From gear-intensive treks in the Pacific Northwest to accessing remote summits in the Rocky Mountains, the Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 85 Ki Women's Backpack will haul all the necessary gear for seriously remote objectives. Being the largest offering in the Nimbus line, this 85-liter pack swallows everything you need for a week-long trek with ease. Despite being lightweight and fairly minimalist in design, the Nimbus Trace sports a supportive 3D TopoFlex frame with pivot point attachment that distributes weight evenly along the hips, shoulders, and back. Lateral compression straps keep heavy loads secure, while the unique top and bottom opening grants access to deeply buried layers and gear when you need quick access on the trail. The detachable lid doubles as a waist pack when you need a small summit pack, or it can be left at home when you're looking to trim some weight from the pack. Gear loops secure either ice axes or trekking poles, making this Nimbus the ideal companion for forays into the alpine and range-crossing treks.
- A women's-specific pack ideal for week-long treks and summit bids
- 85-liter capacity is ideal for gear-intensive trips
- 3D TopoFlex frame distributes weight across the hips and shoulders
- Adjustable torso length ensures personalized fit
- Top and bottom access for quick access to gear on the trail
- Massive stretch front pocket stows rain jackets and topo maps
- Detachable lid doubles as a daypack
- Loops secure ice axes and trekking poles
- Item #GRG002H
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I bought a large (18-21 inch). I bought the Ki model because it was (at the time) $70 less than the non-Ki. It cost $20 to exchange the waist/shoulder belt with Granite Gear to the correct size Men's version. Note that the packbags and frames are identical across gender. You may have to exchange waist and shoulder belts anyhow as having an accurate fit is very important when carrying a lot of weight. Kudos to Granite Gear for offering the exchange service for free (customer pays shipping both ways).
I come from 15 years of ultralightweight backpacking. Now have kids that are too young to carry all their stuff, so needed a large volume bag to porter with. This packbag is made from solid feeling Cordura. It has perhaps too many compression straps, zippers, pockets, particularly compared to what I normally carry (old go-lite bags with main, 2 water, one front pocket), but there are lots of options to control load and volume etc. and stabilize load. It's a beautiful, well crafted pack. The laminated (plywood) frame is precurved and should last a lifetime.
The bag feels lighter than it is, and transfers really well to hip belt, as the frame is directly connected (screwed) to the hipbelt and shoulder straps. One minor note is that the shoulder strap attachment width is also adjustable. It's a small design touch that shows the thought and detail evident in the pack.
Drawback: The front mesh stuff pocket is too small for most everything because it's attached to the front zip access panel. I'd rather do without the zip access and have a full size stuff. For those used to trash bag lining your pack for waterproofing, the zip access is pointless anyway.
I looked at several other 3.5lb to 6lb large volume packs, and the Nimbus Trace Access was just right.