Weak shoulder straps
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Just bought this pack it looked perfect for UL. I took it on a tester day hike up Mount Katahdin Hunt Trail. I had the bag packed with 19lbs of gear. Everything was great till I got home and noticed that the shoulder strap had begun to tear away from the body of the pack at the point where it connects (bottom of the strap where its the 10mm stuff). I was carrying below the weight limit so this shouldn't have happened. Very sad and disappointed. Maybe GraniteGear should concede the 5g or whatever it would probably be to make the only weight-bearing straps (those connecting the end of the straps to the body of the bag) a little stronger.
This happened to my pack as well after about 20 miles of use. I had about 18 pounds of gear in my pack and noticed the stitching pulling away in the same spot on both sides. Disappointed because the pack carried the weight very comfortably. I was hoping I had a defect in the stitching, but if others are having issues it seems like it is the lack of reinforcement in that area.
This happened on my pack as well after less than 15 miles of use. My pack was fully loaded, using a ZLite as a "frame", and checked in around 16 lbs. Flat-out poor design. A simple second attachment point, with a "Y" split, would have corrected this issue entirely at negligible added weight and build complexity. I'm not sure how this made it through initial product testing.
I decided not to return the bag and instead reinforced the shoulder strap points with Kevlar thread (stitched it myself) This seemed to work but I haven’t loaded it above 15 lbs. Unfortunately on another hike I noticed the stitching was coming out at several other points along the bag specifically where the bottom attached to the back. This was very disappointing to see as I was 10 miles into the Mahoosucs and my bag basically ripped open at the bottom. Luckily I was prepared with my needle and Kevlar thread so I repaired it on trail on the spot but if I didn’t have those things I would have had literally no bag as everything would have fallen out the bottom.
This is completely unacceptable. I would caution anyone against this bag, and now this company as well.
Once I made it home I reinforced all the stitching in the entire bag with Kevlar and let me tell you it’s amazing now. The bag is about 10g heavier but I load it up with 35+ lbs no problem. Fortunately the fabric itself is high quality and I would like to think that wherever Granite Gear sourced it’s thread from dropped the ball and it’s not a regular thing but seriously this could have been really bad, just imagine Class 3 scrambles while literally holding all your gear in your own two hands it would have been impossible.
I would give the Kevlar thread a 5 star rating though, seriously pick some up and restitch your UL gear with it, minimal weight added and massive improvement on quality, idk if cottage companies like ZPacks or Pa’lante use it but man they should