Apr 16, 2007 at 4:25 am #1222829
These are a few pics from a day hike last Sunday. A shakeout for my new GraniteGear Nimbus Meridian, which I am taking on an alpine mountaineering trip in May.
The hike is about 6 hours in duration, between two approximately 800m high hills in Tokyo; about 2 hours from the downtown area.
If anyone is actually going hiking during a trip to Japan, I can email details of this convenient Tokyo hike.
May 29, 2007 at 1:54 am #1390535
@gnosticjonLocale: Wasatch Mountains
Great job with the photos. I am often surprised by how many good spots one can find in relative proximity to various cities. If you get a chance I would like to hear your thoughts on the Nimbus Meridian; I bought one the other month and so far quite enjoy it.May 29, 2007 at 2:27 am #1390536
Thank you; my camera is fully automatic, I just press the shutter button. There are many nice places around Tokyo.
Regarding the Meridian, the lid zipper teeth failed on the second day of use in a below-zero temp. environment. I sent the lid for a replacement. The straps were comfortable, but too narrow for the 20+kg winter mountaineering load I was carrying, so I sent them in for the wide versions.
I really like the other features of the pack, and assuming both exchanges go as promised, I will keep the pack as my winter/alpine pack. I think it is the best combination of comfort and light weight in the 60 liter range. More reply later; gotta head out the door…
OK, back.. The feature which I require on all large packs now is panel loading. This changed the way I pack and saves me time throughout the hike. One competitor to the Meridian is the Black Diamond Quantum 65; it is just as comfortable, strips down to 2+ pounds, but the 'panel' access is not a panel, it is only a slit-type zipper on the side. The Meridian is a true triangle shaped panel which opens on the front of the pack.
Also on the Meridian, the mesh pockets are deep enough for snow pickets, a wand, tent poles, a mat, ice axe handles, etc.. all items I have carried there. People gripe about the lower compression strap going OVER the pocket, and I agree it is a design flaw. There is no reason I can think of not to route the strap through slits on the front and back of the pocket, but Im not going to cut them myself. The lid on the Meridian is fairly large; good enough for the things Im using over and over all day long, sunscreen,camera, bandana, cap, gps, sunglasses, etc..(but see note below) One problem with the lid is that the closure buckles are FIXED to the pack, about 80% of the way up the front of the pack, another serious design flaw, since now it is impossible to cinch the lid down when the pack is less than 80% full. As a result it flops from side to side, and it can not be used to compress the main compartment down from the top. A third lid problem is the location of the zipper on the lid, it is on the 'wrong' side, facing away from the hiker; so it is difficult to get those items I want throughout the day. I have never seen a pack manufacturer put the zipper AWAY from the hiker, and I see no reason to do so.
So, summary; good capacity to weight ratio, comfort, panel access, and customizable straps (and geometry I forgot to mention)
Bad; zipper quality, lid closure buckles in wrong place, lid zipper on wrong side.
In all my research I can not find a better pack than the Meridian, even with these flaws, so if I can get the new lid and straps Ill keep it. If BD put deep side pockets and panel access on their Quantum though, it would be an easy choice to go with the Quantum.Jun 1, 2007 at 12:21 am #1390909
@gnosticjonLocale: Wasatch Mountains
Thanks for the review of the Nimbus Meridian. Perhaps I should apologize for asking your opinion of the pack in wrong forum. How gauche of me. In any event, your description was very thorough and hopefully will help others decide whether or not the pack is right for them. I can see why the lid zipper frustrates, although I am experimenting with pockets on my shoulder straps and thus don’t find a need to dig into a lid as frequently as before. The side pockets also seem odd, but one may turn their peculiar design into something of a virtue. I like to use a flexible sided sports thermos when hiking. In hot, dry Utah I need to drink frequently and thus must have easy access to my bottle (I have not yet reconciled myself to a hydration system). The stretchy side pocket comfortably holds the beverage container, and the compression strap securely embraces the squished bottle. I have experimented with other items strapped into the pockets—with my wife following to make sure I didn’t lose anything—and so far everything from poles and stakes to snacks has stayed in the pockets. I think the pack could benefit considerably from your critiques but overall it seems to be a good piece of equipment. Thanks again for your insightful comments on the pack.
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