Granite Gear Vapor Day
Medium size and full featured day hiking pack, large enough for winter excursions, lightweight enough for any walk. Super comfortable padded frame and hip-belt.
- Well built and durable
- Lightweight but just large enough for my stuff
- Water bottle pockets are a bit tight
I use this stylish little guy for every day-hike I go on, from training hikes around a local lake to winter traverses of the Black Mountain Crest Trail. It is technical enough for scrambling through Tallulah Gorge, has enough room for water filtration and crampons, but is light enough and comfortable enough that it just disappears off your back.
It has held up without so much as a stitch popped in over two years of twice a week use, like I have come to expect from Granite Gear. I still use daily a Granite Gear gear bag I bought back when I was a paramedic 25 years ago this year!
I have seen this listed as an overnight pack... I suppose if one were going hut to hut in summer, or overnighting at the lodge on Mt. LeConte that this would work. I carry too many toys and tools for the nights I spend in the hills for this pack to work for me in that capacity.
The stretchy side pockets are, like many of this type of design, a bit tight for easily retrieving and replacing a liter water bottle. They work just fine for tent poles, collapsed trekking poles, and other such items. I have placed a Vargo Titanium cup in each pocket that keeps the mesh expanded to allow a liter bottle to slip in more gracefully- problem solved.
Little zippered top pocket is good for a hiker wallet and park permits, maybe a car key. The stretchy front zippered pocket works for anything you need quickly and that does not require a waterproofed environment- you can always place items in sol-nylon storage if it needs moisture protection. I keep a pack cover, sanitation kit, pullover rain jacket, and cell phone in a dry-bag here.
The main compartment is accessed from a top double zipper. I use a sil-nylon dry-bag liner, with clothing, first aid, food, headlamps, and whatever else tucked inside.
Source: bought it new
Of the several day packs I have, this one gets the most use. It is large enough to carry all the things I need for winter hiking and has compression straps on the sides so that if the pack is not full, it can be compressed. There is a small pocket on the top, an expansion pocket on the back and two side pockets. The expansion pocket and side pockets are made of stretch material so that they do not stick out, but will expand easily.
The pack is made of light rip-stop nylon, but seems to be very durable so far. The specs say that the pack can handle 30 lb. loads and I have approached that weight many times and feel that it can easily handle 30 lbs. In addition to handling the load, the pack is still comfortable even with heavier loads.
The zippered opening is actually a what I would call a modified panel loader, as there is a horseshoe shaped zipper that goes about 1/3 the way down the pack. This makes it possible to lay the pack on its back and at least get to the stuff towards the top without starting to pull everything out, as with a top loader.
My only issue with the pack is the exit port for the water bladder hose. I have some trouble getting the hose through the opening and perhaps making a "X" shaped hole in the port, as opposed to the "--" shaped hole, would be better. You also need to be a little careful with the side pockets. As stated they are made of a stretch material and can get damaged on brush, branches or rock. In my case, I was hiking above the tree line and had to "skinny through" a tight passage between two rock outcroppings. I did not take the pack off, and should have, the result was that I poked a hole in one of my side pockets. This was not a failure of the product, but "user error". A little McNett seal sealer has resolved the problem.
At any rate, this is a solid, comfortable pack that can be used year-round and will be appreciated by anyone who either takes those few extras on a day hike, or carries some of the load for someone else.
Design: Modified panel loader
Size: 32 liter (2000 cu in)
Number of Pockets: 4
Max. Load Carried: 28 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'8"
Price Paid: $129
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Historic Range: $89.93-$146.95
Reviewers Paid: $129.00
1.19 kg / 2 lb 2oz
32 L / 2000 cu in