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Aarn bodypack experience
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Nathan V
(Junk) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lake State
Aarn bodypack experience on 10/11/2013 07:49:43 MDT Print View

I recently had to have a defibrillator implanted, I have the OK from my cardiologists to still backpack once it heals fully. ...But my left pack strap go directly over the implant site and causes some pain and discomfort.

I have been looking into possible solutions, and the best one right now looks like one of the Aarn bodypacks. Specifically the Mountain Magic 50, which is more volume than I need, but the lightest one with full size front packs.

They claim the front pack design pulls the shoulder strap away from your chest, thus alleviating the pressure to my implant. It sounds like a good theory, but I would appreciate any firsthand experience.

I have searched and read every review I could find, and It seems like they work pretty well, with many happy users. It looks like the main drawback is more adjustment straps make for a more complicated pack to adjust and they are a bit more complicated to pack between the three separate pack bags.

If anyone has any comments or advice, I would appreciate it, I certainly don't want to quit backpacking if possible.


Christopher *

Locale: US East Coast
Re: Aarn bodypack experience on 10/11/2013 08:12:38 MDT Print View

Have you considered a single strap pack?


Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Aarn bodypack experience on 10/11/2013 08:13:07 MDT Print View

Lightweight loads are going to be a must for you from now on...

You may also want to give gossamer gear packs a try as well, as the obscenely broad shoulder straps will distribute forces across a much wider area and may help alleviate the pressure over the implant area. You should also find that with time it won't bother you as much either. A few of my patients with implanted defibs seem to forget they are even there.

You may also want to try a pack that is ever so slightly too tall in the torso, and use a serious hip belt. The combination of letting all the weight ride on your hips, keeping the overall weight low low low, and allowing the pack straps to sit a bit too high off your shoulders may help.

If all else fails....or perhaps this is what you want to try first, if you're a do-it-yourselfer:

Take a large piece of closed cell foam, make a donut in it as large as the implant. Place the foam over the site (with the implant in the hole), tape it with leukotape or kinesiotape or something comfortable on your skin, and make sure it is at least a bit thicker than the implant sticks out. Voila! Pack rests on the foam, away from your implant......

Edited by Jenmitol on 10/11/2013 08:14:16 MDT.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: Aarn bodypack experience on 10/11/2013 08:58:20 MDT Print View

my aarn pack does indeed have a lot of straps in front, and sometimes an arm errantly wanders thru the wrong place. some extra tlc and buckles on my part would probably cure it.
can you not just space the annoying strap off your spot of discomfort and go from there ? one can easily exist with the load held mostly with one strap. the second one, the bothering side, can maybe just be there to take up slack now and again.
perhaps sew up a couple of little bags secured with velcro, put different types of foam in them, locate them in various places on the strap, and invent a personal solution.
a decent hip belt will go a long way towards removing stress from the shoulder straps. at any normal weight, you should be able to use the straps to just keep the pack close to your back, not carry the mass.
it seems there should be "a way".

good luck.

Nathan V
(Junk) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lake State
Re: Aarn bodypack experience on 10/11/2013 09:46:16 MDT Print View

Good ideas so far, thanks. I have tried a single strap day-pack and it has potential, but I don't know if it would work for backpacking for me.

I also have tried padding out the left shoulder strap, and it might work pretty well once I heal more. I will just have to be patient, probably until next spring, to see what will work. In the mean time I have been bored and researching any option.

My current pack is a ULA Circuit, which does do a good job of transferring weight to the hipbelt. It is more volume than I need, as I do carry a very light load already, due to other heart problems, but was the most comfortable pack I have found after trying quite a few. I do hope I can still make it work, but am not against trying anything that might work either.

Edited by Junk on 10/11/2013 10:05:26 MDT.