny shoulders so i use it to keep my straps off my AC joints.

also i thread my camera case on there to keep it in an easy to reach spot.

rowan !
(romonster) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
I use mine too on 05/12/2012 10:38:33 MDT Print View

Even though it looks stupid and can be irritating, I use my sternum strap. I'm petite and have yet to find any pack with shoulder straps that don't slip out to the outermost edges of my shoulders if the sternum strap is unfastened.

Ray Bailly
(tempestv) - F
Stability on 05/12/2012 10:49:26 MDT Print View

I'm skinny, and the sternum strap really helps with stability.

Harald Hope
(hhope)

Locale: East Bay
elastic on 05/12/2012 12:12:30 MDT Print View

The straps don't restrict your breathing at all unless they weren't made right, ie, without an elastic expansion thingie. Since that's one of the easiest parts to make on a pack, it's odd to make a sternum strap that doesn't feature such a basic item. Or if they are tightened wrong. I like them, maybe my body build makes them more needed as others note here.

One thing I've learned in the process of building my own pack is that the only pack that is going to perfectly fit you is a custom made one, made for your exact dimensions. Each bend of the strap curve corresponds to a dimension on your body. If you have a standard body type that fits an average pack design, then you are lucky, if you don't, then you have to look all around, or figure it out, or buy something very expensive like a mchale, or maybe get a custom thing from zimmerbuilt.

I no longer consider mchales expensive, though they are way out of my price range. But not overpriced given the degree of work he puts into getting your fit right from what I gather.

Edited by hhope on 05/12/2012 12:15:59 MDT.

Chad Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
Re: one more for sternum straps on 05/13/2012 10:26:08 MDT Print View

I too use them. I agree with the statement above about them helping to alleviate pressure points. When doing long days I like to reposition the shoulder straps throughout the day and the sternum strap allows me to do so easily and keep them there. Especially so with my cuben packs since the cuben straps can slide easily on my shoulders.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
what's the elastic chest strap for between the shoulder straps on 05/13/2012 15:49:45 MDT Print View

I use them on my packs when over 10kg or so.
It helps the pack to stay put and not wobble about.
Any pack movement means wasted energy.
But if you like to believe that it is a gimmick, go ahead, I won't get upset.
Franco

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 05/13/2012 16:55:57 MDT Print View

> I have wide shoulders and find the strap a must...

This. The sternum strap is great for people with non-trivial pectorals and/or broad shoulders. It keeps the shoulder straps from slipping back into the crease at the deltoid and causing irritation.

If the sternum strap restricts your breathing then you are likely wearing it too low, near the diaphragm where it can mess with bellybreathing. Or you have it too tight. No need to cinch it tight, it's just there to keep the shoulder straps from migrating. You bird-chested guys don't have this problem.

"dissing the sternum strap" = yet another example of people ascribing their personal circumstances to everyone else.