Photo cred: Daryl Ferreras via Facebook. Thanks for the snowcapped epicness, Daryl!
Each Load is Unique
You’ve been on the road a while. Long enough to develop a freakish ‘gear awareness’. Trapped on a night bus with your bag crammed under the seat in front of you? You can still deftly slip your headphones and powerbank out of two different pockets without even looking down. You know your gear, you’re an expert at packing (you’ve even mastered OVERpacking) and you’ve perfected your loadout.
Still, you’re bound to come across a sparkling new souvenir or blow out a pair of flipflops from time to time. That’s just how it goes… new treasures get found, older items wear out, get lost or end up left behind. All across the world there’s a trail of twice-used umbrellas in your wake (Not sure why we keep buying those stupid umbrellas either… at least the rain cover comes attached to the bag!).
No matter how long you’ve been at it, each load is unique. Over the short haul, you can just grab your bag and go, but when you’re planning to carry your Minaal a long way, adjusting the fit to match the freshly packed load inside can make a huge difference in how heavy it feels.
Get the Fit.
Here’s how to fit and carry your bag, so that bringing everything you need doesn’t feel like lugging everything you own.
We like to fly sleek and snag free so let’s assume we’re starting in duffel mode with the backpack straps zipped away.
Lay your Minaal Carry-on scoop-side down, at a comfortable height on a chair or bed – no sense throwing out your back before you hit the trail,right? Roll the cover up to reveal the backpack straps and tuck it into the space at the top. It should hold itself there.
Next, open the clips on the stabilizer straps found near the top of the shoulder pads. To open them, just press down on the top of the clip.Slide them through the loops on the main bag, and snap them shut. Tightening the stabilizer straps will help draw the load closer to your back and hold it steady when you’re on the move. One of the most important factors in ensuring a comfortable carry is to keep the load from bouncing around on your back.
Before you hoist your Minaal onto your shoulders, be sure the chest strap isn’t buckled, and either stow or unclasp the hip belt.
PRO TIP: when you stow the hip belt, leave a little webbing at the edge so it’s easy to grab next time you need it.
Next up, loosen all the straps so you can get the bag on comfortably.
Once the bag’s on your back, adjust the shoulder pads so they’re in the right position – neither too close to your neck so as to cause strain,nor slipping off of your shoulders. Tighten the stabilizer straps. The weight will shift so you’re carrying it ‘over’ your body rather than letting it dangle and drag you backward.
Play with the lower shoulder strap adjustment until it feels just right. By now you should feel ‘at one‘ with your pack. Of course, you can also use the hip stabilizer belt, which can be tightened so the load moves less when you’re on the go.
Last, move the chest strap into position. Slide it up or down to a comfortable point over your sternum and tighten, or clip it away if you won’t be needing it.
See you on the road.
Now that you’re packed up and properly fitted, there’s only one thing left to do:
Hit the road.
Report back and let us know what worked, what didn’t and how you get the perfect fit.
See you out there.
Photo cred: Gabriel Lopez. Follow his adventures at @gab3lopez on Instagram. Thanks, Gabriel!