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OR - Granite Gear Vapor Trail - Nancy Griffith

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  • Nancy Griffith
    My second Owner Review is posted in the test folder for the Granite Gear Vapor Trail backpack.
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 2, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      My second Owner Review is posted in the test folder for the Granite Gear Vapor Trail backpack.

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/OR%20-%20Granite%20Gear%20Vapor%20Trail%20-%20Nancy%20Griffith/

      Tiny url
      http://tinyurl.com/yphfx3


      GRANITE GEAR VAPOR TRAIL
      BY NANCY GRIFFITH
      OR
      January 02, 2008

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Nancy Griffith
      EMAIL: bkpkrgirl@...
      AGE: 41
      LOCATION: Northern California
      GENDER: f
      HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
      WEIGHT: 132 lb (59.90 kg)

      I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania and since then in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and now in the Sierra Nevada of California. Most of my trips are section hikes or loops from a few days to a week. I mostly hike in the summer and fall. I've recently discovered the virtues of lightening the load by updating some older gear, but I'm not an ultralight backpacker �yet.

      PRODUCT INFORMATION

      Manufacturer: Granite Gear
      Year of Manufacture: 2007
      Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.granitegear.com" LINK TEXT = "www.granitegear.com">>
      MSRP: US$160
      Listed Weight: 30.4 oz (862 g)
      Measured Weight: 30.4 oz (862 g)
      Other details: Tested version was Short Torso size
      The Granite Gear Vapor Trail pack has one large compartment that is accessed only from the top which is closed with a drawstring, then by rolling the excess material and securing two straps; one strap front to back and one strap from side to side. There is no top lid compartment. The main compartment has a volume of approximately 2600 cu in (42.6 L) with the remainder in the extension sleeve for a total of 3,300 cu. in. (54 L) (short size). There are two side pockets made of stretchy material. Inside the main compartment is a pocket with compression straps for a hydration pack and a hydration port on one side. The shoulder strap is attached (non-adjustable). The suspension system can be adjusted at the shoulders with load lifter straps and at the hip belt with stabilizer straps.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1">>

      FIELD USE

      Field information
      I first used the Vapor Trail on an overnight backpacking trip on the Tahoe Rim Trail (Northern Sierra Nevada mountains, CA) from 7300 - 8350' (2225 - 2545 m). It was summer with temperatures in the 50's - 80's F (10 - 27 C). The humidity was low with no rain.
      I also used it on a week-long trip in King's Canyon National Park (Southern Sierra Nevada mountains, CA) from 5,000 - 11,978' (1524 - 3651 m). The temperatures were in the 30's - 80's F (0 - 26.7 C). There was no rain the entire week and only one day of threatening rain. Nights were clear.
      Lighter weight backpacking is the way to go! This pack saved me over 5 lb (2.27 kg) in pack weight alone. That I LOVE. Of course there are compromises that must be made for this weight savings. For one, it is not as durable as my old pack both in terms of handling abrasion and in terms of handling over stuffing. Secondly, the one main compartment (without any pack top compartment) requires some ingenuity in how to store/find smaller items.
      As for durability, I had to develop the habit of setting down my pack with the strap side down and to carefully pack so that hard items are not directly touching the inside of the pack. I once set my pack down such that the back rubbed a granite boulder. The bear canister inside (with no soft padding around it) caused an abrasion on the pack. See photo <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Abrasion close-up">>.
      For packing small items, I started carrying my most often used items in my pants pockets. The others I placed in the elastic pockets on one side of the pack. The other elastic pocket I used for fuel and/or a Nalgene bottle. NOTE: the elastic pockets have a hole about 1" (2.5 cm) long on the bottom corner of one side, so I had to be careful not to put too small of items near that area or they could fall out. I found it to work fine to just place them to the other side of that same pocket and the elastic held them in place. It was difficult to access the pockets while wearing the pack, so I either took it off or had my partner do it.
      I used the space between the straps and pack for holding either my 60 oz (1.8 L) or 100 oz (3 L) hydration bladder. It helped to get all of the air out before trying to stuff it in. Inserting the bladder before loading the pack also helped. I never used the inside pocket for the hydration bladder for fear of a water leak, but I did find it useful for small items that are rarely used but need to be handy in a hurry such as my first aid kit, ace bandage and occasionally, map.
      My old Madden pack is infinitely adjustable with gel padded shoulder straps, so I expected the Vapor Trail to be less comfortable. However, surprisingly I found the Vapor Trail to be more comfortable and didn't cause the usual hip and shoulder sore spots. This was probably just due to my lower overall pack weight. I do wish the shoulder straps were adjustable, but the pack was still very comfortable. It did take some pack content re-organization to get the comfort-level just right. On the first trip, I had some heavier items too low in the pack and it was making me feel like I was being pulled backwards. Now I pack light clothes/sleeping bag at the bottom, heavier cookset/stove higher and between my shoulder blades with lighter items toward the outside.
      The 3,300 cu. in.. (54 L) (short size) includes the extension sleeve. However, only a portion of the extension could be used while allowing enough material to roll down to maintain water resistance. Also, the straps are not long enough to clip if I filled the entire extension sleeve. My gear fit easily in the main portion, so I didn't use the extension sleeve.

