How to measure your back length to find the perfect pack

Rucksack back length

by Trail magazine |

Knowing your back length lets you choose the right rucksack to fit your body. Great fit means great comfort, and great comfort means a great experience.

Whether you’re trekking the Himalayas or spending the day fell walking in the Lake District, you need a backpack that moves with you across the terrain. The best way to do that is to choose a pack with a good fit for your body, and that specifically fits your back.

Back length is the core of a well-fitting pack, so it’s important to know how long your back is before finding a pack to fit it. It’s a bit like knowing your shoe size before buying a new pair of boots.

Many Lowe Alpine packs – specifically the bigger and more technical rucksacks – are available in different or adjustable back lengths. Contrary to popular belief, it is your torso length and not your height that is key to finding a well-fitted pack. Tall people don’t necessarily have long back lengths, just as shorter people may have a long back length.

How to measure your back length?

Your back length can be found by measuring from your C7 vertebra (the bony protrusion at the back of your neck, where your neck meets your shoulders) to your iliac crest (level with the top of your hip bones).

Once you have it, you can check this against the back length of the packs you are looking at to find a good fit. Normally, the amount of inches or centimetres will directly correspond with the numbers on the back system, or be outlined on the hangtag attached to the product.

Tips for measuring your back length

  • You will need a tape measure and a friend to help you out.

  • Place your hands on your hips with your thumbs facing back and tilt your head forwards towards your chest.

  • Ask your helper to measure from the bony protrusion at the back of your neck, straight down your spine to where your thumbs point towards your spine when your hands sit on your hips.

  • This measurement will give you an idea of which back length to choose and a great starting point for fitting your rucksack.

Now CLICK HERE to choose your perfect backpack from the Lowe Alpine range

Competition Time!

Win a Lowe Alpine bundle worth over £300!

Live for the Outdoors and Lowe Alpine have teamed up to give you the chance to win a bundle of backpacks worth £300. The bundle includes:

Airzone Active 22L

Airzone Trail 30L

Airzone Trek ND43:50/45:55L

Competition closes 23:59pm November 3rd 2022, full terms and conditions can be found below. Have fun entering!

Terms and conditions

The prize draw closes at 23:59 on 3rd October 2022.

This competition is open to UK residents aged 18 and over.

There is 1 prize consisting of Airzone Active 22L £70, Airzone Trail 30L £80 and Airzone Trek ND43:50/45:55L £150.

The winner will be drawn at random from all valid entries after the closing date and notified by email, and has 14 days to respond before an alternative winner is chosen.

This prize may be offered in a limited number of other promotions.

No purchase is necessary. To enter for free visit

Full terms and conditions can be found at

The prize is provided by Lowe Alpine. We are not responsible for any aspect of the prize, including unsatisfactory quality or late delivery or a prize winner being unable to take up any aspect, or the entirety of the prize due to their own circumstances or restrictions. Prizes are non-transferable, non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered.

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