Gear Review: Gregory Baltoro 75 and Deva 70 Backpacks
Gregory Baltoro 75 and Deva 70
$319, 6 lbs. (medium)
Men’s Baltoro 75 sizes: S-L
S 73L/4,455 c.i., fits torsos 41-46cm/16-18 ins.
M 75L/4,577 c.i., fits torsos 46-51cm/18-20 ins.
L 78L/4,760 c.i., fits torsos 51-56cm/20-22 ins.
Women’s Deva 70 sizes: XS-M
XS 66L/4,028 c.i., fits torsos 36-41cm/14-16 ins.
S 70L/4,272 c.i., fits torsos 41-46cm/16-18 ins.
M 74L/4,516 c.i., fits torsos 46-51cm/18-20 ins.
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. Having reviewed and liked the Baltoro 75 in the past, I wanted to try out the new, updated version. So I carried it with, at times, more than 50 pounds inside on a five-day, family backpacking trip down Paria Canyon, in Utah and Arizona, in late March. Without question, it remains among very few packs in this class that I’d want for backpacking with loads that heavy.
In every respect, from the suspension to the feature set, the men’s Baltoro and women’s Deva are ideal for carrying a lot of stuff. Comfort is superior, with the Response AFS suspension’s light but strong, 7075-T6 aluminum stay, 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 thermo-molded back panel and 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 for electronics (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 lid pocket converts to a fanny pack. The top-loading main compartment has a wide mouth for easy loading and unloading, plus a U-shaped panel zipper that yawns widely open to access much of the main compartment. Quick, external access—essential in a large backpack—include multiple options: a spacious, zippered front pocket; deep, zippered side pockets positioned high on the pack; a stretchy, mesh pocket on one side and a diagonal, hideaway bottle pocket on the other side.
Construction and durability are true to Gregory’s usual standards: The 210- and 420-denier 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. The men’s Baltoro comes in 85-liter, 75-liter, and 65-liter sizes, and the women’s Deva in 80-, 70-, and 60-liter versions ($299 to $349).
BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking any of these links to buy a Gregory Baltoro 75 at backcountry.com, ems.com, moosejaw.com, or rei.com, or a Deva 70 at backcountry.com, ems.com, moosejaw.com, or rei.com.
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See all of my reviews of backpacks and my reviews of backpacking gear that I like, plus this Ask Me post where I answer the question, “Which Big Backpack Do You Recommend?” (comparing the Baltoro 75 with models from Osprey and Deuter), and my “5 Tips For Finding the Right Backpack.”
NOTE: I’ve been testing 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.
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