      SUMMARY

      Overall, I would recommend this pack for anyone who is able to downsize on the amount of gear hauled. It works very well with a small load (that can fit in the main compartment of approx. 2600 cu in (42.6 L). Its durability and comfort seem well suited for this type of load. I carried up to 26.5 lb (12 kg) of gear in this pack with no problems. My hiking partner carried up to 33.5 lb (15.2 kg) in the Regular Torso size which fit in the main compartment with ease and was comfortable.
      My favorite thing about the pack is that it keeps me from packing too much gear! Granite Gear claims that 40% of AT thru hikers use this pack. Whether that is true or not, it means that even a thru hiker can fit everything needed in this pack. I saw a PCT thru hiker using this pack this summer.

      THINGS I LIKE

      Light weight
      Very comfortable
      Hydration bladder pocket

      THINGS I DON'T LIKE

      Lighter duty durability
      Lack of pockets for organization

      SIGNATURE

      Nancy Griffith



      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.


      ____________________________________________________________________________________
      Be a better friend, newshound, and
      know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now. http://mobile.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Ahu06i62sR8HDtDypao8Wcj9tAcJ


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jamie D.
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 4, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. Do
        not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our
        Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an
        official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response
        from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this
        timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben@....

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask
        that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our
        experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved
        and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.
        This way we can work with you on addressing any standard BGT policy
        edits which you can incorporate into your second and subsequent
        reviews before submission.

        If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community!
        The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints,
        to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely
        manner. Once these first two Owner Reviews have been approved and
        you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to
        start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance
        with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to
        Jenn K., the mentor coordinator, at (mentor (at)
        backpackgeartest.org).

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group.
        These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered
        carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your
        review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
        will usually result in a better review, as well as making things
        easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject
        line of your re-submitted review if you take this route or make any
        changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit
        Moderator.

        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups
        list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an
        Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post
        their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you
        have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in
        the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they
        will use APPROVED in the subject line.

        If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR, the entire
        Owner Review Queue is posted to this yahoo group list on Fridays.

        If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via
        the list or contact me directly.

        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Edit Administration Manager
      • edwardripleyduggan
        Hello Nancy, I m a big fan of the Granite Gear Virga, the Vapor Trail s smaller cousin. I m on my second (the first got a bit shredded on bushwhacks, though I
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 7, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Hello Nancy,

          I'm a big fan of the Granite Gear Virga, the Vapor Trail's smaller
          cousin. I'm on my second (the first got a bit shredded on bushwhacks,
          though I mean to patch it up one of these days). Much the sort of wear
          you report, only worse!

          Please correct, and upload to

          http://tinyurl.com/yufrpy

          I don't think any of the errors or omissions merit reposting here.

