When it comes torso length, most backpacks come in small, medium, and large versions. With this fixed sizing, it can be hard to find the perfect fit for your back. An adjustable backpack that allows you to customize the backpack’s torso length to fit your back length precisely is the next best thing to having a custom-made pack. Below are our top five picks of the best adjustable length backpacks on the market. We also cover the other considerations to make when choosing the best adjustable backpack.

Measuring your torso length is easiest when you have someone help you with a flexible tape measure or a piece of string. Tip your head forward and feel for the bump at the base of your neck. Measure from here down your spine and stop at your waist (put your hands on your hips and feel for the top of your hip bone if you are not sure where this is). This measurement will help you fit your backpack correctly.

Most of the weight of your backpack should rest on your hips. Lean forward slightly before cinching your hipbelt tight to encourage the hipbelt to rest on your hips. You can test whether the backpack's weight is mostly on your hips by loosening your shoulder straps.

When you are trying on backpacks in a store, always put weight in them first. Tents or sleeping bags work well for this. Most backpacks will feel comfortable when they are empty, regardless of whether or not they fit you. Once you have some weight in the backpack you can walk around and swing your arms to see whether it pinches you anywhere.


How To Choose An Adjustable Length Backpack ‚Äď Buying Guide


Below are the features and specifications to check in order to pick an adjustable length backpack that will serve you best.

Adjustable Length Torsos and Hip Belts

First of all, ensure that the pack you choose offers torso length adjustability. This allows you to fine-tune the backpack torso length to fit well on your back and distribute weight well. The ideal adjustable backpack would also offer hip belt adjustability. Ensure the pack has a comfortable hipbelt with room to cinch it down in case you lose some pounds on the trail and loosen it up when necessary. The adjustment mechanisms should be easy to understand and use.


Even with an adjustable length backpack, it is still important to order the right size. Determining your torso length and hips circumference is key to getting the right size. 

Your torso length is the distance from the base of the neck to the top of your hip bones. Generally, torso length by height is as follows: extra small packs suit up to 15 ¬Ĺ‚ÄĚ torso length, small suit up to 16‚Ä≥ to 17¬Ĺ‚ÄĚ, medium/regular are for 18‚Ä≥ to 19¬Ĺ‚ÄĚ torsos while large/tall are designed for torsos 20‚Ä≥ and taller and would be the best long torso backpacks.

To determine your hipbelt size, wrap your tape measure around your body over your hip bones where a pack’s hip belt rests.


The best adjustable length backpack for you should have the capacity to hold all the gear you need to bring along. A backpack’s volume is what tells you how much the pack can hold. Things to have in mind when deciding how many liters backpack you need include how long your typical trips last, how much gear you need to carry, and what time of year you hike or travel.

For short one day to weekend trips, 30-50 liters will do. 3 to 5-day trips require 50 to 70 liters depending on how you pack. Extended trips require a minimum of 60 liters. If versatility is what you’re after, a 60-70 liter volume is a happy medium.  


Internal frame backpacks are compact, lightweight and ideal for backpacking, hiking, mountaineering, backcountry adventures off the beaten trail, compact or compressible gear, and short trips. Frame stays that you can remove and bend to match your back shape offer even more comfort. External frame backpacks suit extended expeditions and heavy and bulky loads.

Pockets and Organization

You don’t want to have to unpack everything just to access one piece of gear. The best adjustable backpack will have easily accessible compartments and well thought out pockets for dry and wet gear. Think about your packing needs and preferences and choose a pack with a layout that meets them.

External Attachment Features

To ensure you have attachment points for long, bulky or awkward items you can’t fit inside the backpack such as your sleeping bag, trekking pole or tent poles, ensure the adjustable pack you choose has external attachment features such as compression straps, gear loops, sleeping bag compartment, and water bottle holder or hydration sleeve.  


A good backpack should be able to withstand exposure to harsh outdoor terrain and weather elements and stay in one piece despite the heavy load. A tough material that is abrasion, puncture, and weather resistant is essential. The stitching, zippers, buckles, and straps should also be high quality. One thing to avoid is mesh on the exterior of the pack. Mesh tends to get caught on things and tear.



Q: What Is An Adjustable Length Backpack?

A: An adjustable length backpack has an adjustable harness that lets you change the backpack torso length to fit different torso heights precisely and distribute weight to the hips better.

Q: What Are The Benefits of An Adjustable Length Backpacks?

A: With an adjustable length backpack, you will be able to customize the backpack’s length to suit your torso height so the pack fits you optimally. Adjusting a backpack torso length properly ensures that most of the weight is borne by the hips and not the shoulders. This makes the load more comfortable to carry. Some adjustable backpacks allow contraction and expansion of the storage capacity.

Globo Surf Overview

Proper fit is the most important quality of a good backpack. It is hard to find the ideal fit in a ready-made backpack. Buying an adjustable backpack is a safe way to ensure that you get a backpack that fits you comfortably. With the best adjustable length backpacks, you can achieve a perfect fit, which will reduce fatigue on the trail or road and ensure you enjoy your adventures even more.

More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:

More Backpack Reviews:

Which of the adjustable length backpacks on our list is your top choice? Feel free to share your thoughts or experience with the adjustable backpacks we’ve reviewed in the comment box below!

Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!