The Hip Belt consists of two substantially padded wings either side of the Lumbar Padding at the base of the backpack. This padding on all White Mountain backpacks is made of two different foam densities, with the softer foam (low density foam) on the inside against the body and the more rigid foam (high density foam) on the outside.
With the backpack on, adjust the Shoulder Straps until the backpack fits snugly into the lower back, the Internal Staves follow the contour of the back and the pull position of the Upper Load Stabiliser Straps are in the correct position. Then buckle the Hip Belt and position the Hip Belt by pressing down with your hands until the belt settles in the right spot. Tighten the Hip Belt, connect the Sternum Strap, and adjust the Shoulder Straps and the two Lower Load Stabiliser Straps
for optimum comfort.
When correctly positioned on the individual, the Hip Belt would be across or just below the hipbone or Iliac Crest as illustrated in this diagram by the red line.
An important point to remember when positioning the Hip Belt is to place the buckle level with, or below the position where you would normally place a trouser belt. When correctly positioned the Hip Belt would appear to slightly angle down from the backpack to the front of your body.
With the Hip Belt in the correct position, secure the Dual Adjustable Buckle and pull the Hip Belt snug. The White Mountain Hip Belt buckle is dual adjustable to allow ease of buckle repositioning for continued comfort on long treks.
If after positioning the Hip Belt you find the backpack is riding up, even under weight, you simply need to loosen the Shoulder Straps to lower the position of the Hip Belt and the backpack by approximately 2.5 cm or 1 inch.
Constructing and designing backpacks to suit both women and men is of prime importance for manufacturers. Some manufacturers have created a separate range of women’s backpacks while others like White Mountain, have created canted Hip Belt designs that adjust to different angles depending on a woman’s hip size and figure. If you have a narrow waist and larger hips, the Hip Belt adjusts to provide an optimum angle of comfort and maximum body contact. This is an important consideration,
since the hips and lower back typically support 80% of the backpack weight. White Mountain Backpacks™ incorporates a variable cant in the SSS and SHS Harness System by adding approximately 50 mm 2” of extra material to the beginning of each Hip Belt wing. It is Important to have the Lower Load Stabiliser Straps loose before tightening the Hip Belt, or else the Hip Belt will not mould and wrap completely around the hips. Remember, a Hip Belt is not a waist belt; a waist belt
only promotes backpack stability, whereas a Hip Belt in conjunction with the Lower Load Stabiliser Straps, supports most of the backpack weight.
Step 4 - Lower Load Stabiliser Straps