1. Won’t Balance Pockets prevent me seeing where I am going?

This is a common worry. Your vision is not obstructed because you can see your feet in the gap between the pockets. Using Balance Pockets in rough terrain greatly improves your balance, stability and safety.

2. Won’t I get hot under the Balance Pockets?

Balance Pockets naturally hang away from the body at the top. They should not touch your body. If you find they touch your chest or your tummy, you will bend the frames to produce a ventilation gap.

3. Don’t the pockets put more weight on the shoulders?

The sliding connection to the shoulder straps allows each Balance Pocket frame to transfer all its weight to the front of hipbelt.

4. Can women wear them comfortably?

Yes! Women with large busts find the pockets work well after custom bending the frames to fit their contours.

5. Aren’t they difficult to put on?

Initially, a Bodypack may seem more cumbersome to put on than a backpack. Correct technique and a little familiarity make it easy.

6. Won’t they restrict my arm movement?

For optimum arm clearance, adjust the gap at the top of the Balance Pockets by the top straps and at the bottom by adjusting the hipbelt length.

7. Will the Balance Pockets restrict leg movement when climbing?

With the sloping bottom of the Pockets and the hipbelt attachment system, the pockets are high enough for leg clearance.

8. Will the Balance Pockets get in the way when bush wacking?

With a load in front your pack doesn't project so high - a high pack can be more of a problem in penetrating scrub than pockets in front. Except in the very thickest scrub, Balance Pockets will not be a problem, and will protect your chest.

9. I love to backpack - but have back problems. Will Bodypacks help?

Absolutely! Equalizing weight front and back is even more important for the back than reducing weight. Sports Science findings confirm this. Physical Therapists and chiropractors now recommend Bodypacks to strengthen the back.

10. I've had surgery in the lymph node area/ I have a pacemaker. Will Balance Pockets help me to continue backpacking?

Balance Pockets are the only solution. The Balance Pockets pull the shoulder straps forward and away from your body at the sides of your chest, eliminating the pressure precisely where needed.

11. How do the Balance Pockets perform in river crossings?

We have extensive experience with river crossings using Aarn Balance Packs. The Balance Pockets act as front flotation devices if swept off your feet helping you to stay face up. Before crossing the river, unclip the chest straps from the X-configuration and re-clip the Balance pockets together at the top, keeping the sternum straps undone.

12. How do I keep the pockets upright for easy packing?

With the pack standing on the ground, clip the top buckles of the Balance Pockets together after passing through the haul loop.

13. Which is best for my Aarn Pack - Balance Pockets or Balance Bags?

Balance pockets can be left permanently attached to your pack and larger models can be removed and used as a daypack.

Balance Bags attach quickly after putting the pack on and unclip even faster before taking the pack off. They can be used separately as a shoulder bag.

14. What are the limits to using Balance Pockets?

When your chest needs to be close to a rock or ice face, Balance Pockets hinder movement and balance. Therefore we do not recommend them for technical climbing. Instead, use our Pivoting Balance Pockets. However, regular Balance Pockets have been used successfully for mountaineering on less technical terrain, such as the west ridge of Denali in Alaska.

For a climbing trip, use the Balance Pockets for the approach and remove them for the climb. You can substitute Balance Gear Racks to carry heavy climbing hardware, taking the weight off your shoulders and balancing weight in the pack.

For short moves around a vertical obstacle, the larger Balance Pockets unclip at the top and swing out of the way to the sides underneath your arms. Your chest can now be close to the face. Re-clip them together when the obstacle is passed.

15. How do Aarn Packs perform without the Balance Pockets?

They work better than other backpacks due to the slim side profiles.

16. Do Balance Pockets work on other pack brands?

Rather than Balance Pockets, use one of our Universal Balance Bags, which may be used very successfully with other brands of packs that have a hip belt and sternum straps. The Universal Balance Bag attaches using our patented universal attachment system.