Gear Review: Gregory Baltoro 75 and Deva 70 Backpacks

April 15, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , ,   |   8 Comments
The new for 2018 Gregory Baltoro 75.

The new for 2018 Gregory Baltoro 75.

Backpack
Gregory Baltoro 75 and Deva 70
$330, 5 lbs. (men’s medium)
Men’s Baltoro 75 sizes: S-L
moosejaw.com
Women’s Deva 70 sizes: XS-M
moosejaw.com

Whether backpacking with my young kids or heading out on a multi-day climbing trip in the backcountry, I’ve carried 50 pounds or more on my back enough times with a mediocre pack to know that I don’t yearn to do that again. For a big load, I want a pack that’s supportive, comfortable, and more tricked out than I prefer for much lighter trips—and I know that means it will also be heavier. I carried the Baltoro 75 with, at times, more than 50 pounds inside on a five-day, family backpacking trip down Paria Canyon, in Utah and Arizona. Without question, it remains one of the very few packs in this category that I’d want for backpacking with loads that heavy, and arguably the best in its class.

Gregory Baltoro 75

Gregory Baltoro 75

In every respect, from the suspension to the feature set, the men’s Baltoro and women’s Deva packs—updated and a pound lighter for 2018—fill the big-pack role extremely well. Comfort is superior, with the new Response A3 suspension’s high-strength aluminum perimeter frame, and pre-curved hipbelt and harness components that are sturdy and yet feel soft, thanks to EVA foam. The independently pivoting shoulder harness and hipbelt allow the pack to move with your body instead of feeling like it’s working against you. The ventilated, moisture-wicking mesh back panel and foam lumbar pad aren’t some wimpy afterthought—they deliver real cushioning without getting crushed by a heavy load, and the grippy lumbar pad surface prevents the pack from slipping, while the hipbelt maintains its shape under any weight.

I’m not sure what more organizational features you could put in a backpack without getting overly redundant. New features include a weatherproof hipbelt pocket that holds a smartphone (the other, zippered hipbelt pocket is mesh, for snacks) and a removable, Sidekick internal hydration bladder compartment that doubles as an ultralight daypack for short outings from camp. The dual-pocket lid has a flexible center divider for larger items. The top-loading main compartment has a wide mouth for easy loading and unloading, plus a U-shaped panel zipper that opens up the entire main compartment.

Features include top attachment points for a solar panel and a quick attachment for sunglasses on a shoulder strap, widely adjustable compression straps that cross over the pack bag, and a rain cover.

 


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Gregory Baltoro 75 panel zipper

Gregory Baltoro 75 panel zipper.

Construction and durability are true to Gregory’s usual high standards: The nylon fabric shrugged off repeated abrasion against coarse sandstone, and zippers are coated for water resistance.

While I would choose a less-featured, lighter, and smaller pack for carrying loads of 40 to 45 pounds or less, for hauling 45 to 50 pounds—or more—for a significant distance, the Baltoro and Deva are hands-down among the few outstanding packs out there.

Other capacity options are the Baltoro 65 ($300), Baltoro 85 ($350), and Baltoro 95 Pro ($380), and the Deva 60 ($300) and Deva 80 ($350).

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking any of these links to buy a Gregory Baltoro 75 or other sizes at moosejaw.com, ems.com, or rei.com, or a Deva 70 or other sizes at moosejaw.comems.com, or rei.com.

 

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See all of my reviews of backpacks and my reviews of backpacking gear that I like, my picks for the best ultralight packs, and my “5 Tips For Finding the Right Backpack.”

NOTE: I tested gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See categorized menus of all of my gear reviews at The Big Outside.

—Michael Lanza

 

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8 Responses to Gear Review: Gregory Baltoro 75 and Deva 70 Backpacks

  1. Brent J Barkett   |  June 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    I’m a weekend warrior. I take two trips a year with my wife (we live in Ohio but always travel out West for our twice-a-year hiking adventures that range several days) and I take three trips a year with my core group of friends for summer, fall, and winter hikes covering at least 4 days.

    I have owned an Osprey, a North Face, and now the Baltoro 75. I pack heavy (there is an ultralight movement….but I say we need an Ultra Heavy movement!) around 45-50 lbs. We cover about 40-50 miles on our trips and we want to enjoy every inch and minute of the experience. So I do bring my cooking gear, a fly rod, hammock, tarps, layers, camera equipment, wine/bourbon, cigars, exquisite extra’s like smoked oysters, (even a bottle of wine I chilled in a mountain stream).

    Do I love packing heavy? No, but I hit the gym and trail to prepare so I can bring whatever I need to completely enjoy my precious time in this beautiful world. The Gregory is hands down the best thing I have ever had. I’m 6’1″, 220 lbs., and my back and hips used to really feel the pack weight. Gregory really understands the ergonomics going into needing to fit extra weight without breaking the human body.

    • MichaelALanza   |  June 7, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Hey Brent, I want to backpack with you, especially if you’ll haul an adequate supply of good whiskey for me. You’re absolutely right about the Baltoro/Deva being ideal for the kind of loads you’re carrying. Enjoy and thanks for the comment.

  2. Bern Werner   |  August 7, 2015 at 8:24 am

    I love the Baltoro 75, but squeaking from the hip belt – I think it’s coming from the points where each side connects to the frame just behind the lumbar pad – is driving me nuts. Any recommendations? I’ve tried every adjustment possible, even uncomfortable ones, but I can’t get rid of the squeak.

    • michaellanza   |  August 8, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Hi Bern, I’ve occasionally had squeaks from different backpacks I’ve used over the years, but I guess it never bothered me enough that I looked into fixing it. But I did find this interesting online forum that shares some ideas on the cause and possible fixes to the problem: http://forums.backpacker.com/topic/squeaky-backpack-8809954/

  3. winnymarch   |  April 15, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    its cool bag pack but not sure i can find it in indonesia

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