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cashonlycow
08-07-2009, 08:34 AM
Howdy,

I've had my ZXR for about 2 years now, and it's been everywhere with me during that time. And this last week I just realized that something may be "off" about one of the shoulder straps of my ZXR.

In short, the lifter strap for my right shoulder strap doesn't like to sit right on top of the shoulder strap. When I put the pack on (I'm right-handed, if that makes a difference), the lifter strap would frequently sit right on top of my shoulder until I move the shoulder strap beneath it. When the pack sits static, the right lifter strap is usually alongside the shoulder strap, unlike the left side, which stays in place. Now I'll admit it's not a big problem, just annoying. The straps are evenly (I've measured them) adjusted, and perhaps I'm not adjusting the pack correctly (although I follow the instructions I found on this website as well as MM's).

Anybody have had this "problem", or perhaps can explain to me what I may be doing incorrectly?

And yes, the ZXR is comfortable otherwise. I've had some seriously stupid weight in there, and it's still light years comfort-wise than anything else I've humped.

Cheers.

BuckarooMedic
08-08-2009, 07:11 AM
I had the same problem with my Zulu. Basically the problem was that the shoulder straps were not adjusted properly and I was not getting enough "lift" from the shoulder lifter straps. I actually took my Zulu to the Kifaru shop and had them adjust it for me. They eventually replaced the original stays with longer ones, almost two inches longer as I recall. The original stays in the pack were actually shorter than they were supposed to be. You might want to measure the length of the stays in your ZXR. After the professional fitting by Tom at Kifaru, my Zulu fits and rides like it's part of me.

Hope this helps.

rhunter424
08-08-2009, 08:54 AM
Howdy,

I've had my ZXR for about 2 years now, and it's been everywhere with me during that time. And this last week I just realized that something may be "off" about one of the shoulder straps of my ZXR.

In short, the lifter strap for my right shoulder strap doesn't like to sit right on top of the shoulder strap. When I put the pack on (I'm right-handed, if that makes a difference), the lifter strap would frequently sit right on top of my shoulder until I move the shoulder strap beneath it. When the pack sits static, the right lifter strap is usually alongside the shoulder strap, unlike the left side, which stays in place. Now I'll admit it's not a big problem, just annoying. The straps are evenly (I've measured them) adjusted, and perhaps I'm not adjusting the pack correctly (although I follow the instructions I found on this website as well as MM's).

Anybody have had this "problem", or perhaps can explain to me what I may be doing incorrectly?

And yes, the ZXR is comfortable otherwise. I've had some seriously stupid weight in there, and it's still light years comfort-wise than anything else I've humped.

Cheers.

If I'm understanding you correctly, I had almost the exact same issue when I got my ZXR. I bought my ZXR from someone off the forums, so I adjusted the height of the shoulder straps (under the lumbar pad) to where I thought they should be on me. I looked in the mirror to check everything and my right side lifter strap seemed to be more along the side rather than the middle of the shoulder strap. I shrugged it off until I realized I was always tightening the right side more than the left. Turns out the right shoulder strap height was like half an inch longer than the left so it just didn't sit right on me. I think when you have a large amount of weight in your pack you start to notice small differences.

Double check your measurements. My error in measuring occurred because I was using the stitching above shoulder pads as guidelines. I found actually feeling for the hard inserts was more accurate.

Is there an accurate way of measuring how long the shoulder strap height should be? Maybe measuring from the top of the lilac crest to the top of our shoulders?

steveb
08-08-2009, 01:02 PM
I have a way that works well for me for initially setting shoulder strap length (on any pack, not just Kifaru). The key is to know your torso length (measure with a soft tape the distance along the spine between the vertebrae at base of neck that bulges out the most when you tuck your chin and the level of your hip bones), for me about 19 inches. This is also close to the ideal distance of a line between the base of the lumbar pad and the start of the padded portion of the shoulder strap. Maybe add an extra inch so there is some strap for load lifter movement. My packs all have about 19 to 20 inches between the base of the lumbar pad and the start of the padded portion of the shoulder straps near where they join the pack. Technique only!

one911emergency
08-08-2009, 01:44 PM
I had this same problem with the Zulu on both load lifters were sitting on my shoulders instead of just one, and it didn’t do it until a few hours into a hike (I think they just worked themselves over). I’d feel something digging into my shoulders and realize that it was the load lifters. In the case of the Zulu it came from cranking the load lifter too hard. It also came about as the result of loading a 3-day pack with 60lbs. The former can be fixed by just snugging the load lifters and not cranking them painfully tight (if there is a strap on my pack I just have to yank on it as hard as I can I think I have OCD). The ladder cannot be fixed unless you lessen the load or get a back with a larger frame and stays. So the moral to the story is don’t crank down your load lifters too hard; they’re there to stabilize the pack not to cause it to adhere to your back at the molecular level.

But you shouldn’t have a problem with the length of the stays on the ZXR unless you’re well over 6ft and therefore have a very long torso (which might be the case). In that case you might have to graduate to an MMR or an EMR (I know it sucks to think about but I grew out of my Zulu). If you’re my height (5’11) or few inches more and you’re not really cranking on the load lifters too hard you shouldn’t be experiencing this issue. Unless you just don’t have your hip belt high enough. The buckle of the hip belt should only be an inch or two below your belly button. You want to keep the belt as high as you can while keeping it resting on your hips. Also make sure you’re getting your belt really tight. I mean really tight. I own a ZXR and when I get the belt in the right spot, really crank on the belt, and SNUG the delta straps and load lifters my ZXR rides like a dream (with no issues concerning the load lifters). If I don’t tighten the belt enough about 30 to 45 minutes into the hike (possibly less depending on how loose it is) I have to take off the pack and readjust the whole thing (and do what I should’ve done when before I started the hike: crank the belt painfully tight). If you want to take your rage and aggression out on a strap it’s the hip belt you want to do it to not your load lifters.

So in short:

1. Make sure you’re not cranking too hard on your load lifters and just snugging them
2. Make sure the frame/shoulder straps are adjusted correctly
3. Make sure the frame is long enough for you torso (if your friends call you Sasquatch the ZXR frame is too small)
4. Make sure your belt is sufficiently tight
5. Make sure your belt is sitting atop your iliac crests (I’ve seen a lot of people sport their pack belt like the belt that holds their pants up: WRONG)