Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70
4 lb 3 oz
This pack does 90 percent of the kind of hiking/climbing…
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Granite Gear for testing and review)
This pack does 90 percent of the kind of hiking/climbing I do.
- Frame fits my back perfectly
- Expands/contracts for larger/smaller loads
- Thoughtful buckles
- Pannel access
- Wood frame sheet = coolness factor
- Easily adjusted hipbelt
- Stretchy material feels vulnerable
- Load lifters come loose if you arent careful
- Possibly too many adjustment srtaps?
A lot of good things have happened in the last few years to backpacks and I am glad that I chose to test the Granite Gear Nimbus Trace.
This pack won the Outdoor Retailer Best New Gear Award.
Ready for winter climbing
The most interesting feature of the Nimbus Trace is its Maple (wood) frame sheet. It is drilled at one inch intervals to adjust the fit of the shoulder straps and its bolted to the waist belt. The last pack I carried with a wooden frame was an old army pack frame I used in the USFS.
GG claims that the wood, while beautiful and renewable is stronger and lighter than other materials available. I found it to work fine and never had to give it any thought. I did hesitate to use it as a seat because I was afraid it might crack.
Testing has been on overnight backpacking trips, summit scrambles, and at Crevasse Rescue school.
If you cram them in two bottles fit in each side pocket.
Very pregnant pack
This long pouch is good for quick access: goggles/gloves.
The pack material is a variety of Codura that is very abrasion resistant. The water bottle pockets however are made from a very stretchy mesh that snags very easily and may not be the best choice for a part that sticks out the sides as it does. After the first trip with this pack I noticed the pocket had begun to stretch out a little from the one quart water bottle I had placed in it.
The side pockets seem to get stretched out quickly and I worry that they won't be tight forever
The ends of the tent poles are in a cut off Gatorade bottle to keep them from ruining the mesh.
The floating top lid to this pack has a small mesh pocket for keys, maps, etc that I found convenient. Under the lit there is a MASSIVE extending collar that rolls closed and secured with several; buckles in case your load expands on the trip. Really I think it was a little bigger than it needs to be, but if you need it it’s there.
The top closing buckles worked perfectly to secure my climbing rope.
There are two external stretchy mesh pockets near the top of the main compartment where I kept first aid supplies, GPS, compass, and other small items. The stretchy material works great here.
There is also a long stretchy mesh pocket down the center of the back of the pack that is perfect for a pair of gaiters or gloves and a hat. The mesh might improve air circulation to these items and allow them to dry a little, maybe.
I cut off a Gatorade bottle top and placed the bottom half into the mesh pocket where I put my snow pickets and tent stakes to protect this seemingly fragile material. The associated compression straps can either go over or under your water bottle, a smart idea.
There is an internal hydration pouch pocket if you are into unloading the entire pack just to fill up on water.
The floating top lid converts into a clumsy fanny pack like many seem to do, I never use this feature and often cut the straps off but it’s there if you want it.
RidgeRest had to ride on the outside.
Nice place to clip stuff
I found faults with this pack in some areas but somehow they dialed the fit in to my body type (5’ 10”,190 lbs, 20 inch torso) PERFECTLY! The load rested right on the section of my lower back/upper hip area where I like it and distributed the right amount of weight to my shoulders (very little) with a few tugs on the adjustment straps.
I hate hiking out on slow long trails so I usually jog. This pack stays tight to my body and allows me to get back to the TH and a cold brew much faster.
Keeps your back well vented
The straps and padding are made of a material that carried a 40# load nicely without being too bulky. I like the way the back padding is arranged to allow ventilation, I never had a sweaty back with the Nimbus Trace. I’d have no problem carrying this pack with 55 pounds or so, if it would fit inside.
The padding feels like a firm memory foam.
Ice axe loop wear, because my axe has grip tape on it
I am a little worried about the mesh bottle holder pouches lasting because of the reasons I specified earlier. They do, however hold onto a water bottle very tightly so that I would gladly glissade without worrying about donating anything in those pockets to the mountain.
The rest of the pack has held up very well to the sharp/rough equipment I attached to it (crampons/show shovel/ice axe) so I am pleased so far with its performance. My crevasse rescue instructor felt like the wood frame sheet would keep it from making a very good dead-man anchor based on his intuition rather than experience.
The panel opening
Theres a three-person tent in there.
Like the panel loading packs of old I like the way the Access pocket lets me get to some of my gear without unloading the whole pack. Of course if you are smart you pack so as to negate this issue, but I still liked it. To protect the zippers there are ample compression straps to keep the pregnant pack from bursting its zippers, something I have seen happen before.
Was the pack big enough? That’s tough to answer, as someone used to a 100 liter pack it took creativity to make everything fit, especially when carrying things like a shovel, climbing rope and the like. It actually made me lighten my load of things I really didn’t need.
Am I leaning or is the tree? Icicle Ridge, Leavenworth, WA
Three tie downs might be overkill. If you don't like them cut them off.