          Best,

          Ted

          BGT OR Editor




          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, Nancy Griffith
          <bkpkrgirl@...> wrote:
          >
          > My second Owner Review is posted in the test folder for the Granite
          Gear Vapor Trail backpack.
          >
          >
          http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/OR%20-%20Granite%20Gear%20Vapor%20Trail%20-%20Nancy%20Griffith/
          >
          > Tiny url
          > http://tinyurl.com/yphfx3
          >
          >
          > GRANITE GEAR VAPOR TRAIL
          > BY NANCY GRIFFITH
          > OR
          > January 02, 2008
          >
          > TESTER INFORMATION
          >
          > NAME: Nancy Griffith
          > EMAIL: bkpkrgirl@...
          > AGE: 41
          > LOCATION: Northern California
          > GENDER: f
          > HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
          > WEIGHT: 132 lb (59.90 kg)
          >
          > I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania and
          since then in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and now in the Sierra
          Nevada of California. Most of my trips are section hikes or loops
          from a few days to a week. I mostly hike in the summer and fall.
          I've recently discovered the virtues of lightening the load by
          updating some older gear, but I'm not an ultralight backpacker …yet.

          ### EDIT: backpacker... yet.


          >
          > PRODUCT INFORMATION
          >
          > Manufacturer: Granite Gear
          > Year of Manufacture: 2007
          > Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
          "http://www.granitegear.com" LINK TEXT = "www.granitegear.com">>
          > MSRP: US$160
          > Listed Weight: 30.4 oz (862 g)
          > Measured Weight: 30.4 oz (862 g)
          > Other details: Tested version was Short Torso size
          > The Granite Gear Vapor Trail pack has one large compartment that is
          accessed only from the top which is closed with a drawstring, then by
          rolling the excess material and securing two straps; one strap front
          to back and one strap from side to side. There is no top lid
          compartment. The main compartment has a volume of approximately 2600
          cu in (42.6 L) with the remainder in the extension sleeve for a total
          of 3,300 cu. in. (54 L) (short size). There are two side pockets made
          of stretchy material. Inside the main compartment is a pocket with
          compression straps for a hydration pack and a hydration port on one
          side. The shoulder strap is attached

          ### EDIT: should this not be "shoulder straps are attached?" There are
          two of 'em.

          (non-adjustable). The suspension system can be adjusted at the
          shoulders with load lifter straps and at the hip belt with stabilizer
          straps.
          > <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1">>

          ### EDIT: Lacking from this section is a mention of the fact that this
          pack uses a polyethylene framesheet, which is pretty significant
          information. Please incorporate this. You might mention how effective
          the PE sheet is for weight transfer. Also, if the image comes from
          GG's website, please acknowledge the fact (if not, not).



          > Lighter weight backpacking is the way to go! This pack saved me
          over 5 lb (2.27 kg) in pack weight alone. That I LOVE. Of course
          there are compromises that must be made for this weight savings. For
          one, it is not as durable as my old pack both in terms of handling
          abrasion and in terms of handling over stuffing.

          ### EDIT: overstuffing


          Secondly, the one main compartment (without any pack top
          compartment) requires some ingenuity in how to store/find smaller items.
          > As for durability, I had to develop the habit of setting down my
          pack with the strap side down and to carefully pack so that hard items
          are not directly touching the inside of the pack. I once set my pack
          down such that the back rubbed a granite boulder. The bear canister
          inside (with no soft padding around it) caused an abrasion on the
          pack. See photo <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE
          CAPTION = "Abrasion close-up">>.

          ### COMMENT: Yup. Been there, done that. It was my MSR kettle in my case.

          > For packing small items, I started carrying my most often used items
          in my pants pockets. The others I placed in the elastic pockets on
          one side of the pack. The other elastic pocket I used for fuel and/or
          a Nalgene bottle. NOTE: the elastic pockets have a hole about 1"
          (2.5 cm) long on the bottom corner of one side, so I had to be careful
          not to put too small of items

