How to adjust your pack
Adjust the Harness
Loosen all the straps of the harness and make sure all four of the hip belt adjustment straps are roughly equal. Put the pack on and buckle the hip belt.
Do not tighten the shoulder straps until you have completed step 3. Position the hip belt so it is centered over your Iliac crests (the bony part of your pelvis that you can feel on the side of your body) and pull all 4 hip belt adjustment straps until all the slack is removed.
Then tighten the upper pair of hip belt adjustment straps until the belt is comfortably tight. Finally adjust the lower pair of straps. The belt should be comfortably tight.
Next adjust the shoulder straps to be snug but not tight. There should be no tension or weight on the tops of your shoulders.
Next attach the sternum strap and snug it up. Make sure there is still a loop on the non-adjustable side so that your breathing is not restricted. The sternum strap can be adjusted up or down on the shoulder straps until it is at a comfortable height.
On the shoulder straps there is a small square plastic buckle that attaches the load lifter to the shoulder strap. This buckle should be positioned so it sits in the divot formed where the collar bone meets the shoulder socket, just to the front of the chest. If it is above or below this position the load lifters will not function properly. Slide the buckle up or down until it is in the ideal position, making sure the webbing tail stays tight against the buckle. You may need to adjust the torso length on your pack to get this adjustment right.
Finally tighten the load lifter straps and tighten or loosen the hip belt stabilizer straps until the pack is positioned the way you like it.
Follow this same procedure with a loaded pack every time you put the pack on.
A few general rules of thumb:
- Never tighten the shoulder straps before fully adjusting the hip belt.
- By tightening the upper set of hip belt adjustment straps first, the hip belt will conform to the natural curves of the body and lock in around the top of the pelvis providing the pack a solid bony structure to support the load.
- The shoulder straps primary function is to keep the pack balanced so it doesn't swing wildly as you walk. There should be no weight or tension on the tops of your shoulders.
- The sternum strap is designed only to prevent the shoulder straps from sliding to the outside of your shoulders, so it should never be under a great deal of tension.
- The load lifters and hip belt stabilizer straps should be adjusted periodically throughout the day based on changes in terrain, comfort level, and changes in your load.
- The hip belt stabilizer straps attach the hip belt to the bottom corners of the pack bag and are "load lifters" for the bottom of the pack. They pull the bottom of the pack in to your body or let it move away from your body. A small adjustment on these straps will make a big difference in how the pack rides and how well the load lifter straps function.
Adjust the torso length
- First loosen all the load lifters, lower shoulder strap and hip belt stabilizer webbing straps as much as possible. Then, start at the bottom of the pack. Grab the bottom of the lumbar pad (curved sided pad in the center of the hip belt that is attached to the back pad) with one hand and the pack body with the other and pull the two away from each other releasing the Velcro flap holding the lumbar pad in place. This will expose the hip belt and bottom of the stay.
- Next loosen the 1" webbing strap that runs vertically up the center of the pack behind the back pad. Then slide your hand up wards towards the top of the pack behind the back pad until you reach the shoulder strap yoke. Release the Velcro on both sides of the yoke and move the shoulder straps up or down as desired. Sliding pieces of paper between the Velcro will prevent it from reattaching itself and will make moving the yoke easier. The Velcro strips mounted to the pack body are in 1" increments. Use the strips to align the yoke to your desired height, then push the yoke against the pack body to re-attach the Velcro. Make sure the yoke is centered side to side.
- Once the yoke is in the desired position, firmly press the back pad against the yoke to re-attach it to the yoke.
- If you removed the hip belt, re-insert the stay tips into the pockets on the back of the hip belt and re-attach the belt to the Velcro strip in the center of the pack body, making sure it is centered on the Velcro and aligned with the bottom of the pack.
- Adjust the 1" webbing strap so it is snug.
- Finally re-attach the lumbar pad to its Velcro closure flap and adjust the hip belt stabilizers, shoulder straps and load lifters to your desired positions.
Remove the stay
- To remove the V-stay from your Kalais or Aquilo pack, you have to remove the hip belt and shoulder strap yoke. Begin by unthreading the load lifters, lower shoulder strap and hip belt stabilizer webbing straps from the corresponding buckles.
- Start at the bottom of the pack. Grab the bottom of the lumbar pad (curved sided pad in the center of the hip belt that is attached to the back pad) with one hand and the pack body with the other and pull the two away from each other releasing the Velcro flap holding the lumbar pad in place. This will expose the hip belt and bottom of the stay.
- Unthread the 1" webbing strap that runs vertically up the center of the pack behind the back pad. (Note: When re-installing this strap be sure to double back the webbing through the buckle to maximize holding power.)
- Release the Velcro strip holding the hip belt to the pack body and slide the belt down ward and off the stray tips.
- Slide your hand upwards towards the top of the pack behind the back pad until you reach the shoulder strap yoke. Release the Velcro on both sides of the yoke, grab the stay and yoke and pull the whole assembly down and out of the pack.
- The stay runs through a set of pockets on the yoke. When re-installing the stay/yoke assembly, make sure the stay goes through the yoke pockets and is fully inserted into the pockets on the back of the hip belt. Failure to do this will cause damage to the pack and will prevent the suspension system from working properly.
- To re-install the stay/yoke assembly, reverse the above instructions, and adjust the torso length to the desired size as described above.