Gregory Deva 70
Highly effective at reducing how weight feels when properly adjusted. Basically impossible to get water bottle back into holder. Non-adjustable sleeping bag compartment.
- Place for storing hydration bladder inside bag; has left and right hole for drinking hose
- 2 pouches on hip belt
- Highly effective at reducing how weight feels when properly adjusted
- Compression straps
- Basically impossible to get water bottle back into holder
- Non-adjustable sleeping bag compartment
I first used this pack on a 10-mile roundtrip overnight cross-country ski trip carrying 65 pounds. It was difficult to swing the pack up onto my shoulders but once it was there and the straps properly adjusted, it certainly didn't feel like 60 pounds (felt like 20-ish I'd say). Definitely a keeper!
I wasn't strong enough to lift it straight up so I use this method: stand pack up long-ways and upside down (you want to be looking at the bottom of the pack). Grab one strap (I'm right handed so I like my right arm to be in the strap first), slide pack up leg so the weight rests on my right knee. Place right arm through the proper hole and then the left.
This being the first time I'd used any 'real' pack, it took me 7 miles of skiing to get the proper adjustment full time (no sliding as I moved around), but then it felt amazing.
I've tried different ways of adjusting the straps to properly seat the weight on my frame and this works the best: place pack on back, ensure your head won't hit the 'brain' part of the pack. It it does, remove pack and adjust straps attaching the top pouch to the pack. Once that is done, clip hip belt and tighten so the weight rests on top of the hip bones. I like the hip belt really tight so the weight of the pack doesn't slide it down my body and cause pain in the shoulders. You should notice immediate relief as the weight is held up by something besides the shoulders.
Next, tighten the torso level straps that are attached to the shoulder straps. You want these nice and tight too. Finally, clip sternum straps together. Sternum strap shouldn't be super tight because it shouldn't be holding weight to you, it just keeps the pack from minimal shifting. After hiking/skiing a mile or so, readjust based on how the pack feels. If you get a large pain in your shoulders, make sure the hip belt is tight and high enough. Also tighten the torso straps as much as you can.
The 'brain' compartment at the top can detach to be used as a large fanny pack. There are straps kept hidden on the underside of the brain. These straps are sewn in to the pack and non-removable (sad if you want to save weight). It has no holes for a hydration bladder's hose so I don't like using it as my daypack. There are straps on the back of the pack to adjust the height of this pack. If you want to place a bear canister on 'top' of your pack, outside of the main pack, under the brain, you can. I've used a large bear vault canister with no problem.
There is a luggage style zipper to allow you to access the main compartment without opening the top 'brain' part. I always stuff my packs super full though so I can't use this feature without all my stuff popping out of the bag (too hard to stuff back in so I keep things I need to access in the sleeping bag compartment or at the very top under the drawstring). This is a little disappointing and I wish I could save the weight from this zipper since I never use it.
It is water resistant enough for my purposes (kept my stuff dry when it was placed on an outside deck of a boat)
Has two zippered pockets on the hip strap. Each is big enough to fit a full tiny ziplock (the approximately 5"x2.5" ones), fits roughly 18 Clif Shot Bloks in each. Great place for chapstick.
Some annoyances with this pack:
It is basically impossible to get a Nalgene water bottle back into the side holder because of where one compression strap is located. It's not a problem if you're out with someone else who can help you put the bottle away, but I always have to take the pack off to replace the water bottle back in its side pouch. Incredibly annoying that time I was carrying 65 pounds and didn't have a hydration bladder.
Sleeping bag compartment: I first used this pack winter camping so I was using a Mountain Hardwear Lamina -30 sleeping bag. That sleeping bag is slightly too bag to fit in the bottom sleeping bag compartment which was slightly disappointing. I estimate the sleeping bag compartment to hold bags that compress down to ~22L. I realize most people will use this pack in more temperate climates and with more compressible warmer weather sleeping bags which should have no problems at all.
On the inside of the pack, a piece of nylon is sewn in to permanently separate the main bag compartment and sleeping bag compartments (a rectangle sewn on the long edges, short edges are open all the way through the length of the pack). Since I don't always use the sleeping bag compartment, I found the separator fabric annoying since it is more work to maximize space usage.
The 'brain' compartment's fanny pack straps aren't removable. I won't ever use the straps and can't remove them without cutting them off (straps are unnecessary weight for me).
The front of the pack has a small pocket closed with a clip. If the bag is tossed around and not super stuffed, small things can fall out (I've lost a pencil or 2 that I keep there).
I got the XS size of the Deva for my torso length. I later discovered the XS is technically listed at 68L, not a full 70L. Not the end of the world but annoying since the XS deva is still sold as the 'Deva 70'. I have slight issues believing the pack actually has 68L though: My lamina sleeping bag's specs states the stuff sack is 23L. The sleeping bag itself can just fit it into the sleeping bag compartment (can't quite zip it all the way but it's close enough for me to say the sleeping bag compartment is 22L).
The sleeping bag fits in the main compartment and takes up about 3/5 of the space. I can imagine placing another 23L sleeping bag on top of the first sleeping bag for a total of ~70L but the brain straps would need to be raised way up and the drawstring wouldn't be closed (would just be tightened around the sleeping bag).
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $240
I REALLY wanted this pack to work. I loved the look of it, the price, the features, the quality-everything!
The hip straps move independently of each other, the water bottle holder is angled toward you so you don't have to remove the pack to get to it, and there is an extra access point in the middle that not all packs have. I tried it on in the store, but I needed a size down, so I ordered it online.
It got to my house and I loaded it with 20lbs or so... and it had the same problem as the one I tried on in the store a size up! The padding on the hip straps and on the back of the pack dug into my hip bone at a horrible angle. I went back to the store to see if they could help, but no such luck.
I feel rude saying this, but my hips are too boney for the pack. Honestly, if I tossed a little more fat around the love handles, I think it might've worked, but the padding just didn't work for me.
I ended up returning it and going with a Lowe Alpine pack. It doesn't have the look or the features of the Deva, but it feels like I'm carrying 10lbs when I'm carrying 30lbs and it holds up well... and really that's what is important.
Price Paid: $216
Although some people may like it for the lower back support, after putting it on for about an hour, my lower back was KILLING me. It didn't work for me at all, but some people may really like it. The zippers are hard to get undone and I've heard it doesn't last through rough weather conditions. I like the straps though. Gregory always makes good straps.
Height of Owner: 5'3
Price Paid: $289
I really like the looks and feel of this pack, nice pockets, easy access and finally a feminine color.
I think 70 cu is perfect for multiday excursions, but the lower lumbar back is just too curved for me. It felt as it someone had their fist in my back after an hour.
I ended up with the Osprey Ariel 65. If this pack worked, I would have bought, but we're not all made the same.
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Current Retail: $227.73-$359.95
Historic Range: $60.93-$359.95
Reviewers Paid: $216.00-$289.00
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