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This Northface backpack has an elastic strap which criss-crosses the back side of the pack. What is this type of strap called? The image below shows what kind of strap I'm talking about:

screenshot of backpack

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    I'd be more interested in how it's used. – Chris Mendez Jul 28 '15 at 2:36
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According to the features list for The North Face Men's Borealis Pack, that is called a:

Front elastic bungee for external storage

North Face product features page

16

That's simply elastic cord threaded through tie out loops on your bag. It's used to lash everything that can't fit inside your bag (extra layers/jacket), things that you don't want inside your bag (wet/muddy clothes or sharp pokey crampons), or things that you want quick access to onto the outside of your bag (wind breaker/gaiters/rain jacket).

When I'm rapidly gaining elevation, I lash my extra mid layers, Goretex jacket, gaiters, crampons and anything else I'm going to be putting on and wearing as soon as we get high enough in elevation onto the back of my bag.

I lash a lot of stuff to my bag on the approach when I'm going caving, the caves here are never warmer than 4°C and most of them are up at 2000m, so you have to pack extra warm clothes as well as your coveralls and everything else you're going to be wearing through the cave. Instead of carrying a bigger bag that you end up dragging through the cave and getting snagged on everything, or sweating balls all the way up the mountain wearing your extra layers, you carry a smaller bag and lash everything that you can't fit inside to the outside.

enter image description here

7

Shock cord

If you're looking to replace it, many retailers list it as a shock cord.

  • This doesn't add anything not it the other answers – Reinstate Monica May 30 '18 at 0:16
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    @CharlieBrumbaugh I don't see any other answer mentioning the term "shock cord" and the question is about terminology. So I don't understand how this isn't valuable information. I agree it's short, but it's a terminology question, they tend to be short. – imsodin May 30 '18 at 9:12
2

On backpacks intended for cycling (including some generic commuting/school bags) this is often described as helmet storage, even if those backpacks have no other cycling-specific features. Bike helmets are often damp with rain or sweat, and are single bulky items that won't escape from the net.

  • indeed, when i used to bike to work, this is exactly what i did with my helmet once at the office. – Jonathan Landrum 1 hour ago
  • @Jonathan you were lucky it fitted - I've never had a combination that does – Chris H 41 mins ago

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