Yoke of backpack

This internal frame pack came to me second (possibly third) hand with the straps all in a mess. The yoke attaches with two straps on the bottom and one on top.

Yoke close up

It’s obvious that the top strap is threaded through a buckle located between the load stabilizers and the bottom straps thread through a series of reinforced straps. I’m just not sure how this is to be done without a turnbuckle digging into your back.

On a possibly related note, the aluminium stays have the ability to slip out the bottom of their sleeves when the backpack is not under load.

Aluminium Stays

The lower shoulder straps connect to the D ring riveted to the stays. Is there another strap that connects to this ring and holds the stays in tightly?

I’ve looked for a tag listing the model of the pack but haven’t found one. My guess is that it’s over twenty years old.

Does anyone know how to properly configure this bag?

Additional images:

Back panel of the bag. Back panel

Shoulder straps and yoke. Note the buckle attached to the twin straps coming out the bottom of the yoke. Shoulder straps

Stays, belt, and lower shoulder straps(?). Belt

Closeup of stay, belt, and strap junction. Junction

One of two identical mystery straps. All the straps are the same width so they could go anywhere. Mystery strap

  • I have no idea - but it feels like there is something missing, perhaps some padding for the mid-back or over the frame slots. I can't tell from the photos, but perhaps (maybe one only) the shoulder strap attachment goes under the bit in the middle back and up rather than down from top?
    – bob1
    Jan 31, 2022 at 8:27

1 Answer 1


With the assistance of some vintage North Face backpacks for sale on eBay, I was able to figure it out.

The two downward pointing straps thread through the panel on the back of the bag. The tri-glide buckle immediately follows and anchors the straps in place. The remainder of the straps loop around the D rings and double back on themselves. Two more tri-glide buckles—now lost, I crafted replacements out of aluminum—hold them fast. This also holds the stays in position.

Completed backpack

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