Atmos 50
Atmos 50

What about a backpack for a tall guy?

My husband and I love to hike, mostly day hiking at national parks. The problem is that he is six-foot-eight, and the backpack he uses fits uncomfortably and he can't use the chest strap. Can you help us find a pack that would fit? Janelle Olathe, Kansas

Atmos 50

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That does sound uncomfortable. Your husband is on the far-right side of the bell curve, size-wise, which means that he’s always going to have a hard time finding a pack that fits. That’s especially true for a daypack, which is what I infer you’re after. Most daypacks come in only one size.

Atmos 50 Atmos 50

Still, there are some alternatives. Osprey’s Atmos 50 ($199; is an excellent big daypack (3,000 cubic inches of capacity) that comes in three sizes—small, medium, large. The large will handle torso lengths of up to 22.5 inches (torso length is basically the distance from the top of the hipbone to the base of the neck). That should be very close to what your husband needs. Gregory’s large-size G Pack ($139; goes to 21.5 inches, which also may be big enough but will be a bit of a stretch. The G Pack has a little less capacity than the Atmos, though, so it might be a better choice for a daypack (plus it costs less.)

Lastly, Arc’teryx’s Bora 50 sports the ability to handle torsos up to 23 inches, making it one of the “tallest” packs out there. It’s a mid-sized pack with about 2,800 cubic inches of capacity and excellent suspension. Alas, it’s also rather dear at $245 ( But a great pack!

Your husband will need to get into a camping store that has a wide range of good-quality packs, and try on several. I think he’ll eventually find one that’s just right.

Check out Outside Online’s Backpacks Buying Guide for a look at the haulers to get your gear from A to B regardless of your body shape.

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