May 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm #1316478
Ron JamesonBPL Member
@tigerpawsLocale: Upstate SC
Anybody used Granite Gears new Virga 2.
RonMay 5, 2014 at 2:48 pm #2099479
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Curious myself…been thinking about buying oneMay 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm #2099592
Does the way they attach the web strap to the hip belt fabric concern anybody else? IF the shoulder straps a improvement that's great cause they were very good on the original. Also wondering if G.G. is able to be honest about their weight as all four that I own are over weight.May 6, 2014 at 7:15 am #2099671
Curt PetersonBPL Member
@curtpetersonLocale: Pacific Northwest
I'm supposed to be receiving one any day now. I'll post up some weights and notes when it arrives. Packbag looks great, but I'm not sure about the shoulder straps and belt. We'll see …May 16, 2014 at 11:22 am #2102941
OK Curt what's the inital impression.Jun 1, 2014 at 1:40 pm #2107792
Curt PetersonBPL Member
@curtpetersonLocale: Pacific Northwest
Sorry for the slow reply. Been in the woods a bit and crazy busy when home.
The pack arrived a couple weeks ago. Quick version is that it's almost perfect pack bag with a less-than-perfect "suspension". I realize it's not a framed pack and doesn't have a suspension, but let me explain.
The pack bag is almost identical to the Crown 60 – which I think is excellent. They have gone away from the lineloc compression and instead use narrow webbing. Better in my opinion. The linelocs were a cool idea that just didn't work as smoothly as webbing. The mesh of the pockets is fantastic. Volume is pretty much the same as the Crown. Nice color if that matters. Nothing inside at all – no hydration pocket or pad pocket or anything like that. I think this pack with a pocket for the Klymit inflatable frame would be REALLY interesting. Sub 1.5 pound framed pack with great features and tough and reasonable price? Sounds great to me.
The belt is actually not nearly as bad as I expected it to be. Barebones, but wraps nicely and stays put. I always prefer removable, but for sewn-on this isn't bad.
Where the pack falls short in my opinion is the shoulder straps. I'm not sure what's up with GG and their shoulder straps. The Nimbus line has always had the best shoulder strap system ever in my view. Rotating. As wide or narrow as you want them. As long or short as you want them. They seemed to be a great choice for big guys. Then the Vapors came along. Nice long straps. Very similar to the Nimbus packs but sewn on instead of free-rotating. Not a big deal if done right, but they were always sewn so close to each other that they rubbed the sides of the neck on some users. I've modded a few of those to widen them out. Then the new Crown packs did the same thing, except put much wimpier straps on. I'm not even sure they're much lighter. They're just cut thinner and narrower with little advantage that I can see. The Virga 2 uses those same straps – again sewn too close to each other. They would be easy to cut and move outwards a bit, but I'm not sure I'm up for it. Sick of modifying every pack I buy from them lately. I have a set of straps I could sew on there and I think it would change the pack significantly for the better.
This pack with wider set Vapor shoulder straps and the inflatable frame pocket would be pretty awesome. Of course that would add a few ounces. As it is, it might be the first Granite Gear pack I've ever had come in a tad BELOW spec. Long version is supposed to be 20 ounces. This one is 19 point something.
That all said, I'm probably going to return it. Might just build something from scratch and that way I can complain about my own shortcomings instead of being frustrated with most commercial packs :)Jun 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm #2108593
Thanks for the info Curt its helpfulAug 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm #2124921
Jonathon SelfBPL Member
I just bought one about a week ago. I can't comment too much yet, as I only have maybe 10 miles in using it.
I did want to reiterate the weight. My regular-sized pack comes in at 524g, about 16g under spec. That's completely off the shelf, minus the tags. And I sort of like the 10mm webbing. I think it'll grow on me.
I'll post more informed opinions after I put in some more miles, but initially, I generally like it.Aug 6, 2014 at 10:30 pm #2125497
Adam KlagsBPL Member
@klagsLocale: Northeast USA
I can see from looking at it that it has one of those useless outer pockets. the straps seem to go right on top of the pocket that is on the main outer area of the pack so you cannot easily stuff your items in there. The straps should have run under the pocket so that the pocket could expand as you put more stuff in. Similar to other packs that have a front pocket made of material that doesn't stretch well and has almost no gusset for expanding as you add gear. anyone else find that annoying?Aug 7, 2014 at 9:56 pm #2125831
Jim ColtenBPL Member
can see from looking at it that it has one of those useless outer pockets. the straps seem to go right on top of the pocket that is on the main outer area of the pack so you cannot easily stuff your items in there
The last couple years GraniteGear has provided the choice to run the lower straps either over or under the side packets. Look again … at both photos on their website … the dark triangular area under each end of the lower straps is where the strap can be fed through the inside of the pocket. It shows up better if you mouse over those areas to get a magnified view.
Similar to other packs that have a front pocket made of material that doesn't stretch well and has almost no gusset for expanding as you add gear. anyone else find that annoying?
I do find that annoying … but probably not in THIS pack. While I haven't seen one in the flesh (yet), as long as I've known them their backpacking packs have had pockets that are quite stretchy. With my original Virga I have no problem fitting two one liter soda bottles in one side pocket, even when the pack is packed full. The new front packet on the Virga 2 is not especially large but at about 50 liters the pack is already large for a completely frameless pack … the original Virga stretches my limit for pack contents weight so I wouldn't be looking for additional capacity … only for a convenient place to stash things I'd want more accessible. … it becomes noticeably less comfortable somewhere between 25 and 30 lbs and added weight in that location would be most unwelcome.
What I'd like to see is a 35 or 40 liter Virga! My kit volume continues to shrink and the Virga is too large for shorter trips.
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