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Granite Gear Wisp overhaul.
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Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Granite Gear Wisp overhaul. on 09/28/2010 09:44:15 MDT Print View

I really liked certain things about my Wisp...primarily the volume and comfort of the shoulder straps and waist belt. The more durable materials is appreciated as are the load lifters. However, there were a few things that really aggravated me, namely, the lack of pockets. It has a pocket in the lid but it's not big enough for my water bottles or lunch/snacks and other things I like to keep readily accessible.... and the waist belt pockets are not overly useful for anything but the smallest of items. Also, at 24 oz, the pack was heavier than I preferred.

First step was to get rid of everything I didn't need: excess strap lengths, zippered bladder pocket, foam back pad, bottom compression strap, "helmet carrying flap", rubber hydration port, and the haul & ice loops. The next step was to add side pockets with elasticized tops, a 4-way stretch mesh front pocket and crisscrossed bungee system. I also reangled the top compression strap, made new attachment points for the flap lid and made a new and lighter sternum strap that rides in a lower more comfortable position on me. Lastly was the replacement of the GG logo on the flap with the yin yang symbol...symbolic for my keen interest in Chinese philosophy.

The final weight is 18oz. The next step is to remove the waist belt pockets which I'm guessing will save another ounce.

I'm very happy with it though I am thinking I'd be willing to sacrifice some durability for lighter main body materials. Will ponder the options over the winter.

The first pic is the stock Wisp. The other two are the modified version (basketball for scale).

Stock WispOverhauled Wisploaded

Edited by rustyb on 09/29/2010 10:41:18 MDT.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
great first step on 09/28/2010 15:29:07 MDT Print View

Rusty, that seems like a good first step. I like the lines of that pack, it's just too heavy by default for what it is, as you say.

My next step would be to consider replacing the heavy poly webbing with some of the much lighter thin stuff like this specifically: NYLON

#2029 3/4" LW Nylon webbing.

I recently made a pack and used that exclusively, and it's much much lighter than the heavy duty stuff most pack makers, including the cottage ones, use. It's a little more slippery in the ladder locks, but it's not an issue if the straps are trimmed to fit and then folded over at the end and sewn back on itself to keep it from slipping out.

After that I'd think about replacing that lid which appears to be made with very heavy wt nylon.

Those two options should yield ounces of improvement.

Once again, good work.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Thanks, Javan. on 09/28/2010 20:36:01 MDT Print View

Thanks too for the link. Wish I had known about that webbing before. Being the bumbling sewer that I am though, the area of modifications were stitched and unstitched enough that things are a little threadbare. Plus, I don't have it in me to tear into it least not for a while. I also thought about the lid as you mentioned. It could be made lighter for sure.

Ideally, for me, I'd take the shoulder straps and waist belt off this pack and put them on an identical pack made from lighter materials. That said, as it sits, I think it offers a lot of features and good comfort for its 18oz. If only it were 16oz though....haha

At any rate, hope someone with a Wisp can find some inspiration in this post. Cheers!

Edited by rustyb on 09/29/2010 10:41:59 MDT.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Granite Gear Wisp overhaul. on 09/29/2010 10:56:40 MDT Print View

Don't know that it matters much but I did make a mistake on the weight. It was 18oz and not 19. I edited it in my posts.

Also, I just removed the waist belt pockets. Now the weight is down to 17oz! At this point, getting the weight down to 16oz should not be too difficult. However, despite the extra features I like about this pack, I can't help but wonder how its comfort would compare to the MLD Burn which is practically half the weight....