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Pack Fit Guide

Measuring Your Back Length

  • Measure along the spine between the 7th cervical vertebra and the level of the hip Iliac crest
  • Compare this measurement to the Sizing Charts
  • If a measurement falls between 2 sizes it is usually better to go with the smaller of the two sizes
  • It is possible to interchange different size shoulder strap and hipbelt components on many Arc'teryx Packs
correct Back Length Measurement
Correct back length measurement

Our packs are shipped with the corresponding size of shoulder straps and either a small or a medium hipbelt, depending upon the specific pack style and size selected. If the fit is not right for you, Men's and Women's shoulder harnesses and hipbelts are available and fine tuning can be accomplished in a number of ways such as adjustment of the exit angle of the hipbelt strap, the sternum strap, the forward load transfer straps, the hipbelt load straps and the load lift straps.

Pack Frame Size

Choosing the correct frame size for your body size is the most important factor in pack fitting.

Sizes Short, Regular, and Tall refer to the user's back length only and not to the volume of the pack.

Important! Do not select the frame size based upon the pack volume.

Pack Frame Sizes Short, Regular and Tall
Pack frame sizes Short, Regular and Tall

Pack Sizing Chart

Arc'teryx packs are sized either in 3-length options: Short (S), Regular (R) and Tall (T), or in 2-length options: Short/Regular (SR), and Regular/Tall (RT).

Sizing refers to YOUR OWN BACK LENGTH

To determine your size, measure down your spine from the 7th cervical vertebra, down to the level of your hip, or your iliac crest.

Compare this measurement with the Pack Fit Chart

Hipbelt Sizing

You must assess the proper hipbelt fit. With the pack slightly loaded with weight (about 20 lb / 8 kg will do, placed evenly in the pack and not slumped in the bottom), tighten the hipbelt securely about your hips making sure your iliac crests are centered top to bottom under the hipbelt. The ends of the hipbelt should extend at least 2"/5cm past your hipbones but not so far that you could get them to meet if you really cinched up the waist belt.

  • Locate the Iliac Crest, (the topmost prominent point of the hipbone) and measure around the hips on this point
  • When the hipbelt is properly centered on the hip crest and tightened, the ends of the pads should extend at least 3 inches past the hip crest
Correct Hipbelt Sizing
Correct hipbelt sizing


  Short Regular Tall
  inch cm inch cm inch cm
Men's 27 - 32 67 - 80 32 - 37 80 - 92 37 - 42 92 - 105
Women's 25 - 30 63 - 76 27 - 32 76 - 88 30 - 35 88 - 101

Fine Tuning: Shoulder Straps

The correct size for shoulder straps is determined by the width of your shoulders and your torso length. The top of the yoke of the shoulder straps (or the point at which the shoulder strap itself is attached) should be level with a point 1"-2" (2-5cm) below the top of your Trapezius muscle (in other words, level with the top of your clavicle bone). Snug down the shoulder straps so that the bottom of the straps extends 1" to 3"(2-7cm) below your armpit, but not so low as to be at the end of the adjustment range. The load lift straps (that exit off the shoulder strap to the top of the pack stays) should exit the shoulder straps at an angle of 40 to 60 degrees.

  • The shoulder straps should contour smoothly and be in contact throughout the entire length of the shoulder strap padding
  • The adjustment buckle at the lower end of the shoulder strap should be positioned roughly even with the centre of the armpit
Correct Shoulder Strap
Correct shoulder strap positioning

Fine Tuning: Hipbelt Angle/Flare

Fine tuning of the angle of flare is possible by adjusting the angle at which the 2-inch webbing exits the front of the padding. Most women require slightly more flare than men (angle at which the belt sits on the hips.

Hipbelt Flare Angles
Correct hipbelt flare angles for women and men

Fine Tuning: Load Lifters

The purpose of the load lifters is to slightly lift the shoulder straps from the shoulders, not to bring the pack in against the back. The ideal angle for the load lifter straps is 45 degrees, however, an angle of 30 to 60 degrees is quite acceptable.

  • Minimum tension is required for each strap to do its job if the pack is correctly adjusted

Load Lifter Strap Angles
Range of acceptable load lifter strap angles

Fine Tuning: Load Stabilizers

Arc'teryx backpacks feature pivoting hipbelts or Load Transfer Discs (Maia and Naos), which allow the hips to move freely without transferring movement to the pack.
Depending upon terrain, the amount of movement can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the hipbelt load stabilizer strap.

Hipbelt Stabilizer Strap
Hipbelt stabilizer strap

Correct Loading of a Pack

  • Load heavier items as close to the frame of the pack as possible
  • For moderate terrain, load heavier items higher in the pack
  • For more stability over uneven terrain, load heavier items lower in the pack. Items of lower density such as sleeping bags and spare clothing should be used to pad out the load and prevent shifting.

Pack Loading Diagram For Moderate and Uneven Terrain
Pack loading diagram for moderate and uneven terrain

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