Everything about the Bison is supersized: from the huge paddles on the hip-belt and extra long straps through to the sheer bulk and height of it.
Tatonka has opted for the one-size-fits-all approach, so everything is adjustable. But such a system uses more components and inevitably adds weight; the Bison weighs 3005g.
But it’s also the largest, with a total capacity of 85 litres and it’s second only to the Cactus Foray in terms of durability. The main body and bottom of the pack are made of hardwearing 500D Cordura, and the buckle clips and shoulder straps are solidly built.
The X1 harness is burly, but carries well and is comfortable. The lumbar pad is prominent and might rub a bit for some users.
Feature wise, the Tatonka has it all. The main body is segregated into two compartments. Sleeping mat straps double as compression straps for the bottom compartment by running beneath the pack.
A U-shaped No. 10 zipper provides easy access to the main compartment and is protected from wear by a flap cover and clip-down straps. There are three spacious zippered exterior pockets. The top lid pocket is quite shallow, especially when the pack is full.
There are also two large handles on the back of the pack. These are helpful for hauling the pack off the ground, but can be annoying when bush bashing. Adjustable ice axe attachments accommodate axes of different lengths.
The Tatonka a good choice for tall people and those who frequently carry everything, including the kitchen sink. While it’s not the most innovative pack on the market, it’s a solid choice.