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The Gregory Reactor 9 racing pack is fantastic. It's extremely lightweight yet rugged, has lots of places to put things, yet gives the straps you need to hold it all together compactly. Very easy on the back. Sternum strap can be adjusted for your body's shape.
I have a herniated disk. I just ran 16.5 miles with the Gregory 9 packed to the gills, including 1.5 quarts of water, and never felt a thing. And hours later, it's clear I'm not going to either. It's the perfect running pack. It even has cool mesh pockets in the waistband.
I disagree with the first reviewer, who gave it only 3 stars because it's not good for carrying books and because he couldn't access the main compartments quickly enough because of the straps.
1. It's not a bag for carrying a bunch of books. It's for running.
2. The straps just pop in and out very very easily. I'm sure they are a big factor in why the pack is so compact when running with it. In my book that makes them a plus not a minus. The split second it takes to snap them open and shut is nothing compared to hours and hours of comfortable running.
Design: Adventure racing pack
Size: 700 cu in / 11 liters
Number of Pockets: 2 compartments, 2 side mesh, 1 back mesh, 2 small mesh on waistband (plus compartments within main compartment including water reservoir if desired)
Max. Load Carried: I don't know but specs say 28 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'8"
Price Paid: $34.97
I received this pack as swag at Primal Quest Utah in '06.
The pack is very light and is deceptively roomy. The helmet pocket easily holds a full size helmet or a folded jacket. The mesh side pockets are plenty large for 1 litre bottles.
If the pack is fully loaded with heavier items such as books, the minimally padded shoulder straps are not very comfortable.
The side compression straps are handy for keeping the load from shifting, but they must be undone in order to fully open the main, or outer compartment zippers. If rapid retrieval of gear is a priority, the straps can and do get in the way.
Design: Panel load day pack/hydration pack
Size: 700 cu. inches
Number of Pockets: 5 external 2 internal including hydration pocket
Max. Load Carried: Approx. 25 pounds
Height of Owner: 5' 9"
Price Paid: Free - Primal Quest swag
This pack has been awesome. I've had it since January 06 and have used as my daily pack here in NYC. I'll carry a bunch of stuff in it and max it out or maybe just a book. But it does it all well. I took this pack to Thailand with me and it served it daily requierments to a T. I've also used it to carry my climbing shoes and basic gear for a day in Central Park. Really a bitchen pack, don't worry about its durability!!!
Number of Pockets: 5, the helmet pocket can hold anything!!!
Max. Load Carried: 12lbs
Height of Owner: 6.2
Price Paid: retail
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Historic Range: $39.93-$69.00
Reviewers Paid: $34.97
1 lb 5 oz / 600 g