Backpack Strap: The Ultimate Guide

Backpack strap is an important part of backpack material, whose quality directly affects people’s body comfort when backpacking. This essay will introduce the main types, structure, material and practical parts of backpack strap to help you know all stuffs about backpack strap.
Table of Contents

1. types of backpack straps

There are a variety of types of backpack shoulder straps, among which, the four most common ones will be introduced here.

  • Drawstring Backpack Shoulder Strap
  • Single Backpack Shoulder Strap
  • Double Backpack Shoulder Strap
  • Double Backpack Shoulder Straps+Backpack Chest Strap+Backpack Hip Belt

1.1 Drawstring backpack shoulder strap

Drawstring backpack shoulder strap is mainly used on drawstring bags. This type of shoulder strap is light in weight and is only suitable to backpacks with low load.

Backpack Strap:Drawstring backpack shoulder strap
Backpack Strap: Drawstring backpack shoulder strap

1.2 Single backpack shoulder strap

Single backpack shoulder strap is mostly used on cycling backpacks, travel backpack and some other sports backpacks. This type of strap makes it relaxed and unrestrained when people backpack.

However, the flaws of the single backpack shoulder strap are also distinct. As there is only one shoulder strap, the whole weight of the backpack falls on the strap. In order to bear the weight of the backpack, the trapezius muscle exerts upward for a long time, which is more likely to cause fatigue and aches, making the shoulder with weights shrug in the long run and forming high and low shoulders.


If the daily load you bear is light, it is suitable for you to choose backpacks with single backpack shoulder strap. Otherwise, please choose backpacks with double backpack strap.

Backpack strap: Single backpack shoulder strap
Backpack Strap: Single backpack shoulder strap

1.3 Double backpack shoulder strap

Double backpack shoulder strap is the most widely used type on backpacks currently. School backpacks, commuter backpacks, laptop backpacks and diaper backpacks all adopt such strategy, which balances the load on both shoulders of the backpackers, thus less likely to cause damage to the muscle of the shoulders and back.

Double backpack shoulder strap
Double backpack shoulder strap

1.4 Double Backpack Shoulder Straps+Backpack Chest Strap+Backpack Hip Belt

The type of shoulder strap with double backpack shoulder strap, backpack chest strap and backpack hip belt is mainly used in mountaineering backpacks and hiking backpacks. Because abundant materials are needed while mountaineering or hiking, there are quite higher requirements for strap system.

The main function of chest strap is to adjust the opening distance of the double strap, so as to enhance the stability of the backpacks and be conductive to breath. Hip belt, the part bearing the load of the backpack, is usually composed of a waist cushion and a belt, which is designed to be movable. The hip belt is fixed at the bottom of the backpack with Nylon stickers. After removal, it can be adjusted up and down to find the most suitable position.

Chest strap and hip belt can make the centre weight of the backpack full of materials close to the back, so it will be less stressed and more relaxed for backpackers. Moreover, it can also avoid back and forth shake of the backpack during hiking.

Backpack Strap: backpack chest strap and hip belt
Backpack Strap: backpack chest strap and hip belt

2. Material of Backpack Shoulder Strap

  • Fabric of Backpack Shoulder Strap
  • Common Fabric of Backpack Shoulder Strap
  • Shoulder Strap Cushion
  • backpack strap adjuster
  • Chest Strap and hip belt
  • Light Reflection Strip

2.1 Fabric of Backpack Shoulder Strap

Backpack Shoulder Strap is usually made of nylon or polyester. Nylon is lighter in weight and has better performance in wear resistance, bearing capacity and water resistance than polyester, while the cost of polyester fabric is lower than that of nylon fabric. Professional outdoor backpacks usually choose shoulder strap with nylon fabric, while ordinary backpacks can just choose shoulder strap with low-cost polyester fabric.

2.2 backpack strap pads

Backpack strap pads exists in the inner part of the shoulder strap and outer part against backpackers’ body. The backpack strap pads inside the shoulder strap is made of foams, which can release the loading stress of the shoulders, neck and back of human body. The foams on the surface of the shoulder strap are mostly three-dimensional mesh cotton with a lot of holes. This kind of design makes shoulder strap breathable and sweat absorbing and release back pressure at the same time, so as to relieve muscles.

