Granite Gear Vapor Day
Design: Modified panel loader
Size: 32 liter (2000 cu in)
Number of Pockets: 4
Max. Load Carried: 28 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'8"
Price Paid: $129
Of the several day packs I have, this one gets the most use. It is large enough to carry all the things I need for winter hiking and has compression straps on the sides so that if the pack is not full, it can be compressed. There is a small pocket on the top, an expansion pocket on the back and two side pockets. The expansion pocket and side pockets are made of stretch material so that they do not stick out, but will expand easily.
The pack is made of light rip-stop nylon, but seems to be very durable so far. The specs say that the pack can handle 30 lb. loads and I have approached that weight many times and feel that it can easily handle 30 lbs. In addition to handling the load, the pack is still comfortable even with heavier loads.
The zippered opening is actually a what I would call a modified panel loader, as there is a horseshoe shaped zipper that goes about 1/3 the way down the pack. This makes it possible to lay the pack on its back and at least get to the stuff towards the top without starting to pull everything out, as with a top loader.
My only issue with the pack is the exit port for the water bladder hose. I have some trouble getting the hose through the opening and perhaps making a "X" shaped hole in the port, as opposed to the "--" shaped hole, would be better. You also need to be a little careful with the side pockets. As stated they are made of a stretch material and can get damaged on brush, branches or rock. In my case, I was hiking above the tree line and had to "skinny through" a tight passage between two rock outcroppings. I did not take the pack off, and should have, the result was that I poked a hole in one of my side pockets. This was not a failure of the product, but "user error". A little McNett seal sealer has resolved the problem.
At any rate, this is a solid, comfortable pack that can be used year-round and will be appreciated by anyone who either takes those few extras on a day hike, or carries some of the load for someone else.