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Gear Review: Gregory G-Pack

Last year, trying to keep up with my ultra-light friends, I purchased a Gregory G-Pack on sale. I finally had an opportunity to use it a couple of times this month.

This pack holds about 3000 cu. in and weighs under 3 pounds. While made of extremely lightweight material like most ultra-light packs it has a more traditional suspension system than many of the extremely light packs. I appreciate this. It has adjustable and padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap, a padded waist belt, a frame sheet, and padding on the back.

The main sack is pretty basic. It is constructed of extremely lightweight silicon impregnated material. It seems very flimsy but seems to hold up well enough. (You can actually see your gear through the material in the right light!) There is a surprisingly large removable top-flap pocket. While there are no side pockets, the whole back of the pack is covered by a large pouch that can hold quite a bit of gear where it is accessible. The pouch is secured by 3 straps that attach vertically to the top back and sides of the pack. (The pouch attachments have been updated on the current version of the pack.)

The pouch turns out to be a slight source of weakness, at least in my case. The main part of the pouch is made of a mesh material and seems strong enough. In the center back portion it is constructed of a more typical woven nylon material. This material seems a bit subject to damage from abrasion, for example from rubbing against rocks. In my case this is more of a problem since I use the pouch to carry a fairly large (by backcountry standards) tripod. The material in question tore a bit in one spot after a few trips.

I don’t regard this as a criticism as much as an observation. Obviously, Gregory cannot make a pack that weighs less than three pounds that is as durable as old-style packs that often weighed more than twice as much. It seems that one of the trade-offs for using such a lightweight pack is that you must be a bit more careful about how you handle it. That seems like a reasonable compromise to me.

The pack carries quite comfortably. Normally, people recommend that you carry less than 30 pounds (sometimes much less) in a pack like this. However, I’m certain that I have carried more weight than that (I typically carry 8-9 pounds of photo equipment) and I did not encounter any problems. I would certainly feel comfortable about using this pack on a 4-5 day trip.

***Bottom line:
All in all, I think the G-Pack is a fine pack for those who want to lighten their loads a bit and who are willing to exercise a little extra care to avoid damaging the lightweight material.

August 30, 2005 - Posted by | Gear Reviews

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