Granite Gear Leopard 58

GGL58
I’ve been rocking this GG pack for the last couple of years and I have to say I’m pretty happy with it. It just does what I need it to do so well that I never really give it much thought. It’s not the lightest pack on the planet (3lbs 5oz for the large) but I have to be honest I was shocked to learn it weighs as much as it does when I looked up the weight for this review. Sometimes I think folks get a little too wrapped up counting grams and make decisions based on website specs instead of getting gear that make trips into the mountains as enjoyable as possible. I know I’ve personally tried on lighter, smaller stripped down packs thinking they were what I “needed”, only to realize my old friend, the 58, has never left me hangin’ and is so comfortable I don’t ever give it much thought.

Grainite Gear Leopard 58

Layout

With just enough pockets to stay organized but not so many that I can’t remember where I put things, this pack just works. It has two side pockets that fit a standard Nalgeen bottle that can be reached while the pack is on. There’s another zippered pocket in the lid and gear loops on the stuff panel on the front of the pack. There is also another small pocket on the bottom front, perfect for a pack cover. All this gives me plenty of options for storage.

Build Quality

The White Mountains in New Hampshire are not easy on gear and this pack has taken some serious abuse but still has many more good trips left in it. It has been overloaded, mishandled., dropped, scraped against the granite this state is so famous for, bush whacked through some nasty vegetation and countless other incidents that would have shredded other sub two pound packs. And is still looking good.

Suspension

The suspension is pretty sweet. There are nice comfortable shoulder straps, load lifters and a nice hip belt as I’ve already mentioned. It’s so comfortable, I don’t even think about it much.

There are a couple of minor gripes I have with this rig. One is the top closure. It’s a little over the top (yeah, I said it). The lid has two straps and buckles to hold it closed like many other packs but then under that, there are two more compression straps over the top of the pack.Under those, there are two more straps and buckles to keep the roll top closed. Six buckles every time you open or close the main pack. That’s about four too many if you ask me. Give me a draw string and two buckles and I’m good. The other thing I’m not overly impressed with is the ice ax/trekking pole attachment setup. I have had multiple issues with keeping my trekking poles secure and often check them only to find one barely still on the pack. In fact, I recently had to buy a new pair of poles because I lost one during a night navigation training session with my Search and Rescue team. This was a major drag not only because it cost me money but also because I use a shelter that requires two trekking poles to setup. One other thing that is more of a “I wish it had it” than a problem is hip belt pockets. The packs I bought for my daughters have them and they seem very useful.

Bottom line. It’s a great pack that’s served me very well, owes me nothing and has many miles left in ito

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