1-800-729-9607 | emailus@tombihn.com
 
Shop Tom Bihn
TOM BIHN Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. TOM BIHN has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

User Tag List

Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,012
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Best backpack straps?

    I'm having a bit of a problem. Every backpack I've ordered, doesn't fit me.

    I just received a Brain Bag. The pockets are all perfect and fit my stuff, but the backpack straps do not fit me at all. The straps do not sit on my shoulders, they wing out. The belt doesn't seem to be in the right place, either. When I tighten it around my waist or hips, the backpack straps are up around my ears. The sternum strap cannot be adjusted to avoid my boobs. Even at its highest position, it squishes my boobs. It just feels like the bag was designed to be worn by a 6' 5" tall line backer and not a 5' 5" tall 140 lb woman. And that may indeed be the case.

    I couldn't wear the backpack straps of the WF or the A30, either, although the A45 seems to work OK for me.

    I have one of the last SA on order to try. I'm debating whether to try an S25, but I read a forum thread here about the straps not fitting someone else. I want this backpack for one bag travel, so the S19 and Luminary are not what I'm interested in because they are too small.

    Can someone who roughly is 5' 5" tall, 140 lbs, and a 36D let me know which backpacks work the best for them for one bag travel? I'm not interested in EDC.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 12-06-2017 at 06:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    161
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I'm having a bit of a problem. Every backpack I've ordered, doesn't fit me.

    I just received a Brain Bag. The pockets are all perfect and fit my stuff, but the backpack straps do not fit me at all. The straps do not sit on my shoulders, they wing out. The belt doesn't seem to be in the right place, either. When I tighten it around my waist or hips, the backpack straps are up around my ears. The sternum strap cannot be adjusted to avoid my boobs. Even at its highest position, it squishes my boobs. It just feels like the bag was designed to be worn by a 6' 5" tall line backer and not a 5' 5" tall 140 lb woman. And that may indeed be the case.

    I couldn't wear the backpack straps of the WF or the A30, either, although the A45 seems to work OK for me.

    I have one of the last SA on order to try. I'm debating whether to try an S25, but I read a forum thread here about the straps not fitting someone else. I want this backpack for one bag travel, so the S19 and Luminary are not what I'm interested in because they are too small.

    Can someone who roughly is 5' 5" tall, 140 lbs, and a 36D let me know which backpacks work the best for them for one bag travel? I'm not interested in EDC.

    Thanks.
    This might sound weird, but is there an outdoor supply store like REI near you that you could visit for help? REI employees in particular are great at getting backpacks adjusted to fit.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    736
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    While I am a bit more petite in stature, I have found that the Smart Alec fits me the best of all of those. The intended hipbelt attachment points on the Aeronauts fell too high for me, but the Smart Alec rested closer to my hips. I had also tried an older BB at one point, and it felt humongous on me, plus I found that items in the bottom of the pack tended to sag unattractively and awkwardly since the bottom of the pack was unstructured. Fit is very personal though, so those bags work wonderfully for many others. I vote it is worth giving the Smart Alec a try.

    As @kieri suggested, it may be worth visiting an REI or other outdoors store or finding someone to help you measure your torso length to ensure you are looking at packs that will fit you best.

    Good luck!
    "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller

  4. #4
    Forum Member terayon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Posts
    597
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have found the info at this link (https://www.mec.ca/en/explore/choose-and-fit-a-backpack) helpful in the past. Scroll down to the “How to fit a backpack” section. Basically, it’s not so much your height as your torso length.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,012
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you all!!! Very helpful. I'm short waisted, so there's not a lot of room on my back. I do have a SA on its way to me, so I'm curious to give it a test. I always liked the look of it. It's a shame it's being retired.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    164
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hmm. I’m neither a woman nor 140lbs, but I’m only 5’6 and find the Brain Bag to fit quite comfortably. But I seem to also be on the other side of short as you: I’m broad not petite and have shorter legs with a longer waist. I do usually wear my bag high and tight so that it sits flush with my upper back and don’t use a hip belt. Since I’ve mostly been using it lately to carry ~50lbs on walks, I haven’t had any issue.

    If it is the straps that don’t fit, I would recommend trying the SA and the S25. If I remember correctly, the S25 has had a few changes in the Straps distance, so it might be worth trying a current S25 as well as an older S25. I don’t have any experience with the SA, but the straps on the S25 fit me fine. They fit differently to my BB, but I’m usually successful in finding some way for it to work.

