Author Topic: Backpack - Mistake?  (Read 2131 times)

Little Foot

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Backpack - Mistake?
« on: 09:14:50, 31/01/20 »
Hi all. I went to try on backpacks the other day in Blacks.


They only had a small range. First one I tried was a Berghaus Trailhead 60L. This one touched the back of my head so felt as if I'd be walking head bowed all the time (a few in Go Outdoors that I tried did this too). Could I make adjustments to stop this? It also felt difficult to get on. I have a small problem with my shoulder and it wasn't easy to get through the strap, but perhaps this could be made easier with adjustments.


I then tried the Technical's Helvellyn 55L which I bought online. Paid £32 which I realise is dirt cheap. This wasn't easy to put on with the shoulder prob but it didn't touch my head so felt a touch more comfortable compared to the Berghaus.


Now, I tried on an Osprey and this went on a dream, the shoulder straps were flexible enough for me to move my shoulders into position easily and it felt really comfortable on my back. There was a problem though, in that the webbing on the hip belt didn't go round my big, tubby body, so I couldn't fasten it.  :-[


Watching a youtube vid last night, a guy went on a LDW and complained that his Osprey bag had broken so he had to use an old cheap backpack (Blacks brand) and that it wasn't fit for purpose, so now I'm wondering if I have made a mistake buying the Technical one I have (it hasn't been delivered yet).


So, after that essay, I have a few questions. I was in a rush so didn't have chance to have a long talk with the assistant at Blacks.


1. Could I have adjusted the Berghaus to not touch the back of my head? Did the torso adjustment need moving perhaps as I noticed it had torso settings or are some packs just like that?


2. Will the Technical Helvellyn pack be fit for purpose? I noticed reviews of their packs seem ok, but most of those could be based on first impressions.


3. This is the question I'd like answering most. Could I change the Osprey webbing on the hip belt for a longer size? Can Osprey do that, or would it be possible even for myself to do it DIY?


Thanks for looking. Would really like the Osprey backpack but of course, I'd rather not spend over £100 on a bag that won't clip. Hopefully, if I do more walking and lose the lbs I'll have my pick of bags lol

Slowcoach

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #1 on: 09:21:37, 31/01/20 »
I believe Osprey are very helpful and have heard of people getting free replacement straps so definitely worth contacting them.
It's all uphill from here.

Little Foot

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #2 on: 09:35:07, 31/01/20 »
Sorry, realise I should have mentioned that I have contacted Osprey and the reply I received pointed me in the direction of their spare parts online form, but this requires me to input details and pictures of a pack I have purchased. I'm unsure of the actual Osprey backpack I want, I just tried the one that had around the amount of litres I needed and was nearest to the ground on the rack as I am short lol.


I have emailed them again asking for a yay or nay but no response yet. I have also emailed Gregory with a similar question and they have forwarded the question to Samsonite who make their backs, but it's been a week since I asked and not had an answer.


I think I could buy webbing on eBay/amazon and try construct something myself, but may make a pigs ear out it.

ninthace

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #3 on: 09:49:02, 31/01/20 »
Most backpacks are sufficiently adjustable so that they will fit without banging your head. Reputable shops should be able to fit a backpack to you rather than leaving you to struggle. Also an empty pack will sit higher than a loaded pack and will hang differently.  Some packs also come in sizes as well as volumes depending on whether you have a long or short back.  The back pad in many packs, such as Osprey, can also be adjusted for height.  I am surprised you cannot fasten the Osprey waistband.  I have a fairly generous waistline and have no problems in that regard.
Solvitur Ambulando

sussamb

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #4 on: 09:59:11, 31/01/20 »
Watching a youtube vid last night, a guy went on a LDW and complained that his Osprey bag had broken so he had to use an old cheap backpack (Blacks brand) and that it wasn't fit for purpose, so now I'm wondering if I have made a mistake buying the Technical one I have (it hasn't been delivered yet).

Not sure about the Technical one but just so you know, Osprey and Lowe Alpine both guarantee their sacs for life, I had the chest strap on my Lowe Alpine break and was sent a brand new rucsac.  They are also far less likely to fail than a cheap one.  As you've ordered on line you can return it anyway if it doesn't suit you, so I'd wait until you can try it before you worry about it not fitting etc
Where there's a will ...

harland

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #5 on: 10:13:38, 31/01/20 »
As has been said above "Reputable shops should be able to fit a backpack to you rather than leaving you to struggle."  Whilst not being helpful to you but for other people thinking of buying one then my experience with Cotswolds in Harrogate many years ago is the service that should be given.  I went into the shop having researched it on-line knowing what I wanted!  The assistant got the rucksack out, put some weights into it, and then tried to fit it to my 6'4" body.  He said that it didn't fit me and he would get me another and try that (I thought that it would just be a more expensive one).  He adjusted all the straps and the back adjustment and tried that with weights in the rucksack and it fitted brilliantly to the point that I hardly knew I had it on my back - and it was cheaper than the one I thought I wanted. In addition I was going to walk the Pennine Way (my first LDP) and he got me to come back when I had everything in and he undid everything again and refitted it - I still use it years later.  The staff were and still are all walkers, climbers, cyclists etc so they do know a fair amount about your needs and at the time, but I don't know if it is still the same, but they were not on commission.

