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Women's REI Venus Pack - how to adjust?

I was recently gifted this pack and can't quite figure out how to adjust it. Is there an online instruction sheet or video for learning to adjust it? I haven't been able to track one down. Thanks for any help/tips!

3 Replies


Not an REI employee but briefly...

I assume you mean this...

There are 6 things to adjust...generally in this order

the torso length - the is the ''rip-and-stick'' (aka velcro) adjustment that sets the height of the shoulder straps.  Probably you need to measure your torso length to set this initially.   This is the length between a horizontal line across you back at the top or your pelvis to the vertebrae that sticks out in your neck.  It is best to get someone to measure it for you and usually takes a few tries to get it right.

Once you have the torso length set loosen the other adjustments and then with the pack on tighten them in this general order...

the hip belt - this is tightened on each side of the clip so that the clip is centered.  The hip belt should sit with the pad centered on your pelvis hip bones where they jut out and the padding should ideally wrap around to beyond your hip bone and end in front of it.  This the main weight bearing structure and it should sit snugly and not slip down.  You may need to tighten it a bit more than is initially comfortable.

the hip belt stabilizers - there is one each side the hip belt connecting the sides of the hip belt to the pack.  They should be tightened evenly once the hip belt is set to prevent the pack from swinging side to side.  Generally once these are set you won't need to adjust them much

the shoulder straps  - these keep the pack upright and bear a small part of the load.  They also set the actual height of the hip belt.  Once the torso length is correct with the hip belt fastened in place they should wrap around your shoulders with no gap and not lift the hip belt.  look sideways in a mirror.  Tighten then to snug them up without feeling like they are pulling on your shoulders.  They should not lift the hip belt off your hips.

the load lifters  - There is on on each shoulder strap connecting the top of the shoulder strap to the pack.  These pull the top of the pack closer to your back and prevent the pack from bouncing back and forward.  You adjust them once the shoulder straps are set.  They should not be so tight to cause the shoulder straps to crease up...look in a mirror sideways.  You may need play with the torso length, shoulder straps and load lifters to make minor adjustments once you try your pack with a load.

the sternum strap - this connects the shoulder straps to stop them slipping apart.  It should be set to the natural shoulder strap width  but should not pull them together.  Adjust the height for comfort.  It makes small adjustments to how the shoulder straps ride.

As you walk you will make small adjustments as needed...probably mostly to the shoulder and sternum strap.  Next load the pack and make minor adjustments.  If you can't get it right take your pack to an REI store and ask to have them help fit it.  They also do virtual fittings now if you can't make it to a store.

Here is an article in case it is helpful...



Thanks! Yes -- I got the basics, but I need some specifics for this pack. I can't figure out how to get the pack to slide on the guides that would allow me to adjust the torso length. I used it on a five day trip and it was comfortable, but somehow the torso adjustment is shifted in such a way that the sternum strap was at my neck. Something's off...



@TonyaH Thanks for reaching out!

@OldGuyot did some great digging for information for you! I am curious, was it the shoulder harness that moved, or did the sternum strap just creep up on the slider? While not impossible, I would be shocked if the harness itself moved on its own. It should be secured in place with some sort of hook and loop (i.e. velcro) attachment. Typically, in order to raise or lower the shoulder harness, you have to separate the hook and loop section before moving the harness. 

If you are able to attach some photos of your pack that might help us ascertain the issue and provide some more specifics.

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

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