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Gregory Shasta

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Shasta has been discontinued. It was replaced by the Gregory Baltoro 85.

photo: Gregory Shasta expedition pack (70l+)

I've had this bag for many years now and I never wrote a review on it, I don't know why.  It's such a great bag, comfortable, spacey, useful.  In fact it's a little too big for most of my trips but when I go for more than 5 days, this bag is just so great.

If loaded properly (heavy at the bottom, light on top), this bag is so comfortable that you will forget you have 60 pounds on your back (OK maybe not but at least you won't have bruises on your hips and shoulders).  The material and built still impresses me as it is still looking new after 3+ years of hiking.  No signs of weakness on the material at the most important parts (the bottom specially).  Also note that I take great care of my gear.  The straps are everywhere and if you know how to use them correctly, you can use it to carry things that you don't want to clog the inside with.  I have ropes tied on them, a cup, gloves, a pan (!!), toilet paper (for sunny days!), a hat, pants, extra jackets, sleeping mat (at the very bottom, under the bag itself), I also have my tent at the bottom.

Everything I own fits in it.  If it doesn't fit for you, you either eat to much or you should leave your TV and DVD player at home and not IN your bag.... I put my sleeping bag at the very bottom for an easy access through the bottom opening.  There's even a piece of material that keeps the upper part of the bag from falling if you take something (my sleeping bag) out of the bottom pocket.   There is a pocket inside for a camelbak too, what a great idea.  The top pocket can be used as a "fanny pack" with a belt and I use it for first aid kit, toothbrush, lighter, spices, headlight, knives, ropes, nuts.... anything that needs to be accessed quickly and or to carry the essential for a daily hike within a multiple day camping trip.  Leave the big bag at the camp, carry the fanny pack! what a great idea!

On one side you have the bottle holder and some straps that you can use for tying some stuff, and the other side is a fishnet which I use for either a camera tripod or ski poles, or tent poles or anything that can't really fit anywhere else.  I also purchased a rain cover for it so it never get soaked which is a big reason why it's still in a brand new looking condition.

I usually have a downside to any piece of equipment I have, but for this one I do not.  If you find one, buy it.

Price Paid: 250$

Version reviewed: 2002

This is a top quality pack made to handle any reasonable load. It weighs 6 lbs, which isn't the lightest pack of its size out there, but that doesn't matter because it has such an amazing suspension/frame that you don't feel the weight. It has Gregory's famous rigid hip belt that moves with your natural motion, twin stays and a half length framesheet. The shoulder harness pivots to move with you also. The shoulder straps look thin, but are very comfy--you hardly feel them at all since it transfers weight to your hips so well. Packed with a total weight of 35 lbs I hardly feel the weight. Very stable too-it hugs your back and doesn't wobble or shift. A grippy back pad prevents the pack from sliding downwards.

The Shasta is a no-frills pack- one big lid pocket and the main pack bag. No extra pockets to add weight. It has one water bottle holder on the side, canted at an angle for easy access. On the other side it has a mesh pocket that holds fuel bottles, tent poles, or even another water bottle if you wanted. It has great compression straps on the sides, daisy chains on the front to clip gear to, and a tough waterproof rubberized bottom. It could use a better water bladder sleeve (the plastic mesh one underneath the lid is way too small and a pain to use) but it isn't a big deal- just throw the bladder into the pack on top and snake the drinking tube out under the lid. It has a huge expansion collar and a floating lid so you could cram a ton of gear into it. The lid detaches and has its own built-in hipbelt so you can use the lid as a fanny pack for dayhikes or side trips. The packbag's opening is big--it swallows big gear easily. The sleeping bag compartment is plenty big with a removable divider.

The pack's fabric is a thin, lightweight, ripstop nylon called Arrowhead fabric. It's good because it's light yet strong, and "gives" more than traditional packbag materials so you can cram more stuff in. It cinches down nicely to handle small loads, yet can also handle huge heavy loads with no problem.

I love this pack's simplicity and tough as nails construction. But its real strength is is comfy carry.

