What good is a featherweight pack if it falls apart? During a 13-mile roundtrip climb of Oregon’s Mt. Washington, we challenged the abrasion resistance of the Granite Gear Virga 26's materials (100-denier nylon on the body with thicker, 210-denier nylon in high-wear points like the bottom and back). “The steep descent was gnarly so I found myself scooching down rocky sections,” says one tester. “Lesser packs would have shredded.”
Weight savings come from a simple, stripped-down design. The narrow, single-compartment bag has a roll-top closure and a rope strap that lets you pile on extra gear. Six narrow (¼-inch) straps lock the load tight against the spine. We liked the small, stretchy mesh pouches on the shoulder straps—perfect for sunblock and lip balm.
Densely padded foam shoulder straps provide adequate support for up to 20 pounds, but anything heavier overwhelms the frameless packbag and inch-wide webbing hipbelt, which merely stabilizes the load. Ding: It’s hot. The pack’s spooning ﬁt against the back limits airﬂow.
$120; 1 lb; 26 liters; granitegear.com