    Another option is to test out the HsJ. If the A45 worked ok, I think it’s likely that the HsJ would also fit you comfortably. Plus you’d have the removable top to use for when you travel with only “one” bag. It might be too much bag though, and weight could potentially be an issue for you if you tend to use all the space available. Then again, the HsJ also has a frame and a nice hip belt so that should help with distributing the load if it fits you.
    Steel/Solar A45/French Blue BB/Navy Snake Charmer/Coyote DLBC/ Iberian TT

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Something very strange is going on here. I am roughly your height and have much larger breasts than you, yet I have no problem with the sternum strap on the WF or S19, it sits above my boobs quite comfortably. If the backpack straps sit high on you, how is it possible that the sternum strap can be too low? I'm baffled.

    My first thought was that you need to shorten the backpack straps and lengthen the sternum strap, but I'm sure you have already tried this.

    May be worth trying a brand which offers different back lengths. Macpac in NZ did some excellent and bombproof packs in 3 men's sizes and a women's specific fit as well. Not cheap or light, but virtually indestructible. I'm 5ft 6 and broad shouldered with a 31.5 inch inside leg and I fit their men's size 2.

    Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    davenport, ia
    Posts
    250
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I’m roughly the same size as you, and also very short waisted (I’m just slightly less....uh....juggy). the S25 and SA another fit me very well. I had a BB for a while but it was far too big, especially too wide, even though I’m reasonably broad-shouldered for my build. S25 feels like it fits the best, but they’re very similar.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    97
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am about your size and have the carried the WF, A30, S25, S19 and SA. I find the SA to be the most comfortable by far. For me, the sternum strap is best higher and I adjust the shoulder straps with the load. I also find the padded hip belt helpful when carrying weight, especially for any distance.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,012
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    UPDATE: The SA arrived last night and it fit me perfectly. However, I wasn't wild about the pockets or the Cordura. I liked the bag a lot, but I did not love it, so it's going back. However, I was thrilled that the backpack straps fit me and were comfortable. So now I have a better feel for how I want a bag to fit.

    I agree that the sternum strap needs to be very high to be comfortable.

    Next up, I'll order an S25 as soon as the Mars Red comes back.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    UPDATE: The SA arrived last night and it fit me perfectly. However, I wasn't wild about the pockets or the Cordura. I liked the bag a lot, but I did not love it, so it's going back. However, I was thrilled that the backpack straps fit me and were comfortable. So now I have a better feel for how I want a bag to fit.

    I agree that the sternum strap needs to be very high to be comfortable.

    Next up, I'll order an S25 as soon as the Mars Red comes back.
    That's great, hopefully the S25 will hit the sweet spot for you Best backpack straps?

    Sent from my F8331 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    380
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    Thank you all!!! Very helpful. I'm short waisted, so there's not a lot of room on my back. I do have a SA on its way to me, so I'm curious to give it a test. I always liked the look of it. It's a shame it's being retired.
    Sorry to hear the SA was not a good fit. How long is your back? I'm working off memory from the Osprey site, but I think they say to measure from the vertebra that sticks out at the base of your neck to the top of your hip bones. I am 16" measured this way. The S25 is comfortable enough for me using the hip belt and the FS, and I think it would be even more comfortable with the internal frame but I haven't gotten one yet. Without the FS giving it some structure, the bag buckles a bit and things stick into my back. If I were you, a GES25 or S25& frame would be my next stop, assuming you can one-bag with only 25L.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,012
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm warming up to the egg shape of the S25. Every rectangular bag I've tried on has just felt too weird to me. I'm very curious if the pockets will work for me, too.

  14. #14
    Forum Member chaimonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    20
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm grateful for this thread. I've been jonesing for another backpack, and considering which TB pack is right for me, a rather chubby 5'3" with a long history of wearing men's packs. After seeing the discussion of various straps and packs, I'm thinking the S19 is the right one to try. Getting a nice end-of-year bonus at work, and I think I'll buy myself an S19 for Christmakkah
    Stowaway in Alphaviolet/Dawn - Small Cafe Bag in Deep Blue/Grass - Travel Cubelet in Dawn

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,012
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Whew! I've been trying to get a Mars Red S25 with the internal frame and a padded hip belt ALL IN THE SAME ORDER to save shipping. I want to try it all on at the same time. But if the bag was there, the frame wasn't, or the hip belt was missing. And then the frame came back and the Mars Red was gone.

    I contemplated trying the Guide's Edition because I do love the coyote, but I don't need the extra lash points, and my other red bags have black trim, and I wanted them to match.

    Anyway, one minute ago, they were all available and I snatched them up. They're gone again. I guess I'll get to try them out in about 10 days or so when they finally get to me. I'll keep you posted on how they fit and if I like the packing style.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •