The 7 Best Hiking Packs For Big Guys Of 2020 (MUST-READ)

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So you’re tall and strong, and hunting for some awesome hiking packs for big guys?

You just might have come to the right place on the internet. Seriously.

Here at Gear Up Hiking, we are fanatic about providing our readers the information they are looking for in the most thorough, well-structured way possible.

I know how tough it could be to search endlessly in Google, reading forum threads, and going through a plethora of customer reviews online. And in the end, you’re still unsure that you’re making the right choice for you. Moreover, you might end up feeling confused.

Finding a high-quality backpack that would comfortably fit a tall, bulky guy is an overwhelming task. There are a lot of things to consider such as level of adjustability, torso length, storage capacity, padding, and ventilation. And that’s far from all.

We invested many hours to dig the Internet, evaluate, and select only the X most appropriate backpacks that deserve your attention. We looked at many factors and features including value for money ratio so you don’t waste your hard-earned bucks for nothing.

These are all bestsellers with proven quality that are known not only to perfectly fit larger torso lengths but have also flawless performance on the trail.

To make things even easier for you, we compiled an informative buying guide. Thanks to it, you will learn what to look for when choosing a pack for a taller guy. Sure enough, we also expose the pros and cons of each backpack and show you where’s the cheapest price online.

Let’s get started.

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The Best Hiking Packs For Big Guys: Quick Overview

​Backpack

​Volume

Fits Torso Length

​Weight

​Price

44 L

up to 24" / 61 cm

3.7 lbs / 1.7 kg

60 L

up to 25" / 63.5 cm

2.62 lbs / 1.2 kg

65 L

up to 23" / 58.4 cm

5 lbs / 2.23 kg

61 L

up to 23" / 58.4 cm

2.7 lbs / 1.24 kg

53 L

up to 23" / 58.4 cm

4 lbs. 4 oz. / 1.92 kg

50 L

up to 24" / 61 cm

5 lbs / 2.26 kg

51 L

up to 22" / 55.9 cm

2.51 lbs / 1.14 kg

#1 Deuter Futura Pro El 44 L

deuter futura pro 44 el

Click image to see the pack on Amazon.

Equipped with tons of innovative features that will guarantee you a more comfortable hike, the Futura is an explicit demonstration of Deuter’s impeccable quality. Offering great torso adjustability, this pack will surprise you with its carrying comfort thanks to the impressive Aircomfort Sensic Pro suspension that promises 25 percent less perspiration. And the storage capacity is just awesome! But we’re just scratching the surface. Check it out!

The characteristics and the storage of the Futura Pro make it a fantastic weekender pack. It’s also suitable for camping trips as well as 2-4-day mountain trail adventures. The pack can easily carry 23 lbs or 10-12 kg. It’s a top loading pack with a draw string closure and a large top lid.

The fabrics used on the Futura Pro 44 are a combination of bluesign® 600D polyester and abrasion-resistant 210D polyamide. So, the pack is quite robust and long-lasting, as also reported by many hikers who own it.

The EL in the pack’s name stands for Extended Length. Designed for the tall among us in mind, the Futura Pro has a seamlessly adjustable back length. You can expand it to up to 24 inches. So even if you’re between 6’1 and 6’6, you wouldn’t have any issues achieving a great fit with this pack. All the harness is highly adjustable and ergonomic for an ultimate comfort.

Given the volume of 44 L, the weight of the pack is only 3.7 lbs or 1.7 kg which makes it perfect for all those who love to pack ultralight. As usual, Deuter have included an SOS label on the inside of the top lid with clear instructions what to do in case of emergency.

In addition, Deuter didn’t forget to include an easily deployable rain cover in a zippered pocket. It has a reflective logo, and it’s removable. A truly handy feature when you hike in bad weather. On top of that, the pack has a lined internal pocket that would fit a 3 L water reservoir. Sure enough, there’s a tube port too.

Let’s head to some of the most exciting features about this pack and also mention some areas of improvement. Continue reading, it gets interesting.

