What Are Backpack Loops Used For?

With backpack loops, you can attach extra gear to the outside of your pack when you need it.

You can use your backpack loops for several things. Depending on this use, your backpack loops will be used differently.

In this section, you'll find some examples of backpack loop roles.

Attach items you want to be able to access easily

Any items you don't want to dig through your pack for and are relatively small can be attached to your backpack loops. You can clip a GPS, phone case, ditty bag, or knife to the gear loops, for example.

Satellite trackers such as Garmin Inreach or Spot are best attached to the top lid of your pack for the best reception.

A small bag clipped to the shoulder strap can serve as a pocket if you wear clothing with few pockets.

In a Sealine clear-sided passport protector, I keep my phone, glass cleaning cloth, lighter, and gum.

It has a D-ring on the back, so it is easy to clip a mini-carabiner to the shoulder strap of your backpack.

I attach my Unigear dry rucksack to one of my backpack loops. In case you missed it, the best dry bags of 2021 are listed here. 

The lack of pockets in outdoor clothing is often cited as a complaint by women. Your 1-2-liter waterproof bag can serve as your off-road purse, keeping items you would normally put in your pockets within easy reach.

Increasing the capacity of your backpack

Using the backpack loops, you can attach an external pouch to expand your pack's capacity.

This is an excellent way to attach sleeping bags or sleeping pads, for example.

Many backpack companies offer integrated small day packs that attach to some of their bags, giving you more usable space.

Besides being used for summit pushes and day hikes from base camps, the small pack can also double as a summit push pack.

Tents and sleeping pads can be lashed to the outside to free up interior space. It works for sleeping bags as well. My sleeping bag fits there easily.

For this purpose, you should use the bottom straps on the rear of the pack. Some people even use compression straps for this, but it is not as convenient.

These straps usually have quickly connected buckles, so it is easy to put items on and off. Due to its bulk, a foam sleeping pad must be strapped outside. These backpack loops come in handy in such situations.

As you hike, you should check the tightness of the straps regularly, as they can loosen. If something large like your tent bag falls off, you would probably notice, but it's not worth the risk.

If you lash other objects outside other than foam pads, make sure they are protected by a bag, as they will likely be exposed to more wear and tear from the elements.

Drying your clothes

Wearing your backpack loops as a clothes rack can be handy when you are hiking during the day.

Wet or dirty clothes can be hung on them. Wet or dirty clothing is best carried this way, especially when your pack is small.

It is very useful to have those attachment points in such cases.

You should rotate your clothes partway through the day because you will often fold them under straps. This way, all of the material is in contact with air.

Even if your clothes are dry, if they have been worn for several days, they can stink. Strapping them to the outside of your pack, using the backpack loops, will allow you to air them out.

Taking unusual items

Camping in the winter requires a compact shovel. Webbing straps or cords (elastic or nonelastic) can be used to lash them to a few loops on backpacks that don't have a specific attachment point for them.

Axes and other tools should be carried in the same way. You need to be creative. Be sure that the load is balanced evenly so that none side is too heavy.

Only a sleeping bag can be attached there, but that isn't explicitly stated.

Many backpack brands include webbing loops. If you tie it to your backpack, the webbing loops will interlace across it so that it can be tethered.

What is the right way to use backpack loops?

Packrat loops can be used to clip things to them with a carabiner or to latch them down with straps or cords.

Bungee cords can also be used to attach light items, such as jackets. By purchasing shock cords from a fabric or camping store, you can make stretchy cords.

These mini s-shaped carabiners from "Nite Ize" are ideal for adding length to the line. The shock cord is connected to the s-biner with a bowline or scaffold knot.

Mounting securely may require multiple points or a single point, depending on the items you need to attach.

When something will throw off your balance or damage you when you swing around, it is best to anchor it by at least two points to keep it from rotating.

If you plan to mount anything bulkier, straps should be used to cinch the mounting down. When using two straps, the item will be more securely held and won't move around as much. They are similar to the straps on most backpacks.

A webbing strap can also be used to clip additional equipment. The majority of pack loops allow you to attach not only a carabiner but also a webbing strap.

A variety of backpack loops

Let's look at the different backpack loops.

Carry Loop

On the shoulder straps, there is a carry loop. The system isn't designed to attach gear to it. You can pick your bag up with it or hang it.

Trekking poles, for example, cannot be attached there.

Shoulder strap loops

There will be a place where you can attach gear to backpack shoulder straps. On each shoulder strap is a loop that I'm using to attach my GPS to one and my knife to the other.

Also available are shoulder strap pouches that can be attached to the bag. Cases like these are common for cameras and phones.

Heavy Gear is not designed to be carried by these bags. Walking there, I've seen a few people carrying their water bottles.

Hip Belt Loops

Most hip belts have zip-up pockets, but you will often find loops of webbing that can be attached to them.