          ### EDIT: "items that were too small"




          near that area or they could fall out. I found it to work fine to
          just place them to the other side of that same pocket and the elastic
          held them in place. It was difficult to access the pockets while
          wearing the pack, so I either took it off or had my partner do it.
          > I used the space between the straps and pack for holding either my
          60 oz (1.8 L) or 100 oz (3 L) hydration bladder. It helped to get all
          of the air out before trying to stuff it in. Inserting the bladder
          before loading the pack also helped. I never used the inside pocket
          for the hydration bladder for fear of a water leak, but I did find it
          useful for small items that are rarely used but need to be handy in a
          hurry such as my first aid kit, ace bandage and occasionally, map.
          > My old Madden pack is infinitely adjustable with gel padded shoulder
          straps, so I expected the Vapor Trail to be less comfortable.
          However, surprisingly I found the Vapor Trail to be more comfortable
          and didn't cause the usual hip and shoulder sore spots. This was
          probably just due to my lower overall pack weight. I do wish the
          shoulder straps were adjustable, but the pack was still very
          comfortable. It did take some pack content re-organization to get the
          comfort-level just right. On the first trip, I had some heavier items
          too low in the pack and it was making me feel like I was being pulled
          backwards. Now I pack light clothes/sleeping bag at the bottom,
          heavier cookset/stove higher and between my shoulder blades with
          lighter items toward the outside.
          > The 3,300 cu. in.. (54 L) (short size) includes the extension
          sleeve. However, only a portion of the extension could be used while
          allowing enough material to roll down to maintain water resistance.
          Also, the straps are not long enough to clip if I filled the entire
          extension sleeve. My gear fit easily in the main portion, so I didn't
          use the extension sleeve.
          >
          > SUMMARY
          >
          > Overall, I would recommend this pack for anyone who is able to
          downsize on the amount of gear hauled. It works very well with a
          small load (

          ### EDIT: Omit the parenthesis (it is, in any case, not closed by a
          balancing bracket at the sentence end).

          that can fit in the main compartment of approx. 2600 cu in (42.6 L).
          Its durability and comfort seem well suited for this type of load. I
          carried up to 26.5 lb (12 kg) of gear in this pack with no problems.
          My hiking partner carried up to 33.5 lb (15.2 kg) in the Regular Torso
          size which fit in the main compartment with ease and was comfortable.
          > My favorite thing about the pack is that it keeps me from packing
          too much gear! Granite Gear claims that 40% of AT thru hikers use
          this pack. Whether that is true or not, it means that even a thru
          hiker can fit everything needed in this pack. I saw a PCT thru hiker u
        • Nancy Griffith
          Hi Ted, Thanks for the edits. I ve uploaded the OR to the backpack folder as noted. The link is below and a text version follows. http://tinyurl.com/2pomn3
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 7, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Ted,

            Thanks for the edits.

            I've uploaded the OR to the backpack folder as noted. The link is below and a text version follows.

            http://tinyurl.com/2pomn3

            This is my 2nd OR, so I think I'm finally a newbie!!!

            Nancy

            GRANITE GEAR VAPOR TRAIL
            BY NANCY GRIFFITH
            OR
            January 07, 2008

            TESTER INFORMATION

            NAME: Nancy Griffith
            EMAIL: bkpkrgirl@...
            AGE: 41
            LOCATION: Northern California
            GENDER: f
            HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
            WEIGHT: 132 lb (59.90 kg)

            I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania and since then in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and now in the Sierra Nevada of California. Most of my trips are section hikes or loops from a few days to a week. I mostly hike in the summer and fall. I've recently discovered the virtues of lightening the load by updating some older gear, but I'm not an ultralight backpacker�yet.

