Gregory’s top-of-the-line Baltoro men’s along with the women’s Deva packs have been long-time favorite for those who are carrying a significant amount of weight. The latest models carry on the tradition. We have recently taken the Baltoro 75-liter to Patagonia for a test and were impressed by its sturdiness and high-end quality of construction. Gregory did remove features like that built-in Sidekick daypack as well as a rain cover and an adjustable hip belt in the 2022 model but it’s still quite heavy and built for people who are looking to travel swiftly and lightweight. If you’re looking for additional cushioning, organization, and comfort and organization, the Baltoro remains among the most reliable and efficient heavy haulers you can find. Here we discuss our experience using this model, the Baltoro 75. To determine how it compares against the competition, check out our review of the most effective backpacking bags.
Comfortable heavy-hauling is a signature feature of Gregory Baltoro and the new model is a continuation of the past. With my 75-liter bag packed with all of my typical backpacking gear as well as additional items like a climbing helmet and lots of layers for the unpredictable Patagonian “summer,” I immediately noticed how well the bag supported and dispersed the weight. The full-perimeter frame made of steel and compression straps offer an extremely solid frame, and the padding around the hipbelt and shoulder straps are of a high-end quality that balances softness with sufficient support to last for long hours out on the trail. As a reference, I was pushing 40+ pounds during our backpacking adventure and the Baltoro took the load extremely efficiently, with minimal movement, even on the rough trail that led to our camp site on Lago Electrico.
In addition to the superior cushioning and sturdy construction and sturdy construction, the Baltoro’s movable shoulder straps play a key part in the comfort of carrying. The straps allow the pack to move along with you, while in close proximity to your body. This is particularly useful on long climbing and moving swiftly across difficult terrain. Contrary to previous models it’s now the hipbelt of the latest model. It isn’t able to rotate, however, it still has a nice flex and has a flatter design that doesn’t rub against the hips or lumbar region. It’s also more adjustable as compared to the earlier model with Velcro that lets you change the location on the cushion (the previous model was fixed to the ground). It’s the same with the shoulder straps. Just separate the back panel and slide it upwards or downwards to secure. The final result was that the straps resembled the mid-priced Gregory Paragon and significantly improved the fitting process.
The Baltoro 75 I had in the past checked at 4 pounds 15.4 ounces. The new model is also hefty with a weight of 4lbs 15.7 ounces for a medium. When compared to its closest competitors, this weighs about the average. The Osprey Aether 65 weighs in at 4 pounds 14.7 pounds for a size S/M. The Atmos AG 65 weighs in at four pounds nine ounces as well as Mystery Ranch’s Glacier weighs more with 6lbs 6.4 pounds and 6.4 ounces. It’s not a surprise that you can be more light by choosing more of a specialized ultralight design such as Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s 4400 Southwest (2 2 pounds. 7.2 oz.) and the ULA’s Circuit 68 (2 pounds. 4.6 oz. ) However, each comes with significant compromises in regards to features and convenience. Overall it’s a good choice. Baltoro isn’t lightweight, however I definitely appreciated the soft padding and spacious storage layout when I was carrying a lot of equipment.
One of the advantages of a feature-rich, heavy bag is its excellent organization and the Baltoro is not lacking in this respect. It comes with nine spacious exterior pockets with three pockets that are zippered in the top lid to store small items, two zippered tall pockets and a massive mesh shove-it pocket on the front and two water bottle holders and two pockets for hip belts that are enclosed. The hipbelt pockets of the new Baltoro are significantly larger than the model before them and could easily accommodate a cell phone, and still have room for. Furthermore those water bottle holders are perfectly designed to allow quick and simple accessibility to my Nalgene container when I was wearing the bag and the combination of small and large pockets on the lid made it simple to divide up the gear was important to have to hand.
The only problem is that the taller side pockets in the front, which flank the mesh shove-it pockets are hard to reach when the backpack is packed to the brim. The zippers are quite difficult to pull and I was capable of putting smaller items like our gravity filter that we have inside its bag for carrying. In fairness, the overall organization of the Baltoro is superb, however these pockets are the least useful of the design.
