Osprey or Gregory?? First Backpack

7:05 a.m. on March 29, 2012 (EDT)
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Just bought most of my gear for some 2-4 day trips, got a tent, sleeping bag, etc, but i can not decide on what backpack to get. My first choice is the  Gregory z 45

But the Osprey Talon 44  looks very good as well.


Im looking to hold prob between 15-20 pds to start with(because i have never done this b4) but may end up going up to 30 pds when i go on longer trips after gettin more experience. Both have good reviews. i feel like more padding on the straps from the Gregory would be nice and the osprey straps seem quite thin. And i rlly like feautures on both - please any1 who has used these packs or someone who knows about them please help. Also any very important tips for someone who has never gone on these 1-2 day trips before?

 Thank you all, also i am 19 years old and im a little guy- im about 5 ft in height.

12:28 p.m. on March 29, 2012 (EDT)
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Hey chrsarreola, welcome to Trailspace. Great to have ya aboard.

As far as the 2 packs go I would think that the Osprey and the Gregory are both going to fit you differently due to the design/geometry of the packs.

Osprey's fit me great(I own a few.) Gregory's not so much. My suggestion is to go into an outfitter and get fitted and see what works better for you.

Also, take the gear you plan on using for your trip with you and make sure it fits in the pack(volume wise.)

Only you know how big of a bag ya need and it can be a real bummer if ya get one ya like and it isn't big enough for your kit. This is the best way to avoid that from happening.

If the Gregory fits ya this may save ya some coin on the purchase:


You have to be a member but all ya have to do in order to become one is give them an email addy and create a password. They don't flood you with spam or anything so no worries.

They will send you info when they are running specials on new products in their inventory. They are a when its gone its gone type site.

In regards to your 1-2 day trips. What seasons, type of terrain, etc. Just a bit more clarification just so you can get better dialed in answers.

Hope this helps.

12:52 p.m. on March 29, 2012 (EDT)
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Welcome to trailspace chrsarreola

Don't know anything about either of those packs but people who do know about them will want little more info.  

Things like: 

  • What gear do you have right now?
  • How much does it all weigh?

My suggestion is to take your major pieces of gear to a place like REI or better a local outfitter and load up packs until you find one that is right.  At a minimum  you should try on packs with weight in them.  Outdoor stores that are worth anything have got bags of weight to use when you try them on.

As for the advice on 1-2 day trips we will need more info.

Things like:

  • Where will you be hiking?  Important because there is a lot of specific advice that will pertain to the area you are going into.  There are people on here from all over the world. 
  • Again what gear do you have?  Are you missing something? 

A lot of general advice can be found in this recent thread. Getting Started If you want specific advice just post the info asked for above here or post in the trip planning forum asking a for a good beginner's hike in your locale.

4:02 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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Hey guys thanks for the warm welcome, replies, and the link. All my gear right now will be adding up to very close to 20 lbs, however i know in future longer hiking trips i may be looking closer to 25. I live in southern california, so the terrain is a lot of elevation with warm weather.   I want to hike 3 season, not in the winter. The packs are quite similar, i will try both for comfort in an rei store if available first.

However one noticable difference seems to be the padding on the shoulder straps and hip belt. The gregory has more padding in both these areas, while the osprey is more thin. Has anyone ever had problems with the hip belt or shoulder straps, being to thick or to thin on their packs?

Thanks again-Chris

5:02 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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Honestly, I feel the amount of padding is load dependent. Take for instance my Stratos 26. The hipbelt and shoulder harness are very minimal in regards to padding but they do not need to be robust based on the fact that I am carrying loads no larger than 25lbs with this pack.

Then on the other side of the spectrum we have my Argon 85. The padding on this pack is very robust. The reasoning for this is that I may(and have)carried loads in excess of 70lbs.

So basically the thickness of the padding is somewhat dictated by the load the pack is designed to carry. Then again at the same time this is not always necessarily the case.

Some packs have slightly less robust padding to them and will still carry a larger load well(GoLite comes to mind on some of their models.)

