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Granite Gear Blaze or Escape
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Brad Abrahams
(frigger)
Granite Gear Blaze or Escape on 10/17/2011 12:25:16 MDT Print View

Hello everyone,

I'm currently interested in both the Blaze and Escape from Granite Gear. They seem very similar on paper. Air Current suspension, same volume, same pack technology. The differences I see are that the Blaze is specced quite a bit lighter, has less pockets, and no lid.

Has anyone here had a chance to test out both or either one? Does the lack lid seem more like a pro or con?

Thanks kindly,
Brad

Larry alesi
(Swamp_Stomper) - F

Locale: South East USA
Granite Gear Line Loc Lid on 10/17/2011 13:30:30 MDT Print View

Granite Gear makes a separate Lid for the Blaze if you think that you may need it. I've never tried the escape but was able to try on the Blaze with about 30 LBS in it and it was very comfortable. Hopefully Santa will have one for me this Christmas.

Jeff J
(j.j.81) - F

Locale: Oregon
Escape AC 60 on 10/17/2011 13:30:47 MDT Print View

I have the Escape AC 60, picked it up the first year it came out despite being worried it would have the little things I don't care for fixed. Overall, I really like it, and I'm glad I bought it the first year because the price went up though nothing changed.

The pros: it's really comfortable; I carried 40 lbs full pack weight when I spent a week in Yosemite. That included the bear canister, which wasn't a pain because the pack has its framesheet, and then it has padding between it and your back. The hipbelt is nice and big, and it doesn't chafe like other brands did under load. Also, I really like the angled water pockets. I usually will eat lunch while hiking, so I stick my Logan bread in one pocket and my poncho in the other if expecting rain; grab and deploy while on the go. The compression straps are the perfect length and can really cinch the pack down. The belt is removable, as is the lid, and the lid has belt loops underneath for use as a daypack.

The few cons as I see it: it's (comparatively) heavy; even without the lid, trimmed mine is 50.8 oz. The belt removes a lot of weight, but that defeats the purpose of a framed pack. The framesheet can be removed, but the straps connect to the framesheet, not the pack, so it isn't really removable. The belt has MOLLE webbing rather than being plain or pocketed; ever try to find REALLY lightweight MOLLE pouches? Lastly, 60L seems optimistic for its volume; seems closer to 50 or 55. Haven't measured it to make sure.

Like I said, I really like it. It's my bigger pack and can handle the weight of a longer trip easily. I wouldn't want to go much beyond the 40 lbs I've had in it, but I wouldn't want to go heavier than 40 period. Also, the stretch pocket is nice; I don't like having stuff hanging outside the pack, and in the winter nothing gets snowy.

Can't say anything about the Blaze, but I prefer the Escape's general pack style personally.

Jeff

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Granite Gear Blaze or Escape on 10/17/2011 15:13:48 MDT Print View

Hi Brad,

To complicate your life further (you're welcome!) the Crown 60 will be out next year, which is essentially a further lightened variation of the Blaze. Here's a brief video intro:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F7qERKOPL8

Cheers,

Rick

Brad Abrahams
(frigger)
Re: Re: Granite Gear Blaze or Escape on 10/18/2011 08:30:44 MDT Print View

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Still totally undecided. There aren't any places in South Florida to test this type of gear out unfortunately.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Granite Gear Blaze or Escape on 10/18/2011 08:35:29 MDT Print View

I'm with Rick. If you can get one of the torso sizes to fit, then the Crown is the one to wait for.

Larry alesi
(Swamp_Stomper) - F

Locale: South East USA
Re: Granite Gear Blaze or Escape on 10/18/2011 11:00:09 MDT Print View

Ha ha you're right Brad I couldn't find a place in South Florida to try them on either. Luckily enough back in July I was on a trip to NYC and was able track down a Blaze at a hiking store. Although due to one too many cannoli it might not have been a true accurate fitting.

Jeff J
(j.j.81) - F

Locale: Oregon
Not in stores on 10/18/2011 13:55:30 MDT Print View

I, too, had the problem that I couldn't find the Escape in a store to try on first. I bit the bullet and ordered one online from REI, using a 20% coupon at the time, figuring I could return it at any time. I guess I got lucky that it was as comfortable as I was hoping.

Jeff

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Escape AC 60 on 10/18/2011 17:22:36 MDT Print View

> ever try to find REALLY lightweight MOLLE pouches?

These should be available at retail around the turn of the year:

http://www.blueforcegear.com/content/heliumwhisper-flyer01.pdf

Justin Lichter
(jlichter) - F - M
Re: Granite Gear Blaze or Escape on 10/20/2011 11:33:45 MDT Print View

The Blaze and Escapes are a bit different. The specs may seem similar. Starting with the pack body the Blaze is a little taller and narrower while the Escape is a little squatter and has a slanted bottom. The other primary differences are the lid and lidless features which is a personal preference on how you like to organize your gear, but the lid does add some extra weight. Also the Escape has diagonal side pockets which can make it easier to get things out of with your pack on but limits what you can store in the pockets. Finally the Escape has a zippered front pocket while the Blaze's is open. The open pocket allows it to be overstuffed a little but more and can be more functional for quick access but does not repel the weather at all. It depends again on preferences and where you might be hiking.
Hope that helps :-)

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Granite Gear Blaze or Escape on 10/20/2011 12:09:18 MDT Print View

Justin - with this first post can we expect more where you can share your experience from your incredible world treks? I am excited you are posting!

If anyone is interested in reading about some incredible thru hiking journeys, here is Justin's website:

http://justinlichter.com/

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Granite Gear Blaze or Escape on 10/20/2011 12:55:18 MDT Print View

Justin - Great to see you contributing to this site!

I too have been looking at these two packs as a replacement for my Vapor Trail. I really prefer a tall slim pack so you have helped me make up my mind. It sounds like the Blaze will work better for me ( I also like an open mesh pocket better than a closed pocket)

Edited by skopeo on 10/20/2011 13:03:49 MDT.

Ray Dunham
(Raymond) - F

Locale: SE US
Blaze on 10/21/2011 05:46:00 MDT Print View

I've had both packs and prefer the design of the Blaze. Both were equally comfortable. I will be using the Blaze as my winter pack.

Matt Sanger
(IPARider) - MLife
Blaze on 10/21/2011 06:59:32 MDT Print View

I looked hard at the Escape, but wasn't taken with the weight and design.

I waited for the Blaze and have been very very happy with it. Incredibly comfortable and stable but enabling great freedom of movement for me, carrying 30-ish pounds for week+ long trips. I love the simplicity and it does not seem fragile at all.

Edited by IPARider on 10/21/2011 07:00:10 MDT.