Osprey Extended Fit
It has always been hard for people without traditional bodies to fit into traditional gear. With the influx of all sorts of bodies to the outdoors over the last few years it was hard for the gear supply to keep up. Some people needed to wear ill fitting gear that could make them feel like they didn’t fit in. Osprey has now taken a huge step to making the outdoors inclusive to everyone. The Osprey Extended Fit line of packs are now available for the hikers who are on the bigger size.
As a disclaimer, I want to mention that I was compensated for modeling the packs from Osprey. I also tested some of the early test packs. This website uses affiliate links and if you use a link on this page and purchase an item I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Finally a Pack for the Hefty Hiker
For those of us hefty hikers out there it is always a challenge to find gear that fits right. Over the last few years, more and more people have made their way to the outdoors. That includes many different body styles and sizes. That includes me. I could never buckle a hipbelt strap. I would hike with those straps just dangling by my side always hoping I could find a pack that fit right. The chest straps were also a problem and either barely latched or dangled as well. When you are a hefty hiker it takes a lot to make it out on the trail. Finding gear that fits right shouldn’t be another hill to climb on your way to an enjoyable time in nature. Now every hiker, every body and everybody can have the same level of comfort at the trailhead.
Honored to Help
I was honored to be asked by Osprey to help with the early testing of the Extended Fit packs. I was able to test a Talon and Sportlite pack and provide some feedback. It was great to have a company reach out to end users to get some of our opinions on how the pack would fit and how it would be used. I think that shows how seriously Osprey took this project to be more inclusive.
I also happily lent my “unique” build to help model some of the packs for the launch. Hopefully, other hefty hikers will get a chance to get a good feel for how the pack will fit them based on the photos they see of me in the packs. Fabio I am not, maybe if I become a world famous model based on this first modeling job I can change my name to Fat-io and take the world by storm.
Why the Extended Fit actually Fits
The man features that make the Extended Fit different are an extended hipbelt and a improved straps around the harness.
The hipbelt is where I had my biggest problems with the packs that I wore when I started my hiking journey. I could never buckle the belt. This caused the lower portion of my pack to sometimes become unstable. Also, without being able to buckle the hipbelt, all of the weight of the pack needs to be supported by the shoulder harness. Those two reason’s feed into the safety and comfort of a hike.
On the convenience side, the Extended Fit hipbelts aren’t just all strap. Osprey has extended the belt portion and even moved the pockets forward a bit. This was really important to me. Traditional pack hipbelts were stuck back around my flanks, almost to my lower back. It was a struggle to reach back and use the pockets at all. With the belt and pockets extended more forward, they now sit on my sides. This is more where the pockets land on thinner hikers.
I can now use the hipbelt pockets! It sounds like a little thing but for bigger hikers we weren’t able to use the entire pack. Sometimes this led to issues with stability and safety and sometimes it was convenience. Either way it feels great to be able to use a pack the way it is designed. Just like everyone else.
Harness on the Extended Fit
The harness has two additions that help to make the Extended Fit packs fit more comfortably. First, the Extended Fit line has longer shoulder straps to help fit better and help to distribute the weight of the load in the pack. With a traditional pack, if you are thicker in the shoulders, the straps sit higher to accommodate the bigger shoulders. This is not as efficient in weight distribution. The longer straps fix this problem on the Extended Fit line.
The next important improvement is a longer sternum strap on the Extended Fit. Just like the hipbelt being hard to strap for larger hikers, the chest strap on traditional packs can be hard to get to connect. For some hikers, traditional packs can’t buckle on either strap. With the extended sternum strap the EF line eliminates this problem and increases the stability of the pack.
Two small additions that make a huge difference to someone who hasn’t been able to get a pack to fit in the past. Designed to make the pack more stable and the load to be carried more comfortably. All to ensure a much more enjoyable hike.
Now lets take a look at the packs!
Osprey Talon 22 Extended Fit
The first Extended Fit pack I want to talk about is one that I got to do some testing with, the Talon 22. The Talon is a lightweight and versatile pack that works great on a day hike. It comes with a hipbelt pocket on either side. There is a main pocket with dual zipper and inside this main compartment is a zippered mesh pocket with key holder. There is a smaller pocket on the top of the pack and an external compartment for a water bladder. The Talon 22 Extended Fit comes in S/M and L/XL sizes with a cost of $160.00. The womens version is the Tempest 20.
Osprey Sportlite 25 Extended Fit
The second pack that works as a daypack in the Extended Fit line is the Sportlite 25. The Sportlite 25 is branded a biking pack but I use it for day hikes all the time. There is a zippered pocket on the left hipbelt and a pouch on the right hipbelt. The pack has a large zippered main compartment and a smaller zippered pocket. Inside the smaller zippered pocket is a key holder and a mesh organizing compartment. The Sportlite has an external pouch for a water bladder as well. Available in Extended Fit S/M and M/L at a cost of $125.00. This pack is unisex.
Osprey Aether 65 Extended Fit
Backpackers and overnight campers weren’t left out of the Extended Fit line either. The Aether 65 is perfect for backpacking with 65 liters of storage. A large front panel offers zip access to the main compartment of the pack. Dual zippered hipbelts pockets are included as well as a zippered sleeping bag compartment and a rain jacket. The Aether is available in Extended Fit sizes S/M and L/XL and costs $320.00. The women’s version is the Ariel 65.
Osprey Volt 65 Extended Fit
The final backpacking pack on the Extended Fit line is the Osprey Volt 65. A backpacking pack with a floating top lid to allow for overloads and internal compression straps to improve stability. The Volt comes with a rain cover as well. Available as a one size Extended Fit with a cost of $220.00. The women’s version is the Viva 65.
Wrapping Up The Osprey Extended Fit Line
I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am that Osprey has come out with this line of packs. I think the more inclusive companies and brands can be the more enjoyable the outdoors will be for the masses. The Extended Fit packs have been my go to packs for the last few months while testing and they have been great. Osprey took their same high quality packs and just made them a little bigger. They didn’t try to make a completely new “special” product. Hefty Hikers like myself can now enjoy what others have experienced, even with the same packs and feel comfortable on the trails. Bravo to Osprey! Check out the Extended Fit line if you are a hiker who can’t get that fit just right. It is like taking your first hike all over again.
More from the Fat Man
If you like this review, you can see other products I have reviewed on my Product Review Page. I review all types of outdoor products like gloves, shoes, packs, and clothes. If you have any items you would like me to review or any comments feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!