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Backpacks for big boys?

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Backpacks for big boys?

Postby ericZ » Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:01 pm

Can anybody suggest a source for a backpack for someone approaching 300lbs? My buddy is losing weight and has taken an interest in the outdoors. We just hiked a 4 mile out trip and his rented Osprey Volt (L) was just too small for his shoulders. The store salesman/gear rental guy sized it as best as he could for him, but their rental gear was limited and he could use something designed for a big guy in the first place. It just wasn't fitting him ideally. thanks!

eric
fresno, ca.



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Re: Backpacks for big boys?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:29 am

Big or tiny, if you don't fit in the Small-Medium-Large sizes, the big box stores need to special order. If he's still going to lose weight and keep changing, I'll recommend an external frame pack -- they don't need to fit like a glove the way the internal frames do, and they can be picked up in thrift stores or yard sales sometimes. Or rented in some places -- my local sporting good place rents them still.

Many of the internal frame models have sizes not carried in stores since the folks who need them are less frequent customers. Look at the Gregory website, and you'll see that they have extra large and extra small. When I got a Gregory for SAR use I had to order it -- the REI in this town wanted to force me into a Medium, and I needed a small.
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Re: Backpacks for big boys?

Postby Tom_H » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:37 am

Gregory Denali Pro (L) or Mystery Ranch 6500
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Re: Backpacks for big boys?

Postby ericZ » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:32 am

Thanks! Keep any further suggestions coming. He's kind of tapered off in weight loss, but building muscle. I think he tried on and liked a Gregory a few months back. I also have an old Kelty external he really ought to try. thanks again.

eric
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Re: Backpacks for big boys?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:58 pm

Some packs have interchangeable hip belts and shoulder straps. I usually buy a woman's medium pack and have the hip belt replaced with a small or x-small. Skinny people have trouble getting packs to fit too.

You might try hunting and fishing stores. I find that they market to larger people. In fact, I cannot find anything that fits me at Sportsman Warehouse.
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Re: Backpacks for big boys?

Postby maverick » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:43 pm

Try the ULA Catalyst it has a 24" XL torso and 42"+XL hipbelts available. http://www.ula-equipment.com/product_p/catalyst.htm

Also Gregory has XL sizes available and their strap mounting locations are adjustable. http://gregorypacks.com/backpacking
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Re: Backpacks for big boys?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:46 pm

If you're in Fresno, go to Herb Bauer. They have different selections and different rentals than REI.
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Re: Backpacks for big boys?

Postby ericZ » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:57 pm

REI in Fresno does not rent packs, unfortunately. Other REI stores do. Bauers is where he rented the Osprey 75 Volt. They only had that one model for internal packs for rent, plus the "feminine" version. And external Keltys for rent too. I think he's in love with internal design because it's more "modern," but he really ought to try the external design. And when ready to buy, test fit the full gamut of what Bauers may offer. I read this morning that one blogger found the Osprey Atmos to have such a wide range of adjustment it worked for him and he was way over 300lbs. I'm just curious what others have done. thanks!

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Re: Backpacks for big boys?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:48 pm

The external frame will be fine until he leaves the trail and starts to attempt cross country stuff, where class 2-4 passes come into play. An internal frame will be less awkward for some off trail travel. I have a friend who has used the same Kelty external for 50+ years.
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Re: Backpacks for big boys?

Postby Tom_H » Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:31 pm

AlmostThere wrote:The external frame will be fine until he leaves the trail and starts to attempt cross country stuff, where class 2-4 passes come into play. An internal frame will be less awkward for some off trail travel. I have a friend who has used the same Kelty external for 50+ years.


Agree with this, although I would recommend someone of this condition spend a couple of years and several hundred trail miles converting lipid to muscle before attempting any significant off trail. There really is nothing like backpacking to make a young person become fit and strong. I used to tell people that the only way to get in shape for backpacking was............backpacking. The Biggest Loser should do a season in the Wind River Range on a really long NOLS expedition.
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Re: Backpacks for big boys?

Postby Tom_H » Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:06 pm

Apparently, in an effort to cut weight, Gregory has discontinued the Denali Pro after many years. You can see one here:
https://www.rei.com/product/648696/greg ... i-pro-pack
It has been replaced with the lighter and slightly smaller Denali 100.

I recently sold my house in CA and will soon begin building in WA. I have 5 Denali Pro packs deep in a storage container, 3 are size L (the largest made). I had forgotten, but Maverick is correct about the yoke and belt. You may be able to call Gregory and still get an XL size set of shoulder straps and hip belt. These should fit the size L bag (which is 107 liters). When I unpack my storage POD in April, I will be happy to sell you a used Denali Pro at a fraction of the original price.

Here is the Mystery Ranch 6500. It also is 107 liters.
http://www.mysteryranch.com/6500-pack
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Re: Backpacks for big boys?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:26 pm

Just because you are a big person, does NOT mean you need a big capacity pack (expedition). Just a pack that fits you. I think XL straps and hip belt on a large size pack of moderate capacity (60 L) would work well. An overweight person is really helped out by using light gear- they are already carrying more pounds on their body than I carry in my pack! Regardless of size you should be able to go a weekend with about 20-25 pounds of gear and food.
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