Design: Toploading
Size: 5,000
Number of Pockets: 1(lid pocket)
Max. Load Carried: 45 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'9"
Price Paid: $230 (sale)

Previously, I used a custom made external by Antelope. Over the years I've watched internals evolve, and I finally made the switch with the Shasta. I'm very happy with it. It fits well and rides very comfortably, without the sag and wobble I've seen in other packs. No annoying rubs, pinches, or chafes from the well padded hipbelt or sculpted shoulder harness were noted. Its fully adjustable, and one you get it right, you don't have to keep messing with it. Also, it has an excellent weight to volume ratio. Its top opening with a good storm collar, and a sleeping bag compartment with large zipper and a removable partition from the main bag above. Side and top compression straps do the job well. This pack has few useless frills. Two mesh water bottle pockets on the lower sides and a rather generous top pocket are the only pockets provided, but you can buy custom add on pockets from Gregory. Construction is durable and well crafted. Get the rain cover, though. Its sized generously to fit over outrigger stuff sacks, etc and keeps things bone dry in a downpour. The floating top pocket is removable and converts to a day pack using the main pack's straps, but this is such a hassle I've never done it. In addition to the side straps, there are two quick release straps for carrying a sleeping pad horizontally accross the lower rear of the pack. Above this, I rigged a grid of bungee cord and a cordlock to serve as a place to stuff jackets, wet tents, whatever, and it works very well. The factory should provide this low cost feature. One tradeoff for simplicity and light weight is the dearth of outer pockets, and that to get inside the pack, I have to undo two quick-releases to move the top pocket out of the way, undo the vertical compression quick release, and open the main and storm collar drawstrings, first. The only other drawdack is that the same grippy fabric on the back-pad that prevents sagging and sliding, although comfortable, also tends to "fuzz up" my coolmax shirt's fabric.

Design: Internal
Size: 5700
Number of Pockets: 1
Max. Load Carried: 65 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'3"
Price Paid: about $250 at Campmor

This is in response to another earlier post on the Gregory Shasta pack. I also have a '96 Gregory Shasta and I think it is very good pack. Although the pack I purchased is size Large the salesperson had to replace the hip belt with that from a medium pack since my waist size is too small to use the original hip belt.

As to the problem the other post is talked about, I too had the same problem. What the sales person ended up doing is to use the adjust-a-cant feature of the pack to make the pack set up for a female. There are three positions for screws once you remove the hip belt from the pack. The center postion is the factory set up and is for a male with normal waistline. The inner position is for female hikers who tend to have a waistline more "curved" than that of a male. The outmost positon is for people who have a more of a straight waist line.

I also personally think Shasta is a very good pack. There isn't much of bell-and-whistle on the pack. Then again, when you on the trail for a few days/nights, you would be walking most of the time and how many times would you stop to "dig" think out of you pack? Having too many compartments would only add unnecessary weight to the pack and the added stitching would weaken the fabric (Ask anyone who is knowledgable about hiking boots and he/she will give you the same answer, less is better).

I added a figure-8 to my Shasta to store things I would need while on trail. e.g. maps, water filter, rain gear, etc to keep the things in main compartment undisturbed and weight properly distributed until I arrive at the camp site, rather than having to go through the hassle of opening the pack to find the things that I need and repack it when I am done.

Design: Internal
Size: 5700 cubic inch(???)
Number of Pockets: 1
Height of Owner: 6'2''
Price Paid: $245 USD

This is the perfect, no-frills week-long pack. I have had mine about 10 years at this point, and besides some dirt, it is still brand new. I have taken it on backpacking and alpine climbing trips with loads as little as 20 pounds and as high as 55 pounds. Since it is essentially a tube on a suspension frame, it will cinch down for smaller loads and expand for larger ones.

As with all packs, proper packing and weight distribution in the key to comfort, but the Shasta helps by having a top-notch waist best and shoulder suspension system. There are straps to compress the pack, as well as draw it closer to your body at the waist, chest, shoulders, and head. Consequently, you can shift the load around from hips to shoulders, and back, as the day progresses --- allowing less fatigue in one general area.

Great pack, and I don't foresee myself purchasing another for at least another decade.

Design: Top-loading internal
Size: 5000 cu in.
Number of Pockets: 1
Max. Load Carried: 55 pounds
Height of Owner: 5' 9''
Price Paid: $280

The Gregory Shasta is my second large pack. Being interested in Primitive Skills and such, I generally use a shoulder bag and not much else, but as of late, I like to go out just to enjoy nature from a spectators point of view. I first bought a Camp Trails external which served me well for five years. After being hung from a tree by the upper bar of the external, I decided it was time I got something a little more low profile. I chose the Gregory Shasta after hearing alot of good reviews.

my first impression was that of awe in the comfort of the Shasta. It fits like a finely made glove! I also liked its sleek profile for bushwacking through thinck country. I also like the fact that the compression straps allowed the attachment of my kukri or a rifle. The water bottle pocket took a little getting used to as it's a little low. I liked the Camp Trails design because it was higher up and easier to access. Aside from that, I had no other problems. the main pocket had plenty of room for gear with a little tactical packing method. the sleeping bag compartment was great!, it even holds my Mil-Spec Extreme cold weather mummy! Overall, this is a great pack. I highly recommend it!

