Anyone have a solid comparison between the Gregory Denali Pro and the Arc teryx Bora 95 (besides the obvious 10 L's and slight weight difference), especially on mountain expeditions like Denali, Aconcagua, etc.? I am looking for an expedition pack in the area of 95 L for Denali in May and would love to hear how these two packs compare (pack-ability, comfort, suspension, durability. . .anything pertinent). Thanks!
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I used the original Bora 95 for almost a decade and the Denali Pro for several years.
For backpacking I would say the Bora is noticeably superior. I found it more comfortable and could haul more weight. I also liked the bag features and yet simplicity. Simple but very comfortable hip belt and back panel. The latter is a little sweaty in hot weather given its construction however.
On the plus side for the Gregory is that it uses more durable bag materials than the current Bora model, is more adaptable for mountaineering use with more lash points, is slightly bigger (although in practice the Bora 95 Tall can hold almost as much volume, and more weight in my opinion) and can be cinched down nicely for a summit pack use. I found my Gregory developed a slight frame squeek after several trips. Also a bit difficult to get a winter bag in the Denali unless you load from the top.
In short, for me the Bora was a more successful choice than the Denali (at least for backpacking), but you may find the opposite. I would load up both if you can and see how they carry for you. If you find the Denali as comfortable with the heavier weights you may want to consider it since its design is a bit more suited to mountaneering. If not I would go for the Bora.
As an aside I retired the Bora after about a decade of extensive use (mainly backpacking in the mountains rather than mountaneering). In contrast I sold the Denali after several years and am presently using a Gregory Robson Pro I picked up used and cheap and which is no longer produced. It's essentailly a slightly smaller version of the Denali, although I prefer its bag design. I plan to buy another Bora 95 at some stage however.
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Great answer! I ended up getting the Bora and used it for the first time today with loads of weight. I was impressed by how comfortable it carries lots of weight and am confident it will serve me well.
On a side note, is it just me, or is this bag actually not H2O compatible? The one I got has no bladder sleeve and unless I am mistaken no H20 port. Interesting. . .
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