U-Shaped Main Access to the Compartment
Gregory has significantly improved the ventilation over the past two updates and the most recent Baltoro 75 is the most well-ventilated version to date. As with the previous model it also features a an sculpted backpanel made of mostly mesh, and comes with numerous airways within the foam. There’s noticeable improvement in airflow just to the middle of the back due to the thinner padding that’s found in this region that Gregory has managed to accomplish without compromising comfort. In spite of the fact that temperatures in Patagonia went up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during our backpacking trip I was able to stay completely comfy. The Osprey Anti-Gravity rear panel on their Atmos packs continues to lead in the field of ventilation, with a the hanging mesh design that is higher off your back, however, it’s Baltoro comes in close second, and keeps you cool throughout all conditions.
However, Gregory did away with certain details that protect on the most recent Baltoro which included removing the rain cover and replacing the water-resistant fabric in the hipbelt pockets with regular nylon. In fairness, the entire bag, including the base, body, and lining are coated with a water-repellent (DWR) treatment that helps to block against light moisture. I haven’t had any issues with water crossings, or short, intermittent rainstorms in Patagonia. However, I would not recommend pushing the boundaries to the DWR and strongly suggest protecting your gear from water with dry bags or purchasing a raincover ( Gregory sells one for just $40) in the event that heavy rain is predicted.
Durability and Build Quality
As I mentioned above as I mentioned above, the Baltoro 75 is a decidedly heavy backpacking backpack with an estimated weight of 5 pounds. But the benefit is that you will get sturdy and durable materials throughout. The body of the backpack is able to balance weight and durability using top-quality zippers and a mixture of lightweight 220-denier (D) nylon, and strong 420D high-density nylon and the base is strengthened with a thicker nylon 630D. I tried the old-generation Baltoro and the most recent model in Patagonia which was subjected to harsh and exposed terrain often however both ended up in pristine condition without any noticeable wear. In the end Durability is one of the major benefits of the Baltoro particularly for those who frequently travel and have a lot of wear on their equipment.
Sizing and Fit
For my 18″ torso and a 31-inch waist, I went with a medium-sized measurement within the Gregory Baltoro 75 and had no problems finding a great fitting. The new shoulder strap permits precise adjustments through the Velcro configuration (the size medium is suitable for torsos ranging from 17 inches to 20 inches.). The same is true for the hipbelt. Its Velcro system allows you to shift the belt’s cushioning as much as 3.5 inches, allowing it simple to adjust the comfort. Also, a note to note the pack comes in small sizes (which will fit 16-19 in. lengths of torsos as well as 26-48 in. waists) and big (18-21 inches) and large (18-21 inches. length of the torso and 30-52 inches. waist) sizes.
Gregory has incorporated a variety of environmentally friendly strategies in their recent upgrade on Baltoro. Baltoro range. The pack, for instance, is now made of recycled materials in the body (40-45 percent recycled nylon) as well as the lining (40 percent post-consumer recycled polyester). They also chose PFC-free DWR coating that eliminates perfluorocarbons that are environmentally harmful. Gregory isn’t the only manufacturer to use these practices We’re glad to see them taking steps to develop more sustainable products. Importantly, the changes haven’t had a significant impact on the performance or durability.
Other Capabilities and the Women’s Gregory deva
We tried this 75-liter variant of Baltoro to test the capacity for this review. It is the largest capacity available in the collection, allowing for the transportation of the entire load for long distances. For those who are lighter and going for shorter trips might want to consider using the Gregory Baltoro65 that costs less at $320 . It also cuts 1 ounce in weight, however, it has the same specifications and overall construction. The Baltoro’s female counterpart is the Deva that is available in 70 and 60-liter variants that cost $320 and $350, respectively. It is important to note that the Deva comes with all the features we love about the Baltoro with the exception of the U-shaped opening into the compartment’s main area, a supportive cushioning, as well as a robust design (for more details, refer to our detailed Deva 70 test).
What We Love
- The Baltoro is still as comfortable as ever thanks to its the strong suspension and shoulder straps that pivot to are able to carry large loads very well.
- Excellent organization: The bag comes with plenty of pockets that can be used to store items and the U-shaped entrance into the compartment in front makes accessing things that have been stuffed away a breeze.
- Construction that is tough and confident, with strong fabrics, high-quality details and reinforced at the bottom.
- The thinner padding on the back’s middle helps to increase airflow without a noticeable effect on the comfort.
- Adjustability of the torso as well as the hipbelts make fitting easy and fast.
“What We Never Do”
- The weight is hefty at 5 pounds. This is too much If you are packing lightweight or just go for short summer vacations.
