View Full Version : Hip belt slippage

09-20-2003, 04:26 PM
Patrick, got any suggestions for how to prevent the hip belt on a LongHunter from frequently loosening? Seems like I spend a lot of time cranking it down to avoid having the weight on my shoulders, but the belt quickly loosens and rides down.

09-20-2003, 05:52 PM
Hi DJ--

Let's go thru a checklist:

---Keep the belt tight. If you're sure the buckle is actually loosening then it could be the buckle--rare, but not to be ruled out. We buy the best components, but any manufactured goods could have the occassional dud...buckle edges that aren't quite sharp enough, that sort of thing.

---Are you "hipless"? A minority of men have a "flat" lumbar area, ie: lower back. This is usually the reason for "slip down in the back" problems--if the belt is really tight. The diagnosis, and the fix, for that is very simple. To diagnose, put the pack on, tighten the waistbelt very snug, and then see if you can easily insert fingers under the bottom edge of the packs' lumbar pad--in other words, is there a noticeable "stand away" of the bottom of the pad/frame from your hips? If there is, you're a hipless kind of guy. Which means the arc we put in the aluminum stays inside the framesheet is too great for your flatter lower back. I've told guys what to about this via cell phone from an elk hunt (me being on the elk hunt); this is the first time here on the message board, and frankly, I welcome the chance--save the trouble of a phone call for you hipless guys. Here's the quick fix: lay the empty pack down on a hard surface with the lumbar pad facing up, and then step on the pad with both feet. That will flatten the arc we put in the stays behind it somewhat. Put the pack back on and try the finger test again. You will have the arc right for the degree of flatness of your back when the bottom of the lumbar pad is snug when you try to insert your fingers beneath it from the bottom. And you'll have bottom-to-top "smear" of the lumbar pad in your lower back--making a very significant increase in holding the pack from slip-down, and increasing overall comfort. You can remove the stays and tinker with the bend till you get it perfect (placing them against your lower back and bending till there's a perfect match--do this over a table or in a vice). Stepping on the pad is the fastest way to see if you're headed in the right direction. I'll stop and invite you to call the Shop for individual consultation if you like. But this post will get you started, if this flat back phenomenon applies to you. I suspect it does. About 4% of men are built like this. I've helped just about all of them get fitted right--if they holler like you have. Good for you.

09-21-2003, 11:06 AM
Thanks, Patrick. I suspect the answer is "yes" to both. My able-bodied assistant will help me determine my minority status today. "Conveniently", one of the forks of the hip belt buckle went SNAP just as I was ready to leave the trailhead for a two-nighter this week, so I can compare the new buckle to the old. BTW, I'm glad I carry an assortment of straps and quick-release buckles for attaching quarters to the LH frame. I was able to use a smaller strap to effectively hold the wounded belt buckle together without interrupting my moose chasing.

09-22-2003, 10:04 AM

If you'll phone 800-222-6139 my staff will send you a replacement buckle. Sounds like you're a "be prepared" kind of guy. It's hard to stop such a man. Good luck on them moose.

Dan D
09-29-2003, 08:27 PM
I have a bit of the same problem. I find that the pack slips after some time on the trail. Starts out snug and next thing I know it is riding over my butt. Even with continued checking/tightening of the straps. after reading the above post I put the pack on, I can put a couple fingers up from the bottom of the pad but it is snug.
There is more room around the mid to upper portion of the back pad in the small of my back however. I can easily put a few fingers in here. It seems to sit more on the tailbone. Is the solution the same as above or does it need more bend to fit the small of the back more.
By the way, spent a week in the tipi , at one time slept 5 guys but 4 was the standard. Plenty of room plus a wood pile. Very nice to stay warm and dry clothes.

09-29-2003, 08:50 PM
Here's a little trick I used on my pack for mountaineering. No matter how tight you get your belt, there is no keeping it where you want if you've got a parka on or those wonderfully hi-tech Gore-Tex bibs. My wife gave me a tube of 'traction' for my pack. It's called 'Grip-Eze' and is available at any fabric store. Basically it's the stuff you would put on a little kids sox or pajama feet so they don't do a cool stunt on the newly polished floors /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif I just put a random assortment of dots and lines of this traction on my belt and no more pack slipping down the Gore-Tex pants. Pretty simple, but seems to help.

09-30-2003, 02:30 PM

There's a certain amount of repetitive shrugging of shoulders (to re-seat the lumbar pad) and then further tightening of the waistbelt involved with any big pack load, regardless of pack. BTW, to get more leverage brace your thumb against your belt and pull with the rest of the hand. After walking a little way after putting on the pack shrug and tug--you'll get another 1/4" of tightening. Do it again a couple hundred yards later--you'll get maybe an eighth inch. And so on till the belt is tight enough to hold. Even then, if the load is heavy enough you can expect some shrugging and tugging along the march.

And I like Randy's idea of the "Grip" stuff--modern synthetic duds really are slippery! Good info, Randy.

Nevertheless, after reading the above, if you still think you're lumbar is "different" feel free to remove your pack stays and contour them to your lumbar region. I'd suggest you trace one on paper before starting to re-contour--so you can get back to square one should you need to, deciding that was the best contour after all or something like that. And mark them with felt tip in such a way you can get them back in the frame the way they came out. Using a vice is a good idea because these stays are much beefier than any other pack. Got it?

Lastly, I'm tickled tipi life agrees with you!

09-30-2003, 02:59 PM
Patrick, I readjusted the pack as you suggested and got a much better fit. Thanks. The new buckles haven't yet arrived, but I took one off of another pack for the interim and have had no problem with slippage. Musta worn down the teeth on the original.

Dan D
09-30-2003, 07:42 PM
Thanks for the reply. I agree, a heavy load in any pack will make it ride down and yours if more comfortable than ones I have used in the past.
I am not sure if I want to mess with it. Knowing me, I have a good chance of making it worse. Dan