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Q&A

How can I keep my backpack from resting directly against my back?

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I have a backpack that I often wear on my (outdoor) walks to and from work each day. The walk is 30 minutes one-way and mostly in an open field/park area, so in the afternoon it's usually warm enough that a great swath of my back gets incredibly sweaty from the backpack resting directly against my back.

Is there some accessory or relatively simple modification/method to keep the pack from resting directly against one's back?

I've thought that something simple like a small, partially padded rack attached to me or the pack such that the bottom of the pack is pushed out and away from my back would suffice, as long as my pack was stiff enough up and down the back-facing wall.

I've tried to do some online research into what such a thing might be called, but the closest thing I could find was an unnamed and integrated part of some fancy new backpack that I don't want to have to buy.

Needless to say, if I found a nice solution for this I'd use it each and every time I go hiking, too.

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/q/4625. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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8 answers

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How about putting a mesh back support (this thing you see on some office chairs) and maybe modify it to fit better with your back? I've been asking myself how to modify my backpacks and this seems like somewhere to start from?

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/16309. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Maybe something like this could help: http://www.ventragear.com/shop/mainframe

enter image description here

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However, I have not test that, so I cannot really tell if is it good or not.

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/19629. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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It's been a while since I posted this question, but I found an interesting alternative answer some time ago:

Loosen your shoulder-straps such that the bottom edge of your backpack rests against your lower back (or butt in some cases I suppose) and the rest of the pack leans away from the rest of your back.

Based on very limited fiddling around I did with this, it seems to work best when the back-facing wall of your pack is relatively stiff (keeps the pack up, out, and away) and also when your shoulder straps have a chest strap link (puts some of this awkward load on your chest rather than your shoulders).

I might emphasize that I only do this for my short half-hour commute-hike. For real hiking, I'd definitely go with another answer.

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/6033. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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I think you won't be able to do much with your existing rucksack, but there are many out there specifically designed to avoid the sweaty back.

Deuter make a range of rucksacks with their Airstripes system:

enter image description here

This holds the rucksack away from your back as much as possible and allows air to flow over your back to evaporate sweat. Various other manufacturers do the same, but Deuter had the best pic I could find to describe it.

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This is what backpacks like the Osprey Atmos were designed for. They're slightly elevated/separated from the users back so that ventilation can improve. However, these sorts of backpacks (not just the Atmos) aren't designed to carry heavier loads that conform to the users back. This is because the further the pack is from your back, the more difficult it will be to carry. So an Atmos with 25 pounds of gear feels heavier than a backpack that sticks to your back carrying the exact same items and weight.

If you're done with work in the afternoon and you don't have to head back or be somewhere else where nice attire is required, you should wear a synthetic shirt such as a running shirt or lightweight merino wool shirt. Both these fabrics will help move the moisture away and you won't be as warm since you'll only have one layer.

If that still doesn't satisfy your thirst and you really want to save money, take some cardboard, roll it up. and tape it to the back of your bag with some strong duct tape. Do this for the middle, bottom, and top and you've got a DIY ventilation system. I guarantee it wont last long nor be very comfortable.

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/4628. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Back before frameless and internal frame backpacks, there was a time when external frame backpacks were all the rage. They are heavy, sometimes uncomfortable, and can break in spectacularly difficult ways to repair, but provide much better ventilation. You can still buy external frame backpacks (e.g., the Kelty Sanitas is a 34 liter external frame pack). You can also buy just the frame. Potentially better would be to go with an ALICE frame if you can find one or make your own https://lifehacker.com/5892205/make-an-external-backpack-frame-with-3-of-pvc

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/19616. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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I was reading you post and thought of something. And its free. Works for small light backpack.

You have to put something semi rigid/flexible (like cardboard) at the inside back panel of your bag. Cardboard should do. You attach the waist straps through the top handle. It form like a triangle. You tighten it until the back panel bends a little.

Unless you have a lot of weight thr bend of the back panel should let some air circulate as you back touches the waist straps.

Just detach the waist straps if not confortable. https://goo.gl/photos/VJ4tDZw2LmpyAUR27

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/8598. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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I found a solution! I have a Frost River Arrowhead Trail (roll top) canvas backpack that was posing the same sweaty problem when taking it on hikes. You can find several makers of beaded (wooden) motorcycle seat cushions online. They’re the perfect size and some come with 4 small bungee chords at the corners. This worked superbly for my backpack and allows air to flow between the Pack and Your back. The only down side - only comes in black.enter image description here

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/19615. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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