What We Like

  • Scientifically proven AirComfort ventilation technology that reduces perspiration by 25 percent. To demonstrate and document the efficiency of the backpanel, a study was held in the celebrated Hohenstein Institute. The back mesh over the spring steel frame creates a space between the pack and your back allowing the hot air to escape and the heat to evaporate more easily. You will feel that the result is really impressive. 
  • Automatically adjusting shoulder straps that follow the shape of your body – this is part of the Active-Comfort-Fit technology, another innovation from Deuter. They are nicely padded, S-shaped, and pivoting for enhanced comfort and carry. 
  • Vari Flex technology on the hip belt that includes flexible fins that follow the curves of your body movements on the trail. The soft cushioning and the ergonomic shape hug your body thus transferring the load to the hips, allowing for a pleasant carry on prolonged treks. What’s cool is you’re able to adjust the fit of the waist strap on the go by a pull-forward movement of the straps.
  • Zippered bottom compartment for a sleeping bag that has a divider and a zipper allowing alternative access to the main section of the pack. If you want to enlarge the space, you can unzip the divider.Auctotis
  • Plentiful pockets for strategic packing both in and out of the pack – on the exterior, the Futura has 3 pockets – 2 gigantic stretchable pockets for water bottles and another large front stretchable pocket for wet clothes or bulky stuff. There are also loops for attaching your trekking poles or an ice axe. On the hip belt, you will find two zippered pockets for your smartphone or small snack. The top lid is organizable too, having an external pocket and a stash pocket on the inside. Last but not least, there’s an interior pocket in the main compartment designed for stowing valuable items such as a wallet, documents, etc.

What We Don't Like

  • You need to loosen the compression straps a bit if you need to access a water bottle in either of the side pockets.
  • The two pockets on the hip belt are somewhat tight.

#2 Granite Gear Crown 2 60 L

granite gear crown 2 60

Click image to see the pack on Amazon.

A high-end pack for serious hikers with spacious and lightweight design. This is what Granite Gear Crown 2 is. With an expandable roll top design, highly water repellent materials, and detachable structure, the pack also offers stunning amount of options for strategic packing. This is a versatile and highly utilitarian multi-day pack that fits like a glove. Folks, this pack rocks!

Thin in weight – only 2.62 lbs or 1.2 kg for a 60 L volume (without the top lid which is 75 grams), you have the possibility to shrink the pack even more. This is done by disconnecting the top lid and removing both the hip belt and the internal frame.

Speaking of the internal frame, it’s one of the main reasons for the impressive lightness in the weight of the pack. The polypropylene Vapor Current Mark 2 frame has die cut holes that minimize the weight while at the same time it’s strong enough to carry up to 35 lbs or 15 kg. Not bad!

The Crown 2 is made out of 210D tear-resistant nylon and 100D abrasion resistant nylon. Needless to say, the pack is quite sturdy. The fabrics are also very water repellent, meaning that they will withstand moisture and light rain for some time. The zippers are also weatherproofed. This partially compensates the lack of integrated rain cover.

The backpack is available in 3 fixed torso sizes. The regular fits torsos between 18 and 21 inches, the short fits torsos between 15 to 18 inches, and the long version fits torsos between 21 and 25 inches. So, you have a good choice here, no matter how tall you are.

Let’s mention what we like and what we don’t like about this pack.

