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LONG TERM REPORT - Gregory Halo - Kelli Wise

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  • ciyd01
    I think I caught all of the yahoo formatting distortions. kelli ________________________ Gregory Mountain Products Halo All Terrain Pack – Long Term Report
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2004
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      I think I caught all of the yahoo formatting distortions.

      Gregory Mountain Products Halo All Terrain Pack – Long Term Report
      November 29, 2004

      Personal biographical information
      Name: Kelli Wise
      Age: 43
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5' 0" (152 cm)
      Torso length: 16.5" (42 cm), as measured with a flexible tape measure
      per Gregory's fit instructions, available on the manufacturer's web
      Weight: 135 lb (61 kg)
      Email: ciyd@...

      Location: Western Washington, USA
      Date: November 29, 2004

      Backpacking background: I've been car camping and dayhiking for 20
      years and sport climbing for 10 years, and have begun backpacking
      over the last year. My backpacking style is lightweight but not
      ultralight. I am striving for a suitable compromise between safety
      and comfort. The majority of my hiking experience is in Western

      Field information: Most of my dayhiking for the Field Report has been
      in western Washington, forested lowlands and mountain hiking below
      5000' (1524 m).

      Product Information
      Manufacturer: Gregory Mountain Products
      Manufacturer's web site: www.gregorypacks.com
      Model: Halo All Terrain daypack
      Size: Extra Small/Small, which accommodates torso lengths of 14.0" to
      17.5" (36 cm to 44 cm). The small pack has a volume capacity of 1600
      cu in (26 L) and weighs 3 lbs 3 oz (1.4 kg). The pack is also
      available in a medium/large size which has a volume capacity of 1800
      cu in (29.5 L). All measurements are for the XS/SM pack I received.
      Listed weight: 3 lbs 3 oz (1.4 kg)
      Measured weight: 2 lbs 15.6 oz (1.35 kg)
      Color: Harvest Yellow

      The Gregory Halo All Terrain pack is described as a "technical small
      capacity pack with lots of features, including our exclusive Exo
      Frame system, and a full zip-down front opening providing complete
      access to all your gear."
      The listed features include:
      • Auto-Cant: Adjusts harness angle to eliminate pinching and
      • All Terrain Harness: Plush, curved harness for a custom fit
      • Thermoformed Exo-Frame: Provides superior torsion flexibility
      for demanding body movements
      • Chimney Vented Back: Circulates air to keep you cool
      • Level 1 Waistbelt: Comfort and support with a zippered pocket
      • Full Front Access: Easy and quick to reach all your gear
      • Fleece Sunglasses Pocket: With water resistant zipper
      • Hydration Sleeve and Port: Fits most reservoirs and bite
      • Stretch Nylon Side Pockets: Mesh bottom allows drainage and
      • Removable and Adjustable Ice Axe Loops: Fist straight and
      curved shaft tools
      • Reversible Compression Buckles: Fully reversible buckles to
      securely carry extra gear

      Long Term Report:
      I spent my summer dayhiking and backpacking throughout western
      Washington. My dayhikes fell into two categories: short training
      hikes of 6 miles (9.7 km) or less over moderately hilly terrain with
      20 to 25 pounds (9.1 to 11.3 kg) of climbing gear and water or longer
      dayhikes of 8 to 11 miles (12.9 to 17.7 km) with 2000 to 3000 feet
      (610 to 914 m) of elevation gain carrying 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of food,
      water, camera gear, and the 10 essentials. The Gregory Halo was my
      pack for all of my dayhikes and, together, we covered a lot of miles
      and enjoyed some wonderful scenery.

      Even with loads up to 25 pounds (11.3 kg), I have found the pack to
      be very comfortable for the two hour training hikes. The suspension
      allows me to redistribute the load from my hips to my shoulders or
      vice versa to reduce overall fatigue. Neither the hip belt or
      shoulder straps are heavily padded but I never found them to be
      uncomfortable, let alone painful. The frame of the pack keeps the
      load stabilized and held the load close to my back so there was
      minimal sway and I never felt in danger of having the load pull me
      off my feet if I bent over.

