Gregory Jade 50
Design: top loading, internal
Size: 50 litre
Number of Pockets: 6
Max. Load Carried: 30 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'6"
Price Paid: $200
I owned both of the versions of this pack.
The older version didn't seem to fit so well, and the hipbelt wasn't replaceable, like most of Gregory's packs are.
The newer version -- this year's (2010) model -- shows many improvements, including an adjustable hipbelt! Perfect for those of us who tend to lose weight on a hiking trip, or whose weight varies through the year.
The shoulder straps and hipbelt have a bit more padding on them, and the lumbar pad no longer feels like you have a rock in the middle of your back. It's much softer and easier to "break in" now.
I have used this pack for short hikes, (so far),and trips across country instead of a suitcase. It would easily carry a week's worth of food and supplies, if you pack light. If you don't, it's a great weekender. I was able to pack 30 lbs into it comfortably, and wear it all day without a problem. It carries well, and has enough padding on the straps so that you aren't sore at the end of the day.
It could easily be taken on a "thru-hike" if you pack light, and at just a bit over 3 lbs, while not the lightest pack on the market, it is comfortable and handles well.
The top lid is removable if you choose. The hipbelt pockets are too small for anything more than a snack or the smallest of digital cameras. I can put 2/3 of my sleeping bags into it easily, but my 0F rated Marmot down bag is a bit too big for this pack. A bear can would fit between the top of the main bag and the lid, or could be fastened to the top or bottom of this pack.
The improvements on this pack really have made it a terrific pack, and I recommend it to anyone looking for either a lighter weight long trip pack, or a weekender. It also fits in airline overhead compartments, or under the seat.
Height of Owner: 5'9''
Price Paid: $180
Really comfortable. My only complaint is that there aren't more external pockets. Can be a mess to topload.