Check out my web site at

Design: Internal
Size: 5000
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 43lbs
Height of Owner: 5.9
Price Paid: $260

a nice pack -- exceptionally well-made and durable, and a reasonably comfortable carry. quite a few very nice touches, including a clever water bottle holder (with a stiffened upper rim to keep the slot open), tough rubberized bottom, and a top lid that converts to a waist pack.

the suspension system is a bit stiff (it is reinforced with large, flexible plastic pieces that extend about halfway around the hipbelt), but handles heavy loads quite well on the hips and does not sag. the hipbelt is constructed of 4 separate "wedge-shaped" panels which help cut down on friction on the hips.

while i have never had any hip pain or bruising, i have had some problems with soreness in the shoulders -- this might be remedied by choosing a different size shoulder strap, perhaps, b/c the adjust-a-cant system seems to work properly (a very interesting feature which keeps the straps flat and square against the shoulders regardless of body shape or motion).

the packbag is very simple -- just a single, cavernous, top-loading sack. if i had it to do over again, i would've spent the extra money to get one of gregory's other models which has outer pockets and panels for easier packing/unpacking, particularly in foul weather.

the shasta, however, is an excellent value for a top-of-the-line pack.

Design: Internal Frame
Size: 5500
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 40 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'0"
Price Paid: $260

I liked this pack for the way it hugged my back, especially my lumbar region. Adjusting the straps for the most comfort took some doing, but once I learned how each adjustment changed the fit, it wasn't difficult to get it reasonably comfortable. Compression straps let you keep the load tight to your back. After a three day trip, my hips and shoulders came through with little pain. My biggest discomfort was not being able to tilt my head back--to stretch my neck and the upper part of my back while hiking.

I also liked this pack because it is simple--just a plain tube with a separate compartment at the bottom for your sleeping bag. Despite what I expected, the top load design wasn't an inconvenience because only once or twice a day would I need to dig deep to get something I needed.

The pack can easily fit a week's worth of gear, but if you need more room, you can attach up to three extra pockets on the outside of the pack.


- carries well

- simple design

- convenient hipside water bottle pockets

- lid has large pocket and can be carried as a fanny pack

- roomy


- no head room

- fairly heavy--around 7 lbs.

Design: internal
Size: ~5600
Max. Load Carried: 50 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'9"
Price Paid: ~$240

My long quest for a good size backpack culminated with my purchase of the Shasta. This is a great pack!! I tried many others including dana and osprey but the gregory simply fit the best. The stiff aluminum stays are bolted directly to the hipbelt and the adjust-a-cant system allows 3 different angular settings for the hipbelt. The autocant pivot where the shoulder harness meets the frame allows for a great range of adjustment in that area. When loaded down, I was able to achieve complete tranfser of the weight to my hips and was able to stand up STRAIGHT. The packcloth is ripstop nylon. The pack has enough volume for several days on trail. Make sure you load the shasta or any internal pack carefully for the best carry. One cautionary note: try on as many combinations of frame sizes and hipbelt/harness sizes before you settle for anything. Do not go by the measurement alone. I was measured to be a candidate for a medium to large pack but ended up buying the small frame with a medium harness/hipbelt. This fit me the best. All in all a very clean and efficient pack. I recommend it!!!


Design: internal frame
Size: 5000
Number of Pockets: main compartment w/ top pocket
Max. Load Carried: 35-40 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 10"
Price Paid: $250 + tax

I like the pack. It fits. I used it to climb Mt.Gede in Java, Indonesia, 9800 feet. The weight really transferred to my hips. No shoulder pain, no backache, and no sore muscles. I like to wear the pack with the weight transferred to my hips and with the shoulder harness loose so that the back of the pack is not fully on back to allow enough air circulation to reduce perspiration.

The only problem I have with the pack is that every 30 minutes or so, I have to re-tighten the hipbelt because of slippage. At first I thought it might be due to the climb and consequently my waist become smaller. Only later on I found out that it was due to slippage of the hipbelt. It was quite embarassing to retighten the hipbelt every time it slipped. If I tighten the shoulder harness to reduce slippage of the hipbelt, the the weight will transfer to my shoulder which I try to avoid. Can anybody help me solve this problem? Overall I like this pack.

Design: Internal
Size: 5300
Number of Pockets: 1
Max. Load Carried: 40 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 7''
Price Paid: $244.99

A super load hauler!!


