Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Any advice for pointy hips and backpacks?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Cary Dwiggins

Locale: NW
Any advice for pointy hips and backpacks? on 06/05/2012 10:40:10 MDT Print View

My first backpack was an aarn 55 and I loved everything about it, except the unpadded hip belt. I was constantly trying to get comfortable when my loads were over 20 pounds. I am backpacking with 3 little kids so I have to be able to carry more than 20 pounds. My pack this year has been a ULA circuit, and I am once again having hip issues. I have a spot on my hip that is raw. Any advice regarding next year's UL pack, or perhaps modification suggestions?

Thanks so much,

PS I really couldn't possibly get my load any lighter. I am currently fitting us all in a tarp tent rainshadow and our sleeping quilts are running 53 ounces for all 4 of us.

Cary Dwiggins

Locale: NW
Re: Any advice for pointy hips and backpacks? on 06/06/2012 13:50:12 MDT Print View


Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Any advice for pointy hips and backpacks? on 06/06/2012 14:14:11 MDT Print View

i have been happy so far with my Osprey exos 58. it has a honeycomb type foam in the hipbelt that molds but still has enough padding. i've only had it to 24lb though.

my old pack had the traditional thick stiff padding that didn't mold much and i always had bruises.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Maybe not the answer you are looking for... on 06/06/2012 14:30:04 MDT Print View

I am skinny and sore hips have always been an issue with loads above 20lbs. After a week or so, it goes away. This has been the case with external frames (several Keltys) and several brands of internal frames (Mountainsmith, Gregory, ULA, Deuter, an REI Venturi, and a GG Mariposa Plus.

A couple years ago I got a McHale LBP 36, which has was Dan calls a SARC hip belt. I don't know why, but I have NEVER had any soreness or even a hint of discomfort with this pack. Often my first day on a desert trip can include up to 17 lbs of water.

This year I got a Bump pack from McHale. He offers some different options for belts (to save weight). I did not even consider them at all, and had the pack built with a SARC hip belt. Again no soreness in the hips with this pack either. Also, both packs NEVER leave my shoulders sore either... this is a function of a perfectly fitted pack, outstanding integrated design of the frame, structure, shoulder straps, hip belt, and coaching from Dan on how to properly adjust a pack.

It is not unusual for me to do 20+ miles per day with either pack.

This is one of the reasons why I often give McHale packs a testimonial on BPL, which seems to irritate some folks. But they work better than anything I have ever used and I have probably owned around 20 packs over the past 40 plus years. Before the McHales my base weight was usually SUL, but I am now thrilled to have an 8-10 lb base weight using on of Dan's packs. They make that much difference!!

Andrew Zajac

Locale: South West
just ditch 'em on 06/06/2012 15:09:22 MDT Print View

have you ever tried just not using a hip belt? I have recently made the switch to going without it and I haven't looked back. Not being buckled to my pack felt liberating and honestly really sped up taking off and putting on my pack. It may not seem like a lot of time, but it adds up when you consider stopping for food, gathering water, or changing layers. Especially if you are taking kids out with you. I really notice it when backpacking with my girlfriend who still likes her buckles as I end up waiting for her to get strapped in again every time she takes her pack off.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Re: Any advice for pointy hips and backpacks? on 06/06/2012 15:23:18 MDT Print View

The last couple packs I've made I cut out a section of the foam padding that goes across my hips (so the foam is "V" shaped with the tip of the V being where it buckles). Comfy and stable. If you're comfortable doing a little cut and re-sew job it might be an option.

Cary Dwiggins

Locale: NW
Re: Any advice for pointy hips and backpacks? on 06/07/2012 08:41:09 MDT Print View

thanks for the advice everyone :)