            PRODUCT INFORMATION

            Manufacturer: Granite Gear
            Year of Manufacture: 2007
            Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.granitegear.com" LINK TEXT = "www.granitegear.com">>
            MSRP: US$160
            Listed Weight: 30.4 oz (862 g)
            Measured Weight: 30.4 oz (862 g)
            Other details: Tested version was Short Torso size
            The Granite Gear Vapor Trail pack has one large compartment that is accessed only from the top which is closed with a drawstring, then by rolling the excess material and securing two straps; one strap front to back and one strap from side to side. There is no top lid compartment. The main compartment has a volume of approximately 2600 cu in (42.6 L) with the remainder in the extension sleeve for a total of 3,300 cu. in. (54 L) (short size). There are two side pockets made of stretchy material. Inside the main compartment is a pocket with compression straps for a hydration pack and a hydration port on one side. The shoulder straps are attached (non-adjustable). The suspension system can be adjusted at the shoulders with load lifter straps and at the hip belt with stabilizer straps. The frame is made with a polyethylene sheet which is covered with padding and attached to the bottom and sides of the pack. This support works well for load transfer.
            Photo courtesy of Granite Gear.
            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1">>

            FIELD USE

            Field information
            I first used the Vapor Trail on an overnight backpacking trip on the Tahoe Rim Trail (Northern Sierra Nevada mountains, CA) from 7300 - 8350' (2225 - 2545 m). It was summer with temperatures in the 50's - 80's F (10 - 27 C). The humidity was low with no rain.
            I also used it on a week-long trip in King's Canyon National Park (Southern Sierra Nevada mountains, CA) from 5,000 - 11,978' (1524 - 3651 m). The temperatures were in the 30's - 80's F (0 - 26.7 C). There was no rain the entire week and only one day of threatening rain. Nights were clear.
            Lighter weight backpacking is the way to go! This pack saved me over 5 lb (2.27 kg) in pack weight alone. That I LOVE. Of course there are compromises that must be made for this weight savings. For one, it is not as durable as my old pack both in terms of handling abrasion and in terms of handling overstuffing. Secondly, the one main compartment (without any pack top compartment) requires some ingenuity in how to store/find smaller items.
            As for durability, I had to develop the habit of setting down my pack with the strap side down and to carefully pack so that hard items are not directly touching the inside of the pack. I once set my pack down such that the back rubbed a granite boulder. The bear canister inside (with no soft padding around it) caused an abrasion on the pack. See photo. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Abrasion close-up">>
            For packing small items, I started carrying my most often used items in my pants pockets. The others I placed in the elastic pockets on one side of the pack. The other elastic pocket I used for fuel and/or a Nalgene bottle. NOTE: the elastic pockets have a hole about 1" (2.5 cm) long on the bottom corner of one side, so I had to be careful not to put items that were too small near that area or else they could fall out. I found it to work fine to just place them to the other side of that same pocket and the elastic held them in place. It was difficult to access the pockets while wearing the pack, so I either took it off or had my partner do it.
            I used the space between the straps and pack for holding either my 60 oz (1.8 L) or 100 oz (3 L) hydration bladder. It helped to get all of the air out before trying to stuff it in. Inserting the bladder before loading the pack also helped. I never used the inside pocket for the hydration bladder for fear of a water leak, but I did find it useful for small items that are rarely used but need to be handy in a hurry such as my first aid kit, ace bandage and occasionally, map.
            My old Madden pack is infinitely adjustable with gel padded shoulder straps, so I expected the Vapor Trail to be less comfortable. However, surprisingly I found the Vapor Trail to be more comfortable and didn't cause the usual hip and shoulder sore spots. This was probably just due to my lower overall pack weight. I do wish the shoulder straps were adjustable, but the pack was still very comfortable. It did take some pack content re-organization to get the comfort-level just right. On the first trip, I had some heavier items too low in the pack and it was making me feel like I was being pulled backwards. Now I pack light clothes/sleeping bag at the bottom, heavier cookset/stove higher and between my shoulder blades with lighter items toward the outside.
            The 3,300 cu. in. (54 L) (short size) includes the extension sleeve. However, only a portion of the extension could be used while allowing enough material to roll down to maintain water resistance. Also, the straps are not long enough to clip if I filled the entire extension sleeve. My gear fit easily in the main portion, so I didn't use the extension sleeve.