What We Like

  • Practical and comfy shoulder harness that’s fully padded with dual density foam. They have gear loops on them for hanging carabiners. You also have load lifters with which you can enhance the fit of the pack by a simple pull while on the go. The chest strap is also adjustable in height and width. 
  • Re-Fit adjustable and removable hip belt that expands to up to 40”. You’re able to pull it out and make the strap wider or narrower depending on your body shape. It’s also padded with thick foam great for prolonged walking. On both sides, you have two quite large zippered pockets where you can stow a medium-sized smartphone or a bulky protein waffle.
  • Detachable top lid with good organization – the lid itself has a volume of 5 L and it’s not included in the general volume of the pack. So, with it the overall volume becomes 65 L. You can easily unclip it when you don’t need it. You can use it for storing items that you need quick access to, such as a medical kit, poop kit for your dog (if you hike with your fluffy friend), etc.
  • Well-performing ventilation on the back panel thanks to the molded and comfortably padded sheet. It has a mesh and a horizontal channel to promote air circulation. Plus, it has multiple holes and recesses for heat evaporation.
  • Super well thought out capacity and organization – the Crown 2 features two super large water bottles pockets on both sides and a roomy front stretchable pocket that’s perfect for storing a jacket, a water filtration system or anything else. The top compartment is quite capacious and like already mentioned, it allows you to be flexible with the load because of the roll top design. Being hydration-ready, you can store up to a 3 L water reservoir in a dedicated sleeve and there’s a hole to hang the sip tube. Last but not least, the backpack has plenty of compression straps and exterior loops to tighten up the load and attach gear externally.

What We Don't Like

  • Very thin mesh material on the back panel and on the water bottle pockets.
  • If you sweat a lot, the sweat could penetrate the inside of the pack because of the holes on the plastic back support.

#3 Teton Sports Explorer 4000 (65 L)

teton sports explorer 4000

Click image to see the pack on Amazon.

This rock-solid rucksack continues to be the number one best-selling hiking backpack on Amazon and that’s been for years. Honestly, it would be impossible to match that low price with all those high-class features elsewhere. The Explorer boasts of a rain cover, incredible suspension and ventilation, sleeping bag compartment, and plenty of adjustability options. Let’s check it out!

You’ll notice that the advertisement for this pack claims that it has features that you normally see on expensive, upper-class backpacks. We took that with a grain of salt because, you know, an advertisement is just that – an advertisement whose purpose is to sell.

However, after testing this pack and having some experience with Teton Sports (see our review of Teton Sports 3400 and Teton Sports Oasis 1100) that’s undeniable. This pack REALLY has remarkable features that doesn’t correspond to its low price. So, here you don’t exchange affordability for quality and that’s something rare.

With that being said, don’t expect something extraordinary but rather an affordable pack that gets the job done pretty well.

The fully customizable torso length on the back of the pack would fit you well even if you’re 6’5. The Explorer has a small, medium, and large adjustment. It expands from 19’’ to 23’’ or 48-58.4 cm. To change the length, all you have to do is flip up the velcro and attach it to the respective loops. Sure enough, you can also adjust the chest and the waist strap. The waist strap fit dimensions are quite big – 28” – 70”.

The materials used are super solid – 600D ripstop polyester. That allows for years of rugged usage. Besides, there’s a limited lifetime warranty.

The weight of the pack is 5 lbs or 2.23 kg that you won’t feel much once the load is well-distributed and the pack well-fitted. Here are some key highlights of the Explorer 4000 as well as some shortcomings.

What We Like

  • Hydration-ready with padded internal sleeve that fits up to a 3L water bladder. It also works if you need to put your laptop there. But if it’s for that, you better check our list of the best laptop packs of 2020. There’s also a tube hole on the back that lets you hang the sip tube over either of the shoulder straps. It’s a bit difficult to find, but it’s there. 
  • Solid suspension system offering thick foam padding on the back panel and reinforced lumbar support. The breathability level is decent because the pack has molded ventilation spaces. The hip belt is padded too and hugs well your body thus distributing the load to your hips. The shoulder straps are contoured and adjustable as is the waist strap. To better fit the loaded pack, you can use the load lifters and the sternum belt. 
  • Pass-through side pockets – these are super useful because you can safely secure long sharp objects such as tent poles, a hatchet, or an ice axe. They are weather-shielded, good in volume, and with strong zippers.
  • Excellent storage organization – the full capacity of the pack is quite well organized. There are pockets everywhere where you might need them. There are also compression straps on top and bottom where you can attach a sleeping pad or a tent. The size of the zippered sleeping bag compartment on the bottom is adequate - 13.5” x 10” x 7” (34 x 25.5 x 18 cm). The top lid has its own storage where you can put quick-access items and there’s a front ‘shove it’ pouch, good for stowing different essentials. If you’re used to walking with trekking poles, you can secure them on the side gear loops.
  • Integrated rain fly stored in a bottom pocket – it’s easily deployable and you can wrap the entire pack to protect it from the rain. If you have a lot attached on the exterior though, it could be a little difficult to use.

