User Review: Gregory G Pack (ultralight)
Design: Ultralight top loading single compartment pack
Size: 3,300 weight 2 lbs 12 oz
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 25 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 4"
Price Paid: $150
This is my first ultralight backpack as I have just recently reduced my total pack volume to where my gear can fit in a much smaller space. I would not suggest this pack for first time backpacking as it's probably not durable enough for a beginner's abuse nor big enough to carry the clunky gear a new packer is likely to be using. My pack without food, water and clothes weighs less than 18 lbs. I say this not because this is an incredible accomplishment, but because if your stuff isn’t that light or lighter, it probably won’t all fit and you’ll need a bigger pack.
I purchased the Gregory over the similar Go-Lite models as I was fearful that the lighter/thinner GoLite straps and hip pad/belt would be less comfortable and that I would not have enough volume. The penalty for my choice is greater pack weight as well as a higher purchase price. In practical application, hiking with a 25 lbs pack is sufficiently comfortable that I did not need to wear the hip belt. Having never tried to pack the same gear into a GoLite, I can make no assumptions about actual volume or the comfort of the GoLite’s straps. Wish I could try everything.
The pack's interior was sufficient to carry my gear and food for 3 days, but my cold weather gear; shell, vest, jacket and chaps were relegated to the very generous outer mesh pocket along with water bottle. The pack looked somewhat ungainly packed this way, but I'm going light for comfort, not fashion. (okay, fashion, too.) The mesh pocket is somewhat elastic and could carry the load without additional straps, but there are three straps that can be loosened to carry my bulgy load and more.
Inside I was able to pack a down bag in a compression sack, full size ultralight Therm-a-Rest self-inflating pad, MSR Zoid 1 tent, 2 liter pot with Safesport alcohol stove, bowls and cup, spare clothes and three days worth of food.
In the top zipper pocket on the flap was a poncho, clock, first aid stuff, toilet paper, headlight, reading light and paperback book. The top pocket is held on by 4 straps and can be adjusted to stay centered on the top of the pack whether it is fully loaded or only partially so.
The fit and finish of the bag is excellent. I did not see any loose threads or raw seams. The silnylon feels fragile to the touch but was quite durable though I did take greater care than I would have with a Cordura pack. I do not know if the pack is sufficiently waterproof to go without a pack cover. We were in rain throughout the first day on the trail, but the pack was covered with a pack cover as well as some of my poncho. I wouldn’t expect it to be waterproof without applying seam sealer to all the seams. Stuff in the mesh pocket would get wet, but I was wearing all the items that would go in there the next warm day.