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Gear Review: Gregory Savant 58/Sage 55 Backpacks

Gregory Savant 58

Backpack
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
gregorypacks.com

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 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.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ask Me: What Gear Do We Need for Backpacking in New Zealand? | The Big Outside - […] like The North Face Banchee 65, the Black Diamond Element 60, the Osprey Atmos 65, the Gregory Savant 58, or…
  2. Gear Review: Black Diamond Element 60/Elixir 60 Backpacks | The Big Outside - […] at The Big Outside that carries at least 35 pounds comfortably. (The two that come closest are the Gregory Savant…

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photo of Michael Lanza

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. Sign up for my free email newsletter in the blue box above. Click on Subscribe Now! in the main menu (top right) to get full access to all of my stories on America's best backpacking, hiking, and outdoor adventures. And click on Ask Me in the main menu to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

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