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TheRulewrote a review of on June 13, 2012

4 5

Here's my review of the Gregory Jade 50 BackPack.

Mostly good points, but a couple of low points too. First, overall the backpack performed very well for my wife on her first backpacking trip. There were numerous pockets to sort your belongings and one thing's for sure -- my wife loves bags with lots of little compartments here and there. Handy hip pockets up front, quick access pockets in back and side. The greatest high for her was the water resistance aspect. She fell backwards into a stream, couldn't get up, and was certain that she would unpack in the cabin and find all her clothes sop'n wet. Being that this was Alaska and still quite cold, this was a big deal. But no worries; everything was completely dry inside. And most importantly, she never complained about being uncomfortable during our hikes. This was a HUGE bonus as I was expecting her shoulders and back to be sore from lack of experience.

Of the negatives, I ordered the small based on other reviews. My wife is short but has wider hips so I thought this would be the best size based on what I read. But the bag actually seemed too small. Just a little less room than I would've hoped for. The sleeping bag was cinched on the outside to allow for more room. I think a medium would've worked better for her 5'4" height. Also, the chest strap linking the two main shoulders straps seemed way high up. It actually was just below her neck. To correct, I really had to tighten the shoulder straps tight for it to lessen the tug on her neck. Seems just too high. Perhaps a medium would've solved this problem. Lastly, the quick-access slot in the back perhaps should have a zipper instead of remaining open. Any rain or drizzle would go right in without a poncho or cover.

Still, it's a nice first pack. Not enough for long backcountry trips but one or two day weekend trips.