The back system of backpacks - how does it work and what is it good for?
What do you think of first when you hear the word backpack? A trip, school, mountains ... possibilities are endless, but perhaps only few of us would first think of the back system. It is actually a kind of a backbone of any backpack, without which it could not fulfill its function.
The back system is…
First, let's explain what the back system really is. It includes three main concepts - shoulder (support) straps, waist strap and the back part of the backpack.
Shoulder straps are the most stressed parts of the backpack and therefore they must be of a very high quality. They are usually padded, so that they do not not rub the skin during long-term wearing. They are connected to balance adjusters, which serve to adjust the fitting of the backpack to your body. Often, they also include a chest connection, which prevents the straps from slipping off the shoulders.
The shoulder strap is an essential part especially for backpacks with higher volumes. If the backpack is fitted correctly, the waist strap carries more than 1/2 of the total weight of the backpack. It is very often padded, so that it does not cause uncomfortable abrasions.
The back of the backpack is extremely important, because it takes care of the ventilation and comfort. According to the type of the backpack and its use, backpacks are equipped with padded back, sometimes detachable, and with offsets and mesh for better air circulation. LOAP manufactures both backpacks, the back part of which completely adheres to the back of the person, and backpacks, which almost do not get in contact with the back of the person.
There are 2 types of back systems for backpacks - fixed and adjustable
As for the fixed back system, the length between the support straps and the waist strap cannot be adjusted. It is therefore desirable to measure the length of your back from the C7 vertebra to the top of the hip bone, before buying a backpack with this type of a back system. At first glance, this may seem ridiculous, but if you want the backpack to fit you really well, the length from the top of the shoulder straps to the waist strap should match the measured length of your back. Only in such case you will achieve a maximum comfort and satisfaction, while wearing the backpack.
On the other hand, the adjustable back system of backpacks includes a sliding support part. As a result, it is fairly easy to modify the length between the shoulder straps and the waist strap to match the length of your back.
Do not be shy. Adjust the backpack immediately in the store
In our country, it is not quite common for the customer to try out and adjust the backpack to fit his/her body immediately on the spot - in the store. Unfortunately, this can mean that the customer chooses a wrong backpack. Do not hesitate to ask the attending staff for help and go ahead and adjust your backpack on the spot to fit your body, you can even fill the backpack with items to see, how it will fit, when it is full. In case of larger pieces it is recommended to fill the backpack with 10-15 kg load, so that you can see, how the backpack will fit.
A backpack for mountains is really different from a school backpack
Before you go to buy a new backpack, first think clearly what will you use the backpack for. The back systems and all components are designed to match the particular load of the backpack.
School and urban backpacks
School and urban LOAP backpacks are designed for everyday use and they can carry less weight than other types of backpacks. Their volume is about 30 liters, and therefore they have a support system adapted to these conditions.
As for our urban backpacks, you will mostly come across fixed back systems like AFS, ACS II or SBS. All these three support systems combine anatomically shaped shoulder straps with padding, solid construction and ventilation.
Some types of urban and school LOAP bags also have a chest strap, which prevents slipping of the support straps off the shoulders. This type of backpack usually does not include a waist strap due to low load.
Hiking and cyclist backpacks
In case of smaller hiking backpacks, LOAP mostly offers the fixed support system AVS. We prefer it for its distinctive location of the back construction, which is independent