As a teenager we use to think hanging bag on one side will look cool and one strap can handle all the weight. But it is not so because after a while your shoulder will start aching. And not only padded strap belts are important but hip belts are must because it transfers all the weight of the shoulders onto your hips so that you can use your legs to carry most of the weight.
Sometimes people wear very short hip belts which do not properly cover the front and back of their hip bones. If your hip belt is too short then you will feel all your shoulder weight is transferred to your hips but it will not feel comfortable and the pack will not move with you as well as you will feel like your pack is pulling you back a bit because all the weight of the pack will be concentrated on the back of your hip bones, not all way around equally.
How to add a hip belt to your backpack?
The easiest way to add a hip belt to your backpack:-
By sewing webbing loops:-
You can add a hip belt to your backpack just by sewing one.
Materials required:-Needle, thread, webbing loop, and scissors.
- Buy an adjustable webbing loop from your nearest market same as the color of your bag.
- Insert the thread inside the needle and start sewing. Sew back and through.
- Sew on both corners of the bag where the shoulder straps connect the bottom side of the backpack.
- If you sew loops that open vertically then you can attach/detach hip belt hardware.
This is the only easiest way to add a hip belt to your backpack.
Why hip belt is important for a backpack?
A good hip belt is a requirement for good travel!
- A normal human packs at least 22 pounds i.e. 10 kg in your pack for a four t five days trip. And carrying so much weight on your back can hurt your shoulders.
- Large hiking packs are heavy. They have to carry campaign equipment and food, not only clothes. Outdoor companies usually make heavy bags for hiking purposes which can eliminate heavyweight and can make it feel light so that we can carry it for miles.
- Hip belts will provide comfort to your shoulders and will transfer all the heavyweight on the hips and let your strong leg muscle do the weight lifting.
- A hip belt can carry 60% to 70% of your pack’s weight. According to a study, it is said that if your bag can hold 22 pounds of weight, then a hip belt could take 17.6 pounds of weight off your shoulders.
All you have to do is buckle your hip belt.
How to choose a perfect hip belt?
If you don’t want to add your hip belt you can purchase an attached one.
While shopping for a backpack do look closely at your hip belt because some bags have hip belts but the belt is only a piece of webbing.
Webbing straps are only used for stability, not carrying weight. These hip belts do not transfer your shoulder weight to your hips. And they only hold your bag against your body.
A backpack should always have padded straps, not only padded hip belts but padded shoulder straps and back panel. If the straps are not padded it won’t do anything and will not make you feel comfortable and light-weighted.
Make sure to choose a wide strap hip belt because it will help distribute your bag’s weight over a wider area. Remember a big hip belt will be good but not a small one.
A round-off, your hip belt should have:-
- Select high-quality buckles and webbing
- Has padded straps for comfort
- Has a pocket for storage
- 2″ wide or larger
Always buy a backpack with an attachable hip belt. Most of the backpack companies give a separate hip belt so that their prices of the bags look less. Don’t get trapped in their marketing strategy.
How to adjust a hip belt?
Your good hip belt won’t do anything if your bag will not fit you properly. And just buckling all the straps will not be enough.
You should learn how to properly choose a backpack that fits you.
For that, you have to know how to measure your torso length.
So excitingly I have a complete guide on how to measure length for a backpack as follows:-
How to place your hip belt?
while buckling a hip belt your hips and legs are doing the weight lifting work and not your waist. So do not tie it on your waist.
The hip belt should be buckled on the top of your hip bones. The hip belt should be roughly on your belly bottom.
Now you can start fixing your hip belt.
If you don’t feel comfortable and lightweight after carrying your pack then you are not tying or have the perfect hip belt. Because after tying the hip belt it will feel like heaven. I am seriously not kidding, you can ask someone who has used a hip belt properly.
Do try this technique of adding a hip belt to your regular pack and you will love the comfort.
You know how important it is to have a hip belt on your bag to make traveling easy and I would recommend you to always select a backpack with a hip belt.