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?

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  • I can't see how anyone can answer this question with having worn the bag.
    – user2766
    Mar 28, 2014 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, 2014 at 10:24
  • 1
    @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, 2014 at 14:22
  • Hi Andrew! Your comment on the accepted answer linked to a report of your walk. For me, the link is down today, September 20, 2019. Would you be willing to put some of that report into this question? I think it would be really helpful, since the question got a lot of attention and answers with some different opinions. I know it was a long time ago, so you might not have the time or desire to do the edit, I just thought I'd ask! Thanks! Sep 21, 2019 at 1:02
  • Related: outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/1448/…
    – Martin F
    Sep 30, 2019 at 23:15

11 Answers 11


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

  • 1
    I ended up doing this. My walk report is at bajada.andrewwelch.info May 5, 2014 at 17:34
  • 2
    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. Jul 28, 2015 at 14:45

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.

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    Don't cut them too short. Cut them at an angle, and fuse the ends with a lighter. Apr 9, 2014 at 18:52
  • If the rubber bands are latex (tree sap) and not silicone, they will decompose. Nov 3, 2019 at 13:59

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.

  • 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. May 5, 2014 at 9:19

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.


I take a metal keychain ring and run it through the loose end of the strap and around the main strap.

As so: enter image description here


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.


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: http://packinglighttravel.com/travel-tips/health-safety-and-comfort/tame-dangling-straps-web-dominator/


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.


What I've done before is to place an elastic hair tie on the end of the strap, then just roll the strap up with the hair tie in the center, making a spool around the hairtie. Then you just double up the hairtie repeatedly around the entire spool so that it holds the spool rolled up. The nice thing about this is that it allows you to adjust the length of the loose portion without completely undoing the tie. You can just roll out half a rotation of the spool and then adjust the elastic tie accordingly.


I just tie them together. It may not look as pretty as other options but it's free, quick and can be done on the fly. I often travel with my pack on planes and generally check my bag, tying the straps works here too.


I use g hooks on my osprey straps theyre tidy and dont pick up crud like velcro does , a set of 4 ally g hooks are about £6 . Look clean and tidy and come in lots of colours

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