The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who love outdoor activities, excursions, and outdoorsmanship. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I bought a new rucksack. However, how can I tidy up and hide away the myriad straps so they don't flap about and get caught in things?

enter image description here

share|improve this question
I can't see how anyone can answer this question with having worn the bag. – Liam Mar 28 '14 at 9:52
Still most bags are alike, so someone could answer this in a generic way - concerning any straps and any bags. – Steed Mar 28 '14 at 10:24
@Welch I like this question, Black Diamond tends to make super long straps...Lots of people say to cut them but beware, sure you can cut the compression straps if you use ski's but what ever will you do when you need the length to go around a 6.5cm inflatable mat that's rolled up! I'm interested to see some responses. – AM_Hawk Mar 29 '14 at 14:22
up vote 16 down vote accepted

I was a light infantry soldier all we used to do was roll each of the ends and use electrical tape to bind them leaving alowences for adjusting straps. I also advise taking a spare roll of tape just in case you need to use the strap and then have to re bind them

share|improve this answer
I ended up doing this. My walk report is at – Andrew Welch May 5 '14 at 17:34
I was coming here to write exactly this. All I would add is that we didn't use electrical tape. We used olive green webbing tape which weathers nicely and helps maintain the aesthetic of the backpack. – Venture2099 Jul 28 '15 at 14:45

The rucksacks that I own, have extra long straps as well. But the manufacturer has provided an elastic band of sorts on the straps to fold them and tuck them within the band (I'll try to post a pic once I get back home). Another option that I have tried is to tuck these longer straps into the side pockets (water bottle holders) and even tie up a lose knot of sorts on themselves to prevent huge swaying straps.

Personally I have never faced any issues as such with longer straps (They don't tend to get stuck up somewhere). It's more of a mental state where I feel the longer straps are kind of a nuisance.

share|improve this answer
The elastic band you mention really helps me. My straps are very long (which is great - I often need the length) but can be easily controlled with the elastic bands. A picture would be great, could help @AndrewWelch to make some himself. – Paul Paulsen May 5 '14 at 9:19

Clip together any unclipped compression straps even if you aren't tightening them, just to reduce the length that flaps around. The adjustment straps on the top and bottom of the shoulder straps should generally be kept loose so you can adjust the load throughout a hike depending on terrain. Osprey hip belt straps are often ridiculously long, however, and these are the only ones I ever really try to tuck away into the hip belt so they don't hang down too low.

share|improve this answer

As all rucksacks and packs I own have areas of webbing on most sides, I tie up any long straps with multiple half-hitches onto the webbing, so I still have the full length of the straps - in case I need them - but have them safely out the way.

share|improve this answer

I have used rubber bands, kitchen ties, pipe cleaners, half-broken shoelaces and whatever other pieces of small cord I've been able to place my hands on. All except the rubber bands worked well but none worked for more than a day or two. The rubber bands snapped too easily and I felt a little guilty about leaving little scraps of rubber lying in the wilderness.

I have also gone out with people that dealt with the strap issue by cutting them off! No straps on the outside means nothing to get caught in nasty bush.

share|improve this answer
Don't cut them too short. Cut them at an angle, and fuse the ends with a lighter. – Sherwood Botsford Apr 9 '14 at 18:52

This youtube video offers another option that I have found useful: Managing excess webbing straps on backpacks etc. I purchased what is called in the US "Velcro One Wrap" at a fabric store, around $5 for a 3/4" x 4' roll. Much more than I needed for one backpack, over half is left over.

share|improve this answer

I've unsuccessfully used elastic bands and duct tape. Elastic bands break or slip off, and duct tape left a sticky residue. I now use Web Dominator, an excellent strap management system using a small plastic clip with shock cord attached. Here's a post describing my experience:

share|improve this answer

Maybe this video can be of some help.

share|improve this answer

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – ppl Dec 6 '14 at 15:22

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.