What We Don't Like

  • A bit heavy.
  • No pockets on the hip belt.
  • The sleeping bag compartment is small for a winter sleeping bag.

#4 Osprey Exos 61 L

osprey exos 61 l

Click image to see the pack on Amazon.

With an ergonomic ultralight design, legendary AirSpeed™ ventilation system, and strippable structure, the Exos is one of Osprey’s finest. There’s a lot to love about this pack. Whether it’s for the super comfy ExoForm™ harness, the Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachment, or the ErgoPull™ adjustable hip belt, there are plenty of reasons to make the Exos your preferred hiking pack. But don’t take our word for it. Read the reviews!

Excellent for ultralight long-haul backpacking and hiking the Exos is proven to carry heavy loads (up to 40 lbs) with an extreme comfort. The Lightwire aluminum frame creates a stable overall structure of the pack without making it heavy. The weight of the L-sized version is only 1.24 kg. That’s impressive.

The Exos comes in three sizes – small, medium, and large. Since we are aimed at helping big, tall guys, this review is for the L version. There’s a slight difference in the weight, fit size, and volume of each version. The torso length fits sizes between 20 and 23 inches. That means it’s suitable for guys that are 6’4 and more.

The main textile used is a sturdy 100D high tenacity nylon. Reportedly, the pack is water repellent, and it beads and sheets the water away. Unfortunately, a rain cover is not included for maximum weather protection.

Let’s see the good and the not so good about the minimalistic, yet quite comfortable Exos.

What We Like

  • One of its kind breathable backpanel featuring the famous AirSpeed™ technology. The broad 3D suspended mesh creates enough space between your back and the pack thus providing efficient air circulation that keeps you cool on demanding terrains. 
  • Strippable features that allow you to save even some more weight, crucial for thru-hikes – you’re able to remove the top lid and seamlessly use the FlapJacket™ to protect your gear. On top of that, you can also remove the sleeping pad/bag straps at the bottom in case you don’t need them.
  • Very comfortable hip belt that’s well-padded and distributes the load quite good. It’s fully adjustable while on the go thanks to the ErgoPull™ tightening technology. Basically, you pull the straps to better fit it and that’s it.
  • Angled stretchable mesh water bottle pockets on both sides that are super easy to access on the go. They are pretty large.
  • Ability to attach trekking poles or ice axe and a hatchet thanks to Osprey’s trademark – the convenient Stow-on-the-Go™ system. It’s very easy to secure your poles for quick access while you’re on the move.

What We Don't Like

  • No hip belt pouches.
  • No rain cover included

#5 Osprey Atmos AG 53 L

osprey atmos ag 53 l

Click image to see the pack on Amazon.

Another lightweight backpack from Osprey, the Atmos AG has 9 exterior pockets and cool features that will easily handle multi-day overnight trips. Claimed to be one of the best-fitting packs in the industry, the Atmos will steal your heart with its Anti-Gravity™ suspension, BioStretch™ harness, and Fit-On-The-Fly™ hip belt. It’s not a surprise that this pack has plenty of excellent reviews and prestigious awards. Check it and see for yourself!

A long-time bestseller, Osprey applied some innovations on the Atmos Ag in 2018. Namely, they added more colors, improved the durability on stress points, and enhanced the fit by adding additional features. And in case you don’t know, all Osprey packs come with the unmatched All Mighty Guarantee.

Just like the Exos, this pack is available in three sizes. We are looking at the L version. It allows for a larger fit of the hip belt – 29-55 inches and the torso – 20-23 inches. Very good for tall guys 6’3 and more. However, if you’re still wondering about which size to choose, go ahead and use Osprey’s Pack Sizer 2.0 app that will help you match your torso length to the right pack size using your smartphone’s camera.

