User Review: Granite Gear Vapor Trail
Design: short frame
Size: 3200 cu
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 30Lbs
Height of Owner: 5f 7in
Price Paid: $75
I replaced an old 6 Lbs beast of a pack with this when I got it on clearance at Trail Days during my thru-hike of the AT in 2007. That and replacing my huge '90s sleeping bag with a Lafuma Extreme 600 brought my base weight down like 8 Lbs and made a world of difference.
I rode a 2 liter Platypus water bladder in the right pocket and all the things I needed accessible like my trail guide, headlamp, snacks, etc in the left pocket to balance it out. Used a Sea to Summit dry sack for a food/bear bag. Any my "plastic grocery bag system" for things I took out during the course of the day. When needing more cold weather gear I was able to hook an external stuff sack to the back securely.
People may complain that you have to get items like your sleeping bag and pad from the bottom, but generally you only do that at night, and if you are leaving ANYTHING in there at the end of the day (i.e. something you don't use every day), then why are you carrying that item? And the hip belt has a lot more padding than some packs this size, which is a real plus.
Only issue I had was a little tearing below where the shoulder straps attach, probably from getting up at that 30Lbs limit.
Overall worked out as a great pack. Highly recommended.