User Review: Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian
Design: Dual access internal frame ultralight
Size: 3800CI or 62L
Number of Pockets: 3+Main Compartment
Max. Load Carried: 40-45lbs
Height of Owner: 6'0
Price Paid: $95
The Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian is THE backpack to own if you are thinking of going lighter and going longer. There are too many details too cover, but I will do my best.
First, the pack is constructed beautifully. All of the seams on my pack are stitched perfectly and extremely strong. The silnylon is much thicker than I had anticipated. There are six, yes six, compression straps. Located on the front are two with two on each side. There are also an additional two compression straps located on top of the lid which are small but can secure a sleeping pad or a water bottle when used as a daypack.
One neat thing about this pack is that with all the compression straps and extra lengths of cord, this pack can be compressed for fairly small daypack duty. The lid can be removed and the entire bag can compress and literally contstrict itself to a little less than half the initial volume. I plan on shedding the lid for overnighters and shorter hikes.
I have used this pack on several short hikes and it is amazingly comfortable with loads over forty pounds. The frame flexes nicely and the hipbelt pivots slightly to allow a more natural movement. The padding on the back of the pack feels like memory foam.
I ordered a regular size as I am 6' and 185lbs. The frame allows for torso length adjustments in one inch increments. It is slow and requires a phillips headed screwdriver. I found my pack to be most comfortable on the default torso length of 20". The weight almost completely transfers to my hips and is even more comfortable the better your posture is. Comfort should be one of the top reasons you pick a pack, so don't cut corners.
The front panel access via the RiRi waterproof zippers helps out a ton. The only weird problem is that the flap for the panel is not sewn to the tougher bottom fabric. It all seals up nicely when full but still leaves me wondering why it is like that. There is a dedicated hydration sleeve and exit point, but my Camelbak Omega bladder's shut-off valve and mouthpiece are all but impossible to fit through the designated exit port from the bag. I instead run my mouthpiece through the top of the main entry point secured by the drawstring.
Now the downsides. There are seemingly endless amounts of excess straps all over the bag. I plan on removing several feet, not because I'm weight conscious, but simply because I don't like the feeling I'm inside a ball of string.
The only other problem is there are a lack of pockets. There is the lid, two bottle pockets which are rather large, and the main compartment.
In conclusion, this pack is quite possibly the best medium volume pack on the market. The fit and finish is superb. The comfort level is too good to be true. The adjustability is limitless. The Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian is THE benchmark for ultralight packs. Buy one now.