Sizing and Fitting

Osprey Pack Sizing and Fitting

Finding the pack that's right for you!

Pack Sizing and Body Measurements

Sizing your pack is the key to not only comfort but the pack’s performance. Your height and weight don’t relate to certain sizes, people of the same height many times have different torso, hip and shoulder measurements. Take the time to get it right. If you're buying from one of our online partners measure yourself carefully and don't hesitate to call customer service at 866-284-7830 if you have questions. Always remember that there is no better way to fit a pack than with a store professional at your local specialty retailer.


Torso Sizing

Your torso size is the most important measurement and is what determines your pack size. Many of our packs are available in multiple sizes to fit a range of torso lengths. To determine your torso measurement have a friend help or go to your local shop where the knowledgeable staff can use an Osprey Pack Sizer. If at home have your friend measure the length of your back along the spine.  Start at the iliac crest which is the top of your hipbones on the side of your body that act like a shelf. From this level on your spine, measure to the C7 vertebrae, the knobby bone at the base of your neck when you put your head down. Make sure to keep your back straight while your friend makes the measurement. This measurement determines your pack size, if you are in between two sizes we suggest you head to your local shop and try them both on.

Hipbelt Sizing

Our Xenith & Xena, Aether & Ariel and Variant series packs offer interchangeable hipbelts. To determine your hipbelt size measure around your hips, at your iliac crest not your waist. A properly fitted hipbelt rides centered over the hipbones and needs to be very snug; after all it will be carrying the bulk of the pack's weight. The padded portion should wrap well around your hips, leaving a gap of 3 to 6 inches between the tips of the both hip pads when securely tightened. Make sure to account for cold weather clothing for packs being used for winter activities. Use the chart below the torso size chart to determine the correct hipbelt size. Again your torso size is what determines your pack size not your hipbelt size.

Harness Sizing

Osprey Xenith & Xena, Aether & Ariel, Atmos and Aura and Kestrel packs offer interchangeable shoulder harnesses. Harness sizing usually corresponds to pack size, but your best bet is to try one on. A properly fit harness should terminate 2 to 3" beneath the armpit, webbing should not touch the side of your body below the padding. The padding on the harness should make full contact with the top of your shoulder and slightly down the back side.  You should not have any gaps near the top of your shoulder. Make sure to account for cold weather clothing for packs being used for winter activities.

Use the charts at the bottom of the page to determine your pack size based on your torso length.

Fitting and Wearing the Pack

Once you have the correct size pack, harness and hipbelt, it's time to correctly put it on and fine tune the fit. Put some weight in the pack (20 to 30 pounds of well distributed weight will do) and follow these steps below when putting your pack on to ensure optimal comfort and performance. In a good fit, there should be no pressure points and also no gaps between your body and the pack. Make sure to follow our guide on How to Pack Your Pack

Step 1- Hipbelt

Make sure all the pack’s compression straps are tightened and the shoulder harness, sternum straps, load lifter straps and hipbelt are loosened. We recommend you loosen these straps every time you take your pack off. Buckle and snug down the hipbelt with it centered over the hipbones. The padded portion should wrap well around the front of your hips.

Osprey ErgoPull- Nearly all of our hipbelts use our exclusive ErgoPull design. It creates mechanical advantage to provide extra leverage in cinching down the hipbelt. The ErgoPull design also draws tension along the top and bottom of the belt, not through the center, so it distributes pressure more evenly over the padding and relieves direct pressure on the hipbones.

Custom MoldingCustom Molding- Osprey's BioForm CM™ hipbelts on the Xenith & Xena and IsoFormCM™ hipbelts on the Aether & Ariel are heat moldable for a Custom Fit.

Please note: Our specialty retailers invest a great deal in Osprey CM ovens and CM certified fitters to heat mold your new hipbelt. If you purchase your pack online, feel free to visit your local CM Certified Dealer to get the hipbelt molded, but be prepared to pay a reasonable charge for the service.

Step 2- Shoulder Harness

Tighten the Shoulder Harness by pulling the ends of the shoulder straps. When tightening these straps, be sure to pull down and behind you.  Your arms should be pointing towards the back pockets of your pants as you pull. This brings your pack closer to your body, and carries a small portion of the weight. Your shoulder straps should completely wrap around your shoulders, with no gap between your shoulder blades and the shoulder harness. The connection points of your shoulder harness to the pack should begin about 2” below your C7 or the top of your shoulders. For packs with an adjustable torso harness break the hoop & loop connection to achieve this fit.

Step 3- Sternum Strap

Buckle the sternum strap and comfortably adjust the position to about 2 inches below your collarbones and lightly cinch it down. This pulls the shoulder straps comfortably away from your armpit and centers them over your shoulders. Do not pull so tight that is hinders your breathing.

Step 4- Load lifter Strap

Tighten the load lifter straps to draw the load solidly against your back, and taking pressure off the shoulder straps. The lift straps should come off your shoulders at a 45 to 60 degree angle in our larger volume packs that carry a greater weight. In smaller models these straps serve more as compression straps and ride flatter; they may even angle downwards. If a gap forms between the shoulder harness above your shoulders, you will need to tighten the lower shoulder straps more before tightening the load lifters

Step 5- Go have your adventures!

Enjoy all of the amazing experiences you will have with your Osprey pack, remember sometimes both you and the pack will need a break in period. Make sure to follow these steps when you are putting you pack on and make adjustments during long days.

Watch a detailed pack fitting video here!


Use the chart below to determine your pack sizes.

Spring 2014 Size Chart
Rev Fit

Women's Fit

For further sizing and fitting instructions also see the owner’s manual for your pack or call our expert customer service staff at 866-284-7830866-284-7830.