      The long dayhikes lasted up to 8 hours and were done in the hottest,
      driest part of our summers. Hot is a relative term and, in the areas
      I was hiking, meant daytime high temperatures of about 85 F (29 C)
      with low humidity. There had not been any rain for several weeks and
      all of the local creeks were dry, so all of my water for the day
      would have to be carried. I found that a full 70 oz (2 L) hydration
      bladder of water and a 1 quart (1 L) bottle of sports drink were
      adequate for my needs. As I said, the temperatures were hot, for me,
      with little or no breeze, so I was perspiring freely.

      A few words about perspiring and this pack. Most packs promise
      ventilation along the back but I have never found any that did not
      cause me to sweat somewhat more than I would if I were not wearing a
      pack. The Halo is no different. With the solid plastic pressed
      against my back, I expected the pack to be very sweaty. What I found
      in practice is that the solid plastic has vents molded into it that
      maintain their shape and do allow for some air to move between the
      pack and my back. Not a lot, but some. This is a bit better than
      the packs I have used that have a padded back and about the same as a
      pack with a frame sheet. What really surprised me is that the solid
      plastic would dry off completely during breaks and I really enjoyed
      not putting on a damp, clammy pack.

      I also found that, even after 8 hours of wearing this pack on steep
      terrain, the pack was only getting tiresome to wear after about 7
      hours. For the majority of the hikes, the Halo was hardly
      noticeable. Picking my way down steep, rock strewn trails, the Halo
      held the load close to my back and I never felt that my center of
      gravity was compromised. My fatigue was minimized because the Halo
      held the load firmly against my body and did not allow it to sway
      while I walked.

      Looking back at my Field report, my long term experience has not
      differed much. The suspension system is still terrific and the load
      lifters and other adjustments make it easy to tweak the fit for

      The hydration bladder sleeve is great for a daypack but I still have
      to unpack the pack to take the hydration bladder out for refilling.
      I would also have added one of the plastic clips to the shoulder
      strap to hold the drinking tube. As I use it now, I run the drinking
      tube through one of the D-rings on the shoulder strap. This works
      but the bite valve of the drinking tube is difficult to feed through
      the D-ring and usually results in a small amount (more than a few
      drops) of water dribbling out of the tube when the bite valve opens
      slightly as it's squeezed through the D-ring.

      I still like the panel loading especially for a dayhike pack. This
      lets me pack my lunch in the best place for load carrying and then
      access it without completely unpacking the pack. It's also easy to
      see and access other frequently used items like bug juice, sunscreen,
      and camera gear.

      The pocket on the hip belt is still too small form anything bigger
      than a tube of lip balm and one car key. The side pockets are still
      too small to be terribly useful.

      I've almost learned to accept the dual zipper pull. Almost. I can
      see the advantages: quicker zipping and unzipping of the panel and a
      buckle that will assure that the panel doesn't accidentally unzip and
      spill the contents of the pack on the ground. The difficulty of
      zipping the panel closed when the pack is stuffed full sort of
      outweighs the advantages. It's a love-hate relationship I'm having
      with this feature. I will probably remove the nylon that connects
      the two zippers.

      After 6 months, the pack is dirty and scuffed but shows no signs of
      wear or seam fatigue. There is some pilling on the waist belt that
      was caused by my the hook portion of my camera case's hook and loop
      belt loop, but the pack has proven to be very rugged even when
      carrying heavy loads on just about every hike I went on.

      I really like this pack. I was suspicious at first about whether the
      comfort of the pack would be worth the 2 lbs 15.6 oz (1.35 kg) weight
      of the pack, since many backpacks now weigh less, but Gregory has
      developed a suspension system that I find comfortable in the extreme
      and has not overloaded the pack with unnecessary bells and whistles.
      The pockets, with the exception of the hip belt pocket, are sized
      right and located for ease of access. This is a daypack that I will
      be using for years. The list of pros and cons is the same as my
      field report. After the 4 months of extended testing, they still

      • Carries moderate loads like a dream
      • Is pretty comfortable when carrying its maximum rated load
      • Adjustability makes for excellent load transfer
      • Sunglasses pocket really does protect sunglasses
      • Internal zip pocket large enough for keys and wallet
      • Compression straps are in the right place
      • Access to hydration sleeve requires unloading the pack
      • The dual-zipper arrangement for the front panel is
      • Panel opening seems a bit small for large items.

      I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Gregory Mountain Products
      and Backpack Gear Test for the opportunity to test this pack.
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