Add padded straps to rucksack straps...

lostplanet

Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
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does anyone know of a decent manufactured removable padded straps to improve comfort on the shoulders when carrying heavier loads?

I do have most of the weight on my hips but its a toss up between bergan rash on the hips or numb arms.

can be military or civvy just as long as they are of good quality.

Thanks
 

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
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Inside the wire, Llanelli
The shoulder straps on the British Army Bergan are already fairly chunky affairs and whilst wider would be better to spread the load, adding more padding is not going to help much with numb arms. Same weight acting on the same amount of surface area gives same result, no matter how thick the extra foam is. There is however hope with the hip-support, Dixies Corner does a removable-bergan-back-padder for £35 that is secured using the packs existing loops so you don't have to send it away for stitching.

One other thought... is it actually the bergan hip belt chaffing or the belt on your trousers? This has caught me out a couple of times with a thicker leather belts.
 

Jaeger

Full Member
Dec 3, 2014
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United Kingdom
Aye Up,

Which 'Bergen' is it that you are using?

If it is the ex Brit mil 100/120 litre - is it a long or a short back?

If it is a long back swapping out the original 'waist' belt for a better quality one might sort out the problem.

If it is a short back - does the shoulder strap attachment point to waist belt centre on the ruck match your hip-to-nape of the neck measurement? If it doesn't the 'waist' belt will ride high and your shoulders will naturally end up carrying most of the ruck weight. (You may also limit your intake of air as too high a waist belt may restrict your lungs ability to expand!). I've seen blokes flake on tabs for that very reason! :lmao:

Most military rucks are designed to be carried above waist belt mounted webbing sets and so -
a) are shorter
b) have no shoulder to waist torso adjustment
c) don't have a load carrying waist belt but rather a stability strap.

I've recently posted the alterations that I have made to an NI patrol ruck for exactly those reasons and it works brill - but involved quite a bit of work.

NI Ruck Mods II 7..jpg

For my own Bergen short back I swapped out the original shoulder straps for those from a civilian market set and made my own padded extensions using sections cut from the Brit military foam sleeping mat and some aereated? nylon mesh. (Back in the day it used to be foam pipe lagging and gaffer tape on the older (nasty!) framed rucksacks. But I digress ;))

NI Ruck Mods II 9..jpg

But that only solved a part of the issue -

I also created a Bergen-width pouch to strap to the rear of a separate waist belt (as identified by dean442) which sits beneath the Bergen (as intended by the mil designers) and that shares some of the Bergen load onto the hips. (Sorry - no phot yet).

Re modifying a ruck – if any work is beyond you, there is a shop down Hereford way which could help (it might be the one Bishop has named but not I’m sure - someone on here will most likely be able to identify it).

Hope this helps :)
 

lostplanet

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Aug 18, 2005
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Thanks for all the replies gents. The bag in question is a lowe alpine sting which should be comfortable anyway compared to an issue bergan of which i have long and short back but hardly use now.

I discovered if i load the sternum strap right up, it takes pressure off my shoulders and allows blood to flow a lot better. i must have dislocated my shoulder many years ago in a bike accident and it never got put back properly so i seem to suffer with pins and needle more on the left side.

as for the waist, if i get the bottom pad sitting right i can go all trip without any chaffing, it only has to be slightly out (low or high) i find to cause rubbing between backpack, trousers/belt and top of **** kidney area.

I will be looking at dixies padder for sure, i think i can live with the shoulder straps but at the price the polish want It is a definite consideration.

Also I have a berghaus vulcan that I might start using more often and see how i get on.

Again thanks all, sorry i should have put more detail in the original question and save you all trying to guess.

I usually walk with winter kit weight about 3 to 5 miles depending every night with the dog, mainly on country roads. weight unknown at the moment, more than 10 KG i think.
 

lostplanet

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Aug 18, 2005
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I like the molle belt idea, i am sure i found a dedicated waist padding thing from a shop very similar to dixies.
 

lostplanet

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Aug 18, 2005
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Think i have managed to make the bag a lot more comfortable. as said these military bags seem to work better with webbing, so i changed the back measurement to 160 instead of 180 and it sits just above my belt. with the sternum strap nice and tight, i get next to no pins and needles and the whole system seems much better.

Think i will still get the padder but until then, happy days.

As usual thank you all very much for your replies and input, much appreciated.
 

Jaeger

Full Member
Dec 3, 2014
670
18
United Kingdom
Aye Up Lostplanet,

Glad to hear that you have improved your ruck situation.

Not intending to teach you to suck eggs, but here are some other considerations -

If you get the waist-to-nape measurement correct so that the ruck waist belt sits snuggly approximately on the top of your hips, comfortably tight, you should find that you can relax the shoulder straps almost completely off and take practically all the ruck weight on your hips. (I would recommend doing this only on flat route sections with good underfoot going for a short time as it will move your point of balance backwards!).

Furthermore, keep the sternum strap fastened but also extended so that the shoulder straps can't slip off your shoulders. This is useful to give your shoulders a 'break' (and as previously stated - your lungs) as well as letting heat/perspiration away from your back. Plus - it should give your circulation over your shoulders/collar bone less of a hard time and reduce the numbness/pins and needles in your arms. :)