Little Foot

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #6 on: 10:15:24, 31/01/20 »

Most backpacks are sufficiently adjustable so that they will fit without banging your head. Reputable shops should be able to fit a backpack to you rather than leaving you to struggle. Also an empty pack will sit higher than a loaded pack and will hang differently.  Some packs also come in sizes as well as volumes depending on whether you have a long or short back.  The back pad in many packs, such as Osprey, can also be adjusted for height.  I am surprised you cannot fasten the Osprey waistband.  I have a fairly generous waistline and have no problems in that regard.


The packs I tried on were all filled with something, unsure what, but I got a proper feel for how it would sit on my body, but I didn't mess with any adjustments. I'm going in to collect my order so will look in more detail at the Berghaus one. I've seen that Osprey do different sizes for the actual hip belt (rather than just the webbing) so I'd like to think you got a larger one than I tried on, either that or it's my womanly hips. No need to reply to that!  ;D


I think I'm going to look online at Osprey's and choose the one I'm most likely to get, then fill in the form asking about the webbing before I purchase.

Not sure about the Technical one but just so you know, Osprey and Lowe Alpine both guarantee their sacs for life, I had the chest strap on my Lowe Alpine break and was sent a brand new rucsac.  They are also far less likely to fail than a cheap one.  As you've ordered on line you can return it anyway if it doesn't suit you, so I'd wait until you can try it before you worry about it not fitting etc


That's one of the reasons I would like one. The guy who mentioned about the Blacks one not being fit for purpose I think was talking more about the fit of it, and it not being comfortable. If this pack lasts a couple of years before signs of wear and tear start making me look for another, I wouldn't mind for £32, but I don't want it to be really uncomfortable after a few miles, that is my main worry. I will try it on properly once it arrives. It's a click and collect so I will time it so I can spend longer in store and ask advice.

gunwharfman

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #7 on: 10:16:39, 31/01/20 »
I have an Osprey Exos 48 and to date have never had a problem with it. In my case, it's by far the best carry setup I know so can't fault that either. I have a Lightwave rucksack, always gave me sore shoulders and the chest strap came off as well. My first rucksack was a Golight Jam, very comfortable but I was never very keen on the roll-top system they used. I much prefer a lid. The Jam is made of Dyneema, excellent and hard-wearing material, always looks new(ish), unlike my Osprey which always looks a bit old, battered and lived in.

Little Foot

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #8 on: 10:22:56, 31/01/20 »
As has been said above "Reputable shops should be able to fit a backpack to you rather than leaving you to struggle."  Whilst not being helpful to you but for other people thinking of buying one then my experience with Cotswolds in Harrogate many years ago is the service that should be given.  I went into the shop having researched it on-line knowing what I wanted!  The assistant got the rucksack out, put some weights into it, and then tried to fit it to my 6'4" body.  He said that it didn't fit me and he would get me another and try that (I thought that it would just be a more expensive one).  He adjusted all the straps and the back adjustment and tried that with weights in the rucksack and it fitted brilliantly to the point that I hardly knew I had it on my back - and it was cheaper than the one I thought I wanted. In addition I was going to walk the Pennine Way (my first LDP) and he got me to come back when I had everything in and he undid everything again and refitted it - I still use it years later.  The staff were and still are all walkers, climbers, cyclists etc so they do know a fair amount about your needs and at the time, but I don't know if it is still the same, but they were not on commission.


That is excellent service Harland. We have 3 main outdoor stores here. Blacks, Trespass and Go Outdoors. In defence of Blacks, the area I was in was hidden from the staff, so they couldn't see what I was doing, and as I was rushing, just didn't have the chance to go into it with more detail. When I went to Go Outdoors, my dad was with me, raising his eyes at the prices of everything I looked at and suggesting cheap, crappy alternatives of something he knows nothing about. He's like it even in the supermarket, subtly trying to indicate I can get different mushrooms for 15p less. Winds me up as I don't even live with him!

