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#92661 - 03/14/08 08:16 PM Fitting Pack with Beer Belly!
NCalCamper Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 21
Loc: California
My Brother just bought his first backpack, he got a good deal on a Mountainsmith from a guy from work. I was trying to help him fit it and he was real uncomfortable with the pack on his hips bones, which is right in the middle of his good-sized stomach! He wanted to shift it down to below his stomach. Even if he wanted to carry lower, he really couldn't because the torso length would be too short.

Any suggestions? Is this the wrong pack for him or does he have to get comfortable with things on his stomach? Thank god he's not the bloggin type! Thanks in advance. NCC

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#92662 - 03/15/08 05:07 AM Re: Fitting Pack with Beer Belly! [Re: NCalCamper]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 666
Loc: Upstate NY
My first 15 years of backpacking we didn;t have hipbelts. When we finally discovered them it was great. My point is, the hipbelt isn't necessary, especially if his packweight is low. Maybe not using one will get him out hiking and the belly will shrink down to the point where he will desire to use the hipbelt to increase his comfort.

(I still cannot believe we didn;t used hipbelts for that long, it make sense now why we used to do more paddling than on trail though.)
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#92663 - 03/15/08 10:14 AM Re: Fitting Pack with Beer Belly! [Re: NCalCamper]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

You simply need a longer pack, and/or a lighter load so you don't rely on the hipbelt as much. Now me, I have six-pack abs. trouble is they're underneath a six-pack pillow. I probably don't wear a hipbelt in the place I am *supposed* to, and well, I generally don't care. Stop worrying about where the hipbelt *should* go and where the hipbelt *can* go, and try the pack out on him under load.

I end up using a long torso pack for this reason. it works ok given my body shape, although my vast preference is for a light load and the heck with the hipbelt. It also means I tend to lighter frameless packs anyway.

Having said that, I do have couple of long length tanks that work well for heavy loads with me.
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#92664 - 03/15/08 11:36 AM Re: Fitting Pack with Beer Belly! [Re: NCalCamper]
Salish Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 129
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I can't think of anything to add to what has already been said, except to say that I really like hiking without a hipbelt when I can. If I am hiking at under 20 lbs with my Rodney frameless pack I don't need the belt. Mine has a waist "strap" that helps to keep the pack centered and keeps it from pitching to and fro if I'm negotiating lots of brush and downfall, but most of the time I don't use it. It just makes me feel more "free". A good hip belt sure does make a difference, though, on a bigger pack while carrying heavier loads.

Cliff

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#92665 - 03/18/08 08:35 PM Re: Fitting Pack with Beer Belly! [Re: phat]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3983
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Phat
I can't believe <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />you aren't an advocate of the traditional Canadian tumpline around the brow. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> Back when I carried 45 pounds in a canvas boy scout pack <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />with no waist belt, I often used a tumpline to help support the weight. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
Its a rope tied around your gear that goes around your forehead and the gear is on your back/sholders. A sock used as padding was nice... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#92666 - 03/19/08 07:48 AM Re: Fitting Pack with Beer Belly! [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Phat
I can't believe <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />you aren't an advocate of the traditional Canadian tumpline around the brow. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> Back when I carried 45 pounds in a canvas boy scout pack <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />with no waist belt, I often used a tumpline to help support the weight. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
Its a rope tied around your gear that goes around your forehead and the gear is on your back/sholders. A sock used as padding was nice... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Yeah, I've used a tumpline.. I've also programmed in COBOL.. Doesn't mean I'm an advocate of either <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
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#92667 - 04/12/08 08:14 AM Re: Fitting Pack with Beer Belly! [Re: DTape]
Mattress Offline
member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 109
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
The first time I realized my pack was light enough to unclasp the hip belt (not to mention breathing constrictor - err sternum strap) it was a complete shock. It was like discovering going without underwear - complete and unrestricted freedom - and a nice cool breeze up the backside.

The advantages of no hip belt continued.. I could move the pack around, put it on one shoulder, take it off for a quick photo op or viewpoint scramble, and not have to fiddle with countless straps every time I ate a granola bar or jumped over a log.

I often still use the hip belt when I have a full 7 day load of fuel and food, but usually just for an hour or so a day to give my shoulders a break. On shorter trips, I'll take a pack without one. I wish more packs had easily removable belts!
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