Fitting your AMPEX hiking backpack: 6 steps for a perfect fit and a comfortable backpacking experience
Whether it’s your first time, or you’re a pro, a well-fitting pack can make or break your hike. Follow these simple steps to customize the fit of your new AMPEX hiking backpack! We recommend packing with the essentials (such as your tent, sleeping bag, camp pad, and lighting accessories before you begin fitting, to ensure minimal adjustments are needed when you’re ready to set out on your trip.
How to properly fit your new AMPEX backpack:
1. Measure Your Torso
With the help of a friend, tuck your chin and start your measurement at the base of your neck between your shoulders, at the protruding bone that marks the top of your spine. Measure from this point down to the top of your hip bones and round up to the nearest whole inch.
2. Adjust The Frame
Match your measurement to the same number on the backside of your pack, where you’ll adjust the frame to fit your torso size. Find and remove the two plastic clips hooked into a slot with a number above. Move these clips to the number matching your measurement and re-insert them into the new slot.
3. Loosen All Straps
All straps may be tightened to the shortest position for shipping or display purposes, so loosen all straps/sliders to make the fitting process easier. Your main straps for fitting your pack will be the hip and shoulder straps.
4. Hip Belt Placement
Put your backpack on and loosely buckle the straps that wrap around your waist. These straps form the hip belt which transfers weight to your hips and legs instead of your shoulders and lower back. Position the padded section of this belt so it sits on top of your hip bones, and tighten equally from both sides so it fits centered and snug.
5. Shoulder Straps
Tighten both shoulder straps at the same time by pulling down on the slack until they fit snuggly, but not tight enough that they start to lift the hip belt from your hips. You should feel the straps lightly wrapping around your shoulders from the front to the back, with little to no gapping. Again, this should not be uncomfortably tight, and you should be able to move freely and breathe normally.
6. Sternum Strap
Your sternum strap buckles across your chest and should be tightened for a snug but still comfortable fit. Again, you still need to be able to breathe comfortably. Depending on your anatomy, you may have to adjust this strap to sit slightly higher across your chest.
7. Load Lifter Straps & Packing
The load lifter straps can be found on the sides, behind your neck area. These thin straps are made to keep the pack weight sitting close to your body, to avoid any pull backwards that could affect your balance or cause back pain. Once you pack your backpack, these should be tightened so your pack sits at about a 45-degree angle from your body.
Remember that your pack will fit slightly differently once packed with weight, so small adjustments may be needed to make sure all areas are fitting perfectly!
When packing your backpack, try to distribute the weight of your items equally so the pack has a good balance overall. Aim to keep the heavier items closest to your body and the lighter, bulkier items towards the top and around the outside. Your packed backpack should feel comfortable and equally balanced, and we recommend keeping the total weight under 20% of whoever is carrying it!