fitting Gregory back packs

12:13 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Hello folks. my name is Randy From NJ. i own two gregory packs. zulu 55 and Z35. and i'm planning to purchase baltoro 75 for upcoming winter backpacking trips and another Z35 due to deteriorating of Z35. yet, i'm debating whether to select  medium frame or the large. my zulu 55 is a medium frame and my Z35 is a large frame. to me both zulu 55 and Z35 works fine yet Zulu 55 feels a bit tight... and Z35 feels comfortable however i find my self adjusting the harness and belt systems too often while i'm  hiking. my torso measurement according to Gregory frame fit guide line, indicates that i'm a boarder line large frame torso. FYI i'm 5' 11 3/4" and weight 185 lbs.

which size frame do you think is suitable for my body type??? please help~


sincerely,

Randy from NJ

12:57 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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If at all possible the best way to fit a pack is in store with your gear inside of it. Anything else involves guesswork, but a good retailer should be able to help you find the right sized pack and fit it properly to your body.

If that is not an option I tend to go with larger over smaller if I'm at all close on a vendors fitting chart. It just seems easier to cinch something too big down than to stretch something too small.

2:08 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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and another Z35 due to deteriorating of Z35

just outta curiousity---what kind of deterioration have you had?

and have you contacted gregory about it?

they were really nice to me when i sent my baltoro in for a repair a few months ago...

3:12 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Welcome baseballman74,

 

The conventional wisdom from every outfitter I've talked to is to go with the smaller size if your torso length is between sizes (although Lonestranger's logic is sound to me).

4:51 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Patman said:

Welcome baseballman74,

 

The conventional wisdom from every outfitter I've talked to is to go with the smaller size if your torso length is between sizes (although Lonestranger's logic is sound to me).

 It really is dependent on so many factors and each make/model is going to be different. If we were talking external frame I'd definitely go with the smaller size if I was in the middle.  Still, your best bet is always to put them on and see what works!

12:14 a.m. on September 6, 2013 (EDT)
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definitely try them on with a load - sizing contraptions have room for improvement.

10:05 p.m. on September 8, 2013 (EDT)
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i own and use the baltoro 65.  i'm a 19 1/2 or 20 inch torso length, so right at the borderline between medium and large.  i went with the large and have been fine with it - i sized up because i anticipated using it in colder temperatures, so i wantd the extra space if hiking with some layers on.  but i could have gone with the medium.  i can say this - the baltoro has a very limited torso length adjustment, basically has a way to adjust the attachment point for the shoulder straps - that's it.  maybe 1 1/2 or 2 inches of adjustability, that's all.

really worth trying on a loaded baltoro in this case, i'm afraid, to fully feel it out. 

10:39 p.m. on October 2, 2013 (EDT)
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I own a Baltoro and was on the border for small/medium. Went with the small and have been out with it fully loaded twice and it felt very comfortable.

Don't forget, you can change out the shoulder straps for a different size if it makes the pack fit better. So you could have a large with medium straps... or a medium with large straps. I believe it's the same with the hip belt.

REI *may* make those changes for free if you do it in-store at the time of purchase (but don't quote me on that). Might be worth a check, though.

7:49 a.m. on October 3, 2013 (EDT)
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My z35 is an older model, I had it for 6? Plus years. The top compartment, seams next to the zipper burst. It seems to that it needs to be reglued. Not a big deal but I need to send the pack. But I am happy with it how it swerved me over the years. Matter of fact, I took the pack to Nepal, the Annapurna circuit trekking as well. Time for me to buy me new Gregory backpacks. I would not mess with other backpacks... For me Gregory feels the best. Good luck to you

8:03 a.m. on October 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks to all of you! I think I'm going to buy me a medium. But I'm going to try the pack again. Allow me to tell you something, some of these sales people at outdoor stores do not know much. If not very little knowledge on outdoors skills. I can't trust them for their opinions. So I thank you! And take I will take your words very carefully and choose my backpack. Thanks again for your help. God bless you! And happy winter backpacking! Randy

9:02 a.m. on October 3, 2013 (EDT)
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No kidding! You'll see a number of discussions on TS about the deteriorating quality of sales staff at outdoor stores. Seems to be epidemic and getting worse. 

