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Gregory Juno 30 H2O

photo: Gregory Juno 30 H2O daypack (under 35l)

Specs

Price MSRP: $149.95
Current Retail: $149.95
Historic Range: $49.00-$149.95
Weight 2.06 lbs / 934 g
Volume 30 L / 1830.69 cu in.
Max Carry Weight 25 lbs / 11.3 kg
Fits Torso 14-19 in / 35.6-48.3 cm
Fits Hips / Waist 27-45 in / 68.5-114.3 cm
Packed Dimensions 20.5 x 11.0 x 8.3 in / 52 x 28 x 21 cm

Reviews

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

The Gregory Juno 30 H20 is a women's fit daypack with integrated 3L hydration reservoir (hence the H20 designation). It is excellent for long day hikes or when you need to carry several liters of water. The shape and moisture-wicking fabric on the back make the pack very comfortable, even with heavy loads. With many compartments and storage areas, the Gregory Juno 30 H20 will keep your essentials, valuables, and extras secure while you climb trails.

Gregory also offers this pack in Plus Size, as well as the Juno 24, Juno 36, and the unisex/men's Citro series.

Pros

  • VaporSpan suspension provides comfort and cooling
  • Many pouches, storage areas, and compartments for essentials, gear, and extras.
  • Water bottle pouches for easy access and return while hiking
  • Wide-mouth hydration reservoir is easy to fill and dries out between hikes

Cons

  • No accessible storage for a cell phone
  • Magnetic sternum strap buckle is not intuitive at first use.

 

pack-with-tags.jpg
Pack right out of the box, with tags

 Fit:  Designed for women, the shoulder and waist straps can be sized down small enough to fit a pre-teen and up to fit a full-grown man.

The women's Juno 30 H20 has "One Size" torso sizing and hip belts that fit waists from 27-45 inches. The fit was excellent on my 19-inch torso.

MiniStranger also tried this on for testing purposes. She’s 10 years old and about 4' 8" tall. Though the pack is too big for her, we could adjust the straps for her to carry it. All of this to say, I think this pack would be comfortable for a woman with a slight, petite frame. The male backpacker in our house with a 21-inch torso felt the pack rode a little higher on the waist than he'd normally like, but "it would work".

This pack also comes in "Plus" size (with "extended length shoulder straps and hip belts, plus additional fit revisions to accommodate larger body shapes"), and the Juno 24, Juno 36, and men's/unisex Citro series.

Comfort: The adjustability and breathability of this pack make it wonderfully comfortable. 

There are adjustable shoulder straps, lifters, and a chest strap. The back of the pack features Gregory’s Vaporspan suspension system—a mesh, moisture-wicking fabric that also allows space between the wearer’s back and the pack. I especially appreciated this feature on a hot, steamy day that was over 80 degrees with rain on the horizon. Padded waist and shoulder straps are comfortable and secure and lined with the same breathable mesh as the back. The sternum strap is vertically adjustable by sliding the attachment points up or down the shoulder straps.

Capacity:  Plenty of room for day use and even a fair weather overnight trip for those with ultra-light gear. 

LotsofStuff.jpg
All of this fit inside: clothes, quilt, stove, hammock, tarp, and lines. 

The included water reservoir holds 3 liters. The large inner compartment has a small, zippered mesh pouch and key hook to secure valuables. Otherwise, the main compartment is unstructured allowing the user great packing flexibility.   

For testing purposes, we were able to get everything for a summer overnight trip into this pack (quilt, hammock, straps, stakes, tarp, pot that can hold fuel, clothing pod, meals). It was pretty well stuffed. There is an outer stretchable mesh section that is a logical place to store a raincoat or water shoes for easy accessibility on trail. (I clip my pStyle in there.) The hip belt side pouches are large enough for a GoPro or point-and-shoot camera, but too small for larger cell phone.

OuterStretchPouch.jpg
Outer mesh pouch with pStyle. 

 

Organization: If you have stuff, there’s a place for it in this pack. 

The water reservoir has its own compartment complete with a hook for securing the water pouch and a pass through for the hose. At the top of the water compartment is a zipper without a pull. We initially were unable to discern the purpose of this zipper, but learned from Gregory that it's there to access the perimeter backpanel to access the frame in case of repairs.

