Backpacking for Plus Size

Posted by in Adventure

I have noticed it is really hard to find things that are suitable for plus sized women. Instead of waiting until I am some normal size, I decided to just start living the life I wanted now. In order to do that I needed to do a lot of research. My end goal is to hike the Appalachian Trail. I grew up with this famous trail in my backyard. I don’t think I can spare the time to do it all at once, but I think I can do 2 weeks here and there. In order to do this I need a backpack that can handle this load. Currently, I am flopping around in a candy cane backpack. Nothing serious and it makes me look like a school child. 😀

I also want to go back packing with my brother. I talked to him about the kind of packs he has had and the kind he currently uses. Right now he own a 60 Liter Osprey pack. After reading reviews I think this is a good fit for what I wanted. I looked online and I saw they only went up to large. This worried me immensely. I saw a Men’s pack that went up to XL and I thought I should go for that one. I was about to order it on Amazon when a warning bell went off in my mind. This seemed like something I should try on first. I hightailed it over to REI and talked with a sale’s person.  I am so glad I did. It turns out that a pack isn’t measured horizontally but vertically.

The man measured me from my Iliac Crest (or top of my hip bone) to my C7 vertebra (The boney bit of your spine that sticks up when you tilt your head down). It turns out that my pack measurement is right between XS-S. For the first time in my life I am measured within the small range. Which makes me realize if I went with my first instinct and went with a Men’s XL I would be wearing a Monolithic Tower on my back. I am so glad I went to get measured. Click here to see how they measure the pack. 

The best thing about an Osprey bag is that you can change out the shoulder straps and waist belts. So even though I am a Small Pack size, my shoulder straps and waist belt are large. This gave me a completely custom bag that I could only get inside a store. The sales man loaded my pack up with about 30lbs and made me walk around the store for a while. After walking a bit I noticed that the pack was riding a little too low and hit my hips wrong. I went back and we readjusted the pack again to the smallest setting and bingo bango the pack fit like a charm. I couldn’t feel much of anything. The backpack is so well balanced and fit perfectly that I didn’t feel anything really. It was amazing. I finally went with the Osprey Aura 65 AG Pack – Women’s Small. This pack retails around $260. I used my member coupon and got 20% off.
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If you are looking for a backpacking pack I would suggest going to get fitted at REI. When I was getting fitted I couldn’t believe how off all my expectations were. From the pack to the fit. Everyone will fit a bag differently. Take the extra time and get fitted correctly. You won’t regret it.