Little Foot

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #9 on: 10:28:10, 31/01/20 »
I have an Osprey Exos 48 and to date have never had a problem with it. In my case, it's by far the best carry setup I know so can't fault that either. I have a Lightwave rucksack, always gave me sore shoulders and the chest strap came off as well. My first rucksack was a Golight Jam, very comfortable but I was never very keen on the roll-top system they used. I much prefer a lid. The Jam is made of Dyneema, excellent and hard-wearing material, always looks new(ish), unlike my Osprey which always looks a bit old, battered and lived in.


It might have been an Exos 48 I tried on. It just felt perfect to put on and when sitting on my back too. Perhaps it was because it was a bit smaller than the others though. I think I need to take my time with this, and not rush into things.


The roll top systems seem popular now, but don't think I'd get on with that. I could see it being annoying.

kinkyboots

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #10 on: 10:52:18, 31/01/20 »
A couple of YouTube videos which may help

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy4gs3PHlws

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Et4t4d-26Y

Getting properly measured is your starting point. Once you know what size you need you can do your research online and start narrowing the range and find the best prices.

From personal experience I know that Osprey can provide hipbelt extension straps free of charge for some packs but for some other packs the whole hipbelt is made in different sizes  and removable so can be exchanged.

Pitboot

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #11 on: 10:55:11, 31/01/20 »
I agree with kinkyboots. My Osprey had hip belt straps that were too short, they were exchanged in the shop who were aware of the issue and kept spares.

Little Foot

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #12 on: 11:08:17, 31/01/20 »
Thanks for info all. I'll look at those vids now. I think I'll take a stroll to Blacks with my dog, and ask them about longer straps then (can't see that being embarrassing  :-\ ), hopefully they will have suggestions, but I have a feeling they won't be able to help, not sure why I feel like that.

Patrick1

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #13 on: 13:55:31, 31/01/20 »
I'm another Exos48 user, and reckon its the most comfortable rucksack I've had, while being almost as light as some of the rather hardcore minimalist designs of rucksack. There's a specific women's version called the Eja. You would clearly need to sort the hipbelt issue so that it fitted. Just a thought - be aware this rucksack comes in different sizes to suit different torso lengths. I don't know if this has any influence on the hip belt length, but it might be worth investigating.


How a rucksack is adjusted can cause it to touch the back of your head. If it is doing so, then try loosening the waist belt - make sure its sitting on your hips not your stomach. Then look at the shoulder straps - the adjusters under your arms are for raising the pack on your back, the ones over the top of your shoulders are for pulling the pack in against your back. Loosen both, then tighten them until you're just taking a bit of weight on your shoulders and the pack is touching your back but not tight. The small straps on the top of your shoulders pulling the pack against your back should be horizontal or just sloping slightly up towards the rucksack. If they're sloping steeply up the back length is probably too short for you, and you either need to adjust it, if that is possible, or try a different size.



Of the rather poor selection of outdoor shops you have near you I'd reckon Blacks is your best bet. Go Outdoors can be good value, but takes a supermarket approach to selling as and such is only worth going to if you are clear yourself what you want and have found they happen to have a good price for it. Trespass, as far as I remember, only really sell their own brand stuff, which is cheap and cheerful.

Little Foot

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Re: Backpack - Mistake?
« Reply #14 on: 14:25:51, 31/01/20 »
Thanks for the reply Patrick. I did know the rucksacks came in different torso lengths (I'm XS-S) and know the hip belts come in different lengths too but I guess if you buy a size S it will automatically come with a small hip belt. I now know watching one of the vids kinkyboots linked to, where I can find the sizing, so that will help.

I received this reply after querying the first reply from Osprey, and it is a little more helpful, but slightly confusing for me.

Quote
The extension would be made suitable/ compatible with the pack in question, we wouldn’t supply anything that would not fit the pack you need an extension for.

The hipbelt comes in one size, this is not interchangeable, however, this is why we can offer extension hipbelt webbing if required. As I mentioned, you would need to contact our Guarantee and Spares Team to request this part. You would need to purchase the pack before asking for the extension webbing ideally (for measurments), however, there is always a returns policy (wherever you purchase) if the pack is unsuitable.

I'm only confused as I thought on some of the models, the actual hip belt could be changed for a more suitable size. I'm going to go into Blacks later and having a proper look, and I will speak to the assistant about fitting and changing the webbing. Although it is a small store, they do seem more customer focused. Go Outdoors had no staff on the shop floor and I agree with you about Trespass. Their gear isn't top notch.

We do have a Winfields, which didn't have Osprey bags on display, but they did the Berghaus that I tried on at Blacks and that didn't go as close to my head, so I expect it was set up differently.