Friday, November 30, 2012

Gear - Jun., 2012 - Granite Gear Crown VC60 Backpack

Granite Gear Crown VC 60 - Detailed Long Term Review
I get my full 25lb load into the Granite Gear Crown VC60 L pack. 
25lbs includes 2L water, food, fuel and more clothing than I actually need in average winter temps
I think I'll re-christen this pack my "Crown Vic"

February 16, 2013 - I packed my complete winter load in this pack over the weekend.  I did not think I would get everything in, but I did and had room to spare.  I could easily have put a wool sweater and 1-2 more days of food and still had the pack close without stressing it.  I did put the ccf pad outside so I had a lot more internal room.  I will do a separate video showing the winter load and post it at the top of this page.  I am really happy that my winter load fit so well in this pack!

September 4, 2012  - I have now used the GG pack on two hikes with a pack weight right around 18lbs and the framesheet replaced with a folded ccf pad. There is a significant improvement for me in the level of comfort with this pack. It may be attributable to the lower weight and "frameless" configuration. But I also have been playing with the suspension and learning its idiosyncracies. That also is a likely contributing factor to the increased comfort level.

June 23, 2012 - I used the GG Crown VC 60 for a 5 miler. Using the standard measure for my torso, I am exactly 20 inches. So I ordered the regular. My waist size is 34-35 so I ordered the medium hip belt. The pack fits me perfectly, which is good because the suspension on the VC 60 is fixed.

The pack uses an internal HDPE frame sheet which is lightweight and is pretty flexible when you take it out of the pack. But once inserted into the pad sleeve, it provides a good degree of structure, particularly if you can keep your load weight down around 20 pounds. My current overall pack weight (including the pack itself) is 21 pounds. The weight transfer to the hips is very efficient. The weight rides very nicely balanced across the top of the iliac crest. The pack can be cinched into your back very tightly (as compared to my Kelty Red Cloud) using the load stabilizers on the hip belt and the load lifters. When I put the pack on for my first hike it felt almost like it was a piece of clothing. I guess the term is that it feels unitary.

The shoulder straps are dual density foam and GG uses narrower webbing for the shoulder than a lot of other packs. I did not feel that the narrower webbing had any negative impact on comfort because the foam padding spreads the load across the shoulder nicely. At the end of my first 5 miles I did experience some tension between my shoulder blades, but I attribute that to lack of experience with the pack. As I get used to adjusting the straps during my hikes I expect I will find my comfort zone. As with any adjustable gear, one must learn how to dial it in and that just requires some hours in the harness.

I am particularly happy with the sternum strap. It is located at my chest level and not up near my throat. That is a real problem with my Kelty. The GG sternum strap is a narrow strap, but it works very nicely in completing the shoulder harness.

The integrated strap pockets on each shoulder are very handy. I have a knife in one and carry my cell phone in the other. My cell phone is an old Nokia without a touchscreen and is not a smartphone style. Any Droid or iPhone likely won’t fit in the shoulder pocket. But, the pockets are perfect size to put 2 or 3 granola bars in. The pockets are made of a stretchy material and hold the contents very snugly.

The side and front pockets are also made of the same stretchy material. I had no snagging, even when I was walking through some thistles under some power lines. The side pockets are reachable while hiking and I was able to store my Sony Bloggie camera in the same pocket as a 1 liter Sawyer water bottle with ease. The water bottle was easy to reach while hiking also. The pockets stretch to accommodate my Svea 123R stove which I keep in a can that is 4 inches in diameter. In that same pocket I put a 4 oz. squeeze bottle of fuel and there is still room to spare for another small item, e.g. my small, bendy tripod.

The front pocket is bigger than I initially thought. It holds a LOT. The video shows what I have in there and there is room for more if I really need it. But, as I haven’t really filled the main pack, I don’t think I’ll need to cram more stuff in the outside main pocket.

The back panel allows airflow as advertised. I was skeptical that it would be noticeably cooler, but it is.
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June 19, 2012 - Here are my first impressions of the Granite Gear Crown VC60. I got this pack and gave it a quick lookover. I will post more detailed reports as I use the pack in the coming weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Alina - As for how to measure the length take a look at this very helpful video Overall height is not necessarily correlated to torso length. As the video makes clear, sometimes a taller person has a shorter torso. If you live near an REI store, they can be very helpful in fitting a backpack. I think the belts do run large. I do have plenty of extra webbing on my hipbelt. Even when I wear this with a coat, I have extra webbing. Some ultralight backpackers cut off the extra webbing, but I have not done so. I wish I had ordered the hipbelt pockets. They would be very handy for snacks, camera gear, and a mini-multi tool that I bought last month. on Gear - Jun., 2012 - Granite Gear Crown VC60 Backpack
    in response to Hi I would greatly appreciate your help in terms of sizing the Granite Gear Crown VC 60 for me. I am planning on getting the women’s version. I am a little confused about the measurements. When measuring the length of torso do I press the measuring tape right against the spine, following the curvature, or run the tape from the neck to the hips in a straight line? The first method will make the measurement a little longer. I did use the second method and my torso was 17and ¼” Regarding waist I know that I am to measure at hip crest. Easier said than done. Is it somewhere around the belly button? If yes, then I am 36” Based on the above should I go for short torso and large belt? I am surprised that I am short torso as I am 5’6” which is not short for a woman and I think that I am proportionate. In your case it is interesting that your belt is medium and fits well. Do you still have a bit to spare? Do the belts fit large? What do you think about the optional hip belt pocket? Do you , by Alina.