Rucksack Back Sizes

“One size does not fit all”

At Aiguille we believe that one back length of rucksack cannot possibly fit everybody. We tend to use height as a start point for back length as people’s interpretation of points of reference on the back does tend to be very variable. As a guide:

Lady Short: 5’ 2”(157cm) – 5’ 6” (168cm) (not shown as an option on website – please contact us)

Lady Standard: 5’ 6” (168cm) – 5’ 10” (178cm)

Short: 5’ 4” (163cm) – 5’ 8” (173cm)

Standard: 5’ 8” (173cm) – 6’ (183cm)

Long: 6’ (183cm) – 6’4” (193cm)

This assumes that you are in proportion, legs to back. Most people would already be aware of any issues with this due to problems with getting clothing to fit. If you are not, or are unsure, please give us a call.

What difference does the waist belt make?

Having a padded hip belt or a non-padded waist belt will affect the ‘measured’ length of the rucksack back so don’t just try measuring a rucksack back, you need to consider where the belt is on your body. The buckle that fastens the belt will still be in the same place whether it is a padded hip belt or a non-padded waist belt. It is, therefore, the position of the centre of this buckle in relation to the shoulder straps that is the critical distance. The wider the padding on a hip belt the more of the sack that will be below this centre of the waist buckle. Therefore, it follows and it is unavoidable on any sacks not just ours that on a rucksack such as our 65L Verte which has a large padded hip belt the sack will sit lower on the body than it would on say a 33L Cirrus which as a 50mm waist belt. It also follows that we would expect a heavier load to be carried in the 65L sack than in the 33L sack so clearance for harnesses and getting to gear loops is very unlikely to be a consideration on a 65L rucksack.

A Standard back length rucksack that fits neither person properly.

Adjustable back length sacks

This would on the face of it appear to offer the solution but just stop and think about it for a moment. At Aiguille our current ‘extremes’ are a 90L sack made for a lady who was 147cm tall and a small hill-walking sack for someone 208cm tall. Clearly the same sack could not be adjusted to suit these extremes!

In our opinion, adjustable back lengths have their place on bigger sacks and will allow you to ‘tweak’ the fit to suit your end use. For example, they will accommodate the difference between a trip in August to one in January; the clothing worn will differ and therefore the bulk will affect your back length. However, you still have to have the correct back length to start with. To that end, we still make three back lengths as standard on our adjustable back length sacks to suit individuals.

So to summarise

If you are in proportion for your height use the guide above. If you fall outside these guidelines and are particularly short or tall, an example is shown above, or if you have a very short back or very long legs for your height, then please give us call. Both of the people shown in the image would need bespoke back lengths, one is 6’7″ (200cm) and the other is 5`1″ (155cm).