9:39 a.m. on October 3, 2013 (EDT)
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yeah~ i almost feel like why do i need to bother with sales people when i know more attitude. i wish i could drop everything and get a job as outdoors equipment salesman. people just don't care much now days. so i expect them to pull down the gear that i want to see from the top racks... and direct me to the right areas where i want to find my interests.

i not promoting anything here yet i have experienced good vibes from companies like Big Agnes, backcountryedge.com (these people went extra to answer my questions), and etc.


i like companies and stores where they practice the "outdoors culture", so that they could be related to their customers. i wish i could get a job somewhere in outdoors equipment company... that would be pretty cool~ i think i could be really good at it too. i would love my job...

10:00 a.m. on October 4, 2013 (EDT)
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We used to have a store like that called MEC (like REI), with lots of part-time employees who were just there because they loved being outdoors and enjoyed sharing their knowledge with the customers. They'd work evenings and sometimes weekends if they were free, and still make time to go away and use the gear they were selling. Managers would shuffle schedules so they could fit their outdoor trips into their shifts at MEC.

I have a friend who worked there for many years. He was principal of a high school (with a great outdoor program!) and he was making enough money to be driving a BMW. I once saw him spend an entire evening (3 hours) getting two kids all set up with AT ski equipment, making sure they had exactly the right gear. He got pro deals at MEC, but he was working there because he really enjoyed what he was doing. 

A couple of years ago, the company changed its policies, focusing on higher profits and appointing new managers to enforce their approach to the business. The first rule was that everybody had to work on weekends. From a business perspective that made sense - weekends were their busiest time - but the result is that the most knowledgeable staff were no longer able to take their weekends and escape to the mountains. 

Most soon quit, leaving just a few long-timers with no other job prospects, and a large group of new and inexperienced staff. I don't know about the US, but in Canada, retail doesn't pay very much. While new employees might have done some hiking, cycling or canoeing, most were just college kids with no real experience to speak of, and to most it was 'just a job'. As you say, many of the customers knew a lot more about what they were buying than the staff. MEC turned into just another big-box outdoor store.

The few stores that are staffed by people who really know their stuff tend to be small specialty shops, often focused on a small segment of the market (x-country skiing, climbing, white water), and while the staff are much better, their prices are usually higher. 

10:45 a.m. on October 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Peter1955 said:

We used to have a store like that called MEC (like REI), with lots of part-time employees who were just there because they loved being outdoors and enjoyed sharing their knowledge with the customers. They'd work evenings and sometimes weekends if they were free, and still make time to go away and use the gear they were selling. Managers would shuffle schedules so they could fit their outdoor trips into their shifts at MEC.

I have a friend who worked there for many years. He was principal of a high school (with a great outdoor program!) and he was making enough money to be driving a BMW. I once saw him spend an entire evening (3 hours) getting two kids all set up with AT ski equipment, making sure they had exactly the right gear. He got pro deals at MEC, but he was working there because he really enjoyed what he was doing. 

A couple of years ago, the company changed its policies, focusing on higher profits and appointing new managers to enforce their approach to the business. The first rule was that everybody had to work on weekends. From a business perspective that made sense - weekends were their busiest time - but the result is that the most knowledgeable staff were no longer able to take their weekends and escape to the mountains. 

Most soon quit, leaving just a few long-timers with no other job prospects, and a large group of new and inexperienced staff. I don't know about the US, but in Canada, retail doesn't pay very much. While new employees might have done some hiking, cycling or canoeing, most were just college kids with no real experience to speak of, and to most it was 'just a job'. As you say, many of the customers knew a lot more about what they were buying than the staff. MEC turned into just another big-box outdoor store.

The few stores that are staffed by people who really know their stuff tend to be small specialty shops, often focused on a small segment of the market (x-country skiing, climbing, white water), and while the staff are much better, their prices are usually higher. 

Wages here are like you say low in retail Peter..REI is about the same some people with experiance some without..I go to a little shop near me which has experianced staff and they have another location..I can find atleast 3 employees who done a long trail for backpacking..

4:38 p.m. on October 13, 2013 (EDT)
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it's a shame about NEC, hate to see them go the way of REI, but I guess it's just the modern world we live in.

August 21, 2014
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