Lightweight gear gobbler.

Great for long trips or holding all the gear needed for tackling big peaks, the Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 85 Backpack is light and durable. The largest model in the Nimbus family, this load-gobbling pack features a 3D TopoFlex frame engineered to fit the topography of your back and mimic the way you naturally flex. The single pivot point attachment system on the shoulder straps and hip belt provide a more precise fit and enhanced movement. In order to give support to the frame, Granite Gear used a maple-core composite laminate that offers lightweight longitudinal rigidity. The advection back panel compliments the Topoflex frame in order to encourage more heat transfer and dissipation while simultaneously using the natural symmetry of the back.

Granite Gear loaded the Nimbus Trace Access 85 with numerous features for increased ease of use. The top-load design is complemented with a dual zipper front access panel, so you can snag that hammock for an afternoon snooze without having to pull half your gear out of your pack. A hydration port and internal sleeve keeps you hydrated as you go, while stretch pockets and gear loops offer secure storage and easy access. Compression straps help you keep your gear tight and together. And when you've reached the saddle and are ready to summit, the detachable hip-pack lid lets you bring along essentials without having to carry all your gear.

  • A large pack for week-long backpacking trips
  • 3D TopoFlex ensures a comfortable and breathable feel
  • Maple-core composite laminate panel supports heavy loads
  • Top-load design with dual zipper front access
  • Single pivot shoulder straps and hip belt
  • Advection back panel for more heat transfer
  • Removable lid doubles as a summit pack
  • Hydration port and internal sleeve for easy on-trail hydration
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

No home run...

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

…. but it could have been. After receiving my new NTA 85 size Short today I was at first impressed with seeing it's well done aspects, so after checking the torso adjustment recommended and finding it on the 16" setting (which is my measurement), I loaded it with 30 lbs to check the feel. That's when my disappointment set in. Several huge design flaws became very evident and makes this a pack that just doesn't work for anyone, PERIOD. I know this is going to hurt sales of this pack, but my number one concern is for the end user's fine experience. The following is a synopsis of my experience:
1. The size M hip belt that it came with when fully tightened was slightly too big to stay in place walking around and it's fit was only snug at the bottom, so it would squiggle down as I walked. This is likely due to the fact that I'm a small 66 year old man with an athletic build, a 30" waist and 33" hips. The hip belt doesn't cant with one’s hip shape; it’s rigid and vertical. This might be possible to remedy with an exchange for a women's small size. Okay, but here's what else.
2. Remember, it's a total 30 lbs including the pack and I loaded the items properly. I put on the pack, cinched the hip belt as tight as it could go, tightened shoulder straps, sternum strap and then the load lifters. Oh yeah, the load lifters when snugged were horizontal and at the end of adjustment, which caused the shoulder straps to tighten excessively to the point that I could tell this was an unsolvable problem. It's well known that the load lifters optimum angle is 45 degrees; acceptable between 30-60 degrees and these were zero. This means that the physical height of the pack is 4"-5" shorter than they needed to be correct by design. If actually used for even a day this alone would make the pack unbearable, due to the pull back pressure they put on the shoulder straps. There's no solution for this outside of complete redesign making the pack body 4"-5" taller and bringing their lateral location toward the center of the shoulder straps. (FYI, I spent two hours in adjusting from 17" to 18" where now they were a negative angle wrapping around and down the shoulder straps causing even more stress to my shoulders. I even tried the 15" adjustment with only a 5 degree rise and that's not even close.
3. With a 30 lb. load secured, the pack wobbles and sways out of control with each step. The one point connection of the shoulder straps and hip belt is the reason it's so uncontrollable.
4. Other points of improvement needed are, the shoulder strap padding needs to be more comfortable.
5. I'm always looking toward a better mouse trap, but now that I've tried this maple core panel, I'm not impressed. In use it’s rigid and restrictive. The edges are rough sawn; not even sanded smooth and the problem here is that the two upper corners of the maple core frame sheet sit in two 2” W X 1” H pockets of the pack’s back bearing weight that is not by the hip belt. I can foresee this being a point of excessive wear and early failure.
All said, it’s a pretentious product that I bought new with my funds for personal use. I feel the truth about it may help others in their search to lighten their load.

Unanswered Question

Will this pack accept a bear canister (BV500) horizontally?