official website

Backpack Info

Tatonka Backpack Infos

How to adjust the Tatonka ladder system

The carrying systems of Tatonka’s trekking and touring backpacks all have an adjustable ladder system that allows you to adjust the rucksack individually to suit the length of your back. Use the ladder slats and Velcro flap to determine the adjustment of the carrying system for the length of your back. Thread into the top for a long back, to the bottom for a short back, and the middle for the standard back length.

Find the correct position for the length of your back (1). Thread the bottom and top Velcro flaps two ladder slats apart (2). Now attach the two flaps on the middle section, the top one first and then the bottom one (3). Put the loaded rucksack on your back. Close the hip strap first and tighten it, then the shoulder straps (5). Check that the rucksack is on properly – the hip strap should be centred over the hip bones, the contact point of the shoulder straps on the seventh neck vertebra. If not, then thread the shoulder straps higher up or further down on the ladder (5)

Adjusting the Tatonka trekking and touring backpacks

Why do I have to adjust my trekking rucksack?

Trekking and touring backpacks that are to carry relatively high weights should be positioned correctly in order for part of the load to be transferred to the pelvic area. In other words, the hip flaps should ideally be positioned centrally over the hip bones. That is why the carrying system should be set to the length of the individual wearer’s back. The carrying systems of Tatonka’s trekking and touring backpacks all have an adjustable ladder system that allows you to pre-adjust the rucksack individually to suit the length of your back. If you have a short back, thread the system into the bottom of the ladder, and to the top if it is longer. There are two further positions in between these two.

Can I estimate the length of my back from my height?

No, that won’t work because short people can have a short or long trunk, just as tall people can have a long or short one. As a general rule, though, short people will tend to have a shorter back than tall people. It is best if you buy your trekking or touring rucksack from a specialist retailer, because they will able to advise you with regard to the proper fit and will set the rucksack for you. Once the backpack has been set to the length of your back, you won’t have to change it again.

What do I do if I want to buy my trekking backpack online?

There are a few general guidelines:

How do I set it?

  1. Load your trekking backpack, ideally realistically, and with at least 5 kg. You can only decide if the rucksack is in the right position, or set it properly, if it is loaded.
  2. Loosen the shoulder straps. Put the rucksack on with loosened shoulder straps and position the hip strap centrally over your hip bones. Buckle up the hip strap and tighten it, pulling the ends of the strap towards you navel.
  3. Now tighten the shoulder straps, but not so far that they restrict the movement of your arms.
  4. The contact point of the shoulder straps – the point where they move away from the packsack – should only be about halfway up the seventh neck vertebra. This is the little bump that protrudes slightly at the bottom of the neck.
  5. If the shoulder straps are higher up the neck, thread them one or two slats lower on the ladder system. If the shoulder straps are lower, then thread them higher up the ladder system. Follow the instructions provided here (Rucksack tips). Then repeat steps 2-4.
  6. When the (tightened) shoulder straps are at the right level, tighten the load control straps positioned over the shoulders. These relieve the load on the shoulder straps, and you can control the load better when making sideways movements. The ideal contact point of the load control straps is at the level of the collarbones, while the straps themselves should be positioned at an angle of between 30 and 50 degrees to the back and up over the shoulders.

Good to know

The same method is always used to adjust the Tatonka backpack to the length of the wearer’s back. The bison print on the ladder is used for comparison as it is always printed at the same height for the various carrying systems and capacities. The womens’ backpacks have shorter backs, which means the bison print is correspondingly lower.

How to ideally adjust your rucksack

Fair & Transparent - Visit the Tatonka Open Factory Website