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02-22-2014, 01:13 PM   #1
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backpack for a big guy


I am looking for a bag or backpack that a guy like me can carry comfortably. I am 2,00 metres (6ft 7in) tall and quite wide as well.

Currently, I am using a Think Tank Retrospective 20, but the strap is too short to wear it over the chest with more than a t- shirt on. I also have a PacSafe shoulder bag which only has room for the most minimal gear. The strap is slightly longer than the 20, but at this time of the year, wearing warm clothing, still too short.

I was thinking along the lines of a Tamrac Expedition 7 or 8. Not. that I need/wish to take that amount of gear with me that these backpacks can carry. (That's probably the danger of those big bags). Just thinking of the actual size of the carrying system. Is there anybody that had the chance to compare those 2? Does the Expedition 8 actually have a bigger (more roomy) carrying system than the Expediton 7?

Or could anybody recommend a backpack for longer walks/hikes that would fit a big guy like me?

Thanks for your help!

02-22-2014, 01:41 PM   #2
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I have the Tamrac Cyperpack 8. It gives me the room I want for my equipment. But I'm an average weight and height, so it is noticeably bigger than a normal backpack on me.

I do like it, but most of the time I stuff as much as I want in my unlabeled Ritz camera backpack that's just a little larger than a normal sized daypack. Because it's more discreet.

But if I were going on longer hikes the Tamrac is more comfortable. For situations where I'm not in the city/suburbs, I'd rather wear it, even if it's not full. But the reality is I'm not in that situation most of the time.

As I recall the Expedition is a little different than the Cyberpack. I specifically chose the Cyberpack 8 over the others, based on layout and giving me the internal space I wanted without going way overboard (I believe the Cyberpack 9 was especially large). But even the Cyberpack 8 is noticed on an average guy.

The Cyberpack 8 was a significant capacity increase over both the Cyberpack 6 and (the best I can remember) the Expedition 7 as well. Each higher number in the Tamrac system is usually a worthwhile upgrade in capacity. I was able to compare all of them in the stores, which really helped.

Last edited by DSims; 02-22-2014 at 01:58 PM.
02-22-2014, 02:01 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by slartibartfast Quote
but the strap is too short to wear it over the chest with more than a t- shirt on
Can you not take this to a saddle maker or shoe repairer and get the to make of sow on extension straps for you?
02-22-2014, 02:31 PM   #4
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I am no where near that tall at 5'8" but I have only 2 bags that fit properly, one is a true hiking bag, with internal frame and a strap that hooks on at the bottom frame and then extends up to the shoulder straps. This allows the back to be at my waist where the hip straps can put load on my hops. The other is a lowepro photo trekker AW about the same size as the hiking pack. Both of these are big bags, but they are adjustable to fit.

You need a bag with proper straps. My smaller bags do not have adjustable straps, and the result is the waist strap is either not on my waist but my stomach, or the chest strap is around my neck

It is the oak rigging that makes all the difference

02-22-2014, 04:30 PM   #5
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I would go with the Expedition 8

I have the Tamrac 5788 Evolution 9 which is about the same length as the Tamrac 5587 Expedition 7 (19.5 inches) and I'm 6' 1" and it fits great. The Expedition 8 is 2 inches longer so it should fit you ok.
02-23-2014, 03:46 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Can you not take this to a saddle maker or shoe repairer and get the to make of sow on extension straps for you?
This is actually a very good idea, thanks. Although I'll be hard pressed to find someone who could do this for me here in this area..
02-23-2014, 07:14 AM   #7
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Another big guy over here in the States, so I'm most appreciative of this thread... One thing you might consider is a "mix-and-match" approach, where you buy an optimally sized backpack from a pack company and use inserts to configure to your photography gear. Here's a pack from Arc'teryx (a Canadian company) that caught my eye:

Khard 45 / Men's / Hardgoods

Since it uses hook-and-loop panels that you can attach pouches to, I'm thinking that you'd be able to use all sorts of camera/lens pouches with it. Another company to look into is a Bozeman, Montana outfit, Mystery Ranch. They have similar looking packbags and an available hook-and-loop organization system as well:

Spadelock Velcro Insert

Best of luck in your search...

02-23-2014, 09:31 AM   #8
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If your pack is otherwise fine and just the straps are too short you may be able to purchase lengths of matching strap webbing and nylon clips and buckles to make your own extensions.

Camping supply stores like REI sell repair kits and parts to make your own extensions Gear Repair at REI
02-24-2014, 02:00 AM   #9

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You could try the bags from F-stop gear ø f-stop || Adventure Photography Camera Packs and Bags - + ø . I know a guy who is also almost 2 meters tall, and he swears with the F-stop Loka Loka - Backpacks - Mountain - Products . I have tried wearing them, and they are very comfy 9and when i have enough money, I will get one) And as you buy the camera insert seperately, you can choose yourself how much camera gear you want to carry. also Clik Elite has some good bags, which do not take that much camera gear (but plenty of other necesseties for hiking) Clik Elite | Adventure Camera Backpacks, Photo Bags, and SLR Cases . Also good qaulity bags, and very comfy to carry.
02-24-2014, 11:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by slartibartfast Quote
Or could anybody recommend a backpack for longer walks/hikes that would fit a big guy like me?
Do yourself a favour. Go to a sports shop, buy a good quality hiking backpack, then get a camera insert for it. If you're serious about hiking, and want to avoid potential injuries to your back, that's the way to go.

No camera bag will be as well designed as a true hiking backpack.

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