Sun & Ski Rotating Header Image

Backpack Basics: The Elements of Suspension

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

Some backpacks have more sophisticated suspension systems than others, but the most important thing to know about a suspension system in a backpack is whether it feels comfortable to you.

The basic components of suspension systems in a technical backpack are:

  • Shoulder harness: The shoulder harness is meant to keep the backpack in place, not to support all the weight of your gear. Curved shoulder harnesses tend to provide the best fit.
  • Hip belt: The hip belt may be the most essential element of a technical backpack because it helps transfer weight from your shoulders to your hips and legs. Look for a hip belt that is wide and well-padded. But fit is most important, so be sure to try on several styles before buying one.
  • Lumbar pad: The lumbar pad is the padding on the backpack that sits at the small of your back. A lumbar pad made of high-friction fabric can help keep your hip belt from sliding around as you hike.
  • Stabilizer straps: These straps provide extra support at the shoulders and hips.

Backpacking equipment such as the Osprey Expos 46 Technical Pack, for example, features a hip belt and harness of mesh-covered foam for comfort and breathability.

0 Comments on “Backpack Basics: The Elements of Suspension”

Leave a Comment