The weight of this particular pack for the large version is 4 lbs. 4 oz. or 1.92 kg. Still lightweight but not as much as the Exos. It allows you to carry up to 40 lbs but it will excel with loads of 30 lbs or less. When it comes to the fabrics, the guys from Osprey don’t joke around. The Atmos AG is sturdy and durable with 630D nylon dobby material that’s tear and water resistant.

Let’s quickly expose some of this pack’s great features and mention some quibbles.

What We Like

  • Supreme Anti-Gravity™ suspension that transfers the load all over your body and promotes ventilation for extra comfort. It’s called Anti-Gravity because you feel that the pack hugs your body and not that you’re wearing it. Osprey’s LightWire™ frame is present on this pack as well, spreading the load and providing great stability. 
  • High-class breathability on the backpanel thanks to the suspended 3D tensioned mesh. It goes from the top of the panel right to the hip belt and it creates a large enough space between the pack and your back. That provides seamless air circulation, which is crucial when you hike on demanding terrains on hot summer days. 
  • Premium harness that’s adjustable and comfortably cushioned – you can easily slide the harness up or down using the indicators depending on your fit and torso size. The shoulder straps are contoured and thickly padded with Exoform™/Biostretch™ cell foam without being stiff, so no strain or chafing. There are load lifters on top of the straps for an even better fit. The hip belt on the Atoms AG is a small treasure. Osprey call it Fit-on-the-Fly™ hipbelt because you can easily improve its position on the go by pull-forward movement of the straps. And hooray, there are two small zippered pockets on the belt. Last but not least, the sternum strap is quite comfy too. It’s adjustable and has a safety whistle.
  • Advanced trail-friendly features for prolonged hikes such as the roomy sleeping bag compartment with a divider, the internal hydration sleeve (fits up to 3L), the integrated and removable rain cover, and the well-known Stow-on-the-Go™ system that allows you to lock down walking poles. All that makes for a more comfortable extended hiking trip. Should you want to remove the top lid to further reduce weight, you can use the sewn-in FlapJacket™ to close the main compartment.
  • Awesome pocketing system highlighted by a panel-reinforced front stretchy pocket, zippered pockets on the floating lid, and capacious side water bottle pouches easily accessible on the go. There are also hidden compression straps on top and bottom and gear loops to attach external gear such as an ice axe or tripod.

What We Don't Like

  • Small hip belt pockets because of the design of the pack that are hardly reachable on the go.
  • If you’re sleeping bag is too big, it would be difficult to use the lower compression straps
  • Only a single access to the main compartment.

#6 Mystery Ranch Terraframe 3-Zip 50 L

mystery ranch terraframe 50 l

Click image to see the pack on Amazon.

Sturdy as an oak, meet the winner of Carryology Best Active Backpack Of 2019. Mystery Ranch are known for building the best load-bearing equipment in the world. Their mega-successful Terraframe model is a right example. This pack features some incredible innovative technologies such as the Guide Light MT™ hybrid internal-external frame, the OVERLOAD™ load harness, and the 3-ZIP design for quick access to your gear. Just check it out!

Now read this carefully. The volume of the Terraframe is 50 L. How much load do you think you can carry with it? The answer will surprise you.
Thanks to the reinforced suspension system and the Overload storage feature, you can seamlessly fit up to 150 lbs of gear. That’s 68 kg.

And this is what separates the pack from its competitors. So with this pack, you have the option for going light or going big. It depends on the nature of your journey.

Fully adjustable, the pack comes in 4 sizes, making it super easy to fit ALL body types. We will take the small and the medium versions aside and concentrate on the biggest sizes. The L and the XL version can fit torso lengths that are between 17 and 24 inches. The difference is in the fit of the waist (hips). For the L version that’s 35-40 inches and for the XL that’s 39-45 inches. The entire harness is easily customizable so no matter how big and tall you are, this pack will fit!

