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Gear Review: Granite Gear Cloud Cover

I always carry a pack cover. Packs leak in the rain, and the pack cover has other uses as well. I’ve owned a series of pack covers. They have gotten increasingly light over the years. Some early ones were constructed of fairly heavy material and included stout stuff sacks.

This year I picked up a Granite Gear Cloud Cover pack cover. It has a very minimal design, being basically a simple cover with a stretch drawstring and a small built-in stuff sack. Constructed of silicon coated nylon, my size medium (the largest available) weighs just under four ounces and takes up almost no space in my pack.

I encountered light rain a few times this summer, so I did have an opportunity to try it out. The first time was as I approached Duck Pass in the Sierra Nevada near Mammoth. The weather changed quickly and I was caught slightly unprepared. Normally I will put on the pack cover once it looks like it might rain soon – better safe than sorry. However, for some reason this time I thought I’d make it over the pass before (or if) the rain started. I was wrong. All of a sudden I could see sheets of rain across the valley and by the time I stopped near a tree and got my pack off it was already raining pretty hard. Fortunately, the Cloud Cover is easy to attach. Simply spread it over the back of the pack and cinch the drawstrings.

This simple cover did a fine job of keeping the pack dry – or, more accurately, kept it from getting any wetter.

There are only two minor concerns I have with this piece of equipment. First, not unexpectedly with such light gear, I suspect that the Cloud Cover will require me to be careful so as to avoid ripping the lightweight material. This is not so much a criticism as it is a recognition of one of the trade-offs inherent to ultralight gear. Secondly, I wonder why Granite Gear chose to make this only in white. This type of nylon already has a tendency to pick up dirt and the white color will only accentuate this.

***Bottom line:
I’m glad I picked up this the Granite Gear Cloud Cover. It is lighter and smaller in my pack and it does a fine job of protecting the pack from rain, at the expense of perhaps being less durable than some of the heavier alternatives.
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September 6, 2005 - Posted by | Gear Reviews

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