            SUMMARY

            Overall, I would recommend this pack for anyone who is able to downsize on the amount of gear hauled. It works very well with a small load that can fit in the main compartment of approx. 2600 cu in (42.6 L). Its durability and comfort seem well suited for this type of load. I carried up to 26.5 lb (12 kg) of gear in this pack with no problems. My hiking partner carried up to 33.5 lb (15.2 kg) in the Regular Torso size which fit in the main compartment with ease and was comfortable.
            My favorite thing about the pack is that it keeps me from packing too much gear! Granite Gear claims that 40% of AT thru hikers use this pack. Whether that is true or not, it means that even a thru hiker can fit everything needed in this pack. I saw a PCT thru hiker using this pack this summer.

            THINGS I LIKE

            Light weight
            Very comfortable
            Hydration bladder pocket

            THINGS I DON'T LIKE

            Lighter duty durability
            Lack of pockets for organization

            SIGNATURE

            Nancy Griffith



            This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
            Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.


            ----- Original Message ----
            From: edwardripleyduggan <erd@...>
            To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, January 7, 2008 8:36:24 AM
            Subject: [BackpackGearTest] EDIT: OR - Granite Gear Vapor Trail - Nancy Griffith

            Hello Nancy,

            I'm a big fan of the Granite Gear Virga, the Vapor Trail's smaller
            cousin. I'm on my second (the first got a bit shredded on bushwhacks,
            though I mean to patch it up one of these days). Much the sort of wear
            you report, only worse!

            Please correct, and upload to

            http://tinyurl. com/yufrpy

            I don't think any of the errors or omissions merit reposting here.

            Best,

            Ted

            BGT OR Editor

            --- In BackpackGearTest@ yahoogroups. com, Nancy Griffith
            <bkpkrgirl@. ..> wrote:
            >
            > My second Owner Review is posted in the test folder for the Granite
            Gear Vapor Trail backpack.
            >
            >
            http://www.backpack geartest. org/reviews/ test/OWNER% 20REVIEWS/ OR%20-%20Granite %20Gear%20Vapor% 20Trail%20- %20Nancy% 20Griffith/
            >
            > Tiny url
            > http://tinyurl. com/yphfx3
            >
            >
            > GRANITE GEAR VAPOR TRAIL
            > BY NANCY GRIFFITH
            > OR
            > January 02, 2008
            >
            > TESTER INFORMATION
            >
            > NAME: Nancy Griffith
            > EMAIL: bkpkrgirl@.. .
            > AGE: 41
            > LOCATION: Northern California
            > GENDER: f
            > HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
            > WEIGHT: 132 lb (59.90 kg)
            >
            > I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania and
            since then in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and now in the Sierra
            Nevada of California. Most of my trips are section hikes or loops
            from a few days to a week. I mostly hike in the summer and fall.
            I've recently discovered the virtues of lightening the load by
            updating some older gear, but I'm not an ultralight backpacker �yet.

            ### EDIT: backpacker.. . yet.

            >
            > PRODUCT INFORMATION
            >
            > Manufacturer: Granite Gear
            > Year of Manufacture: 2007
            > Manufacturer' s Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
            "http://www.graniteg ear.com" LINK TEXT = "www.granitegear. com">>
            > MSRP: US$160
            > Listed Weight: 30.4 oz (862 g)
            > Measured Weight: 30.4 oz (862 g)
            > Other details: Tested version was Short Torso size
            > The Granite Gear Vapor Trail pack has one large compartment that is
            accessed only from the top which is closed with a drawstring, then by
            rolling the excess material and securing two straps; one strap front
            to back and one strap from side to side. There is no top lid
            compartment. The main compartment has a volume of approximately 2600
            cu in (42.6 L) with the remainder in the extension sleeve for a total
            of 3,300 cu. in. (54 L) (short size). There are two side pockets made
            of stretchy material. Inside the main compartment is a pocket with
            compression straps for a hydration pack and a hydration port on one
            side. The shoulder strap is attached

            ### EDIT: should this not be "shoulder straps are attached?" There are
            two of 'em.

            (non-adjustable) . The suspension system can be adjusted at the
            shoulders with load lifter straps and at the hip belt with stabilizer
            straps.
            > <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1">>

            ### EDIT: Lacking from this section is a mention of the fact that this
            pack uses a polyethylene framesheet, which is pretty significant
            information. Please incorporate this.. You might mention how effective
            the PE sheet is for weight transfer. Also, if the image comes from
            GG's website, please acknowledge the fact (if not, not).