  • A super load hauler
  • Very adjustable


  • A little heavy for the weekend hike.

I have had my Gregory Shasta since the mid '90s. Yes, it is 6+lbs, but the load balancing system and the well padded hip belt make this an absolute go-to for heavy loads. As much as I would like to conserve weight, I would have to think twice before making the cuts in weight starting at this pack. I have carried well over 50 lbs with the pack and it moves and adjusts the load seamlessly as you take big steps up or down the mountain.

Would I like to get into lighter backpacking? Absolutely! But I will not be giving up my 20+ yr old Gregory Shasta.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200-ish

Version reviewed: 2002

Nice pack, fit me almost as well as the mountainsmith expanse, but the gregory was cheaper and had more reviews. Was measured by salesman to barely fit the medium, but now think the small would fit better--oh well. A couple of extra pockets would turn this into the whitney model--not worth the extra $150 in my eyes. Nice to be able to shift the weight back and forth from shoulders to hips. Made it 9 miles to base camp of Kings Peak 13,500 ft in utah's high uinta wilderness. Had it full to the top drawstring. Kind of wish it had a built-in hydration bladder pocket w/out having to strap one on, as I've needed much more hydration than the 1-liter bottle pocket holds.

Design: top loading internal
Size: 5000
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 50 lbs
Height of Owner: 5 9'
Price Paid: $212 on sale

Gggrrrr! The Gregory Shasta is a friggin' monster. I've used it under all conditions and it's done great. It's incredibly adjustable, can comfortably carry staggering amounts of weight, and fits my tall frame just right.

It's not a light pack, but I have lived out of it for months, so I guess there will always be trade-offs. It has held up well-a couple broken clips after several years. No tears, no burst seems.

I've grown less and less interested in heavy backpacking, so I may trade in for something lighter, but if a durable Sherman-tank-of-a-backpack that can carry everything you need to survive is something you're in the market for, the Shasta might be the one.

Design: internal frame,
Size: 5500 cm3
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 70 lbs
Height of Owner: 6' 4"
Price Paid: used

Before the Shasta I had a Macpac Glissade and I am very pleased by the difference. Gregory states that the Shasta is designed to carry up to 35 kg and they are right. I put 32 kg on it and the pack still felt great. I personally think, that backpacks bigger than the Shasta are meant for Schwarzeneggers and the like. There is only so much weight a normal person can carry and that fits perfectly in the Shasta. I put 2 weeks of food and the whole camping gear plus winter cloths in the pack and didn't have a problem.

I will surely buy this pack again, when it eventually wears out--not too soon I hope.

Design: Internal Frame
Size: 84 liter
Max. Load Carried: 32 kg
Height of Owner: 186 cm
Price Paid: 325 Euro

It's my first serious backpack and I found it to be very comfortable on the shoulders and hips. The weight seemed effortless to carry. I took it on a 2 day drill hike and camp and could not get used to my head hitting the pack. I fiddled and adjusted and looked at the pictures and it fits me just right. I don't know if I can take it on a long hike cause of the headroom problem. If anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with that email me at It's a nice pack other than that. I liked the waterbottle holders and top that converts to a fanny pack.

Design: internal
Size: 5700
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 50lbs
Height of Owner: 64 inches
Price Paid: 280 bucks

I will give this pack 5 stars for the quality and price but it is way to big for just a couple of days of backpacking. The Z55 would be way better suited for 2-4 days of backpacking. However this pack carries 65# well even if it is the wrong size. I originally got the wrong size before finally getting the right size and it even handled that much better. You cannot hardly tell 50# is even back there. But if you do need more room add the pockets which are a great accessory. If you own only one pack this is the one to get for everything.

Design: Internal pack
Size: 4650 (Small)
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 63 pounds
Height of Owner: 5'11"
Price Paid: $240

I almost feel guilty writing this review. Judging by the few previous reviews, everyone liked this pack except me. I spent a 2.5 week expedition (+others) and there wasn't enough room. I bought extra side pockets and such, but the straps seemed endless and very VERY confusing. This made cinching the pack extremely difficult. I would suggest a pack with more division and not so much of a big empty void.

The pack also restricted head movement. It held up well, however, and the quality/duribility are definately not in question.

Design: Internal
Size: around 5400 (?)
Number of Pockets: 1 main + Lid
Max. Load Carried: 75 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'8"
Price Paid: around $210 (american)

I carried this pack for a very rough and windy hike on Mt. Hood. It performed wonderfully. The suspension kept it perfectly balanced and was easy to adjust to shift the position of the load. The only problem I had was in finding tie-down spots for gear i.e. sleeping pad, coat, etc. The wide range of sizes and interchangable parts makes it easy to fit to any body type. I would recommend this pack to anyone and will buy another myself when mine wears out.

