Gregory Jade 38
Price Paid: $119
Most comfortable pack for my injury...
I just love this pack!! The color is the first thing that got me when it arrived. I chose the Red-Grey combo and the photo does not due it justice! The Red is very vibrant and the Grey is a dark slightly charcoal color, very pleasing to the eye.
It has the DTS suspension which is a combo of a mesh trampoline back with two thin metal coat hanger looking suspension bars. Out of all my women's Gregory packs this is my favorite!! The mesh back really does keep you cooler in 85+ degrees and the pack hugs your frame for comfortable movement.
The tubular system for moving the chest strap around takes getting use to and there is not much on the shoulder straps to clip other items to. But there are two small pockets on the waist belt which work perfectly for a small camera, snacks, whistle and carmex. The top compartment is very roomy and has zippered access on top as well as inside it but it does not zip off for use as a day pack, the 2 pocket system is a great feature of this bag, I swear the more I use it the more I love it!
The main compartment held the gear I used for an over niter — Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 tent, Nemo sleeping pad, cooking kit and stove, bags of extra clothes, first aid pack, bag of selected emergency gear, food, emergency bivy, rain pants and jacket, Montbell UL Tech jacket, and a Wood's sleeping bag (testing bag), in the sleeping bag compartment-which so far has held all my different bags with no problem. Plus other odds and ends.
There is also 2 small hooks inside above the hydration sleeve for clipping your keys or whatever. I use a 2 liter hydration system to save on a little space in my pack. Right under the top of bag under the Gregory logo is another zipper to get inside the large compartment from the front of the bag like a suitcase nice feature if you have something in the bottom of the bag you want out first.
The zippered compartment in the front of the bag works great for stashing a rain jacket or insulating jacket or whatever you need quickly. Just under the front compartment is a small zippered area with rain drops, it's your free rain cover!! Which is also red and it's not attached to the pack, it's completely separate, what a GREAT item to include!
There are two mesh pocket on either side, and like other review stated the compression straps are in the way to use them without sacrificing use of water bottles or not being able to compress pack down. There are no access holes to feed strap behind item in pockets, I just leave them loose, not really a deal breaker for me. But I can sew, and I am considering making a small pass thru hole for the straps. This issue was dealt with in the larger packs like my 50 pack.
In the rear center of the waist belt is a nice and thick lumbar pad that pads along your spine making this waist belt very comfortable without making the belt itself cumbersome. The Gregory site shows a nice 360 degree view of this pack with all the correct specs as some sellers are off a little in those. There is also a small loop handle at top of bag to aid in lifting, no problems with it breaking so far. It's also a very easy pack to adjust while walking, when needed. The double diamond rip stop material is not only durable but pleasing to the eye.
Weight in just a bit over 3lbs for this kind of durability is why Gregory is a perfect choice for me and hopefully for you....