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Balance Pockets


Our patented Balancing Systems are the heart of our unexcelled load-carrying efficiency. By adding Balance Pockets or Universal Balance Pockets to your pack, you greatly reduce or eliminate the leverages on your shoulders and back arising from the offset load of the pack. Reducing the forces acting on the body results in reduced fatigue and more comfortable load carrying.

Our pack designs are integral to the efficiency of the Balance Pockets, because they incorporate both slim side profiles (keeping the pack load closer to the back) and U Flow systems (allowing free movement). Sports Science findings show that it is the synergistic combination of these 2 factors that creates this minimal effort load carrying.

Sports Science Aarn Graph
How Aarn balance packs compare to a standard backpack.


In addition, the instant access to gear needed often and quickly during the day allows you to move more efficiently through the terrain without needing to stop to access gear.

How do Balance Pockets work?

Balance Pockets attach to the holsters on the hip belt and the large O rings on the shoulder straps of your Aarn Backpack. These O rings are free to slide up or down the shoulder straps so that the shoulders bear no load from the pockets.

Balance Pockets have frames that transfer the load onto the hip belt.

The weight from the Balance Pockets on the front of the hip belt balances the weight from the pack on the back of the hip belt, reducing or eliminating leverages on the hips.

  • The frames can be bent to fit larger chest shapes for comfort and to create the air gap that eliminates heat build up.
  • The pack's pull-back forces on the shoulders are neutralised by the pull-forward forces from the Balance Pockets. Shoulder straps can be worn more loosely than a traditional backpack (eliminating back and shoulder strain) so that more of the load is transferred onto the hips.
  • The two separate pockets are designed to create a gap between them so that you can see your feet as you walk.
  • The Balance Pockets are attached to the pack before you put it on. They can be left permanently attached or removed for separate use.
Man and woman wearing Aarn Balance Pockets


What are Universal Balance Pockets?

Universal Balance Pockets allow hikers try some benefits of Aarn’s principles while using their current traditional pack. The Universal Balance Pockets work on similar principles as our Aarn Balance Pockets, offering some energy efficiency, some strain relief and convenient access. To get the full benefit of movement and balance, an Aarn Backpack and Balance Pockets are recommended.

The energy savings from a balanced load make up for extra weight of bags when total load carried (pack and bags) is greater than 6-7kg.

Universal Balance Pockets are designed to fit any brand of pack that uses a hip belt and sternum straps; they attach to the pack differently than our Balance Pockets. While Balance Pockets are connected to the pack before you put the pack on (and can be left permanently attached), Universal Balance Pockets are attached to the pack once you have put the pack on and are unclipped before you take the pack off. 

How do Universal Balance Pockets work?

A pair of clips with buckles are provided. On other brands of traditional backpacks, these clip into a fixed attachment point on the shoulder straps, such as D rings, the top stabiliser straps, or even the web slot on your sternum strap slider. These clips can be left permanently attached to the shoulder straps.

To put the Balance Bags on, clip the buckles at the top of the Balance Bags to the matching buckles with the clips that you have already attached to your shoulder straps. Now slip the bottom Velcro strap of the Universal Balance Pocket over the center of your hip belt. Tighten the top straps to get the required air gap between your chest and the top of the Balance Bags.