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White Mountain Backpacks™
619 Plenty Road, Preston,
Melbourne VIC 3072 Australia
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Backpack Construction

Upper Load Stabiliser Straps

What are the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps?

On Internal Frame Backpacks, the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps are adjustable straps that run from the Shoulder Strap at the top of shoulder, to an attachment point on the backpack, at the top of the Internal Staves. These Upper Load Stabiliser Straps allow you to adjust the distance between your back and your backpack. Pull these two Upper Load Stabiliser Straps simultaneously, to draw the backpack close to the back.

What is the purpose of correctly positioning the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps?

It is critical that the exit point, or pull position of the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps from the Shoulder Straps to the top of the backpack be correctly positioned. The optimum exit position of the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps from the shoulder is below the clavicle, 25 mm to 50 mm lower than the top of the shoulder. This ensures the pressure or pull of the backpack is placed equally on the shoulders and the chest. White Mountain™ provide a sliding buckle on the Upper Load Stabiliser Strap above the Shoulder Strap D-Ring for finite positioning, but in our opinion, it is better to use a backpack of the correct size and set the Torso Length accurately rather than using this adjustment. This sliding buckle can, however, be moved as much as 25 mm to optimize the position of pull from the Shoulder Straps and the shoulder.

After setting the Torso Length, and correctly positioning the exit point of the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps, you should find the Hip Belt correctly positioned across or just below or over the Iliac Crest. If this is not the case, you will need to adjust the Ladder Harness, Sliding Yoke Harness, or Independent Sliding Harness to increase or decrease the Torso Length to achieve correct positioning of the exit point of the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps and the Hip Belt. If the pull position of the Upper load Stabiliser Straps is high on top of the shoulder, you will need to increase the Torso Length adjustment. Conversely, if the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps are low on the shoulder, you will need to decrease the Torso Length adjustment.

How do you verify correct positioning of the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps?

After setting the Torso Length as measured and positioning the exit point of the Upper Load Stabilizer Straps correctly on the shoulder, you should find the Hip Belt positioned correctly across the Iliac Crest. The curve of the Harness Shoulder Straps are position correctly when these are at the centre of chest. If this is not the case you will need to adjust the Ladder Harness, Sliding Yoke Harness, or Independent Sliding Harness to increase or decrease the Torso Length, to achieve correct positioning of the Harness Shoulder Straps and exit point of the Upper Load Stabilizer Straps. If the pull position of the Upper load Stabilizer Straps is high on the shoulder, you will need to increase the Torso Length adjustment. Conversely, if the Upper Load Stabilizer Straps are low on the shoulder, you will need to decrease the Torso Length adjustment.

How do you use the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps?

Pulling the two Upper Load Stabiliser Straps simultaneously draws the backpack closer to the back with the Internal Staves and backpack sitting squarely on the shoulders. This will place an even pressure on the shoulders through the Shoulder Straps. On uphill hauls where it’s advantageous to have the weight close to your back, tighten these straps to pull the top of the backpack close to your body. Conversely, loosen the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps on downhill treks to adjust the centre of gravity. In hotter weather, loosening these straps will provide ventilation between the back and the backpack.

What is the correct exit angle for the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps from the shoulder?

Do not over tension the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps. Over tensioning and having these straps incorrectly pull at more than 45º from the exit point on the Harness Shoulder Straps to the anchor point on the backpack, lifts the Shoulder Straps, renders the Sternum Strap ineffective and places excessive unnecessary stress on the chest. For an oversized backpack and a smaller Torso Length, reduce the angle of pull by positioning the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps to pull from lower on the backpack. To aid repositioning of the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps, all White Mountain™ backpacks provide alternative anchoring positions, in the form of Ladder Lock Buckles, or Webbing Loops on the backpack harness. These secondary ladder lock buckles or webbing buckle loops are located above the Internal Stave, approximately 5 cm below the original anchor position, at the top of the Internal Stave.

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