Design: Internal
Size: 5600
Number of Pockets: 1
Max. Load Carried: 35-40 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'2"
Price Paid: $235

Version reviewed: 2001

I purchased the Shasta '01 (newer lighter version) for our May 2002 Georgia AT Section hike. The pack performed admirably, never having any problems. All around great pack for the price. The only issue was that I bought a pack too large for my needs. Traded it in for a Gregory Palisade which is about 400 Cu In smaller and has an extra pocket. The Shasta is a great value, performs well, and has the legendary Gregory warranty and quality behing it. Recommended.

Design: Top Loading / Sleeping Bag Compartment
Size: 5500 Cu In (L)
Number of Pockets: 5 (Water Bottle/Mesh/Lid/Chute/SleepingBag)
Max. Load Carried: 50 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'
Price Paid: $265

Nice and simple bag that got beaten around by a few animals while I was sleeping and survived. Love the shoulder and hip options and love the way it fits. 50 lbs seemed like 25 while hiking. My girlfriend has the Gregory Reality and she managed to put a good 10 days worth of gear and food while the sales person said it was good for 3-4 day jaunts. We love and dig our Gregory packs!

Design: internal frame
Size: big
Number of Pockets: main and top lid
Max. Load Carried: 50
Height of Owner: 5'9"
Price Paid: $350 CDN

Very comfortable, stable pack. Awesome suspension. Built simple. An absolute workhorse. I would recommend this pack to anyone looking for a clean, well-designed, dependable pack. Not alot of frills, just the way I like it. I was able to fit everything on the inside (except water bottles and sleeping pad). This is perfect to maintain the balance internals were made for. Fits with the KISS philosophy (Keep It Simple Stupid) - Yahoo Gregory!

Design: internal
Size: 5700
Number of Pockets: 1
Max. Load Carried: 55
Height of Owner: 6'3"
Price Paid: $245

I love this pack! If you're looking for a no-nonsense pack with top notch construction and excellent suspension, look no further. The bag itself is a simple tube with side compression straps and separate large compartment for your bag. The only pocket is a zippered compartment in the top, but a variety of pockets can be added to the "figure eight" clips on the back. Again, I love this pack.

Design: internal frame
Size: 5350 (medium)
Number of Pockets: 1
Max. Load Carried: 45 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'1"
Price Paid: $235

The Shasta is a great pack. I have used many times and the load is fabulous. The straps are contoured to your shoulders and the auto-cant and adjust-a-cant make this bag very changeable. My other option was the LL Bean White Mountain and North Face Renegade. Both were bigger, but the Shasta makes up for it in comfort

Design: Internal
Size: 5300 (medium)
Number of Pockets: 2( 3 if you attach the divider
Max. Load Carried: 60
Height of Owner: 5'9
Price Paid: $255 (Campmor)

This is the only pack I've ever owned, but I've never been tempted to switch. This pack is versatile, *very* adjustable, and comfortable.

Three of my friends threw away their external-frame packs and bought the Shasta after trying mine on. Sadly, it seems that Gregory no longer makes this model.

Am quite new to carrying a large pack, but am impressed by the stability and relative comfort this pack provides with a fairly heavy load. The wattle bottle holsters are very convenient, and there are all sorts of straps for lashing stuff on the outside of the pack.

Design: internal
Size: 5500
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 60 lbs
Height of Owner: 6 ft
Price Paid: $217 -- Moosejaw

Pros: TONS of space, easily accessible exterior water bottle pocket, good belt.

Cons: Heavy, too many straps, detachable daypack is a hassle to adjust.

Do not get this bag if you are planning anything less than long-term trips.

Height of Owner: 6' 2''
Price Paid: $75 second hand

WOW...What more can I say. If you can find one, grab it it is Uber comfortable and able to carry heavy loads with ease.

Design: top-loading
Size: lg. 5000+ cubic in.
Height of Owner: 5-10
Price Paid: $100 USD

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Price Historic Range: $134.50-$269.00
Reviewers Paid: $75.00-$280.00
Weight 5 lb 10 oz 5 lb 13 oz 6 lb 3 oz 6 lb 5 oz
Capacity 4450 cu in 4650 cu in 4950 cu in 5500 cu in
Torso length 14 in - 15.5 in 16 in - 17.5 in 18 in - 19.5 in 20 in - 21.5 in

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