I own and have used a Gregory Baltimore 65 for the last two years. I didn’t have the opportunity to go into a store for a fitting, but did follow the guidelines and measured my torso and fitted myself into a Large. Not fully happy after my first use, I ordered the medium shoulder straps before last years trip. I’m still not convinced it’s the right fit.
On me, the hipbelt sits across my hips, in line with my regular belt loops. The suspension system appears to fit perfectly down my back and the lower back portion falls directly into the small of my back. All sounds correct, but as my hiking day gets long, it feels as though the pack sinks lower on my hips, is riding and pressing on my lower back and seems to restrict the motion of my legs. What’s more, I’m constantly hiking the pack up my back to get it off my waist and above my hips.
In comparison, I bought my son an Osprey Atmos 65 for his birthday last year. I tried his on and the hipbelt sits just above my hip bones. The lower back portion doesn’t reach the small of my back. The should straps sit more naturally over my shoulders. The fitting guidelines for my torso are the same as the Gregory. Between the two, the Osprey is a much better fit for me.
Obviously, I prefer the fit of the Osprey. My question is whether the Gregory fit I described is a good fit? Is fit simply a personal preference? Maybe I have no clue what a good fit is supposed to be! Lol. How do you prefer you fit?
The waist belt should fit mostly on top of your hip bones, since men really don't have hips to keep it in place. What I am saying is, if the waist belt is 3 inches wide, 2 inches should be above your hip bones. Another problem might be the length of the waist belt. Make sure it snugs down tight, and still has room before it bottoms out. As for the shoulder straps, the back of the pack should extend above your shoulders, so the lifters will actually lift the pack. There should be 2 fingers width of space between your shoulder and the pack strap.
If you get all of that, and the pack still is uncomfortable to you, then it is time to try another pack. Fit, fit, fit, is not just for shoes.
FDR: “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”
I agree with zeke . When I get a new pack, I don't think about any of the measurements or details with regard to where the hipbelt sits, etc. I spend a couple of hours in REI loading up packs and walking around the store. This gives me all the information I need.
I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. -Soren Kierkegaard
“The waist belt should fit mostly on top of your hip bones“... if this is a guideline for a proper fit, the Baltoro Large is definitely too long for my 6’ frame. I really like the pack, the layout and features are great, but I don’t like the ride. The shoulder straps sit properly and lifters do provide a comfortable two finger width, but the torso is about three to four inches too long. Thankfully, I have another son that’s 6’2 and has the torso length better suited to this pack.
Just wanted to make sure I understood fit correctly.
amac Did you measure your torso? Know how to do that? Do you know the torso range for the pack? Do you know how to adjust the attachment point for the shoulder harness so it raises the bottom of the pack (if that feature is available on that pack)? The torso length should be adjustable, but mostly within a 2-3 inch range. If it is too large by more than that, you have the wrong size.
FDR: “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”
Another way to tell if the pack is too large, or can be adjusted to fit. The bottom edge of the lumbar pad, when your hipbelt is cinched should rest on your sacrum ~1" above your tailbone (move it up and down a bit to find the most comfortable spot). With the pack situated on your sacrum check where the load lifters attach to the pack. This should be at ear level, definitely below the tops. If above the tops the frame is too long.
If the frame size is correct, then adjust the shoulder harness such that the front attach point of the load lifts sits about 2" below the tops of your shoulders. This should get you dialed in pretty close. After that it is tweak the position along your sacrum, and try the shoulder harness +/- an adjustment point as you carry your load to fine tune the fit.
zeke, I am familiar with how to measure my torso. My measurement comes in at 21”. The Baltoro Large has a range from 20”-23”. By the numbers, this is the right pack. Unfortunately, the frame is not adjustable. I swapped the shoulder straps last year for mediums, but that didn’t change the fit. The packs frame measures 22.5” and 24” to the very bottom. The length is clearly too long, as the very bottom of the frame rides my upper butt.
I did reach out to Gregory. Not sure what they can do, but I plan to replace this pack. Here are the pics I sent them. Pictures are worth a thousand words!
I'd say that's way too low. It's a hip belt, not a waist belt. By the time you get it up on your iliac crest, it will probably be too tall at the shoulders. In fact, that may be why it seems right to have it down at your waist: it's too big for you.
Disclaimer: Yes, some people are more comfortable with the pack down at belt-loop level, but that's usually because they've got a man paunch in the way up at hip level. I do have one friend who's so slender at the hips that he can't keep his pack from sliding down. Thank goodness for shoulder straps or it would be at his knees.
I am 5'9" with a 19 1/2' torso and an Osprey medium in my Aether Pro 70 is perfect for me. Years ago I was fitted in a shop for an Osprey Argon 110 (mothership) with a Large. With all my winter swag on, it sorta worked but it hung like amac your Baltoro if I was down to pants and shirt. I swapped out the hipbelt for a medium when I lost 20 pounds and rehung the shoulder harness. Taking that harness to its lowest point made an enormous difference. My back does not like the Osprey Anti-gravity suspension packs but does work with less padded and closer to the bod Airscape system. My Osprey Kestrel 38 is a M/L and fits like a dream.
I have a Gregory Contour 60 (discontinued) Medium that is about worn out but has been a great fit. It is a almost UL pack with a very adjustable two piece hip belt system. I was a Gregory pack enthusiast always back to the 80's but Osprey wears better on me now.
one time ago "blue_sage" in previous forums. Bighorn Mountains, Powder River, and Big Horn River to the Yellowstone.
I’ve got a couple Kestrel’s. Great packs! I ventured to Gregory for something different. I wish this Baltoro fit me better because it’s a great pack. The pocket layout is very well thought out and works for me. The only down side to it are the small waist belt pockets - too small to fit a phone. Otherwise, it’s a great pack. I’m waiting to see what Gregory might do, but most likely, this pack will passed along to my other son. It seems to fit him perfectly. I’ll likely go back to Osprey.
This reminds me of shoes. I wear a size 10 in dress shoes, 10.5 in flip flops and 12 in running shoes. They aren’t all cut the same.
Sizing is a personal preference. Where you wear your hipbelt is also a personal preference. You have to find what works for you. BUT, the one thing we never seem to talk about when we discuss pack fitting is weight distribution in the pack. If you measured yourself properly and the loaded pack doesn't carry comfortably you may want to experiment with shifting the weight in your pack to better balance the load to your center of gravity.
4 out of 10,000,000 people surveyed do not like pie.
Sizing is a personal preference. Where you wear your hipbelt is also a personal preference.
Definitely true. Relative to the OP's specific issue with the Gregory...
I measure right on the boundary for medium and large per most manufacturer's torso length specs. But I have found the Medium packs consistently fit me better and ride more comfortably on my hip bones. I have no idea if that's a universal thing or a person-specific preference.
Also, FWIW, the hip belts don't look very tight in the pics. Most people I know like to cinch them down pretty tight, especially men, who, as mentioned, don't really have a natural shelf at the top of their hips the way women do. You seem pretty slim in the hips: I could easily see the pack riding too low if it's not quite tight around the top of your hip bones.