How to Pack a Backpack for Travel [Infographic and Videos]

 

A poorly packed or fitted bag can injure you and ruin your trip. The infographic below will show you how to pack a backpack and how to adjust a backpack to prevent shoulder, back, and neck pain.

How to Pack a Backpack for Travel Infographic

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The Secret to a Comfortable Backpack

A poorly packed or fitted bag can injure you and ruin your trip. This guide will show you how to pack a backpack and how to adjust a backpack to prevent shoulder, back, and neck pain.

How to Pack a Backpack

How to Pack a Travel Backpack

The key to a comfortable backpack is a balanced load. The weight should be centered and close to your body so that your bag isn't pulling back on your shoulders.

Pack medium-weight items like pants and jackets around the heavy items in the top half of your backpack. Use them to fill out your pack and to give it structure.

Pack heavy items like shoes, a laptop, or a camera in the middle of your backpack. Keep them as close to your body as possible.

Pack lightweight items like t-shirts and socks at the bottom of your backpack. They should be packed densely enough that the heavy items don't compress them and sink down in your bag.

Watch the video below for more on how to pack your backpack.

How to Adjust a Backpack

How to Adjust a Travel Backpack

A properly fitted backpack feels light and like an extension of your body. Hip belts and chest straps may not look cool, but they're designed for your comfort and safety. Used properly, a hip belt will shift 80% of your pack's weight from your back to your hips so that your leg muscles can do most of the work.

  1. Set Up: Unbuckle everything and loosen all of the straps. Put your backpack on.
  2. Sternum Strap: Adjust the sternum (chest) strap vertically so that it's across your chest. Buckle and tighten the sternum strap to pull the shoulder straps closer together. The shoulder straps should not be pulling your shoulders back.
  3. Shoulder Straps: Pull down and back on the ends of your shoulder straps. Adjust the straps so that your backpack is flush against your back.
  4. Hip Belt: Buckle and tighten the hip belt on or just above your hip bones. Notice your pack's weight transfer onto your hips.
  5. Final Adjustments: Adjust the shoulder straps and hip belt until you can feel your pack's weight transfer to your hips. You should be carrying at least 80% of the load on your hips, not on your back and shoulders.

Watch the video below for more on how to fit and adjust your backpack.

Walk around with your backpack. How does it feel?

If the weight is still on your shoulders...

Make small adjustments to the shoulder straps and hip belt until you feel the weight transfer onto your hips.

If the weight is unbalanced...

Adjust your packing according to the directions in the first section so that the weight is evenly distributed.

Now you can travel the world pain free.

For more information on travel backpacks, visit Tortuga Backpacks.