- Large side pockets, which flank the mesh shove-it pocket can be difficult to access when the bag is full. They can only fit items that are smaller in profile.
- Wet-weather protection is lacking with no rain cover or weather-resistant fabric other than the typical DWR coating.
- The Baltoro’s prior design was a great hipbelt that pivots, but the new model is more flexible and comes with an aesthetically pleasing shape.
|Gregory Baltoro 75||$350||4 lb. 15.7 oz.||Nylon (210D and Nylon (210D &)||65, 75L||Front, top||9 exterior|
|Gregory Paragon 68||$270||3 lb. 11.4 oz.||Nylon (100D and Nylon (100D &)||48, 58, 68L||Top and side||6 exterior|
|Osprey Aether Plus 70||$360||5 lb. 9.7 oz.||Nylon (210D)||60, 70, 85, 100L||Front, top||9 exterior|
|Mystery Ranch Glacier||$375||6 lb. 6.4 oz.||Cordura (500D)||71L||Top and side||4 exterior|
|Osprey Atmos AG 65||$270||4 lb. 9 oz.||Nylon (100D x 700D)||50, 65L||Top||8 exterior|
Although the trend is towards lightweight backpacking gear there’s still a huge demand for large-sized, heavy-hauling backpacking bags that are also extremely comfortable, and the Baltoro remains among the most popular. If you’re looking for a smaller, but still a great feature-packed alternative from Gregory We recommend this model: the Paragon with a 68. With a weight of 3 pounds 11.4 pounds and 11.4 ounces for the large or medium size and a less expensive $270 to purchase, the Paragon is a great choice for those who want to cut the weight and save money. The Baltoro is superior in terms of size (by 7 L) as well as storage outside (the Paragon has six external pockets) as well as comfort, with the more padded shoulders and hipbelts. The final conclusion is that both are able to fill different needs the Baltoro is our preferred heavy-duty hauler for long, intensive trips, but the Paragon has everything backpackers require.
A Baltoro’s longest-running competitors is Osprey’s Aether. In comparison to the Baltoro Aether Plus 70, the Aether Plus adds an additional 10 dollars and weighs 5 pounds 9.7 grams (for the size S/M) however it comes with a lot of storage space and attachment points (including loops for ice axes as well as trek pole holders) as well as ample fine-tuning of the shoulder straps, hipbelts and the the torso. The Aether is also equipped with the option of removing the top lid, which transforms into a daypack and also an integral raincover and rain cover, both of which Gregory has added in the latest version of the Baltoro. Although there’s plenty to love with the Aether however, it’s difficult not to see the value of spending additional on smaller capacities (and its 5.5-lb. weight is quite hefty when you’re out on your trail). For a less complicated and economical option in the Aether series Aether 65 is a good choice. Aether 65 weighs at a more appealing 4 pounds 14.7 ounces and costs $290 however, for this weight range we would still recommend the bigger Baltoro.
Another heavy hauler worth keeping in your list should be the Mystery Ranch Glacier 771L. Although it isn’t an established brand in the world of backpacking it has established a reputation for its comfort when carrying. The Glacier is comparable in capacity and price to the Baltoro but it is different in a handful of key aspects. One of them is that it is made of a super-strong 500-denier Cordura fabric that’s constructed to last, but isn’t suitable for the majority of backpacking trips. It also has a sturdy frame, zippers and buckles that emphasize high-quality over bulk, the Glacier weighs an impressive 6 pounds 6.4 pounds and 6.4 ounces. If you’re carrying tons of gear on winter excursions it’s possible to justify the additional weight however, most people will prefer the more flexible Baltoro.
Not to be left out last but not least, the Osprey Atmos AG 65 is our best backpacking backpack of the year. It is, as the name implies it is a smaller pack, but the Atmos has 10 liters less of capacity, however it comes with streamlined backpacking equipment choices available in 2022 (small sleeping bags, tents and pads) 65 liters are adequate for the majority of multi-day trips. Also to that, the Osprey has no accessible zippers to access the compartment’s main area which is an excellent option on the Baltoro. We do like the weight and savings: With a weight of 4 pounds and 9 ounces, and $270 it is the Osprey is less heavy and more affordable and is nearly as comfortable as the Baltoro. It also has more breathable. For a simpler option that does not require many sacrifices at all, Atmos 65 is a great choice. Atmos 65 is a great alternative.
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