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Ian Schumann
(freeradical) - M

Locale: Central TX
A little confused about my GG Virga . . . on 12/24/2009 10:33:52 MST Print View

Hey folks,
Just got my new Granite Gear Virga pack, found a great deal.

I'm a little confused about a couple of things . . .

First, why is that extension collar so ridiculously long? How could you ever even use the full capacity of it? It seems like even if you stuffed light things inside it, it would slump over ridiculously. Sheesh, it almost doubles the height of the pack! And it makes storing stuff in the actual body of the pack a little bit of a fumbly pain.

Second, the inside skin of the pack body is sticky! Feels like it might be some sort of silicone coating? The pack's a few years old I think, but it's totally unused. The stickiness isn't a stain or a spill or something -- it's uniform across the entire inside body. And the friction it creates makes shoving stuff down inside the pack -- again -- a fumbly pain!

What gives? If I want to use this pack should I just suck it up and get used to this?

How much could I pay somebody on here to shorten the extension collar for me?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: A little confused about my GG Virga . . . on 12/24/2009 10:40:59 MST Print View

Warning - no direct experience whatsoever. But while you're awaiting comments from real users...

When I was shopping for my pack, the two finalists were the GGVT and MS Ghost. The GG was marginally more comfortable but the Ghost was much more user-friendly (all subjective, of course). Indeed, the two things I disliked about GG packs: the ridiculously long top collar and the awkwardly designed side pockets. I suppose you could cut away part of the top collar, but sewing back the drawcord can be a hassle.

As for the sticky inside -- I think this MAY be bad news for you. If I remember correctly, the pack fabric is coated inside for water resistance. Methinks the pack wasn't stored properly in a dry place away from light and heat -- and the coating is starting to breakdown. If true, there's really no way of reversing it -- you can't wipe away that stickiness -- and it may actually continue to worsen.

If I am correct re. coating breakdown, I would return the pack to the seller.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: A little confused about my GG Virga . . . on 12/24/2009 10:55:15 MST Print View

Ian, The GG virga is a great pack. The shoulder straps are top notch. As to the collar, yes it is too long and one of the major complaints. The only thing I can surmise is that it is designed to be able to be rolled even when it is full. I solved the problem with my pack by cutting approx 6" off the collar. I then resewed the cord back into the pack. You would never know it was not done that way from the factory. Problem solved but does require a sewing machine. It is now with a new happy owner.

Having owned this pack I can say mine was not sticky in the least on the inside. I agree with Ben this is strange and might indeed be delamination, but I have no clue. I too would return it.

Jamie

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
re: A little confused about my GG Virga . . . on 12/24/2009 11:01:08 MST Print View

Mine was also "sticky" on the inside. I had an older black-and-green Vapor Trail that was sticky inside, also, I think all the earlier Vapor Trails, Virgas, and Nimbus Ozones used this fabric.

I took about 4" off my collar of my newer style Vapor Trail. I cut off the part with the drawstring intact and sewed it onto the lower part, much easier than redoing it.

I like the side pockets of the GG packs, just cut off the straps, they get in the way. You can put a LOT of stuff in them. I had to relearn some things with my ULA Circuit, because you can't put that much in their pockets w/o it falling out.

Edited by Coldspring on 12/24/2009 11:04:53 MST.

Ian Schumann
(freeradical) - M

Locale: Central TX
Re: virga on 12/24/2009 11:05:46 MST Print View

Tom,
Your commentary is interesting -- because I'm pretty sure this IS an early model of the pack, with the original gold color that showed up in the BPL review from 2004.

So your pack's always been sticky and you've just gotten used to it? Figure out any tricks?

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Re: Re: virga on 12/24/2009 11:24:06 MST Print View

"So your pack's always been sticky and you've just gotten used to it? Figure out any tricks?"

Good question, that I can't answer. I only used my Virga twice and decided I like framed packs with my gear load. I don't really remember the stickiness being a BIG issue. The older Vapor Trail I had, wasn't the right size, so I just resold it. The newer Vapor Trail, gray and baby blue, has a different fabric w/o the stickiness and it's the only one I have experience with.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: virga on 12/24/2009 11:28:52 MST Print View

When playing with the GGVT, I definitely do not recall any stickiness. That was back in 2004.

Jay Campbell
(gohawks) - F

Locale: SE Iowa
another GG extension collar hater on 12/24/2009 11:31:49 MST Print View

I had a nimbus ozone and absolutely loathed that ridiculously long fore-skin called an extension collar. I should have just had someone modify it, but I went ahead and got the nimbus meridian, which with the lid has been slightly circumsized.

I thought it made it a royal pain to pack and unpack and saw no benefit and let GG know about it. They seemed to have listened with the side strap/pocket issue. Maybe they will remedy the extension collars in the future.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
virga with viagra on 12/24/2009 11:48:44 MST Print View

I actually love the extention collar when I was using a VT because it allowed me not to stuff down my bag or down jacket that hard

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Virga on 12/24/2009 11:55:46 MST Print View

IMO, the extension collar is a personal preference and can be modified if desired. The stickiness, OTOH, may become a serious issue.

Brett, do you remember your Vapor Trail being sticky on the inside?