This is where design, pack geometry, load distribution, so on and so forth come into place.

This is one of the reasons why I will not say go with the Gregory or go with the Osprey being fit is the main factor that will dictate which pack is the pack for you. The only aspects I feel safe commenting on is durability, construction, etc.

Both are well respected manufacturers and from what I know(Osprey)/have heard(Gregory) will stand behind their products. So basically I don't think you could go wrong with either pack.

Just remember the best pack is the one that fits you correctly.

5:17 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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"All my gear right now will be adding up to very close to 20 lbs, however i know in future longer hiking trips i may be looking closer to 25."

Just gear and not food and water?

What you need to do is take your gear down to a local outfitter and fill up the packs.  Walk around with them for a while.  How do each of them feel?

Both manufacturers make decent gear but there are others out there as well.  It will all come down to fit for YOU and only YOU.

To add what was said above, with respect to padding of the hipbelt, what you should be looking for is width (top to bottom) with some stiffness built in.  Width front to back is secondary.

Mchale Packs (www.mchalepacks.com) makes some packs that can carry over 100lbs and they still use relatively thin padding on the belts.  The key is stiffness and width (as described above).  

I believe the Gregory has a stiffer belt, although the Talon is reasonably wide.  Given that, I would not be surprised if the Gregory gave better carry at higher loads but again, fit is key.

5:00 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Osprey because it gives you wings, make sure to pack a red bull just in case.

3:05 a.m. on April 6, 2012 (EDT)
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My two packs of choice are the Arc Teryx Bora 80 and Jansport Klamath II.  2 somewhat different packs with different missions, but they both are *very* comfortable and highly padded.  My Bora 80 wears on me like a glove... really thick shoulder straps and hip belt molded to my body... fairly waterproof bag, and plenty of storage space.  I also have an external (more below).

My Jansport is also just as comfortable - hip belt isn't as nice, but the bag wears on me naturally.  I use that pack when I need to be a bit more organized and carrying certain gear.

So my Bora 80 cost about $400 new, and the Jansport $100 and change.  Two different ends of the spectrum, both fairly good quality, but they work for me.   Someone else may absolutely swear Jansport is horrible, and others may praise it (same as Arc Teryx). But for me, if I'm going to be lugging around 40 or 50 pounds of gear, I want to be comfortable and that's why I use the packs I do.  My external is great for summer hiking and when I need to lash even more gear on - and its a classic Jansport D-3 with metal hip belt arms... while its not as comfortable as an internal, it feels much better overall on my body in warmer weather.

4:22 a.m. on April 7, 2012 (EDT)
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blah I got lost in my own post.  What I meant to leave you with is to try out every type of gear as they wear differently on people.   You may find yourself in love with a Lowe Alpine or Mountain Hardware pack, for example.  And your wallet may thank you, as well as your back & legs later on.

11:32 a.m. on April 9, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm  bit puzzled. You're talking about 2-4 day trips, but you're looking at 40-45 litre packs and only 20-25 lbs.?

  • I have some fairly light gear, but if I include food, fuel, and some water my summer backpack for a few days will still be about 60 litres and will run around 40 lbs. Are you sure about your weights and the size of pack you'll need? I have a friend who has been trimming his winter pack weight and has finally got it down to 21 lbs, without consumables like food and water. On the other hand, his gear costs over $2K because it's so light.
  • What's the weight of your tent? What's the weight of your sleeping bag? How much does your stove, pots and fuel weigh? How much does your rain gear weigh (tends to be heavy)? How much does your food weigh? My favourite trail breakfast is Quaker Oats with trail mix, but the trail mix is very heavy. How much water do you have to carry and how much is available en route?
  • Osprey and Gregory are both good brands, but they are on the pricey side. In my experience, many people have an idea that backpacking involves a little jaunt up a mountain, not realizing what a grind it can be. Before blowing a lot of cash on something you might only use once or twice, you might want to consider starting off with a pack that's a bit cheaper.
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