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

Step 2 - Contour the Internal Staves

Large Stave Length to Medium Torso Length

After measuring the Torso length and determining the correct size of backpack required, contouring the Internal Staves is the second step in fitting a backpack.

White Mountain™ strongly recommend removing the Internal Staves from all Internal Frame Backpacks and contouring these Internal Staves to the individual back. If the Internal Staves are not removable, then it will be necessary to bend the entire backpack to match the individual back curvature.

Contouring the Internal Staves correctly is essential for correct backpack fit and functionality. This enables the Internal Staves to simulate the flex action of the spine, and when required allows an effective transfer of approximately 80% of the weight to the lower back. The base of the backpack should not protrude outside or away from the body and sit squarely on the lower back. With the Internal Staves carefully contoured to the back, the backpack in the optimum position and provided the backpack is loaded correctly, the distribution of weight through the Internal Staves will ensure maximum comfort.

Contour Staves L-M 

Adjusting the Large Internal Stave Length to a Medium Torso Length

Using the 65cm Internal Stave as an example, this process will create the equivalent of a 60cm Internal Stave with a Medium Torso length of 46cm.

The Internal Staves are adjustable to one size shorter by bending the top 5 cm of the Internal Stave away from the back at approximately 60º from the vertical. This is to allow head movement, and prevent the backpack pushing the head uncomfortably forward of the normal upright position. This creates a smaller Internal Stave length which is then contoured to the Medium Torso length. Finally, position the Upper Load Stabiliser Strap 5 cm lower on the backpack using the ‘Upper Load Stabiliser Strap - Lower Adjustment Buckle’ provided.

Steps for Contouring the Internal Staves -

  1. First, remove the Internal Staves from the backpack.
  2. Bend the top the Internal Stave back at approximately 30º from the vertical.
  3. Commence contouring at the Lumbar Lordosis the deepest part of the back, noting that the lower length of the Internal Stave below the Lumbar Lordosis is 18cm This is the lower length and first bend position in the Internal Stave. The easiest way to know where to begin bending the Internal Stave is to mark the Internal Stave at 18cm, then position this mark in the deepest part of the back.
  4. The Internal Stave is then contoured to match the back curvature with the 18cm mark in the deepest part of the back. The contour of the Internal Stave follows the curve of the back at either side of the spine to the final position at the top of the shoulder.
  5. Check that the back curvature you are fitting is symmetrical, as you may need to bend each Internal Stave a little differently. Generally, the back will be symmetrical and you can bend the second Internal Stave to the match the first Internal Stave you have contoured.
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