Edited by ben2world on 12/24/2009 11:56:38 MST.

b s
(smyth) - F
Re: A little confused about my GG Virga . . . on 12/24/2009 12:03:10 MST Print View

I purchased a modified, older (black and gold) Virga off of the gear swap earlier this year. The original user had shortened the extension collar to about 4". With my lightest load, I can just barely roll the top for closure so if you do cut it down, you might want to maybe leave 5-6 inches depending on what you'll be carrying. On longer/colder trips, sometimes I can't roll the top and it becomes susceptible to weather.

I love the modified pack though and have no issues with stickiness on the inside so I'm not sure what's going on with yours.

I can't remember if the seller I purchased from (BPL member: onthecouchagain) was the original user or not but the mods were completed by a seamstress I think. You might want to shoot him a PM concerning the costs.

Edited by smyth on 12/24/2009 12:06:36 MST.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
vt on 12/24/2009 12:03:44 MST Print View

Never in 4 years now and it is one of the green ones before the current blue model.

Ian Schumann
(freeradical) - M

Locale: Central TX
Re: Re: A little confused about my GG Virga . . . on 12/24/2009 12:05:38 MST Print View

Brad,
That's the same user I bought mine from -- Dave Satterberg. I've asked him to take a look at the thread and weigh in.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Re: Re: Re: GG stickiness on 12/24/2009 12:21:15 MST Print View

"When playing with the GGVT, I definitely do not recall any stickiness. That was back in 2004."

Hmm, come to think of it, I can't really remember feeling the inside of the green/black VT I had, I just loaded it up and didn't like the size.

And now that my memory is jogged, I had an older short size Nimbus Ozone that I picked up on eBay for a steal...for a spare buddy pack that I never ended up using. I don't remember if being sticky inside.

The Virga was "sticky" inside. From what I remember it wasn't a big hindrance, and would probably get "smoother" with a little use. Wonder if turning it inside out and scrubbing it with some soapy rags and then washing it would help?

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: A little confused about my GG Virga . . . on 12/24/2009 13:00:25 MST Print View

I was thinking about this and you might want to try some powder like talc or baby powder. I did this to help with the stickiness after I have seam sealed something.

Jamie

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
gg virga sticky. on 12/24/2009 13:05:16 MST Print View

Hi Ian,

I checked my rarely-used Virga (that I bought used off Gear Swap) and yes, it is slightly sticky inside on the black panels. Not a big deal I suppose, and will probably decline with use and dirt, perhaps.

My well-used Vapor Trail is not sticky at all inside.

As for the (ridiculously long) extension collar, I am going to have both my Virga and Vapor Trail modified by someone who can actually sew this winter. Apparently the best approach is to cut out the MIDDLE of the extension collar (as suggested above) and sew the parts back together.

I also made my standard modification, which is to cut off the straps which go over the side water bottle pockets. I never need them to compress volume (since a sleeping bag is always at the bottom of my pack), and they interfere with the pockets of course.

Cheers!

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Sticky on 12/24/2009 13:10:30 MST Print View

Another person with an old GG pack weighing in: I have a Nimbus Ozone that I bought on sale in 2004. It's been my main pack since. Great pack. Never had any stickiness.
The extension collar is probably not supposed to be used to its full length, instead use it as a roll-top closure and is very effective keeping the water out.

John Taylor
(jtaylor) - F - M

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: A little confused about my GG Virga . . . on 12/24/2009 14:15:47 MST Print View

I've used the GG Virga since it first came out. I just sold my Ghost this fall since it was collecting so much dust.

The inside of the Virga is indeed sticky. It fades somewhat with time, but it is nothing to worry about. If you are using a foam sleeping pad, roll it really tight and put in inside the pack and let it unroll, then the stickiness is not an issue. With a Thermarest I fold that into thirds and place it on the back of the pack, then my sleeping bag unstuffed. Never really concerned about the stickiness.

The extension collar is incredibly long. I once tested a 25" wide pad inside, which took some of it up. I have also had a 10 day food back in the extension collar. Past a certain point, it becomes top heavy and unweildy. Just about any gear repair place should be able to shorten the collar for you. Note that it is nice to have a few extra inches to form a roll top. This makes for a water tight seal. I usually have a map & compass in a gallon size glad bag on top. Works great.

I would definitely recommend using the pack. It is a great pack for the money, and my has held up very well thru the years. It is now my only pack.

Erik Graf
(Van-Go) - F
GG on 12/24/2009 20:36:57 MST Print View

Purchased a green one in about 2004.

Extension collar is huge. I didn't like it but after a couple rain trips it was rolled down so much no water made it in and I didn't mind. The biggest advantage came when it became my main winter pack. I left my parka sinch sack at home and had to stuff it in my Virga - the extra collar allowed me to do that considering the inside had a good sized bag, winter clothes, and a tent which took more room than when I used it in summer.

I noticed when I purchased mine that the inside was - I think at the time I described it as - "tacky." It wore off over time though.

My $.02 worth...

Ian Schumann
(freeradical) - M

Locale: Central TX
Re: GG on 12/25/2009 15:42:56 MST Print View

Thanks guys, your words are helping me out a lot. I'll try turning this thing inside out and scrubbing a bit, I probably WILL use the cylindrical-pad virtual frame thing so that'll help too . . . and then I'll just hope it goes away with time. I DO really like the bag otherwise. Good-looking, very tough fabrics for the weight of the pack, and built with a pleasing minimalist ethic -- even minimalist for a UL pack.

Thanks!

(Merry Christmas!)