How To Fix Loose Backpack Straps

I have traveled to 30 countries in the last ten years and gathered many experiences in my backpack. 

One of the most annoying problems I’ve dealt with is loose or ill-fitting straps. It makes carrying a backpack uncomfortable and frustrating.

As an avid traveler, I know the importance of having a backpack that fits and distributes weight. When straps are loose, they can hurt your shoulders, causing pain and irritation. This also makes it hard to carry the pack for a long time.

Over time, I’ve found ways to tighten loose backpack straps and make them fit better. I’ll show you how to tighten loose backpack straps in this guide. 

It will make you feel confident and comfortable going outside or traveling overseas. So, Let’s get started!

How to identify loose backpack straps issue

It is essential to identify if your backpack straps are loose. It will keep you comfortable and prevent discomfort or injury while traveling. 

How to identify loose backpack straps issue

How to Spot Loose Backpack Straps

The first signs of loose straps are apparent. When you wear your backpack, it will sit lower on your back. The shoulder straps might feel loose, and the pack may move as you walk. You may even hear the belts squeaking or rubbing against each other. 

If the straps are loose, your backpack won’t distribute weight well. This can cause back strain and discomfort.

To check if your straps are flexible, put on your fully loaded box and tighten the belts. Walk around and move your arms, simulating hiking motions. 

If the straps loosen and you feel the pack drop, it’s time to adjust. You can also have someone else inspect the belts for visible signs of wear or damage. Frayed, torn, or visibly stretched straps won’t provide good support.

Don’t wait to make repairs or replacements if you notice any issues with your backpack straps. Loose and damaged straps will only get worse over time and continued use. Tight, well-maintained straps are essential for staying comfortable on the trail. Your back will thank you for keeping your pack in good working order!

How to fix loose backpack Use Tape (Method 1)

There’s nothing more annoying than having to stop every few minutes to readjust your pack. Over the years, I’ve found a few tried-and-true methods for tightening loose straps. It keeps everything securely in place during long treks.

How to fix loose backpack Use Tape

Use Tape

Duct tape is a backpacker’s best friend. Stick duct tape underneath and wrap it around until snug to make shoulder straps tighter. Please ensure not to make it too tight, or it may become uncomfortable after a few hours of walking. Gaffer or fabric tape also works great and sticks better to the fabric.

  • Start with 2-3 inch tape strips and add more as needed.
  • Apply the tape evenly to both straps for balance.
  • Before you start hiking, make sure to check if the straps of your backpack are tight enough. This will ensure you have even and comfortable support while on the trail.
  • Check the tape after 30-60 minutes of walking to ensure it still holds firm. Reapply if needed.
  • Using tape is a quick, cheap fix and has gotten me out of a bind more than once. The only downside is that it may damage the material of your straps over time or leave behind a sticky residue. 

If your straps are loose due to general wear and tear, it’s best to have them repaired or replaced for long-term use. But for a fast solution in the field, tape can work wonders.

How to Cut the Strap for a Loose Backpack( Method 2)

One of the most annoying issues I’ve dealt with is loose, ill-fitting straps. It makes the pack uncomfortable to carry and can even become a safety hazard. Here’s how I’ve fixed loose backpack straps in the past.

How to Cut the Strap for a Loose Backpack

Cutting the Strap

If adjusting the straps doesn’t work, you may need to cut them to size. This is best done with heavy-duty scissors, utility knives, or strap cutters.

First, put on the backpack and tighten the straps as much as possible while still being comfortable. Have a friend mark the spots where the excess strap ends for the shoulder straps and waist belt. Take off the pack and cut the straps at the marked areas.

You may have to put the pack back on to cut off less and mark the straps again for another trim. Once you cut the straps to the correct size, use a lighter or match to seal the ends and prevent fraying. You can use strap keepers, buckle covers, or elastic bands on the folded strap for extra security.

Cutting the straps is an easy, inexpensive solution to loose, ill-fitting backpack straps. With the right tools, you can turn an uncomfortable pack into one that fits you in just a few minutes. When done correctly, cutting the straps won’t affect the pack’s durability or warranty. 

