Wondering if there are any backpacks for big guys like you out there? When you are well over six feet tall or have a bit of extra weight, finding clothing and gear that fits can become a challenge.
How to measure your torso length and waist circumference
When it comes to choosing the right hiking backpack, pay attention to two measurements: torso length and waist circumference. You can easily take these measurements by using a flexible measuring tape.
First, put the tape around your waist at the level of your belly button. This is your waist circumference.
On to measuring your torso length. At first, touch the back of your neck where it meets your shoulders. You’ll feel an outward bump which is your 7th cervical vertebra. That will be the upper point from which you will later start measuring. Now put your hands on your hips so that your palms are positioned over your hip bones. Make note of where your thumbs are placed on your back. Imagine a mark right between them – this is where your lower measurement will be. Then roll out the flexible measuring tape and measure the distance between these two points. This is your torso length!
Here is a helpful video on measuring torso length:
Finding the right size in hiking backpacks
Once you have your measurements figured out, it will be much easier to browse online for your perfect hiking pack.
If there is a brand you like, search for their sizing information to see if they make packs for your size. Check out this handy sizing chart by High Sierra, Granite Gear’s fitting guide or this size comparison by Patagonia.
Since most hiking backpacks have adjustable shoulder straps, hip belts or even torso length, it is highly likely that you will have quite a few options. And even if you are outside of the range for packs, there are accessories like an extra large hip belt that you can attach on a number of backpacks.
Top 5 hiking backpacks and accessories for big guys
The Atmos 65 AG comes in several different sizes up to XL. One of its defining features is the adjustable harness that allows you to regulate torso length – so this is a great option for tall guys. It can accommodate torso length of up to 25 inches or 63,5 cm. This pack also has an adjustable hip belt with pads that extend the belts length by 5 inches or 15 cm.
This spacious hiking backpack provides good ventilation and carrying comfort. It is a favorite of many hiking enthusiasts, beginners and pros alike, because of its large size and customizable fit.
Anti-Gravity suspension - feels like you are carrying less weight than is in your pack.
Adjustable harness and Fit-on-the-Fly hipbelt to dial in perfect fit.
Read more about this backpack in our article Best hiking backpack of 2021 – Reviews with comparisons.
The Virga 2 model comes in three different sizes – small, medium and large. Tall guys will appreciate the “large” version that has 58 liter capacity and is designed for torso length of 21 to 24 inches (53 to 64 cm).
This pack does not have a frame. Most hiking backpacks on the market have either an internal or an external frame (read more about the difference between them in this article) which gives them more structure but also adds quite a bit of weight. Virga 2 weighs only a little over a pound (0,5 kg). It is a good choice for those who prefer lightweight hiking gear – this pack is as light as it gets!
This hiking and mountaineering backpack is a great budget-friendly find (if this is something you are looking for, check out our suggestions for cheap backpacks in this article – What are the best cheap hiking backpacks). With 75 liter capacity and a ventilation system, this pack is an impressive alternative for other high-quality backpacks that cost a lot more.
Just like its more expensive rivals, Outfitter 4600 has adjustable back that fits up to 21 inches or 53 cm torso length and adjustable wishbone waist straps that ensure a customizable fit for big guys.
All-purpose ultralight pack: XXL capacity, lightweight pack with enough room for all the gear you’ll need for an extended outdoor adventure.
Multi-position torso adjustment custom fits a wide range of body sizes.
This high capacity, lightweight internal frame pack is highly adjustable to fit a variety of different body types. It has foam padding on the sides of the hip belt as well as padded shoulder straps, both adjustable. It also has a built-in back length adjustment system that allows you to customize this pack to fit a large frame. You can choose three different capacities and colors but the highly-adjustable design stays the same. This pack is a favorite of many hikers that are looking for both high quality and reasonable price.
Fully adjustable hiking backpack backpanel.
High capacity but lightweitgh and comfortable.
Water resistance: Hiking backpack with Rain cover built in hood for heavy rain.
If you already have a hiking backpack you love but the hip belt is too tight, there is a quick and easy fix: an extender. This extender is made with military-style buckles and is compatible with most backpacks – but you should check before buying.
An extender will do its job and extend the length of your pack’s hip belt but you should not expect anything more from it. It will not replace an ergonomically designed hip belt that is engineered with user comfort in mind so the best course of action is to find a high-quality hiking backpack that fits you from the get-go.