You can tell a lot about a hiker by his or her backpack. See a Baltoro on the trail and one thing’s for sure: The owner of this pack gets out a lot.
Just over a decade ago, Gregory designers brought comfort and durability to the fore, knowing that hikers who log big miles with big loads will gladly accept a slight weight penalty for top-notch load carry. And so they made a pack with a suspension system that swivels on a pivot, self-adjusting with the hiker’s hips. It worked then—and it works now. “I hauled 50 pounds on treks in New Zealand, the Grand Canyon, and California’s Trinity Alps, and I never got sore hips,” one editor says. “The padded harness and dynamic movement takes the sting out of long days with big loads.”
Over the years, Gregory added and improved details, winning over more converts with angled water bottle pockets that make it easy to grab a drink on the move; a waterproof hipbelt pocket that fits a smartphone; and a clever hydration sleeve that turns into a daypack. After giving the pack an Editors’ Choice Award in 2008, we had no choice but to up its status to Editors’ Choice Gold in 2015. Sure, the Baltoro was a bit on the heavy side, but it was the Cadillac of packs.
Well, now it’s less than 5 pounds, so there goes that logic. Gregory shaved ounces off the packbag by switching to a higher-tear strength 210-denier nylon (and doing away with a PU coating). The suspension system is a bit more streamlined, but not different. All said, the Baltoro now rivals your average big-load pack in weight—while still carrying like a Baltoro. If you want to tell the world you’re all about going fast, there are other packs for you (check out the model on page 14). But if you want to send a message that you’re going far, and often, with any load, the Baltoro is still your pick