Hayes wrote a question about Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry Backpack - 3975-4275cu in on June 29, 2014
Question on fitting the South Col or BMG 105 OutDry backpacks: One important aspect of fitting a new backpack is to make sure the stays conform with the lumbar region of the hiker so that the load will be transferred to his/her hips, not the shoulders. The photo below shows a side view of the stays (actually one continuous metal stay bent into a U) of my new South Col OutDry backpack right out of the box. The plastic sheet (visible near the top) goes between the metal rod and the hikers back. The hiker would be on the right. Also in this photo is my template stay that has been bent to shape my lumbar region. Note that the curvatures are opposite. My initial thought is: Has someone at Mountain Hardwear assembled these stays backwards? The BMG 105 OutDry backpack stay came with the same orientation as the South Col. This is easy to correct by unzipping the Velcro strips holding it in place and flipping the stay around before adjusting (bending) it to fit. However, if I attempted to use either of these packs as they were delivered from Backcountry.com, the bottom of the U-shaped stay would dig into the top of my lower lumbar, sacrum and coccyx and make for a very painful hike or climb. Am I overlooking something here? Thank you.