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Gear Review: Gregory Savant 58/Sage 55 Backpacks

Gregory Savant 58

Gregory Savant 58 (men’s) and Sage 55 (women’s)
$199, 58L/3,539 c.i., 3 lbs. 9 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: S-L

Ultralight packs have their place, but they’re not for people who want assured comfort when carrying a little extra weight—whether it’s in creature comforts like a fatter air mattress and a roomier tent, or just food for a longer trek. For that backpacker, there is hardly a better midweight, midsize pack than the men’s Savant or women’s Sage, perfect for traditional backpacking trips of two to five days. On a four-day, 57-mile September hike in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains—including an 18-mile last day—I found the Savant 58 made loads of 30 pounds feel several pounds lighter; I’d confidently say it’s good for carrying 40 pounds. The explanation lies in the wishbone-shaped internal frame, stabilizer straps positioned to really pull the weight close to your hips, and Z-shaped side compression straps that maximize load control. A molded-foam back panel, hipbelt, and shoulder straps soften the load. The Savant felt light when fully loaded, and stable even when only partly full while I scrambled in steep, rocky off-trail terrain.

Both packs have a great set of features without adding superfluous weight. I love the huge, U-shaped, panel zipper that lets you get into the main compartment without having to unclip the lid, and the spacious, waterproof, roll-top lid pocket to protect valuables like electronics. The Savant and Sage have two hipbelt pockets large enough for a GPS receiver and a stash of energy bars; deep side mesh pockets that are tough enough for serious abuse, one of which has a zippered pocket behind it; external sleeping pad straps that double as bottom compression; and an integrated rain cover. Maybe best of all: These packs deliver the comfort and features of competitors priced upwards of $40 more. They also come in smaller versions, the Savant 48 and Sage 45 ($179 each) and Savant 38 and Sage 35 ($159 each).

—Michael Lanza

About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor and primary gear reviewer for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.

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Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside now to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. And click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

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