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Everything You Need to Know About Backpack Straps

When you’re packing your bag for hiking, camping, and backpacking, you need backpack straps that safely secure your gear. 

In this post, we’re going to have a look at backpack straps, gear ties, and compression straps for backpacks and break down why you need them, and how you can efficiently carry your gear!

What are all the straps on the outside of a backpack for?

A lot of the straps on the outside of a backpack are for attaching and carrying gear that is too bulky to fit inside your pack. There is a great article here that goes into more detail.

The rest of the straps are essential for adjusting the pack to make sure it fits well for greater comfort. Below are some of the more common straps you will find on a more technical backpack.  

Backpac Anatomy

Backpac Anatomy

  1. Compression straps
  2. Stash pocket lash straps
  3. Ice Axe Loop 
  4. Base Compression/Carry straps
  5. Lower Compression straps
  6. Shoulder strap Adjustment
  7. Waist Belt strap
  8. Chest Strap
  9. Load Distribution strap
  10. Daisy Chains

Credit: Tam McTavish

What items can I attach to the outside of a backpack?

On most technical backpacks you will also see lots of loops stitched at various places around the outside of your backpack. These loops can be used in conjunction with carabiners, accessory straps or bungees to attach foam sleeping pads, tents, rope, snowshoes, fishing rods, paddles or even ice axes! 

Be sure to load the bag evenly and keep the weight as low as possible so that the bag doesn't sway too much or tip you over.

Fully Loaded Backpack with Straps

Quick Tip - If you don't have the right straps on your pack, our WRAPTIE™ 90's have been designed to fasten to any pack increasing your options.   

How can I secure my load with compression straps for backpacks?

Compression straps come in many different shapes and sizes but all of them are designed to compact your bag, bringing the load closer to the pack frame. This ensures better weight transfer and balance, leading to more comfort.

The best ones have quick-release buckles, straps long enough to secure something even when your pack is full, straps that do not cross the side water-bottle pocket, and straps with heavy-duty stitching.

Quick Tip - For really small loads, compress the straps BEFORE filling the pack. Otherwise, your goods will collect on the bottom when your goal is to distribute them evenly up and down your back.

If you're packing a full load, lash gear to the outside after the pack is full so you don't compress the interior volume. Always crank the strap with an even motion; don't jerk, overtighten, or lift the pack by its compression straps.

I Need More Straps!

If you run short of straps or loops, one solution is to use a length of bungee cord with a cord-locks to help keep them tight. Problem is that these can be fiddly to use and all too often break when you need them the most! 

 

 

 

 

Backpack Gear Tie

Or maybe try a Backpack Accessory Gear Ties? These straps are stronger but don't offer much adjustment and tend to come loose.

 

 

Your best bet option though is to use a WRAPTIE™ Gear Tie, which was developed for exactly this application.  

Why not create a custom rigging to backpack loops that will securely hold extra items using the WRAPTIE™ 90 or 130cm straps? Simply attach the fast-grab end to your backpack’s loops and secure your items with the velcro straps. You can still clip them on for maximum security.

WRAPTIE™ Gear Ties are elasticated and strong, with no hooks to rip your gear or break when the going gets tough. The only limitation is your imagination. 

The Ultimate Backpack Strap Solution

The WRAPTIE™ 90 and 130 twin packs are great for securing backpacks for any kind of trip. (And can be used for so much more! They are super compact and lightweight and can roll away and fit easily in your back pocket or hang on your pack when not being used.  The WRAPTIE™ tie-down strap includes a unique fastening system which adjusts to any size securely and much faster than anything else on the market.  


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