They are automatically applied to all your chars. You can remove/unequip them but if you do, you’ll loose 50 units worth of carry weight. This makes things more realistic.
E.g current base carry weight is 64 units. That you can expand twice, with Carry Capacity skill, up to 96 units. 50 units allocated to backpack is reasonable amount.
There is some skill rework ahead, where Carry Capacity skill is removed completely. Instead, you can then find different sized backpacks, to increase your carry weight, e.g:
You start out with no backpack, where your carry weight is 48 units.
You can find 3x different backpacks: small, medium and large:
Small one increases the carry weight by 16 over base value, totaling at 64. (current base value)
Medium one increases the carry weight by 32 over base value, totaling at 80. (current value with Carry Capacity at level 1)
Large one increases the carry weight by 48 over base value, totaling at 96. (current value with Carry Capacity at level 2)
But in no shape, way or form, i want an increase of the current carry weight. It is already too high.
I think with a bit of tweaking, we could turn this into a proper gameplay mechanic.
Reduce carrying capacity to 48 (I personally want my numbers in neat multiples of 5 and 10 but w/e)
Add base backpack sizes, small backpack (24 space), medium backpack(48 space), large backpack(96 space).
Larger backpacks impose stamina/speed/noise/visibility penalty, which can be mitigated by putting points into the carrying capacity skill.
Items in backpack are not accessible to inventory, you press a button to drop the backpack and then access it like a container.
When looting, there’s an option to “load into backpack”.
On death, you drop your backpack and everything in it. You can run back to get it or craft/find a replacement.
An optional thing to add is that you can have backpack types that allow additional features: Medical backpack allows you to access medical items inside without having to drop your backpack, radio backpack has reduced capacity but works as a field radio with 1min cooldown while worn), mechanical toolpack which only stores materials but can also be used as a recycling station, and so on.