User Review: Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian
Price Paid: $250
Let me start by saying that Granite Gear's customer service is wonderful. That it became necessary to contact them is the subject of this review.
I purchased the Nimbus Meridian four months ago and have used it on several occasions. I had an initial problem with teeth pulling out of the zipper at the top, no problem just didn't pull the zipper up all the way.
Unfortunately during my last hike the zipper completely failed. This was on day 2 of a 5 day trip in the BM wilderness with 38 lbs of gear and food. Managed to get by using my tent and the compression straps to plug the hole. Not very impressive performance.
Upon my return I sent the pack back to GG. They replaced the zipper and patched a hole in the top where a hungry squirrel tried to score breakfast one morning — no questions, no charge and no problems.
Other than the zipper problem the pack is very comfortable. The belt (which can be exchanged for free to get the best fitting size) bolts to the pack at one point. This allows the pack to pivot as you walk. Nice feature, keeps the pack very stable but it is noisy. The constant squeak with each step conjures up visions of the tin man from the Wizard of Oz. On the upside it is probably as effective as a bear bell, so you can shave a little weight there.
To be fair, this seems like more of a problem the heavier the load. With 20-25 lbs the volume is noticeably less. Even though this pack is rated for 40 pounds, when you approach that weight it just doesn't seem to have the "right stuff". Aside from the squeak, the belt requires repeated tightening as it tends to loosen up a bit under heavier loads.
As a lightweight pack carrying less than 30 pounds this pack is great. Good for overnighters but not built for multi-day excursions.