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shoulder strap attachment
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Travis Naibert
(outwest) - F
shoulder strap attachment on 06/07/2012 20:36:51 MDT Print View

In thinking about new pack designs I am considering attaching the bottom of my shoulder straps to the bottom corner of the pack furthest from my back. I was thinking this might help keep the weight of the pack pulled more towards my back instead of sagging farther away from my back. I would also be adding a thin (~3 inch wide, 1/4" thick foam) hipbelt for stability and a camera pocket but for minimal weight transfer.

Does anyone have any experience attaching the shoulder straps further back on the pack body than just next to the back of the person carrying the pack? Is there any good reason not to attach the shoulder straps in an unconventional place?

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: shoulder strap attachment on 06/07/2012 23:05:21 MDT Print View

Two reasons I would not do this; one, it changes the angle at which the shoulder strap runs down across your chest and side, and not in a good way to my eye - seems like it would be more likely to rub you the wrong way. Two, it means the shoulder strap is attached further away from the base of whatever "frame" you are employing (whether stays or foam pad) and with more squishy stuff in between, thus making for what seems like a less stable connection between you and the pack.

Daniel Sandström
60/40 yes no on 06/08/2012 05:10:51 MDT Print View

I did it on my first pack, and my second. I do not think it matters That much.

As for the previous post, I have not had any problems with rubbing and the load is still transferred to the carry system as I always pack my sleeping bag + sleeping clothes tight in the bottom of the pack --> acts as a lumbar pad if you will. That package is stiff enough to transfer the weight onwards. I have noticed the pack becomes slightly harder to put on, perhaps a bit more wobbly - I have zero problems with the first issue and the second isn't particularly bad either. If anything it actually reminds me to keep a good posture.

Overall, stability depends more on proper fit and packing technique. The plus side? Thinking of the applied forces involved, I think it should work. I've spent some time thinking about it and if you think about how you carry a bulky package it makes sense. It should make the pack lean into your back a bit more, which translates into less back/downward force on the upper shoulder-strap attachment point. But as I've never made two identical packs with different attachment I can't really say.

1st pack

Second pack.

edit. typos

Edited by on 06/08/2012 05:12:03 MDT.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
mid point bottom attachment of shoulder straps on 06/08/2012 08:28:47 MDT Print View

I have use the mid point bottom attachment of shoulder straps on a few packs it works great. ULA also use this method on all their backpacks they manufacture..
I have found with this method it acts kinda of like when your hiking up a long up hill section and you want to take the load off your shoulders so you reach behind with your hands to lift the pack off your shoulders.