The size of this outdoor champion is 5 lbs or 2.26 kg. Not your traditional ultralight pack, but it definitely can carry monstrous loads comfortably. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

What We Like

  • Superior fabrics and zippers – this is one area where the pack excels. The Terraframe is made out of 330D CORDURA® nylon, which is one of the strongest materials ever. It’s water-repellent and abrasion-resistant. So don’t worry if you’re not gentle to your gear. The zippers are YKK, and the buckles are quite burly too. If you somehow damage the pack, the lifetime warranty comes in handy. 
  • Hybrid carbon frame that’s light and super solid. Nowhere else to be seen, the frame of this pack is a mixture of an internal and external design. There are two vertical and two horizontal stays that are flexible and provide stability (150 lbs, remember?) without being stiff. When you walk, the frame movies with you for maximum comfort and flexibility 
  • Highly expandable storage configuration thanks to the innovative OVERLOAD™ load sling. In case you need to carry more load than expected, you have the option to create a weight bearing shelf between the frame and the pack. That’s easily done with some adjustments of the buckles and the straps and suddenly you’re able to add more cargo such as a duffel bag or anything else. Super useful!
  • Two-point access to your gear thanks to the 3-ZIP design that allows you to rip-off the top of the pack for quick access. If you need a larger opening, you can continue unzipping the front long zipper that goes all the way down to the bottom of the backpack. That makes it really easy to get to the one item you want quickly.
  • Clean design, yet great organization abilities – the Terraframe has an internal sleeve that accommodates a 3 L hydration bladder. You also get multiple options for lashing gear externally thanks to the abundance of compression straps. There are two zippered compartments on the top lid and one internal mesh pouch on the inside of it. The dual water bottle pouches on both sides are reinforced and roomy.

What We Don't Like

  • Small top lid compartments.

#7 Gregory Optic 51 L

gregory optic 51 l

Click image to see the pack on Amazon.

Crazy light and with superior breathability, meet the fabulous Gregory Optic. Offering a great balance between minimal and comfortable this pack will take your hiking to a whole new level. It features an Aerospan suspension with moisture-wicking mesh, supportive, yet highly ventilated LifeSpan EVA shoulder harness, and custom-fitted rain cover. A fantastic choice for 3-5-day trips where you need to bring more load and spend less energy. Considering this pack is a must!

If you want to have a minimum base weight without sacrificing storage capacity and carrying comfort, then you’ll love the Optic.

This backpack is excellent for thru-hiking when often you need to strip weight. Ultralight hikers will certainly appreciate its design that gives the pack great load-bearing abilities and unmatched fit. Thanks to the tubular aluminum frame with anti-barreling support, you can safely carry 30 lbs of gear. The load sits close to your body for improved stability.

The Gregory Optic comes in three sizes. Most suitable for tall guys would be the L version. It has a volume of 51 L and it fits torsos between 20” and 22” (50.8 - 55.9cm). The superior hip belt (more about it in a minute) would easily fit bulky guys with a waist size of 30”-53” or 76.2 - 134.6cm. For an enhanced fit, the shoulder harness is adjustable on the go.

The fabrics used for this backpack are of exclusive quality but don’t expect anything else from a reputable brand like Gregory. The main material is a water-repellent nylon.

The body of the pack uses sturdy 100D nylon, and the bottom is even more reinforced with a combination of 210D nylon and 135D tear-resistant polyester. The craftmanship is flawless, and it’s visible that the pack is made to last.

The weight of the L size is impressive - only 2.51 lbs or 1.14 kg. It is important to notice that this weight is measured with the top lid and the rain cover removed.

Let’s get straight to the point and mention some of the outstanding benefits that the Optic provides.