So, if your backpack straps are loose, feel free to trim them down to size for the perfect fit.

Utilizing Velcro Strap Keepers ( Method 3 )

Velcro strap keepers are an easy way to control loose backpack straps. They work well. They are easy to use, durable, and can be reused frequently.

Utilizing Velcro Strap Keepers

Utilizing Velcro Strap Keepers

I like to use Velcro strap keepers to fix loose backpack straps. These handy little tabs have a strip of Velcro hook on one side and a strip of Velcro loop on the other. You wrap the strap keeper around your loose strap to bind it, then secure the Velcro pieces together. It prevents the strap from sliding around but allows you to adjust it easily.

Strap keepers come in a variety of sizes to suit different strap widths. I like to keep a few sizes on hand for various bags. The profile is shallow and won’t add bulk, so it won’t affect how your backpack carries or looks. You can buy cheap Velcro strap keepers online or at outdoor stores selling bags and hiking gear.

Use strap keepers to lock them in place to keep stubborn straps from coming loose. It’s really helpful to put strap keepers where the strap meets the buckle or adjuster. You can use this method to get rid of loose backpack straps forever and hike or travel comfortably!

Use to Sewing the Excess Strap Fabric ( Method 4 )

I’ve found some reliable ways to fix loose straps and get back to enjoying the trail. If your straps are loose and floppy, sewing the extra webbing together can help. This is my preferred method since it provides a permanent solution. All you need is a sewing needle and strong thread.

Use to Sewing the Excess Strap Fabric

To start:

  • Put on your backpack and have someone else mark where the straps should sit snugly on your shoulders.
  • Take off the pack and thread your needle.
  • Fold over the excess strap at the marks to determine how much needs sewn.
  • You want it snug but still comfortable. To keep the strap in place, sew some anchors across its width. Then, stitch down the fold to secure the extra strap.
  • Repeat the same process on the other strap. Try on your backpack again. The straps should now sit comfortably right where you want them. This method works best if you have several inches of excess strap.
  • If done correctly, the stitching will be secure and hardly noticeable. You may need to reinforce the seam over time or after heavy use.
  • Sewing tight backpack straps is a fast and cheap way to avoid wasting time adjusting my pack. This allows me to go outside without any hassle.

My Shoulders appreciate the difference after a long day of hiking or travel! If your straps are too loose after sewing, it may affect the comfort or functionality of your pack. Try replacement straps or get a new backpack instead.

Replacing the Backpack Straps ( Method 5)

One thing that bothers me a lot is when the straps on my pack are loose and don’t fit well. It makes it uncomfortable to wear for a long time. If your backpack straps are loose or damaged, it can put a damper on enjoying the outdoors.

Replacing the Straps

The best solution I’ve found is to replace the straps. Most major backpack brands sell replacement straps that you can easily swap out. I’ve done this with several of my packs, which affects how the bag carries and distributes weight.

To replace your backpack straps:

1. Buy replacement straps from the pack manufacturer or a third-party supplier. Make sure the new straps are compatible with your specific backpack model.

2. Remove the existing straps from your pack. To remove them from the backpack, unclip or unfasten them from the top, sides, and bottom. You may need to remove some stitching or cut away damaged portions of the old straps.

3. Connect the new replacement straps to your pack in the same spots where the old straps are attached. Many use clips, buckles, or stitching to fasten the belts securely. Follow the directions provided with your new straps. 

4. Adjust the new straps to fit comfortably before loading your pack. You want the straps to be snug but still allow free movement. Make final adjustments once the package is loaded if needed.

5. Test the new straps on a short hike before taking the pack on an extended trip. Before you go on the trail, use it to check if the belts fit properly.


You can quickly tighten your backpack straps by following our tips. I’ve traveled and hiked for years with backpacks of all sizes. Loose straps are annoying. I’ve often used these tricks to fix strap problems and avoid discomfort.

These five best ways will help you fix backpack straps that are too loose. So, You can use these tips to organize your backpack and stay comfortable on your adventures.

Feel free to tell me what you think in the spaces below.

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