User Review: Granite Gear Vapor Trail
Design: Top-loading internal
Size: 3600 c.i.
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 27 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'0"
Price Paid: $160
The VT is a very, very good pack. The pros and cons are well documented, and mostly accurate. This review will focus on just one factor: function.
The word to remember is simplicity. If you're looking for simplicity, the VT brings it.
If you're not looking for simplicity, maybe you should. Your wilderness experience will not be short-changed if you leave the percolator, handsaw, griddle, 20X20 tarp, tent peg mallet, hatchet, pasta strainer, and camp stool behind. (These are all things I have schlepped across trail and water). Rather, I found my ultralight, minimalist experience the more rewarding for its simplicity.
What remains to be decided is what you can and can't go without. With a little planning, you can go without much more than you think, and you won't even notice.
Furthermore, I never realized how much TIME I wasted dinking around with zippers, buttons, snaps and straps. Remove these trappings, and you actually start to focus on the world and people around you rather than the high-tech gizmo on your back.
For a little organizational upgrading - and just a LITTLE - I used Outdoor Research brand sil-nylon stuff sacks inside the pack. At a thrift store I found a nylon camera case with a belt loop, and strapped it to the VT belt for holding my camera, a granola bar and compass.
Simplicity. I'm very happy with my GGVT.