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Backpacker Magazine – May 2006

Backpack Review: 4 Perfect Packs

Midsize internal-frame backpacks that do everything--and do it well

by: Mike Lanza, BACKPACKER Northwest Editor

PAGE 1 2 3 4

©Mitch Mandel

Gregory Baltoro/Deva 60
If heavy loads loom in your future, or you want the perfect hipbelt, look no further than this sturdy pair.

Ultralight may be all the rage, but these two packs reach out to all of you kitchen-sink backpackers who are still hefting creature comforts every weekend. First, you get this field's best hipbelt, with a wrap that's noticeably superior the moment you click the belt buckle. You also get soft padding that holds its shape, a plastic exoskeleton for load transfer, and independent pivot points on each hip to permit a more natural walking motion. Throw in ergonomically curved shoulder straps, bounteous back padding, and a single-stay framesheet, and you've got a pack that hauls 50 pounds with shocking comfort and stability. One tester, after an off-trail hike in Colorado's Indian Peaks, voiced our consensus: "The suspension makes your load feel 10 pounds lighter."

With four men's and three women's sizes between the two models, fit is pretty much guaranteed. And since you're packing luxuries, Gregory has rolled out almost too many storage features: five pockets (including a bellow front pocket), front-panel access, excellent compression/lashing straps, and a removable lid pocket that's roomier than most (the Deva's doubles as a fanny pack). Lastly, both are the toughest packs reviewed here; the waterproof bottoms are duffel-worthy. Overbuilt for small loads, they're best for folks who haul 35-plus pounds.

Price: $269
Size: 4,300 cu. in.
Weight: 6 lbs. 2 oz.

Deva 60
Price: $249
Size: 3,700 cu. in.
Weight: 5 lbs. 3 oz. (S)

Contact: (800) 477-3420;

PAGE 1 2 3 4

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Reader Rating: -


Jun 27, 2012

Would be nice if replies stated the item name they were commenting on. Can't tell which was the worst pack and which packed 65# with ease.

Dec 06, 2011

Because you can see her "review" under the descriptions of all four packs, it's impossible to tell which pack Julie Meadows disliked so much.

julie meadows
Aug 26, 2011

Worst pack I have ever worn. Not packed too full, maybe 40 pounds. I have a small frame. It KILLED my hips and shoulders the whole time. VERY limited adjustability!

Oct 14, 2009

I was wondering about the fore-mentioned heat molding process of the hip belt. Is this actually something that is done in the shop? My focus would be that what if the pack is bought online. Recommendations?

Sep 10, 2009

Great all round pack only used it once (to bad) but love it great for any day huge capacity but hip belt feels funny. Any way great pack very very stable!

Sep 10, 2009

Aug 02, 2009

I have only used this pack on 3 and 4 day trips but it is the most comfortable pack I have ever worn. On three day trips I tend to pack heavy foods; veggies, fruits, cheese. I have the 70 and it handles heavy loads great. To me the 70L looks and feels smaller then it is, I just can't work in the confines of a sub 60L bag, and the suspension in those smaller bags leave a lot to be desired. Go to your local mountaineering shop and try it on. You will be pleased. For smaller loads it packs down nicely. A final not. On my last trip in Yosemite a black bear took off with my pack and got a pack of beef jerky that I missed. He could have easily shredded the pack but he didn't only the small pocket the jerky was in. I got the pack back and now have a story and a pack that survived a bear attack. Hows that for a VOC.

Mar 19, 2009

I've taken this pack on a 24 day trip with 65 pounds and it handled the load with ease, and didn't hurt my back in the process. A great all around pack. The brain turns into a fanny pack which is another neat feature.


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