What Are the Loops on My Backpack For?

What Are the Loops on My Backpack For
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There is no doubt that the backpack is an incredibly useful invention that helps us carry around lots of stuff with a minimum of fuss. Whether you are climbing a mountain, traveling the world, or just going out for a long stroll, a good backpack is an essential accessory.

However, not everyone takes the time to work out how best to use their backpack. This means that they don’t use it to the maximum of its capability. A good example of this comes with the loops featured on most models.

What are they for and how should you use them? If you have ever wondered “what are the loops on my backpack for?” you will be interested to see that they are each there for different reasons.

The Basics

The Basics

All of the loops and backpack straps are there to make life that little bit easier for you while you are out exploring the world. Some of them give you different ways of carrying your gear depending upon the circumstances, while others let you adjust them to make the backpack more comfortable to carry.

For instance, you might have a sleeping bag or a big pair of boots that you can’t fit inside the backpack. In that case, hanging the item or items outside might be your only option for taking them with you easily. Read this article to find out how to carry sleeping bags on a backpack.

Since there are a number of different types of loops, let’s look at them one by one by one to see how you can use each of them in different situations.

The Shoulder Strap Loops

The loops that you see next to the shoulder straps are very useful for allowing you to carry extra pieces of gear. These are known as backpack daisy chains and are like a line of small loops along the fabric.

You can attach a wide variety of objects onto this part of your pack. For example, you can hang big, bulky pieces of equipment here, which is something that is most typically done using a bungee cord or two.

Side Compression Straps

These are the flat, adjustable straps that are usually located halfway up either side of the backpack. You can either tighten or loosen them as you see fit.

The reason for using them is to make the backpack more compact when necessary. What this does is bring it in closer to your back rather than leaving it hanging farther away from you. In this way, you will avoid putting too much strain on your back while carrying it.

Small Loops at the Top

You may also have a couple of small loops at the top of the pack, with one on either side or else just one on one side. In some cases, there are also similar loops down at the bottom as well. What are they for and how should you use them?

The truth is that they are there for you to keep your trekking poles secure and ready to use while you walk. You can simply slide the poles snugly into there, with either loops or mesh pockets down at the bottom for keeping them firmly in place.

The Loop at the Bottom

Have you noticed a loop at the bottom of your backpack and wondered what it is for? It doesn’t really look very useful, does it? Some people hang the backpack from this loop when it is drying but that isn’t the main purpose that it serves.

The Two Straps at the Bottom

This is actually designed for attaching equipment such as ice axes or other objects with long handles. To avoid injuring yourself or anyone else, you should put the handle through this loop and then bring it up so that you can attach it to the pack using cords. This is the safest and most secure way of carrying gear like this.

The Two Straps at the Bottom

If you have a couple of straps at the bottom of your backpack, then these are what are known as the rear loading straps. They offer a neat way to store things that are bulky and awkward but not particularly heavy, like mats, waterproof clothing, or sleeping bags.

Naturally, you will want to avoid putting anything heavy down there, as this could put too much strain on your back. Instead, stick to light things that you can’t find enough room for inside the backpack.


By understanding all of these different loops and straps you can get more use out of your backpack in the long run. They are each carefully designed to let you carry all of your gear in a safer and more comfortable way than would otherwise be the case.

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