When I see other hikers out in the wild, I always try to get a good look at their gear and – I have to admit it – probably stare at them a little longer and a little harder than what would be appropriate. It might be a bit strange, but I just love to find out what other people use. Today, it’s my turn to share another piece of my kit with you and that’s my Granite Gear Crown 2 60 backpack.
Before I bought my pack, I researched for a long time to find something that is light yet functional. I knew I didn’t want to have a pack that is stripped down to the absolute bare minimum, but I also wanted something light with no extras that I do not need. The Granite Gear Crown 2 60 falls exactly into this middle ground and with that positions itself somewhere between packs by Osprey and Zpacks.
It is a lightweight pack but is still reasonably well padded with enough space for all my gear.
Granite Gear released the Crown 2 60 in 2017 in three different torso lengths that obviously all differ slightly in size and weight.
According to their website, the short torso model (38 – 46 cm) weighs 1087 g, regular (46 – 53.5 cm) weighs 1142 g and long (53.5 – 61 cm) weighs 1172 g.
They also offer a sizing guide for taking measurements and making the right purchase according to your body. The shoulder straps can be adjusted in length and can also be brought closer to the pack.
What can also be easily adjusted is the padded hip belt. Not only can it be tightened with straps in front, the whole hip belt also slides out of its sleeve and can be resized with a strong Velcro patch. This has not happened to m personally, but especially long distance hikers that might lose a little weight during their time on trail find this feature helpful.
I like the hip belt for a different reason and that is the pouch with a waterproof zip either side of the belt. They have an ideal size and you can easily fit your phone or your camera in one and your mp3 player and a couple of energy bars in the other.
I am tempted to pick up an extra pouch for the shoulder strap that doesn’t come with the pack but might be a good spot for my GPS locator beacon.
The Crown 2 carries 60 litres of volume up to a total weight of 15kg. Heavy loads are supported with a plastic back panel that can be accessed through a zip and removed.
I find the 60 litres to be spacious enough even for longer hikes. When I carry more supplies, I pack my tent into the front mesh pocket and my water mainly into the two side mesh pockets. That gives me room for the rest of my shelter system, my clothes and my food bag inside the main compartment. The removable lid that also doubles as a waterproof pouch is big enough for miscellaneous items, a toiletry and/or an electronics bag.
I would recommend to only put light items in there though as this pouch starts moving around too much with heavier parts in it.
All straps on the backpack are easily adjustable, including the compression straps, shoulder straps, hip belt and sternum strap. The latter two can be completely removed if desired.
A couple of loops at the bottom and four smaller loops at the top offer the option to attach additional straps to transport more items on the outside of the pack.
The main compartment has a roll-top opening that clips together like a dry bag to protect everything on the inside from moisture. The pack is fitted with a hook for a hydration bladder and a sleeve for the straw. An extra compartment on the inside protects the bladder from gear in the pack and the gear from any moisture coming off the bladder.
The material that was used is 100D high-tenacity nylon, the bottom is more sturdy and fashioned out of 210D high-tenacity ripstop nylon. All zips are waterproof. That makes the pack both light and durable, even though Granite Gear picked a less sturdy material as opposed to other products in their range. They produce the pack in two different colours.
I have owned my Crown 2 for over a year and got a lot of use out of it. I am a frequent flyer for work and as it fits into the cabin luggage compartment, I use it not only for hiking but also in between hikes for flights. I can see minor signs of wear, mostly a bit of dirt and a reduction of elasticity of the outer mesh pockets. Nothing indicates that this pack won’t be with me for much, much longer.
Overall, I love this pack dearly. It is light and comfy, it sits tightly on my body and even though ventilation could be a bit better, it serves its purpose phenomenally and has been a reliable companion.