1. How do I pack my backpack correctly?
Packing your backpack correctly
“The most important thing when packing your backpack is to refrain from packing unnecessary items!”
Naturally, however, you do need a few important things. In the following video, we show you how to maximise the efficiency of your trip by packing everything in the right place.
We wish you lots of fun packing and a really great trip!
Distribute weight optimally
The centre of gravity of your backpack should be close to your body and, if possible, at shoulder height. This way, the backpack is always above the body’s own centre of gravity (COG) and it will not pull back when worn. Larger backpacks from around 30 litres are therefore packed as follows:
- Sleeping bag, down items and other lightweight objects go into the bottom compartment.
- Moderately heavy items such as clothing go on top on the outside.
- Heavy equipment – tent, supplies, thick jackets – are packed at upper shoulder height, as close to the back as possible.
- Small items can be safely stowed in the lid compartmentwhere they are quickly accessible.
- In order to avoid problems such as snagging, larger wind-exposed areas or wetness, attach as little as possible to the outside of the backpack, and keep this as compact as possible.
- In general, ensure an even weight distribution, especially for side pockets.
- Packsacks, providing they are not bulging and thus creating dead space, keep the inside tidy. Waterproof packsacks offer a very secure alternative to a rain cover.
Important to know
A trained person can wear a maximum of 20–25% of their body weight over a longer period of time. The German Federal Armed Forces pushes this figure up to 33%. For them, touring with a backpack is notoriously extremely strenuous!
The backpack is pulling backwards – i.e. the backpack’s COG is too far from that of the body. Heavy weights quickly turn walking into a misery because the body has to work against the weight of the backpack. The shoulder straps put more stress on the shoulders than normal. In difficult terrain, the wrong packing technique can become a safety risk.
IN LIGHT TERRAIN
In light terrain (hiking trails, flat paths), the COG of the load should be packed higher up.
IN DIFFICULT TERRAIN
In difficult terrain (mountainous regions, steep paths), it should be somewhat lower and, thus, closer to the body’s centre of gravity. With this packing technique, you tend to bend forwards slightly as you walk to compensate, but it is also easier to keep your balance than it is with a high centre of gravity.
2. What do I need to know about setting and adjusting the backpack?
The correct setting and adjustment of the backpack can really increase the fun factor of your trip! The more the backpack is adjusted to suit the individual body, the easier it becomes to wear it later on.
Place backpack on shoulders correctly: 6-stage instructions
1. Loosen all straps: load the backpack with a realistic weight to test it. Loosen all straps. Then lift the backpack onto your shoulders.
2. Position the hip strap: place the middle of the hip fins on the top of your hips and fasten. Positioned too high, the belt will cut into your stomach. Positioned too low, the fins will rub your groin as you walk.
3. Tighten shoulder straps: pull the shoulder straps to tighten. Not too tight, because the main load is carried on the hip belt.
4. Position correctly: the shoulder strap attachment on the backpack should ideally sit between the shoulder blades. In this case, the shoulder pads surround the shoulders neatly.
5. Adjust and fasten the chest strap: once the back length is correct, adjust the height-adjustable chest strap and fasten it such that it doesn’t affect your breathing. It stabilises the shoulder straps and is a standard feature on almost all Deuter backpacks.
6. Fasten hip belt stabiliser straps: depending on the terrain, tighten the hip belt stabiliser straps for more load transfer or loosen them for more freedom of movement. For larger-volume backpacks, adjust the position adjusting straps on the shoulder straps: When loosened, they enable better ventilation over light terrain. When tightened, they provide a more direct back contact and, thus, more stability over difficult terrain. On longer trips you can vary the load distribution between the hips and shoulders by loosening or tightening the shoulder straps and position adjusting straps from time to time. The position adjusting straps work best at an angle between 30° and 45° to the horizontal. For Deuter trekking backpacks, the correct angle can be found by using a higher or lower buckle on the packsack. For small-volume backpacks, they play a different role due to the lower pack weight. They enable a precise adjustment of the back length. Loosening or tightening the position adjusting straps and shoulder straps regulates the back position of the backpack. The angle may be significantly smaller or even negative here.
If the base is too high,
the back length is too long. The shoulder attachment is too close to the nape of the neck, the shoulder pads are sitting under the armpits – this will lead to abrasion marks on your neck and arms. The backpack is also tilted slightly backwards. These hindrances can’t be avoided simply by using the adjustable shoulder straps. An appropriate back length, however, offers an effective solution. This is the only way to ensure full freedom of movement of the arms and relief of the neck musculature thanks to the anatomical S-shape of the shoulder pads. For small-volume Deuter backpacks, select the appropriate back length (standard, SL or EL). For the large-volume ones, set the adjustable system (Vari Quick and Vari Flex system) to the correct position.
If the base is too low,
the back length is too short. The shoulder pads are therefore sitting too low, cutting into the skin and slightly sliding over the shoulders.
3. Customise your backpack: Deuter’s Vari Quick system
3 steps to adjusting the back length using the Vari Quick system:
Once you have identified a suitable backpack, it’s essential to use it correctly. In other words, models with back length adjustment and an inner frame should be set to the correct position. And remember to always pack the backpack correctly! A combination of all these factors leads to a comfortable wearing experience. An inaccurate adjustment soon negates the benefits of a good back system.
- Determine back length
- Loosen and pull the Velcro tape on the back panel
- Then, thread it upwards through the appropriate fastening loops (4 loops), tighten and secure
Here is a small selection of our backpacks featuring the Vari Quick system:
Load, back length & wearing comfort
With heavy loads from approx. 10 kg and longer walking times, the optimal adaptation to the individual back length of the wearer is crucial for a comfortable wearing experience. This is why it makes sense for backpacks with a volume of approximately 35 litres or more to be equipped with the Vari Quick system. However, every system for adjusting the back length brings additional weight.
With smaller volumes, it is more important to keep the backpack’s net weight as low as possible. That is why our standard, SL and EL models are adjusted to suit different back lengths. We gear them towards the proportions of an average person with an athletic build.