Backpack Strap: backpack strap pads
Backpack Strap: backpack strap pads

2.3 backpack strap adjuster

Backpack strap adjusters are usually used either on the external hanging system of the backpack or in combination with non-adjustable buckles. Backpack strap adjuster can help adjust the length of the whole shoulder strap, so as to play the role of adjustment. After being adjusted, the backpack can be suitable for people of different shapes.

Backpack Strap: backpack strap adjuster
Backpack Strap: backpack strap adjuster

2.4 Light Reflection Strip

To ensure the safety of backpackers at night, now a lot of backpack shoulder strap is designed with light reflection strip. On dark nights, the light reflection strip starts to take effect, which will make it easy for drivers to notice backpackers walking on the road to ensure that they will not be hit by the car. In addition, if you get lost with your partners on the way of hiking, the light reflection strip will also make it easy for you to find each other.

Light Reflection shoulder Strap
Light Reflection shoulder Strap

3. How to choose the suitable backpack shoulder strap for yourself

3.1 Comfortable Material

If you always need to carry heavy load, please be sure to choose thick shoulder strap. Just touch the thickness of the shoulder strap. The thicker the shoulder strap, the more relaxed you will feel while backpacking. It will be better if there are three-dimensional breathable foams on the shoulder strap.

3.2 Balance and Stability while Backpacking

The shoulder strap suitable for the ergonomics is usually three-dimensional S-curved. Such a kind of shoulder strap fit body’s curve and make shoulders more relaxed. The two straps can be easily adjusted to the same length, so that they can receive even weight to effectively release burden on the shoulders.

Backpack Strap:S Curved shoulder straps
Backpack Strap:S Curved shoulder straps

3.3 Additional Functions

Currently, many backpack manufacturers have developed a lot of additional functions on backpack shoulder straps. Some practical designs and tools on the shoulder straps help your shoulder straps play a greater role. Here are some recommended parts for backpack straps. You can choose to purchase according to your needs.

4. Accessories of backpack shoulder straps

4.1 backpack strap holster

The backpack strap holsters are often seen in the shoulder straps of tactical backpack, it mainly holds small arms like pistol. Some kinds of camera backpack also equipped with the holster for the camera. It is convenient for cameramen to hold their device temporarily.

Backpack Strap: backpack strap holster
Backpack Strap: backpack strap holster

4.2 backpack strap keepers

The shoulder straps always have extra length left and floating in the air. To hold the extra length in position, we need backpack strap keepers. The keepers are plastic buckles or elastic bands, installed below the backpack strap adjuster.

Backpack Strap: backpack strap keepers
Backpack Strap: backpack strap keepers

4.3 backpack strap extender

A backpack strap extender is another kind of buckles that helps to extend the length of your shoulder straps. For taller men, sometimes the shoulder straps are not long enough to fit their body ,so they need backpack strap extender to extend the straps.

Backpack Strap: backpack strap extender
Backpack Strap: backpack strap extender

4.4 backpack strap phone holder

The backpack strap phone holder is actually a phone holder installed on the shoulder strap of the backpack, many YouTubers use the holder to film videos during their travel. A phone holder on backpack can turn your phone into a GoPro camera.

Backpack Strap: backpack strap phone holder
Backpack Strap: backpack strap phone holder

4.5 backpack strap knife sheath

Outdoor enthusiast will like the gear, the backpack strap knife sheath are suitable for your folding knife. When in wilderness, it’s always necessary to have a sharp blade. A sheath on the straps will let you easily reach your knife when in need.

Backpack Strap: backpack strap knife sheath
Backpack Strap: backpack strap knife sheath

5. how to adjust your backpack shoulder straps

Adjusting the backpack straps to the right position can definitely help you to backpack more comfortably. So how to adjust those straps? Here’s the video.

As one of the top backpack supplier in China, Honeyoung are dedicating in helping customers doing wholesale business, we hope you can learn more about backpack components by reading the article. If you need our help, please contact us, we’ll be happy to help.

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