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Advice on backpack for tall people
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Mark Zeller
(Bonzo) - F
Advice on backpack for tall people on 01/06/2009 10:06:50 MST Print View

I have been reading this forum for quite a while, and it really helped me with my transition to UL backpacking. Thanks for that! I am quit tall and this gives some problems with buying a backpack. I know there are couple of threads discussing backpacks for long torso sizes, but in these it mostly comes down to getting a larger (=heavier, bulkier) pack. I am really enthusiastic about the ULA Conduit or the MLD Exodus type/size of backpacks, but with a 22" torso I really wonder if these are going to fit. According to the manufacturers it should, but I'm a bit reluctant to order and try since shipping across the Atlantic is not exactly for free.
Are there any tall people on this forum that actually tried one of these and could advise me on this? Thanks!

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Advice on backpack for tall people on 01/06/2009 10:22:39 MST Print View

I think I posted the exact same thread a while back when I was looking for a backpack. I'm 6'6" and 270. I have a 24" torso and had a horrible time finding a pack that works. At 22", you'll be on the border, but you'll likely have more options.

GoLite and Mountain Laurel Design packs were all too short, but I liked them a lot.

Granite Gear and Gossamer Gear packs were close, but not close enough. I'm convinced Granite Gear doesn't measure the volume of their packs correctly though (they always seem small).

Osprey and Gregory fit great, but were entirely too heavy and don't fit in the lightweight theme.

The only pack I found that fit dead-on without paying for customization was both the ULA-Equipment Circuit and Conduit. I highly recommend both.

All of these packs are great in their own right and I recommend any of them based on your own preferences, weight needs, and fabric choices. As I said, at a true 22" you'll be right at the limit of all of them with likely greater success with ULA-Equipment, Gossamer Gear and Granite Gear. I found the Mountain Laurel Designs pack a bit too small.

Although I have never tried a pack from them, Six Moon Designs is worth considering. Perhaps others could chime in about them.

In a pinch, just ask manufacturers to send you a sample and they often will at the cost of postage. Others will even be able to modify it for you, again though, at a cost. Worst case, which is something I've done entirely too much, is to just buy it, try it on, and return it if it doesn't work and eat postage along the way.

If you want to go the custom route, consider a McHale. He'll do just about anything, but he is expensive.

If you only want to do this once and not worry about sizing, go with the ULA-Equipment Circuit or Conduit.

Edited by regultr on 01/06/2009 13:21:25 MST.

Mark Zeller
(Bonzo) - F
Conduit also for tall people on 01/06/2009 14:29:17 MST Print View

Thanks for your quick reply! I read your posts, but I thought they were about the Circuit only (which comes in a larger size). As the Conduit fits you as well, I think it will definitely fit me. I think I'll pull the trigger and order one.
I'm quite surprised the MLD packs don't fit you, as they should be as large/larger than the ULA packs according to their websites. An MLD inch is not an ULA inch, I guess. Exactly why I asked for some first hand experience. Thanks again!

Thomas Baker
(Shake_N_Bake) - F

Locale: WY
Advice on backpack for tall people on 01/06/2009 20:29:19 MST Print View

I cannot comment on the others named above but I have a ULA Conduit in the M/L size and a 21 1/2" torso. It is the best fitting and most comfortable pack I have ever owned. I would highly recommend you give it a try if the rest of the features meet your requirements.

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
torso size on 01/06/2009 21:30:38 MST Print View

I am a 21.5" torso and I fit into a ULA large Catalyst almost perfectly. I am going to try the Conduit this summer.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Conduit also for tall people - MARK on 01/07/2009 07:17:15 MST Print View

Mark -

It just occurred to me that I named the wrong ULA packs. Those that fit were the Catalyst and Circuit.

I initially tried to purchase an Amp which did not fit. When I talked to Brian, he said I wouldn't fit in the Conduit if the Amp didn't fit. With that said, I never tried the Conduit. Others have indicated that the Conduit fits them within your range, so I'll let them speak on it.

Sorry for the confusion. Too many packs :)

Mark Cooper

Locale: Central Florida
Same Dilema on 09/29/2009 04:40:23 MDT Print View

Very useful thread...

I too am 6'6" and I am looking for a new backpack. I tried the GoLite Quest and it felt ok in the store, but I wore it around the house and my shoulders started to ache because of where the straps lay on my shoulders (further out). I am not sure if that is a torso length problem or a strap placement problem, either way, it's fatal.

The store I go to will do a custom fit, but then all of the packs they sell are either too heavy (Gregory, Osprey) or don't fit (GoLite, Granite Gear). So I guess I need to try to do this long distance. I would go Gossamer Gear again, but sounds like their pack sizes might be a bit small.

One worry - I was not expecting shoulder strap placement to be an issue if torso length were off, I would hate to order a McHale or ULA pack only to have that happen again. I suppose I should just contact either company and discuss.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Advice on backpack for tall people on 09/29/2009 09:25:17 MDT Print View

What about the Granite Gear Ozone. Just under 3 pounds but adjusts to a 22" torso and the shoulder harness can be swapped to fit up to a 52" chest. In other words, quite customizable.

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Advice on backpack for tall people on 09/29/2009 09:44:00 MDT Print View

Long Torso

My goto pack is a Gregory G pack @ 2950ci / 2 lbs 14oz not the lightest but for me very comfortable.


I also have a custom made (long) "zilch" pack made by Z-Packs @ 1800ci / 3.4oz that fits good for a weekend pack


Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Re: Advice on backpack for tall people on 09/29/2009 13:30:16 MDT Print View

I also have a custom Mountain Laurel Designs Ark for my 24" torso. Basically, there are options available as identified throughout this thread, you just need to pick one and run with it. If you need to pay shipping twice because it doesn't work out, then so be it as otherwise you'll never know. Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and give things a try as having the right gear makes a lot of difference.