Ultralight minimalism and trail-ready comfort.
If packing ultralight for weekend backpacking trips is your modus operandi, you'll love the minimalist Granite Gear Virga 2 Backpack, which weighs in at just over a pound. Two ounces lighter and more comfortable than the original Virga, the Virga 2 combines a frameless suspension design with a lidless roll top, lightweight fabric, and smaller-size, 10mm webbing straps for valuable weight savings. You can load it down with up to 20 pounds of gear, and the padded shoulder straps and hip belt, along with a sternum strap and padding stay comfortably supportive and balance your load. The wrap-around compression straps secure and stabilize your gear and keep it from shifting around as you move.
The backpack's extendable roll top offers extra room if your load starts to overflow, and once you roll it down and buckle it closed, it keeps your gear is protected without needing a bulky lid cover. A large stretch mesh front pocket and stretch side pockets hold items you'd like quick access to, and two tool loops on the back hold whatever array of tools you'd like to attach. Hang your hydration reservoir on the internal hanger, and route the drinking tube through your desired port. The backpack's durable Cordura nylon fabric with extra-durable reinforced sections will get you through many happy weekend excursions in the wild.
- Frameless design
- Lidless roll-top access
- Hydration hanger with port
- Large stretch side pockets
- Stretch mesh front pocket
- 1lb 2oz
- Item #GRG000O
- Q & A
Great ultralight if using a foam pad
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
If you're someone who uses a z lite or other foam pad, this bag is great. There isn't an internal frame, and you use the pad as the frame - either in a burrito style around your stuff, or against the back pad. Going frameless is a bit different, but done right (and without too much weight) - i find it to be as or more comfortable.
I really like the design - everything has been thought out, with smaller webbing (that you can then trim if you really want to keep it light, a big ol main compartment with a roll top, and large deep pockets on the sides and back. THe side pockets are perfect for 1L smartwaters which are my go-to backpacking bottles, and the back pocket is good for jamming stuff into (I used it for squeeze water filter, map, etc.) I do wish it had lightweight hip pockets but appreciate that may not be for everyone. Will probaly sew / add some on which would make this a perfect pack for the right applications.
I've used it for one extended backpacking trip and the durability has been good so far and feels much more durable than some of the "stupid light" options that require a really close eye to avoid damaging. I didn't worry about dropping wherever, abrasion, etc.
Generally - this is a bit of a specialized pack that doesn't really lend itself as a do all given the frameless design and total weight capacity, but as a more specialized second pack for ultralight or shorter trips where I'm using my z-lite, it's perfect, and will be in heavy rotation alongside my framed pack
All you need for ultra light
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I use this pack mostly for backpacking but occasionally use it to carry my climbing gear to the crag. I hiked 30 miles in under 24 hours with a pack weight of just over 20 lbs and it was comfortable the entire way. I use my Therm-a-Rest Z Lite SOL pad as my frame for long hikes. I have done just a few miles with it loaded closer to 45 lbs and still have no complaints about comfort. The adjustments are easy to use and get to, even when you want to make a small change as you walk.
As far as durability I was impressed. A few times the stretch mesh pocket material has snagged and so now has a few small holes, but the cordura nylon looks new still. I was quite surprised that it's almost waterproof. I haven't had the opportunity yet to drag it through a river or a tropical downpour, but I have been in moderate rain a few times and everything inside has stayed dry.
The only thing I think that would make it better would be a side zipper to the main compartment. It's a big pack and when I have to fish at the bottom for gear, I wish there was a way to get at the bottom other than from the top. That's mostly from me not packing with foresight, but it would still be handy.
Overall a good product. I would make the purchases again for sure!