I keep my drinking water from freezing by attaching an Outdoor Research Insulated Bottle Holder to my hip belt in winter.

Molle webbing

Molle straps are used for attaching pouches to packs securely. They are used on military and tactical bags. You can customize your backpack with it. First aid kits and water bottle pouches are standard pouches.

If you have a pack of this type, it is very simple to use, but I've also used Molle pouches with backpacks that don't have Molles.

Side compression straps

There may not be a specific loop for you to attach gear to, but you can attach long and thin gear to the compression straps (known as backpack straps) at the side of your backpack. The webbing straps are the same.

A tent pole or a fly-fishing rod will be strapped in. The bottom water bottle pocket prevents anything from slipping out.

Straps like these come in handy when traveling. If you know how to use them, all backpack straps are.

Top lid loops

Although not all packs have lash points at the top, you can use them to mount lightweight items to keep them off the ground.

It would be unfair to overlook the top lid when it comes to securing extra gear. A backpack's top lid is secured in place by quick-connect webbing straps.

The lid is used in this way to keep gear in place. My puffy jacket and rain gear are often under the cover so I can access them quickly.

Even water bottles can be attached there. The loops on those backpacks are small. For light items, you should use small backpack loops

Back loops

Many packs come with at least four loops for attaching gear to the back. Depending on how they are oriented, you will use them differently.

You can usually anchor gear between two vertical loops, and usually, each loop has one on each side. The sides of the bungee cord may be connected with webbing straps, cords, or bungees.

Larger items, such as cylindrical tent bags, can be carried with ease. 

Bottom loops

A backpack's bottom is usually equipped with adjustable straps. In addition to sleeping pads and sleeping bags, tents are also able to be attached.

Although some packs feature lash points, they do not include straps. Get webbing straps that will fit the lash points, by measuring the width of the lash points. Choose a strap that is as wide as possible since these tend to hold better and roll less.

A lot of heavy gear and cylindrical tents are attached to these.

Ice Axe Loops

Discover the purpose of those thin backpack loops at the bottom of your backpack if you have ever wondered.

Ice axes are attached to them. An ice axe is essential if you are trekking through snowpack or glaciers in the mountains, but it can be cumbersome to carry when you aren't using it. Ice axes can be safely mounted to your backpack using the loops.

These mounts can also serve as mountings for trekking poles or backpacking shovels if you want hands-free. Normally, I secure my trekking poles or two ice axes there. 

 This method works for bulky equipment as well.

What are Daisy Chains?

The Daisy chain is simply a series of loops that are connected. You can run more than one strap to secure an item or change the lash points.

The Daisy chain often has two parallel chains and allows items to be strapped between them. The nylon webbing they use for rigidity is made of nylon. 

Weaving shock cords between the chains will increase their functionality.

Then stuff the gear under the shock cord so that it can be retrieved easily but is securely held in place. There is usually quite a bit of nylon webbing there.

Drawbacks of using backpack loops

There are good and poor sides to everything, I am sure. I have so far granted you the pros of backpack loops.

But what are the cons of this approach? Let's take a look:

  • Often noisy
  • Outside items are susceptible to damage
  • The weight balance of the pack can be thrown off
  • It appears cluttered and messy
  • Outside your pack, things are easier to lose


Your next camping trip will be much more enjoyable now that you know how to make the most out of backpack loops. Although your gear is better protected inside your pack, sometimes you will want to make use of the extra capacity the backpack loops provide.

Make sure you don't come across as an old-style miner. As you walk down the trail, it seems like you spilled your cutlery drawer as you carry so much stuff.

How to use trekking pole loops on a backpack?-- A pro tip for a hiker.

As much of your gear as you can pack inside your backpack for a clean aesthetic and protect your camping gear.

However, sometimes you need to attach things to the outside of your pack.

Items can be externally mounted to your bag due to lack of space, wet gear, or things you want to access quickly.

Pack loops allow things to be securely mounted on the outside of your pack without getting in the way, so you can keep them out of your way.

We go over all the details and best practices for mounting things outside your pack using the backpack loops.

These are the exact techniques I use on my numerous hiking and backpacking trips that are effective. Also tent are the important component need to carry while goinf outside. Visit the guide  Best 5 person tent for camping 2021 If you are looking for the outdoor camping adventure with family.

If you're looking for proven tips to help you succeed, you need to keep reading.
Let's get started.

What are backpack loops?

You can attach gear to the outside of your backpack using backpack loops, which are external load-bearing points.

Tie points or lashing points are commonly used terms. The hip belt and shoulder straps are also located on the top, back, and bottom. Compression straps often have loops as well.

There are loops on many backpacks designed for hiking that allow you to attach trekking poles and ice axes. Our ice axes are often used in the winter.

Companies design backpacks that can be used in all four seasons and different climates, so they try to give you as many options as possible.

Unlock Marketing Secrets That Work ​