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Bag Advice

T0NNE
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5 years 1 month ago
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10/15/2013 - 12:20pm
Bag Advice

I would love any advice about how to carry bags in order to do the least damage to the spine. I read a previous forum post which commented on shoulder bags and messenger bags, and said "When possible it's good to distribute your bags evenly, but that isn't always possible."

In order to try to achieve the best possible situation, and distribute bags evenly, would you recommend a certain type of backpack / rucksack or recommend certain bag features?

I wonder what backpack features are most beneficial to the spine when carrying a heavy load such as a laptop?  Some features I have read about include: wide shoulder straps, hip straps to keep the weight closer to the hips, and metal (internal and external) frames to help with vertical load transfer to the hips.

Is it better for the load's force to be directed toward the hips or is it better to have a backpack that only uses shoulder straps?

 

 

Sophie Rubin
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05/03/2016 - 11:39am

It's absolutely better to have the force directed toward the hips, especially for women! We don't carry babies on our shoulders, we carry them over our hips, because the pelvis is enormous and the muscle structure is very robust. 

If you carry the load on your shoulders, the weight is bearing down on the entire length of the spine. If you have a strong back, carrying a shoulder-weighted pack for a while won't hurt you. However, even with decent muscle tone, it seems like a wiser decision to distribute the weight at the base of the heap to protect your spine and put the weight low down where its more easily received. 

When carrying bags in your hands, the important thing is to roll your shoulders back, and use the large muscles in your arms to support the weight of the bags. You don't want the weight pulling on your shoulder sockets, that's what biceps are for! 

Denean
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09/26/2017 - 8:11am

Wondering your thoughts on BackTPack (https://www.backtpack.com) especially version 4 with the hip loading belt. The lady who designed it is a physical therapist.  Although she references "S" spine posture ideas, the design of the bag still looks interesting for weight distribution.

 

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