Within the university backpacks are essential for carrying the various items needed for school work - books, laptops, stationary, water bottles, music players, lunch and a hundred other items.

There are huge selections to choose from and selecting a good backpack that meets your needs and fits correctly is like finding a good pair of shoes.

Here are a few suggestions when deciding to purchase a backpack.

  • Size – get one as small as practically possible. A half empty pack does not sit well on the back and causes items to move around and settle awkwardly. The larger the backpack the more items you are likely to place into it and carry around campus. Miscellaneous items that add to weight are often forgotten and left in pockets or have fallen to the bottom.
  • Design – Choose wide adjustable shoulder straps. This spreads the load over a greater area and reduces excessive contact pressure and prevents irritation on the front of the shoulder.

    Anatomically shoulders normally are not square and slope down from the neck,  a good idea is to see if the pack has a ‘sternum’ strap that helps keep the shoulder load from sliding outwards.

Another good idea is ‘lateral’ straps that tighten and compress the bag when less full. This prevents items from moving around and keeps things tight against the back.

Wear the backpack before you buy it! Even though it is unlikely to simulate how it will feel when it’s full in the store, you can get the idea of how the shoulder straps feel. Keep the receipt. When you get home fill it up and see how it feels. Remember it’s an investment - get a good one!

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