A chest strap is a piece of webbing, complete with a buckle, that connects the two backpack straps together across your chest. They are sometimes referred to as Backpack Sternum Straps.
Adding a chest strap to your backpack will increase the stability of your pack, as well as reducing stress on your shoulders, neck and back. If you are carrying heavy loads or hiking for long distances it's a huge benefit. But a chest strap will also make the shoulder straps feel more secure, which is ideal for any kind of active pursuit.
At Trakke, we use a custom steel buckle to attach our Backpack Chest Strap.
In the image above, you can see the Molle webbing at the end of the shoulder strap. This is where the chest strap should be attached. You will notice that there are two open section of webbing where you can attach the chest strap.
Typically, we find that the lower attachment point is more comfortable for men, while the uppermost attachment point is usually more comfortable for women. But everyone is different and you should try both to ensure you find the most comfortable fit.
Once you have chosen which height you would prefer, you can attach the backpack chest strap like this:
Offer up the buckle on the chest strap to the Molle webbing on the shoulder strap.
Hook the central prong of the buckle under the webbing.
Tuck the short prong on the right hand side underneath the webbing to hold it in place.
That's it! Now that the strap is fitted, you can try on your backpack and make sure it sits comfortably and to get even more out of your pack you can also check out our guide on how to pack a backpack for whether your camping, hiking or trekking.