[amazon_link id=”B0012PQX9E” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link]The Arcteryx Bora 95 is a beast of an expedition backpack to say the least. This backpack is an absolute monster when it comes to interior capacity. With a fully loaded Bora 95, you could be carrying in excess of 100 pounds with all the room available, so it is important that you have the proper fit. Once you have figured out the proper size that you need, you will need to be able to fit the pack to the contours of your body. Below, we will go over how you can adjust and configure your Arcteryx Bora 95 to fit your body in the proper manner.
Shaping the Aluminum Frame Stays
The first thing to check is if your back is resting flush against the aluminum support of your pack. Fill up your Bora 95 with a regular sized load. See the packing guide here. Put the pack on and stand up straight. Tighten the belt and straps as best as possible, we will discuss the proper adjustment for those below. Your back should rest flush with the aluminum stays of your pack. If they are not, you will need to bend them to fit the contour of your back. This will ensure that as you hike, you are receiving the right support from the pack, which will increase comfort and decrease back pain.
Your aluminum stays can be accessed through Velcro flaps in the main compartment of your pack. Remove the stays. Remove your hip belt from the pack (see How To Assemble Your Arcteryx Bora Hip Belt). Strap on the belt with the aluminum stays in their grooves in back. The two stays should be splayed out across your shoulder blades as shown in the first image below. With you wearing the belt and stays, have someone help you by slightly bending the stays to fit the contour of your back, going one at a time. Bend the stays a little at a time, so you don’t over-bend them. Bending aluminum back and forth weakens the metal. Images 2 and 3 below illustrate the proper bending technique.
Once you are confident that the contour of your back is flush with the stays, replace them in the pack and re-assemble the hip belt.
Hip Belt Adjustment
Once your pack fits the contours of your back, it is time to fine-tune the other straps, starting with the hip belt. The key to fitting the hip belt properly is to center the hip pads at the top of your hip bone (Iliac Crest) on either side. You don’t have to have a full load, but make sure you have at least 20 pounds evenly dispersed throughout your pack (not all at the bottom). Wrap the hip belt around your waist and clip it in. Center the pads top to bottom at the tip of your hip bones. You should feel the weight shifting from your shoulders and back to your hips once your belt is tight and secured. See the image below:
The next adjustment to make on your belt is the flare angle, and can add more comfort to your pack. The flare angle has to do with the angle at which your hip pads flare away from below your hip bones. Women will want their belts flared out more than men will. This will keep the weight of your pack from digging into your hips while you hike. To do this, you simply adjust the exit angle of the straps. The rest is done by the contour of your hips. See the image below for an illustration of this adjustment:
The last fine-tune adjustment on the hip belt involves the load transfer area. This is a direct frame-to-hipbelt transfer of weight, allowing you to have a more upright hiking posture. Tightening these straps increases forward load transfer (the ability to walk more upright), and loosing them will allow for more hipbelt movement. See the image below for an illustration of the location of the straps:
Bora Shoulder Straps
The next adjustment to make is on your shoulder straps. Your shoulder straps are sized to fit your torso when you purchase your pack. The top of the yoke of your pack should be about level with the top of your clavicle (collarbone). Tighten your shoulder straps by pulling down on the tabs until your straps are about 2 inches under your armpit. Don’t tighten them so much that you run out of tab length. Look at the diagram below, and the load lift straps should be at an angle of 40-60 degrees.
Once your shoulder straps are snug, you need to fine tune the load lifters. These straps perform the task of ‘lifting’ your straps from your shoulders, keeping the pack’s weight directly off of your back and on your hips. Look at the image below to see the range of angles:
Fine tuning the adjustments of your Arcteryx Bora 95 backpack will allow you to hike in more comfort. Use this guide to prepare you backpack for an extended expedition.