It is vital when choosing a backpack that you first take the proper measurements of your torso length. This is the same, no matter what brand of backpack you buy. Gregory offers a PDF document that sums up all the sizing and fitting guidelines that can be found here. This article will briefly go over the main points to add a bit more information and experience behind adjusting and fine-tuning Gregory backpacks.
Take the measurement from your C7 vertebrae to your Illiac Crest. To find your C7 vertebrae, lean your head forward, and it is the most prominent bone sticking out where your neck flares out to meet your shoulders. Your Iliac Crest is the spot on the spine that is level with the top of your hip bones. Feel for your hips at your sides and trace the point around to your back. Use a flexible tape measure or the Gregory Fit-O-Matic tool to measure this length (your torso length). Do it a few times to make sure it is as accurate as possible. Use the fitting guide below to match the size of the pack you want to your torso length. Note – If you are between two sizes (overlap between small and medium), be sure to go with the smaller size. The extra 200 cubic inches isn’t worth risking an improper fit. Going with the smaller size will make for a more comfortable fit in the long run.
Follow the below instructions: (from the fitting guide PDF)
- Fit your harness and belt size first.
- Install the belt by sliding the plastic load transfer panel through the webbing and pocket sleeve on the waist belt.
- Load your pack with 15-20 pounds of weight. Fitting your pack empty will result in improper fit.
- Put on the pack, and secure the shoulder harness first. Adjust the harness until the top of the iliac crest is even with the top of the waist belt.
- Shrug your shoulders and fasten the belt.
- Suck in your belly and tighten the belt tighter than you would normally wear it. This ensures that the waist belt covers your iliac.
- Pull the quick-adjust tabs behind the waist belt and the belt should automatically register your hip angle.
- Release the tabs and the belt will lock into place, providing maximum comfort and load transfer.
- Make sure you can lift your leg to 90 degrees (see image below) and check for even pressure between your body and the top and bottom edge of the waist belt.
- Confirm equal settings on both sides using the scale. Manually adjust with the pack off if necessary.
See the image below to adjust your shoulder stabilizers to the proper angle (pack dependent):
These guidelines are designed to help you have the most comfortable fit with your new Gregory backpack. Fine-tuning these adjustments will take practice, and often will occur while on the trail. Don’t be afraid to experiment with adjustments while on a hike, as this is the best way to familiarize yourself with how to maximize your comfort level when on the trail.