What We Like

  • Light as a feather – on top of the low overall weight of the pack, you can go further and remove the floating lid and the rain cover. In that way, you’ll be able to reduce the weight even more, move faster, and spend less energy on the trail. Conveniently, there’s a weatherproof flap cover stored in a zippered pocket in the top lid. It’s similar to Osprey’s FlapJacket™ and you can use it to protect the main opening when you hike without the top lid. 
  • Incredible ventilation thanks to the enhanced Aerospan suspension – Gregory achieved superior breathability by using moisture-wicking fabric throughout the backpanel. That’s super comfortable when you’re on long exhausting hikes. Moreover, there’s a space between your back and the pack that stimulates air flow. 
  • Outstanding cushioning and load transfer for an ultimate fit – the comfort-enhancing load transfer to the lower back and hips of the pack is quite effective. That allows you to carry less weight on the upper body which preserves your stamina. The shoulder harness and the hip belt are extra supportive using FocusForm and LifeSpan EVA foam. What really stands out is the extra padding on the lumbar pad. They call it the Leaf Spring lumber pad. It provides more support and cushioning on that area which helps in maximizing your comfort on the go. No sway at all while you walk.
  • Quick-access water bottle pouches on both sides that are easily accessible on the go – you can secure a water bottle so that it lies horizontally and you can grab it effortlessly while you walk. That’s a huge relief from backpacks whose water bottle holders are hardly accessible and you have to take off the pack to drink water. Besides, the Optic is hydration compatible and allows you to hang a tube over either of the shoulder straps. The capacity of the internal water reservoir sleeve is 3 L.
  • Multiple lashing points giving you enough possibilities to lock gear externally. A particularly nice feature is the shades quickstow loop on the left shoulder strap. You can safely hang there your sunglasses and access them super easily. Very practical! You also have a large front mesh pocket that’s stretchable enough for you to put flip-flops, wet clothes, or a windbreaker. The Optic has ultralight compression straps, which you can use to stabilize the load and attach gear as a pass-through. There are also gear loops on both sides where you can secure walking poles so they’re accessible on the go.

What We Don't Like

  • The mesh material on the water bottle pockets and on the front stretchable pocket is prone to tearing.

Our Top Pick

our top pick backpack

The competition was once again fierce, but one backpack stood out. And that is the award-winning #5 Osprey Atmos AG 53 L.  

Osprey Atmos AG 53 L
119 Reviews
Osprey Atmos AG 53 L
  • 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
  • Front stretch mesh pocket for quick storage of rain gear or extra layers
  • Removable floating top lid with dual zippered pockets and web attachment points
  • Internal hydration reservoir sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir (sold separately)

To choose the winner, we carefully examined and compared key features and factors such as:

  • Quality / price ratio
  • Ventilation, suspension, and carrying comfort
  • Storage capacity
  • Verified user feedback from fellow hikers with towering height who own the packs
  • Adjustability and how suitable is the backpack for big, tall guys
  • Durability / Quality of the fabrics

The Atmos AG is a winner of the Backpackers Magazine prestigious Editor’s Choice Award in 2015. The pack is very appropriate for tall guys, coming in three different sizes and fully adjustable harness. The largest version could easily fit men that are 6’4.

To just scratch the surface, its highlights are led by the outstanding Anti-Gravity™ suspension system, the incredibly well-ventilated backpanel, and efficient load-bearing abilities. These are the areas where the Atmos AG truly excels.

Don’t miss checking the full features and read the customer reviews. You’ll see why this has been one of the best outdoor backpacks for many years.

How To Pick The Best Pack If You’re Above The Average Height

A genuine solution would be to ask for help Shaquille O'Neal or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Jokes aside, it turns out that for a lot of tall people it’s difficult to find a hiking backpack that matches not only their size but their preferences and budget.

Grasp this – it’s not about the height but mostly about the torso length and proportions. And what’s most important – you might be tall, but that doesn’t mean your torso is long. Yes, often it works that way. But there are exceptions.

There are many people that are 6’4” and above and at the same time they have short backs. Instead, they have long legs.

Luckily today, most brands are aware of this and make their backpacks adjustable and in several sizes. All the packs in our list above fall into that criteria.

man hiking with a yellow jacket

So the first step to finding the right pack if your nickname in high school was Stretch or Beanstalk is to know your torso length. And you’ll know it when you measure it.