Some think that too many compression straps is a bad thing. I look at it as something I can use when I need it and cut off it I don’t. I like the option of really cinching things down to prevent flopping and provide good stability when the pack is less than full. I never lacked for a place to hang an oversized tool or wet garment when I needed it thanks to the compression straps.
The top opened for access. Maybe overkill too. I hated accessing this way because it takes forever to unroll it every time.
Keeps snow/rain out when the weather gets cruddy
Looking a little deflated on a single day summit climb
Above Leavenworth, WA
Confident smile and some good luck bling from my little girl
Almost back at the trail head. Some nice girls took my pic.
Crevasse rescue class
Best Suited for
Overnight trips in the 1-5 day range, longer for summer trips or if you pack light. I’m going to try it on some mountaineering trips to see if it holds the gear and holds up to the work. For now I am loving the contour of the frame sheet, its back padding and stability thanks to ample compression options.
Where to Buy
Manufacturer's Description refers to the unisex version
The Nimbus Trace Access 70 is the pinnacle of Granite Gear's award winning Nimbus pack series. Big enough for longer, unsupported trips, yet lightweight, durable and functional.
It features a zip open access panel and internal compression straps so you can get to that elusive piece of gear at the bottom of the pack without disturbing the gear above it.
The backbone of the pack is the redesigned, three dimensionally molded Nimbus framesheet. Now made with a maple-core, composite laminate which is both lighter and offers more longitudinal rigidity. This combined with a newly designed exoskeleton belt combine to offer excellent comfort and load transfer to your hips.
Here's what other sites are saying:
The Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70 is the pinnacle of the award winning Nimbus pack series. Big enough for longer, unsupported trips, yet lightweight, durable and functional. The backbone of the pack is the redesigned, three dimensionally molded Nimbus framesheet. Now made with a maple-core, composite laminate which is both lighter and offers more longitudinal rigidity. This combined with a newly designed exoskeleton belt combine to offer excellent comfort and load transfer to your hips. It features a zip open access panel and internal compression straps so you can get to that elusive piece of gear at the bottom of the pack without disturbing the gear above it.Granite Gear's reengineered 3D TopoFlex frame is engineered to fit the topography of your back and mimic the way a back naturally flexes. The single pivot point attachment system on the shoulder strap and belt allow for a more precise fit and better freedom of movement while continuously supporting the load and directing it to your hips or shoulders and allowing some of the load to be carried throughout the back. Because of this system the load can be shifted to be carried by different muscle and skeletal groups.The new Advection back panel allows for the air to flow over the back moving heat out while still maintaining significant contact and following the natural topography of the human back, thus complimenting the ergonomic load carriage benefits of the TopoFlex frame and harness system
- CampSaver.com refers to the men's version
Light, durable and functional, yet big enough for long trips, the Granite Gear Nimbus Access 70 Pack features a zip-open panel and internal compression so you can easily get to gear at the bottom.
- REI refers to the men's version
Offering both ergonomic comfort for weeklong backpacking treks and the convenience of easy access to gear, the Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70 Backpack will make your life off the beaten path more enjoyable. The backpack's anatomically-formed maple framesheet mirrors the natural curvature of your back, and is lighter while more longitudinally rigid than Granite Gear's previous framesheet designs, so you get more solid support with less weight. The back panel features a ventilating padded design that keeps air moving between the backpack and your back for breathable comfort. The dual-density foam hip-belt provides beefy support at the hips where the backpack channels the majority of the load weight, and the cushy padded shoulder straps bear some of the weight burden without causing discomfort. The sternum strap keeps the backpack from moving side to side, while side compression straps keep items inside from shifting around so you stay balanced on tricky rock-laden traverses. The Nimbus Trace Access 70 holds up to 60 pounds of gear, and the large main compartment, stretch front and side pockets, zippered side pockets, and a lid pocket provide plenty of spots to stash and organize your stuff. Thanks to a front access panel, you'll be able to quickly get to items in the middle or bottom of the pack without having to dig down or take everything else out first. Carry along tools and carabiners on the easy-access front tool loops, and keep your hydration reservoir in the dedicated internal sleeve with a drinking tube port. The backpack's rugged nylon fabric will get you through many blissful trips while you tune out civilization for the week.
- Backcountry.com refers to the men's version
On Sale. Free Shipping. Granite Gear Men's Nimbus Trace Access 70 Pack FEATURES of the Granite Gear Men's Nimbus Trace Access 70 Pack Larger pack great for longer, unsupported trips Lightweight pack keeps your focus on the adventure in front of you Durable and functional, ready to last Has a zip open access panel and internal compression straps SPECIFICATIONS of the Granite Gear Men's Nimbus Trace Access 70 Pack Specifications: no Pack accessibility options: front, panel, top Torso length options: Regular 18-22in. | 46-56cm, Short 14-18in. | 36-46 cm Pack weights: Regular 4 lb 3 oz | 1.9 kg, Short 3 lb 15 oz | 1.8 kg Pack volumes: Regular 4270 ci | 70 liters, Short 3870 ci | 64 liters
- Moosejaw refers to the men's version