How To Use Backpack Loops Efficiently

Last Updated: October 7, 2021

Backpack loops are a great way to organize the contents of your backpack. These seemingly small appendages in a backpack can be indispensable while you are on an outdoor adventure.

They can be used for school, work, or any outing where you need to carry items with you. They come in many shapes and sizes, enabling you to use your backpack no matter how much space is available inside.

However, unless you are a veteran trekker or work in the outdoor gear industry, backpack loops can confuse many. In many instances, these loops can even seem unnecessary. But they have a very important function.

Whether you’re looking for a way to keep your gear safe or just want an easier time carrying items around, backpack loops will help make sure that everything stays organized.

What Are Backpack Loops?

Backpack loops are webbing straps that are made on the outside of a backpack to help you easily attach items.

They’re generally used for attaching things like water bottles, sleeping pads, ice axes and other types of gear that usually fall out from an open backpack.

These loops are about two to three inches in length and in most backpacks come in a series of daisy chain loops. However, they can also be in the form of individual loops.

Individual backpack loops can be either small or large, depending on the size of the backpack. In addition, some outdoor backpacks have loops that allow you to customize them according to your needs.

The material of choice for backpack webbing straps for many brands is nylon, as it is both strong and durable. However, some brands also use plastic.

What Are The Loops On My Backpack For?

The primary function of loops on a backpack is for securing outdoor gear. These can be anything from an ice axe, sleeping bags, water bottles, and clothes. In addition, some packs also come with trekking pole loops and provisions for hooking up a tripod.

Outdoor experts agree that backpack loops are very helpful in other ways, including:

  • Adding stability to the backpack – backpackers who need a multitude of tools for their adventure naturally carry many items. Backpack loops help distribute the weight evenly throughout the backpack and add stability. However, you need to use the right packing technique to ensure that none of the items attached is swinging as they make you lose balance.
  • Keeping wet and dirty items apart from the clean ones – getting your shoes, socks or clothing wet and dirty is inevitable while outdoors. And packing these inside your backpack can wreck other items. Furthermore, securing dirty boots on the loop will also accelerate the drying process. In addition, a used stove will have some lingering smell of fuel. These are items that you do not want to pack inside a backpack.
  • Saving space in your pack for essential items – items of substantial size such as sleeping pads and helmets take up a lot of space in the backpack. Also, packing gears with sharp points will inadvertently damage items in the backpack itself. So securing them outside via webbing straps is a fantastic way to save space in the backpack.

How to Use Loops on Bottom of Backpack

The loops in a backpack are pretty straightforward to use if you have some experience. However, first-timers have a hard time figuring out how to use them properly.

Below are some of the top ways to use backpack loops:

1. For lighter items such as clothing, use a webbing strap or a carabiner and clip them to the backpack loops.

2. If your backpack loop has webbing, you can use an elasticized cord to attach gear to it.

3. For heavier items such as tripods and other outdoor gear, you will need bungee cords to secure them to the loop.

4. For gears that are long such as ice axe and trekking poles, slide it through the loop. In addition, you want to secure the shaft to the pack with the help of other attachments. In the case of an ice pick, make sure that it faces inwards before securing the shaft to avoid accidents.

5. You can also create a custom rig for items such as sleeping pads or other items that are bulky. In this regard, using a non-elasticized cord or a carabiner to interconnect them to the backpack loops keeps them securely in place. For additional safety, you can also clip the gears.

Frequently Used Items with Backpack Loops

Most outdoor activities are gear-intensive. So even with the best backpack in your arsenal, it cannot work in isolation. The same is true for the loops at the bottom of the backpack.

That being said, some of the most frequently used items with backpack loops are:

  • External pouches – These are ideal for carrying snacks and a water bottle that you can access easily.
  • Messenger bags – Similar to external pouches, messenger bags can also hold your essential items while outdoors.
  • Laminated maps – These are an excellent source of information when you can’t rely on technology, and electronic gears are out of work.

Other frequently used items include tents, camera tripods, trekking poles, roll mats, ice axes, and water bottles.

Potential Disadvantages

Backpack loops are not really disadvantageous; otherwise, manufacturers would not add them as part of the design. However, there may be situations when these bottom d rings on your backpack can be a little inconvenient.

When you are not using it to secure items, it can dangle weirdly and may catch vegetation or other objects. To prevent this, you can fold up the loops neatly before embarking on the trip.

Another situation where it can dangle is improper use. If you do not secure gears or items in the loop properly, the items can swing and dangle. This can be more of an annoyance as it can destabilize you and cause you to fall or slip, especially if it is a heavy item.

Therefore, securing the gear properly is a must to prevent accidents.

Final Thoughts

Understanding how to use backpack loops is not rocket science. However, knowing how to use it correctly can be very helpful during your outdoor adventures. You can carry a lot of additional items using these straps. Furthermore, they also help to keep your backpack clean, fresh, and neatly organized.