My backpack (Osprey Aether 70L) is moving from left to right slightly, albeit annoyingly, when I walk. I believe I adjusted the harness correctly, following the manufacturer's instructions here.

If I undo the clips that connect the belt to the backpack the problem goes away - I am able to walk and backpack barely moves from left to right, but I suspect that's not a proper solution, as the clips connect the load-bearing frame of the backpack to the hipbelt and when I disconnect those it's only the velco strap on the belt holds all the weight.

Is this an inherent 'feature' of the backpack or can I somehow get rid of this swinging motion?

  • 1
    How much do your hips move when you walk? If you try walking with an exaggerated hip motion, does that exaggerate the problem (and then, try the inverse)?
    – WBT
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 13:46

2 Answers 2


I have the same pack, and I've never noticed an issue like this. I find it interesting that the sway is resolved by undoing the buckles from the hip belt to the pack- I don't have mine in front of me, but based on my memory those are not a primary load-bearing component, and the velcro would be sufficient on its own. It sounds like this is related to the natural sway of your hips, which shouldn't normally cause the pack to move much.

My first thought is that the pack may not be riding correctly on your hips. I assume you had someone measure your torso length and the size pack you got is correct for said length? You could try cinching the hip belt a little tighter or looser and seeing if it rides better a little higher or lower. Ensure that your shoulder straps are reasonably tight, but still not bearing much at all of the weight. Also, make sure all of your compression straps are tightened up so the load is carried closer to your body. If none of that works, you can always go back to the store where you got it and ask them to take a look at it.


No, your bag is not supposed to do that, your bag is supposed to be secure on your back, it's not supposed to move from side to side.

There are a number of things which could be going wrong. First of all I'd check to make sure your bag is properly adjusted and your stabilized straps are snug. If your bag is still flopping around then you probably need to redistribute the weight inside you back pack. If neither of those things works, then your bag is either the wrong fit entirely, or broken.

The most critical adjustment is your torso length, you want the shoulder straps to wrap over the top of your should and come back down a couple inches while the waist belt is snug on your hips (some bags allow for fine adjustments on torso length). Start with all the straps loose, snug the waist belt first, rest it right on your hips and tighten it up, then do your shoulder straps, after those are snug, then you need to tighten up your stabilizer straps on the sides of your hips and on top of your shoulders. At this point I typically put a tiny amount of slack back into the shoulder straps to relieve some of the load off of your shoulders, your hips should carry the weight, everything else keeps the bag close to your body and prevents it from flopping around.

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