(this is the third and last part of a tutorial that begins here)
9. The next phase consists of setting the shoulder straps slings at their right length. This is just a bit complicated, because these slings are actually… several slings, all more or less interconnected. The grey ones are the ones that form a cross on your chest, thanks to the “golden” clip here. Their purpose is, more or less, to keep the whole system firm and stable around your body, without suffocating you! So, arrange the grey slings as shown, making sure that they do not do weird loops.
10. The grey slings are connected to the brown ones that also unite the shoulder straps with the lower part of the pack. Grab the sides of those two brown slings that come out of the clips at the end of the shoulder straps, then pull them outward simultaneously, as shown here, until the straps stay in place. Consider that you should not pull them too much. The whole idea of a bodypack is to a) distribute the weight around your body in a stable and unobtrusive way, then unload as much of it as possible on the belt, not on your shoulders. If you tighten the brown slings too much, you’ll prevent the system from working as intended.
11. Relax, we’re almost there! Let’s look at the elastic cords that keeps the front pockets close to your chest, but not too much. This picture shows how to deal with them. Each cord goes in the hook pending from the shoulder strap. It is up to you to find out how many loops it should do. The first time you fit the pack on, to perform the procedure explained here, just go with two loops. Then, when the pack is in place, decide how far from your chest the pockets must be.
12. There are two straps we haven’t touched yet: those going from the top of the pack to the shoulder straps. Pull them as shown, in order to bring the load and its baricentre closer to your back, but not too much.
For the same reason, when you close the pack, you should pull its front vertical strap so that the triangle-shaped semi-rigid straps on the top compress it, and distribute the load evenly on your shoulders.
I know that this explanation may feel as if fitting and putting on an Aarn bodypack takes forever, but let me assure you this is not the case. Sure, it is a complicated procedure, but you only have to go through it once.
Yes, when you are on the trail, you have to repeat steps 5,8,9,10 every time you put the bodypack on. But once you have got the hang of it, the whole sequence takes less than one minute, without even looking. The only trick is to remember, before you put the bodypack off, to losen the two belt straps on each side. If you forget that, the front pockets will do it much harder than it should to fasten the belt.