Proper loading is essential to allow these packs to achieve their full potential for comfort and balance. The packs do not need to be fully loaded to work correctly.
If only the bottom compartment is filled, The Jensen Pack™ functions as a fanny pack with suspenders, and the entire load is carried by the hips. As additional gear is added in the vertical tubes, it assumes the characteristics of a day pack, with the load distributed to the hips and shoulders.
As the pack continues to fill, it takes on more of its characteristic shape, and distributes the load even more efficiently. Of course, care should be taken to avoid placing hard or sharp objects against one’s back, which is easily accomplished by putting these items in first, and soft items in last. Since the pack is most easily filled when it is laying down, this is simpler than it might seem.
As previously mentioned, The Jensen Pack™ was design to carry the sleeping bag in the lower compartment, but alternatively this compartment can be used for clothing and the sleeping bag can be stuffed into the top compartment. The lower compartment should be as full as is possible, to maximize its function in transferring the weight in the upper part of the pack to one’s hips. It’s generally easier to fill the lower compartment first, and then tightly pack gear in the bottom of the vertical tubes.
With the pack laying on its back, put heavier, odd shaped gear in first. When the pack is almost full, zip each slider up a few inches on each side, then stuff clothing or other soft items all the way down the vertical tubes until they’re full. Then close the zipper a little more, and stuff in some more gear until the entire back is padded and the pack contains all your gear. These packs are sensitive to unbalanced loads. Therefore the packer must become aware of the weight, shape and size of the articles to be carried, and give some thought to the packing scheme that will produce optimum comfort and weight distribution. In general, you want the center of gravity as close to your back as possible, and slightly below the shoulders.