Concerning kids’ backpacks, these are not “backpacks.” These are better called “school” or “convenience” packs. A true backpack carries the load on the hips and waist, with shoulder straps for hold and balance, and does not encourage a stooped posture from carrying the load on the shoulders.

Joseph Kostka
Natrona Heights, Pa.

I am 74 years old, weigh 185 pounds, and frequently carry a backpack weighing 70 to 75 pounds for several hours at a time with no difficulty. Why do the youngsters in the article have so much difficulty? To any experienced camper or hiker, the answer is obvious. They wear the pack incorrectly. When a backpack is banging into your buttocks, it is pulling you backwards and beating you to death. One look at the illustration reveals this. A backpack needs to be strapped up high on the back and firmly against the shoulders. In this way, its weight is properly distributed. Backpacks for school children are marketed by department and chain stores that have absolutely no comprehension of the proper way of wearing this equipment. The problem is a simple case of the misapplication of a highly effective way of transporting a load.

Robert E. Moore
Pittsfield, Mass.

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