Ask Kristin

Packs for Big Guys

Are there any companies that make packs for bigger guys, and a 54" waist?


My wife and I have decided we want to hit the trail and take some overnight and weekend trips.

The trouble is, I’m a big guy: 6 feet tall and 325 lbs. Big. Since no amount of vertical stripes and black cloth can conceal that fact, I’m not going to wait for the flab to fall off so I can enjoy nature, so I’ve already begun to accumulate equipment. Unfortunately, I’ve come to an impasse; that being the distance between the clips on the hipbelt of every pack I’ve tried. My question is, are there any companies that make packs for bigger guys, and a 54″ waist? I’ll avoid going for a Krispy Kreme while I await your suggestions.

Submitted by – Christopher


Dear Christopher,

First, I applaud your efforts. No matter what your size, you deserve to experience the joys of backpacking. Not only will it rejuvenate your spirit, it will help you trim down, too. In fact, if you really get bitten by the backpacking bug and like the idea of using it as a basis for weight loss, check out, an adventure travel company with two goals: to alter your body composition and give you an unforgettable wilderness experience. I spoke with Steve Silberburg, the owner of the company, and asked him for some pack recommendations based on his clients’ experiences.

He had tons of good advice:

  • The external frame Alaskan Series at
  • The Pinnacle and Galaxy packs at Both are well-priced, mid-sized internals.
  • At you can buy a large hipbelt for $25 and use it on any pack that has a removable hipbelt.
  • Or find a good outdoor gear repair specialist, like Boulder-based Ripstop Repairs (303.443.7788 and ask them to modify your existing gear.