The top, outermost section of the pack has a space specifically designed to protect high-tech gear like a phone or camera.

Each hip belt has a small pouch for stowing items such as hand sanitizer, bug spray, a head net, or snacks that the wearer would want within easy reach.  

The left shoulder strap has Gregory’s QuickStow system for carrying sunglasses. Both shoulder straps have additional loops that could be used for attaching other items, though maybe not while carrying sunglasses.

The pack also includes loops for stowing hiking poles when not in use.  Functional mesh pockets on each side of the pack are ideal for carrying water bottles. It is actually possible to remove and replace water bottles from these pockets!!  

The only downside of the organization for me is that the hip belt pouches are too small for my cell phone and I can't reach the designated technology pouch without removing the pack. 

List of pockets (6 by my count):

  • 2  zippered hip pockets
  • 2 mesh side pockets (for water bottles)
  • 1 inner zippered mesh security pocket 
  • 1 outer zippered padded pocket
SafePouch.jpg
Safety pouch with clip for keys and zipper

 

Sunglasses.jpg
sunglasses attachment

Though I never used it on trail, the pack includes a way to carry trekking poles. I used the compression strap to keep the poles more secure. It felt floppy at the top without the extra strap. 

pole-stowage.jpg
Trekking pole stowage, with compression strap

 

pole-stowage_floppy.jpg
Trekking pole stowage, without using compression strap.

 

pole-stowage_zoom.jpg
Closeup of trekking poles attached

 

Ride: Secure and comfortable maneuverability with heavy loads or light.

I immediately noticed how well this pack rides. The shoulder, waist straps and structure combine for a secure and comfortable experience with various load weight and volume. The pack remained comfortable even after I put 20 pounds of kettle bells in it for a training hike.

It has a steel alloy interior perimeter wire frame. The mesh keeps the frame off the back so there's no digging in. The only discomfort came when the kettlebells shifted to the bottom of the pack (which had everything to do with me being inattentive and nothing to do with the pack itself). When properly adjusted this pack does not shift even when moving over, under, and around trail obstacles at odd angles.  It feels solid and integrated on the body.

This pack rides like a dream (even when I take into account the sheer awfulness of the 15-year-old daypack I've been using). Gregory lists the max load of this pack at 25 pounds. I don't think this pack would have  any problem with that weight, especially when that load is distributed properly throughout the pack. 

DoubleTopKeep.jpg
Atop Double Top Mountain, Baxter State Park

Compression: For a typical day hike, the pack was comfortable as loaded and I had no need to tighten the compression straps.

The Juno 30 H20 expands to fit a large volume of gear. As expected, the fully stuffed pack gets quite rounded. Compression isn’t going to help much in that case, but most users, most days, wouldn’t need to fill every square inch of the pack. 

Features: The most exceptional elements  of this full-featured pack are the VaporSpan suspension and the 3D Hydro system. 

TechMesh.jpg
VaporSpan and TechMesh—The design holds the pack off the wearer's back far enough to feel the breeze!

 The VaporSpan suspension uses a moisture wicking webbing attached to an alloy frame that allows the pack to ride slightly off the user’s back. The webbed suspension provides enough space between the user’s back and the pack to allow for air flow. This isn’t passive air flow. There is enough of a gap to feel the breeze without sacrificing the security and comfort of the pack itself. The webbing runs across the back of the pack, down the shoulder straps and on the inside of the hip belts. The effectiveness of this feature is most noticeable on a hot day when you're lucky enough to catch a breeze. 

The 3D Hydro system is an all-around upgrade to integrated hydration systems. The bag itself is designed with a flatted “D” shape, so it fits wide and flat across the back. Even when filled, the bag lies flat. The wide mouth opening, integrated cap, and sturdy handle make the bag easy to fill. Left open on the kitchen table, the inside of the bag dried out in a few days. The DryLock bite valve is intuitive and does not drip.

FillingWater.jpg
Easy-fill hydration system

 

WaterBagCloseUp.jpg
Water system installed on hook with hose threaded through the top. 

 

Ease of Use:  Even with many features to discover, this pack is well designed for easy use.