Before jumping to that, however, you might want to consult our general guide on how to find a hiking pack. Also, this article describes the most common mistakes people tend to make when choosing a backpack.

Now let’s get straight to the point.

Measuring Your Torso Length

While it’s not a rocket science, there are some small, yet important details to take into consideration. Here’s a very good guide. You can start by locating the top and bottom points of your back.

measuring your torso length

Image via REI

The top point of your torso is where your shoulders meet your neck. It’s at the bony bump at the base of your neck. The medical name of that bump is C7 Vertebrae.

You’ll find the bottom point of your torso by placing your hands on your hips and have your thumbs pointing to the middle of your lumbar area. To sound academic again, that place is called Illiac Crest.

It’s recommended to have someone measure the distance between both points on your back using a flexible tape measure. It’d be difficult for you to do it alone. Here’s a very useful video on the topic.

Congratulations! Now you know your torso length. But things don’t end up here. For a big guy like you, the waist size matters too!

Measuring Your Waist Size

The hip strap plays a big role in transferring the load to your hips. And that’s essential for your comfort, and endurance on long treks.

Truth be told, it’s super rare for a backpack to not fit the hip belt area, given the fact that you’ve correctly measured your torso length. Still, it won’t hurt knowing this measurement. It will help you make sure that you won’t have any issues with the hip belt fit of your backpack.

measuring your hip size

Image via REI.

You’ll immediately have an approximate idea of your waist size if you know your pant size waist measurement. In case you don’t know it, you can use a tape measure and calculate the circumference at your hip points. A reference point could be the Illiac Crest you found when measuring your torso size.

And that’s it. Knowing these two sizes will guarantee that your hiking pack will fit your particular body type. Next, it’s a matter of adjustment and achieving the proper fit. That’s done by fine-tuning the shoulder straps, the hip belt, the load lifters, and the sternum belt.

FAQ

F​​​​​aq

What’s most important when it comes to finding the right backpack for big guys?

Does the volume of the backpack matter if I’m above the average height

Are packs for taller men more expensive than others?

Conclusion + Infographic

Being tall has many benefits. Just check the infographic below.

4 Awesome Things About Being Tall

From Visually.

I hope that our guide will help you find an appropriate backpack for your height and size. Any comments and remarks are appreciated. Also, if you have other relevant backpack suggestions, don’t hesitate to mention them below. We can update the article which will help our readers. Thank you for reading!

me

​Asen Stoyanchev

Founder of this website, Asen is a passionate hike and writer who happens to be a gear nerd. He’s been featured on many established hiking websites where he gives hiking advice & tips. When he is not trekking with his family or friends, he is writing articles and product reviews. Asen spends most of his time in Bulgaria but he constantly travels the world in seek of more unforgettable experiences. Read more about Asen here.

  • March 1, 2020
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
alexandra - March 2, 2020

wow! It is impressive with how much accuracy and attention to detail you describe our products, with pros and cons! I have a lot of friends, professional climbers, but I didn’t get all this information from them 😀 I will recommend your page to my best friend; she get’s to go hiking a lot!
Thanks for sharing!

Reply
    Asen - March 2, 2020

    Hi Alexandra,

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope that the content is helpful.

    Reply
Randi - March 2, 2020

I really love how you broke down the sizes and uses for each pack! It can be hard to find things that will fit sometimes, and your format makes it clear right away which ones are even worth looking at because I know which ones will fit! Thank you very much!

Reply
    Asen - March 2, 2020

    Hey Randi,

    Thank you for reading. I tried to do my best in describing the specifics and the benefits of each backpack.

    Reply
Sarah Higgins - May 7, 2020

I also believe that it’s so important for big guys. I mean they can easily carry big bags. So it’s easier to not need to carry any extra bag. I always find important tips in your blog. Thanks for sharing.

Reply
    Asen - May 8, 2020

    Hey Sarah,

    Thanks for your comment. We tried to be as informational as possible when creating this post.

    Reply

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