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Backpack leans to side

I'm generally happy with my REI Traverse 70 backpack, except that it leans to one side when loaded, no matter how much I try to balance the load. It's always the same side. Adjusting the shoulder straps has no effect. It seems there's a lot of up-down play between the hip belt and the central velcro attachment point to the pack.

Other than jerry-rigging some stabilizer straps between the belt and the top corners of the pack, does anyone have suggestions on better solutions? Or something I might be doing wrong? My sore back will thank you!

4 Replies

@booneycrasher Interesting... I don't have any quick fix suggestions. Fitting a backpack can be tricky. Do you happen to live near an REI where an expert can try to work their magic?

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I don't live that close to an REI, but will keep that option open. In the meantime, I'll keep fiddling with the load--presumably if the weight is balanced perfectly it won't lean... Thanks for the reply.


@booneycrasher You may have already seen articles similar to this, but here is a helpful link with a great video on how to How to Pack a Backpack.  Like @REI-DaveM  said fitting a backpack can be really tricky (Especially over the computer). Each pack will fit differently for each person. I also find that how I pack my weight and adjust my straps changes with every trip! That being said, it may just be the pack itself and nothing that you’re doing/not doing. If you have tried all options and are still having issues I would highly suggest making a trip out to the nearest REI with your pack loaded up. That way an associate could help with adjustments or get you set up with a different pack if you feel that is necessary. You can even make a Personal Outfitting Appointment at the store! Good luck with the backpack!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Yup, all it took was careful packing and adjusting at the first sign of a lean. Not much hassle, pack is working out great.