Gregory Rucksacks


Every week at Complete Outdoors we are lucky enough to hear the stories of the adventures our customers are embarking on. We love to hear where you’re going and what you’re doing (even if it does make us envious!) The Complete Outdoors team have all been on our own adventures – from travelling around Australia, to hiking in the Cairngorms. Whereas we don’t always agree what the best adventure is, there is something we always agree on: the importance of a decent backpack.

Whether you are backpacking around Asia, trekking the Appalachian Trail, or planning a few days of walking in the Lake District, we have rucksacks to suit every need. One of our favourite rucksack brands is Gregory – they’re lightweight, well made, and designed with adventure in mind! In this post I’m going to talk about what we love about Gregory and why.

Gregory Backpacks - best rucksack brands 2018

For the Day Adventurers…
What’s better than venturing into the wilderness for a day? Whether on foot, bike or skis, you need to take a few essentials to keep you happy and safe. For days like this a small rucksack does the trick – enough room for the essentials without the bulk.

Maya (10L), Salvo (18L), Sula (24L) are all daysacks that are lightweight and compact. What’s great about these bags is the back panel – they all feature a meshed back, which helps to allow air to flow and wick moisture away, perfect for warm summer walks. A really nice touch to Gregory bags is the suspension. Gregory has developed a system that allows the bag to twist and turn with your body, allowing for unrestricted movements, which make them perfect for high-energy activities like skiing or mountain biking.

Maya and Sula are rucksacks that have been built with ladies in mind, with slightly narrower shoulder straps which are ergonomically shaped for a woman’s figure. This does not mean these rucksacks are unsuitable for gents, it just means the bag will be more comfortable for us ladies!

Now this may not be the most important feature of the bags, but I really like it and it shows that fellow outdoor enthusiasts have designed these bags; these bags have a special hook on the shoulder strap designed to stash your sunglasses! It’s the little things in life, right? Other little features include well-placed pockets (some the perfect size for stashing KitKats), adjustable height chest straps, and light attachment points so that you can be seen more easily in the darker months.

For the Technical Hiker…
Looking for a daysack with a few more technical elements to it? The Zulu (30L) and ladies Jade (28L) are still in the size realms of “daysack” but have a more technical user in mind. Once again, these bags are well thought out, and offer little features to make life comfier and easier when out and about.

The first thing to note is the improved lumbar support; perfect for when your pack is a little more laden with kit. Like the other Gregory daysacks, these bags also feature a meshed back to help with airflow and wicking. However, unlike the others, these two bags feature a curved back to allow for even more air to circulate - this gap is also really useful for stashing you map case for when you want to keep your hands free!

These bags have a load-bearing, fixed hip belt that makes carrying a fuller pack less strenuous on your shoulders, and helps keep the rucksack from swinging about. This is assisted by Gregory’s suspension system that allows these bags to move with you. Walking pole attachments are featured on the outside of these packs, ready to stash your trusted Leki poles when you’re not using them. Zulu and Jade also feature lots of other easily accessible pockets for stashing bits and bobs on the go.

Both bags are water bladder compatible, and include colour-coordinated rain covers. Lastly (and thankfully) that all-important sunglasses loop is still evident on these packs ready for your sunnier trips.

For the Backpackers…
Off on a multi-day expedition or living out of bag for weeks at a time? There’s a certain romanticism around being able to pack up your life into a single bag and escaping the everyday. Speaking from experience of poorly fitting expedition bags, getting your rucksack right is really important for the enjoyment of your trip! An expedition into the wildness is one of my favourite pastimes, and I can appreciate a well-designed bag when I see one! Gregory comes into their own with their innovative and thoughtfully designed expedition bags.

Whereas the Stout (68L) is a fully adjustable bag, with an adjustable back length and hip circumference, the Paragon and ladies Deva have a fixed length back, which I shall talk about in more detail in a moment. The full adjustability of the Stout means you can really get a personalised fit, making it feel like it’s your bag. This also means that if you’re planning on sharing the rucksack, you can ensure a comfortable fit between all users.

So, onto the fixed back lengths of the Deva and Paragon: these bags have a minimally adjustable shoulder height and come in set sizes. This has one main advantage over adjustable backs and that is to do with the distribution of weight. When a back is adjustable, this means the shoulder straps are able to side up and down, usually upon two rods, which allow you to change the distance between the shoulders and hips. This means that the entire weight of the bag is suspended upon these two rods; putting more pressure on your hips and making the bag feel heavier. With a fixed back length, the weight of the bag is distributed across a greater area, thus putting less pressure on your hips. You see where I’m going with this? This all means that a fixed back length enables you carry a heavier pack more comfortably. You can pack that second fleece, you can bring your trusty flip-flops, stash that extra snack – you can handle it!

All three rucksacks are packed with thoughtful little features that can make a world of difference when you’re off the beaten track. With lots of well placed and accessible pockets, zip grab tabs for when you’re wearing bulky gloves, and floating lids which means you can extend the bag to squeeze in every last piece of kit. All three bags are water bladder compatible (which in itself is really useful), but the Deva and Paragon kick this feature up a notch. Both of these bags include a small, handy ‘Sidekick’, which when clipped into the bag acts as a pocket for your water bladder and when unclipped it’s a mini rucksack! Clever, right? Both the Deva and Paragon have strategically placed silicon grips on the lumbar support to help prevent your t-shirt from riding up – so simple but so beneficial!

Overall, I think Gregory bags are great packs and have a lot to offer. The next time I need to get a new pack, a Gregory bag will certainly be a contender – and those who know me can vouch for my pickiness over what kit I buy!

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading!


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