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What Makes or Breaks a Bag: Straps

Posted by Edward Wang on
What Makes or Breaks a Bag: Straps

What makes a good bag strap and why is it important?

You probably put a ton of thought on how your bag looks on you and what goes into it but what about the straps that keep it attached to your back? Material, weight, strength, width, padding and etc all factor in and plays a large part in how comfortable that bag is for you. 

Check out this info-image from Carryology that breaks down some of the core details that will make a bag comfortable for you. 

Image originally posted on
 Image courtesy of

Straps come in many different styles and for us, the most important parts of a good strap are the following:

Width: You want it to have a good length where it doesn't dig into your shoulder but not too wide do it doesn't slide off your shoulder or digs into your neck.

Material: The material that goes in and outside the strap affects the overall comfort when carrying your bag for a long period of time. As mentioned above EVA foam is generally used in most bags due to the density and how it bounces back

The material for the edges of the straps is also important if you plan on wearing fragile fabric or just over your skin. Rough materials can cause your clothing to pill faster or cause irritation for your skin. 

Sternum Straps: These should be wide enough where it can reach and connect over your chest. This is especially important for some women as some of the sternum straps are tighter compared to other bags over the chest area. The point is to be comfortable and if these don't do it correctly then it's not the right bag for you.

Secondary, your sternum straps should stay connected with your bag and not fall off. It's the worst when you're out for a day and you come back to one missing. So it should stay tightly on your bag as well as the ability to slide up or down.  

Adjustment: This is in the lower part of your strap where you tighten or loosen the bag. It should easily release when pulled upon and instantly stop when you stop. If it loosens in, either way, consider getting a replacement.


Load Stabilizers: We never really utilized these much since we generally try to pack light as we commute or travel but many people swear to its usefulness when carrying heavier loads. It helps keep the pack closer to your back so it allows for even distribution of weight on your back. 

Webbing: Some bags have webbing on their straps for you to hang stuff such as carabiners, keys, keychains, or other pouches. They are useful but be careful not to attach too many items or it either may weigh you down or swing all over the place. 

Adjustment Wrap: Another extra that some bags have but you can probably DIY something for your own bag. It holds the adjustment strap from flailing around so that getting it caught in something happens less frequently...or just less annoying for it flapping around. 

Did we miss anything? What do you consider to be important and not? 


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