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Gear help! Backpacking pack is hitting me in the head.

I just bought a pack online. Osprey Aura AG 65 Pack - Women's. I tried it on at home and the top of the frame is hitting me in the head, I won't be able to put my head back while hiking at all. My torso is between sizes and I originally decided to go up a size. If I go down to a size small will this solve my issue or should I look into a different pack? 

4 Replies

@ngoodhew Thanks for reaching out!

We're sorry you're having this issue with your pack. While it is likely you are correct that the size is the issue, there may be a few other adjustments you can make to help. We recommend starting with the Expert Advice article How to Choose and Fit a Backpack, focusing on the torso length and load lifters sections. You want to be sure that the load lifters are not over or under tensioned, and should be in a 45° angle range. We have included a photo below, for reference. Often times if the pack is not the right size/fit for you, you will notice it in the angle of those load lifter straps.

Lastly, we recommend setting up a virtual outfitting appointment with one of our product experts. They can talk through your pack with you, go over some fit options, and help determine if it is a size issue or simply not the right pack to fit you.

Hopefully this helps and we can get you out on the trail with the right pack for you soon!


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

@REI-JohnJ  I guess great minds do think alike, lol,  Load lifters is where I immediately went to also!

except you drew a very straight arrow, I had to do mine with a cursor and it shows!

REI Member Since 1979


Given your experience (and amazing photos, btw) I will take any comparison with your mind on any day!

I cheated and used the auto arrow feature as my cursor work leaves much to be desired!

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

Can you post a picture taken from the side like the model on the REI page?

I'd bet you a cup of coffee that the pack is way too big or the load lifters are cinched too tight, or both.

Seen below, the red arrow is pointing to what appears to the 'load lifters', which are cinched up very high and tight.

The strap should go over the shoulder  - blue line - so the pack is resting on the hips and shoulders, while the load-lifters gives you option of pulling in the top of pack closer to the back of your head.

Try loosening these load lifters, allowing the top of the pack to start to lean away from your head.

So take it from me, an unknown stranger, go in and get fitted by the REI experts, like I did.  If you can't do that, I'd go down a size and check those load lifters.



the yellow arrow is pointing to the load lifter, try and loosen that




REI Member Since 1979