            > Lighter weight backpacking is the way to go! This pack saved me
            over 5 lb (2.27 kg) in pack weight alone. That I LOVE. Of course
            there are compromises that must be made for this weight savings. For
            one, it is not as durable as my old pack both in terms of handling
            abrasion and in terms of handling over stuffing.

            ### EDIT: overstuffing

            Secondly, the one main compartment (without any pack top
            compartment) requires some ingenuity in how to store/find smaller items.
            > As for durability, I had to develop the habit of setting down my
            pack with the strap side down and to carefully pack so that hard items
            are not directly touching the inside of the pack. I once set my pack
            down such that the back rubbed a granite boulder. The bear canister
            inside (with no soft padding around it) caused an abrasion on the
            pack. See photo <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE
            CAPTION = "Abrasion close-up">>.

            ### COMMENT: Yup. Been there, done that. It was my MSR kettle in my case.

            > For packing small items, I started carrying my most often used items
            in my pants pockets. The others I placed in the elastic pockets on
            one side of the pack. The other elastic pocket I used for fuel and/or
            a Nalgene bottle.. NOTE: the elastic pockets have a hole about 1"
            (2.5 cm) long on the bottom corner of one side, so I had to be careful
            not to put too small of items

            ### EDIT: "items that were too small"

            near that area or they could fall out. I found it to work fine to
            just place them to the other side of that same pocket and the elastic
            held them in place. It was difficult to access the pockets while
            wearing the pack, so I either took it off or had my partner do it.
            > I used the space between the straps and pack for holding either my
            60 oz (1.8 L) or 100 oz (3 L) hydration bladder. It helped to get all
            of the air out before trying to stuff it in. Inserting the bladder
            before loading the pack also helped. I never used the inside pocket
            for the hydration bladder for fear of a water leak, but I did find it
            useful for small items that are rarely used but need to be handy in a
            hurry such as my first aid kit, ace bandage and occasionally, map.
            > My old Madden pack is infinitely adjustable with gel padded shoulder
            straps, so I expected the Vapor Trail to be less comfortable.
            However, surprisingly I found the Vapor Trail to be more comfortable
            and didn't cause the usual hip and shoulder sore spots. This was
            probably just due to my lower overall pack weight. I do wish the
            shoulder straps were adjustable, but the pack was still very
            comfortable. It did take some pack content re-organization to get the
            comfort-level just right. On the first trip, I had some heavier items
            too low in the pack and it was making me feel like I was being pulled
            backwards. Now I pack light clothes/sleeping bag at the bottom,
            heavier cookset/stove higher and between my shoulder blades with
            lighter items toward the outside.
            > The 3,300 cu. in.. (54 L) (short size) includes the extension
            sleeve. However, only a portion of the extension could be used while
            allowing enough material to roll down to maintain water resistance.
            Also, the straps are not long enough to clip if I filled the entire
            extension sleeve. My gear fit easily in the main portion, so I didn't
            use the extension sleeve.
            >
            > SUMMARY
            >
            > Overall, I would recommend this pack for anyone who is able to
            downsize on the amount of gear hauled. It works very well with a
            small load (

            ### EDIT: Omit the parenthesis (it is, in any case, not closed by a
            balancing bracket at the sentence end).

            that can fit in the main compartment of approx. 2600 cu in (42.6 L).
            Its durability and comfort seem well suited for this type of load. I
            carried up to 26.5 lb (12 kg) of gear in this pack with no problems.
            My hiking partner carried up to 33.5 lb (15.2 kg) in the Regular Torso
            size which fit in the main compartment with ease and was comfortable.
            > My favorite thing about the pack is that it keeps me from packing
            too much gear! Granite Gear claims that 40% of AT thru hikers use
            this pack. Whether that is true or not, it means that even a thru
            hiker can fit everything needed in this pack. I saw a PCT thru hiker u





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