Versatility and Low Weight
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Size Bought: Medium
After agonizing over the purchase of a pack to replace the ancient Jansen aluminium external frame pack, the Granite Gear Crown 60 is perfect for me. I wanted to be light, but I'm not ready to go frameless, I wanted the versatility of being able to carry a lot, or not so much volume, and I didn't want to spend a fortune on a pack I might replace if my needs change as I become more familiar with 'modern' backpacking equipment.
The simple top load bag makes a lot of sense to me. I stack my gear in it in the order I'll use it when I get to camp, bag and pad in the bottom in a waterproof pack liner, food bag on top of that, then the tent. As it gets warmer, I put shed layers on top of the tent and let the pack get a little taller.
The lycra pocket expands plenty to hold the toiletries bag and trowel, as well as my sit pad, tent stakes, ditty bag, and map.
The side pockets easily hold the water filtration and a 1 liter bottle on one side, the other becomes my 'catch-all' pocket for stuff...
The adjustable hip belt is nice. I found myself adjusting it (it can be made longer or narrower at the center back) several times during the first hike to get the right feel, and haven't touched it since.
The hip belt pockets are roomy enough for each to carry a packet of tuna, a packet of spam, three bars, and a long plastic spoon (for the tuna). One pocket gets the food, the other gets the sweat towel.
I haven't used the removable bag yet, maybe if I do a short overnight and want more stuff for camp. I also haven't tried removing the internal frame pad yet, I'm considering trying that on an upcoming four nighter after I reduce the weight of my gear.
All of my usage to date has been at about 30-32 pounds total weight including water, food, fuel, and the thermals for camp. I tend to walk all day, and the pack doesn't create any hotspots on my skin. I do move the load lifters around quite a bit, especially when gaining elevation or downhiking.