The 3D Hydro system is easy to fill, store, and handle. The sternum strap uses a magnetic closure for the water hose to attach. This buckle is not intuitive.  Even after using it several times, I must think about how to latch and unlatch this buckle. LoneStranger says it’s OK for me to reveal that I had to show him how to get into and out of the chest strap the first time he used it.

It also took me a few tries to get the water hose attached to the magnetic sternum buckle properly. Once I got the geometry right, it was a secure fit and did not drip. This is good news for people who need (or like) integrated water systems. The valve unlocks by sliding it forward which keeps water from dripping on trail or in the car. MiniStranger is a fan of hose drinking and prefers this bite valve to others we’ve used. Though my early experiences with hose systems turned me off, the brilliant design of this system may be enough to change my mind. 

WaterHoseClip.jpg
Chest clip for the hose; side pouches with nice large pulls. 

It wasn’t until I did this review that I figured out what the QuickStow system for sunglasses was and how to use it. This may not be a new feature to those who know Gregory packs, but it was to me. 

Aside from what I've already mentioned, the zippers, straps, and closures work easily and intuitively.  

ClimbingBlackCat.jpg
Climbing Black Cat Mt., MiniStranger in front. Photo credit: LoneStranger

Construction & Durability: Quality construction shows up in intricate details.

This pack communicates to the user that it’s been thoughtfully designed and constructed. For example, the ends of the straps are folded over and sewed vertically for strength. To distinguish from other closures, the zipper pull for the water compartment is flat, stamped with the words “3D Hydro” and has a braille-like texture on the end.  Even in the dark, you’d know this was the water area.  

Though I can’t speak to long term wear,  this pack hasn’t been treated too harshly or preciously in the months I’ve had it. I’ve seen nothing to indicate it would be anything but a reliable, durable pack. Even though it has been placed on the ground, sand, and dirt, it still looks like new. I like the internal wire frame + mesh combo, even if it adds a little weight. 

BlackCatVista.jpg
I like to think the pack was happy here. We sure were. (View from Black Cat Mt.)

Experience

I've used this pack for 2-3 months, covering approximately 60 miles on trail. A few of the hikes were in the upper 70s to mid 80s with uncomfortable humidity. The pack has been used on several day hikes, training hikes, a trip to the beach, and a casual stroll to the library. Unfortunately, both long (10 mile+) day hikes we'd planned were cancelled due to weather. Though I consider myself moderately experienced with backpacks, this is the first high-quality daypack I've used.

Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample for testing and review provided by Gregory)

About the Author

Anne (FrauStranger) grew up camping and hiking in the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes regions of New York. She’s hiked in the German Alps (once) and many trails on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Now living in Maine, she and her family are frequent visitors to Baxter State Park and help maintain a portion of the Cohos Trail in northern New Hampshire. When she can, Anne enjoys a solo retreat to the woods where the wi-fi won't reach.

Phil Smith

Nice review, I’m trying to get a female friend to buy a backpack so I don’t have to carry 2 of everything and I’ll definitely mention this one to her. We’ve been talking about a trip to N. Conway soon, anyway LOL. Also, I Ofmy Osprey


1 month ago
Phil Smith

One of my Osprey packs has a pull-less zipper near the top of the back panel and they told me it was for access for repairs.


1 month ago
FrauStranger

Now that MiniStranger carries her own pack (sometimes) I have all the room I need for my stuff. I didn't have any "gee, I wish..." moments with this pack. Thanks for the theory on the mystery zipper. That could be it.


1 month ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Great review, Anne! Thanks for testing out this pack and sharing all of this helpful info.


1 month ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

p.s. I'll check on that mystery zipper for you with Gregory.


1 month ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Phil, I hope your friend is able to buy a pack of her own. If she's able to try on a few daypacks like these from a few reputable brands, hopefully she'll find one she likes.


1 month ago
KiwiKlimber

Nice reivew, FS. I really like the one sentence highlight at the beginning of each section of the review. I may have to try that out sometime.


30 days ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

For anyone wondering, that zipper is to access the perimeter backpanel to the frame in case of repairs. It's not needed for everyday use though.


8 days ago

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