I recently tried out the Gregory Whitney 95 backpack. While I don’t routinely spend 2 weeks on the trail, my 60 liter pack isn’t quite roomy enough for more than a 4 day. The Gregory Whitney 95 liter pack fixes that problem and has a smart design to boot.

Gregory Whitney 95

The first thing I noticed was the top compartment which detaches easily and converts to a waist pack. This is helpful since cinching up the whole big pack for a  short wander from camp would be a bit cumbersome. The compartments are well designed for standard trail items – water bottle, food, and all the little things you need just on the other side of a zipper. The pack fit very well from the beginning. Making small adjustments, tightening or loosening areas en-route was very easy. Straps are intuitive and sturdy as are zippers.

This pack has space. The main compartment would fit the entire contents of my living room. The really nice thing about the main area is all the ways you can access it. Four zippers plus the top drawstring entry makes it easy to organize and find things without unloading the entire contents of the pack. I loaded it with my standard long-weekend gear, then tossed in 44 pounds in hand weights and a couple blankets, just for good measure. Once I managed to wrestle nearly half my body weight (70 pounds) onto my back and carry it around a bit, it was pretty comfortable on my back and moved with me. Well, as comfortable as 70 pounds can be on a back.

Gregory Whitney 95

At camp I noticed that there are ample pockets, zippers and openings, but not so many that it was annoying. I hate the game of  ”Did I put it in here? or in here or in here?” I found everything easily. There are a decent number of external straps as well. While most backpackers should be able to fit anything they need into the compartments given, there are lots of extra straps, clips and loops for attaching things onto the outside of the pack. This would prove handy of you ever needed to carry the contents of your neighbor’s living room as well as  your own.

Some of the strap lengths were a bit strange.  Shoulder straps are well designed and fit nicely, staying in place even without the chest strap. The chest strap might be a bit short for anyone who is broader across the chest.  I don’t use them anyway, so it didn’t bother me.  A couple of the other straps are a bit long, and if you don’t go to the trouble to gather them up (or cut them off) you’ll get tickled in the calf.

The internal frame is sturdy, creatively constructed and worked well. Total pack weight is over 6-1/2 pounds, which sounds heavy if  you are shopping based on stats, but it sits comfortably on the back which more than makes up for the extra ounces.

While going up the trail I could hear my footsteps and the small forest sounds, and surprisingly, no noise from the pack. Aside from sloshing water bottles, it’s quiet! No squeaky bits. Total bonus.

Pros: Fabrics are smart, zippers are tight and sturdy, and compartments make sense. This pack has enough room for a long sojourn and is well designed.

Cons: Strap length could be an issue for some, total pack weight perhaps on the heavy side.

Overall, a great pack that moves well and serves large loads for long excursions into the wilderness.

Gregory Whitney 95

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