Step 3 - Hip Belt
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™ 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