I find I have to tighten my hip belt significantly to keep my pack off my shoulders which is fine the first day of the trip but on the second day, my hips are bruised and sore. Does anyone else have this problem or have any thoughts?
I don't but I think it is not uncommon. Things that may help...
Take your loaded pack to an REI store or similar and get fitted. You may be adjusting it incorrectly. REI also do virtual fittings...not sure how they work.
Try a different pack. You may need a different size or a different design pack. Like shoes, different packs work for different people.
Lighten your load. You may be carrying more and heavier stuff than you need to. Start by using a website like lighterpack.com and weigh each piece of gear to get an analysis.
@OldGuyot - I did a virtual outfitting with my new pack and, although not quite as effective as an in-person fitting would have been, it was more helpful than I would have guessed. I was expecting just a few pointers but he walked me through the process of every strap, the order in which to adjust, and the amount. He even had me load it with my own gear to see the order in which I was filling my pack.
Then had me do it to check the fit and let me tell ya, I thought the pack was comfortable before we did the virtual outfitting... but afterward it was remarkably improved.
I have the same issue, and I haven't found a complete solution, other than trying to balance the tightness of the hip belt and the shoulder straps. It helps a little by kind of splitting the soreness equally between my hips and shoulders, but I'm not sure if that's the kind of solution you want. I have a Gregory Baltoro 75, which otherwise is a great backpack. Years ago I had a different, cheaper pack which made my shoulders hurt a lot because the hip belt wasn't rigid or tight enough (although I also used to add too much weight, usually over 60 lbs).
If I come across any better solution I'll repost. Please you do the same, @mhydeaemt
hmmm, maybe if you have to cinch it so tight, it may be too low on the hips. what seems to work for me, is, after hoisting the pack and snugging the shoulder straps, I try to 'raise' my shoulders just enough for the pack to 'rise up' a bit, I then cinch the hip pad and then let it drop by lowering my shoulders, I then loosen my shoulder straps, just a bit to let the bag ease down on the top of my hips and then go through a quick process of tightening or loosing my shoulder straps, once more, to balance between the hips and shoulders. But I'm trying to get the hip pad up just enough to be a little bit up on my hips. I never want the hip pad to hold the load via 'tightness', only tight enough that it can't slip lower. I hope that makes sense.
the hip pad can slide down as nylon outerwear is pretty slick to the hip pad.
Also, the hip pad compressed against a belt or something attached to the belt, even a clothing fold, can cause irritation.
@Philreedshikes - that brings up a great point. If you're wearing a belt or a pair of pants/shorts with a thicker drawstring, a tight hip belt could cause those to dig in.
What philreeds sez.
Perhaps you might need to wear the pack more often in training. I suspect you have your pack a little bit low, not over the top of the crest of your hips. The middle of the hip pad should be crossing the upper part of the hip bone.
Even with training, after a couple of days my hips can be pretty sore on a long trip.
You may need to assess the lumbar support pad on the back of the belt. Its at the back of the belt. Some packs provide less padding here and it impacts.