Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Arrived!
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Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Arrived! on 03/04/2012 18:51:12 MST Print View

Just got my Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 backpack yesterday. I've been eliminating the surplus of gear at home, including most of my backpacks, in favor of longer-lasting, a little more durable (and a little heavier) gear. Now I have five backpacking packs, a Gossamer Gear 2012 Murmur (for really light loaded trips), this GG Crown (for most backpacking), the GoLite Pinnacle (for winter trips), my old ULA Arctic 1000 (for any time I need to carry really big, heavy loads... multi-week trips without resupply), and a Granite Gear Blaze 60 (which I'm still debating whether I should keep... it would do well for heavier loads when the Crown might not be able to handle the weight. I like it, but it is quite heavy).

The Crown I predict is going to be a cult pack. It is just the right weight, is durable, is a good size, and hits all the right sweet spots for UL. Like the Gossamer Gear Murmur 2012 it is very much the culmination of years of refinement, a development that could only have come about with years of real world use, feedback, and conceptual building. These two packs, the Granite Gear Crown and the Gossamer Gear Murmur 2012, are what I've always wanted... and I couldn't be happier.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Arrived! on 03/04/2012 20:49:39 MST Print View

" it is very much the culmination of years of refinement, a development that could only have come about with years of real world use, feedback, and conceptual building."

Really? It's just a pack.

I want to like it but I have issues with the sizing. The medium is too short and the long is too long. But I had the same issue with the Vapor Trail.

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Alaska
Sizing on 03/04/2012 21:00:27 MST Print View

Like David said, sizing can be a bit of a pain: either it fits you or it doesn't. Luckily, mine fits perfectly and I'm looking forward to putting it to good use this year!

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Weight on 03/04/2012 21:17:24 MST Print View

Mind me asking how much it weighs? Granite Gear seams alittle off on the weights in my experience (a nice way of calling them EFFEN liars). There spec is 2 lbs 2 oz as I recall so my guess is 2 lbs 7 oz

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/04/2012 23:24:13 MST Print View

Miguel -

I've been waiting for the Crown VC 60 to arrive at my local retailer so that I can compare it to the heavier (but adjustable) Blaze AC 60. I will be replacing my Vapor Trail this season and I will be purchasing one of these two packs. Since you have both, I'd appreciate your comments regarding the two packs.

Does the big external pocket on the front of the VC60 have enough room to hold a rain jacket and 2 litre Platy? The Blaze AC 60 has a huge pocket but the pictures I've seen of the Crown VC60 make the pocket look a lot smaller. Comments?

Did you find the adjustable torso length feature of the Blaze AC 60 to be of much use or is it not that significant? Does it really allow a greater range of torso sizing or is it pretty much the same as buying the fixed torso size of the Crown VC 60 in the most appropriate size? I'm really wondering if the extra weight of the adjustable frame sheet is worth it?

I'd also be interested to hear why you would say the Blaze AC60 would be more suitable for heavier loads? I thought these packs used the same frame sheet etc.?

Is the fabric the same on both packs (I'm thinking durability of the two packs)?

I know I will eventually kick the tires on both these packs eventually but since you are an owner of both these packs, your comments would be very much appreciated.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/05/2012 02:04:11 MST Print View

The GG Blaze 60 weighs 1.4 kg (49.3 oz.)
The GG Crown 60 weighs 970 g (34.2 oz)

This is for men's regular size, for both models. I based the sizing on my earlier Vapor Trail, and also trying on the Blaze at a local outdoor store.

The pockets on the Blaze are definitely bigger, and I prefer the side pockets on the Blaze (on the Crown my tall water bottle lops to one side unless I secure it with the compression cord), but the size of the front pocket are the same width on both models, with the Blaze's pocket just being taller. They stretch quite a bit so, Mike, I don't think you'd have trouble with getting your 2 liter Platy and rain jacket into the Crown's pocket. I was testing the pack earlier this morning and slipped in my Solomid with all pegs, polycro ground sheet, and pole jacks. It fit no problem, not even needing effort to slip it in. The entire package fit inside, with no sticking out at the top.

The adjustable torso length on the Blaze actually was useful. The clips that fit into the frame sheet fit into small slots that run up and down the length of the frame sheet and you can raise or lower the pack straps according to the length of your back. I had to raise them up two notches to better fit my longer torso because the pack, as it came from the store was fitted to smaller Japanese torsos. It fits perfectly now. It's an effective and very simple system, with no added and unnecessary weight that you often find with adjustable systems. However, unlike the Crown, you can't remove the frame sheet, because the frame sheet is necessary for attaching the straps. The Crown just happens to fit me perfectly, but I can see why it might be an issue with people in between or over sizes. On that score the Blaze might be a better choice for people who need something they can adjust to their size.

The frame sheet on the Blaze is thicker, heavier, and stiffer than that of the Crown. It very much acts as stiff aluminum stays might. It therefore allows you to carry heavier loads. The pack straps attaching directly to this frame makes sense for load transfer. The frame sheet on the Crown is more flexible and lighter. It can also be removed, and thus make the pack even lighter, while the Blaze's frame cannot be removed.

The fabric is the same on both models. Very tough, somewhat stiff, and definitely more durable than the material on the original Vapor Trail. I'd say this pack is at least as durable as, say, a GoLite Jam, perhaps more.

I prefer the closure at the top of the Crown, too. Much simpler, with no excess fabric when the load isn't full, one thing I never liked about the original VT, and I'm not thrilled about on the Blaze. Also, the Blaze, like the original VT, has a separate back pad, with a space behind it (where I like putting my sketchbook). There is also a mesh cover over the back pad. The Crown back pad is sewn directly to the pack and is exposed, with no mesh cover. Another place where GG made the pack lighter.

It is not "just a pack". Not just a fabric tube with straps. These two designs took lots of thinking and testing and sewing skills to put together. You can see where Cruickshank listened to what users have said over the years about the VT and corrected the problems. As a designer myself (architect and now illustrator) who has tried his hand at making tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags, I can attest to just how difficult it is to come up with a design that not only works, but actually catches people's attention and sells well, PLUS becomes something experienced users come to rely on. If packs were simply "just packs", anything would do and no one would complain about one or the other pack. It's getting that little thing right... the shape and stiffness of the shoulder strap, the size and form of the pack body, the way the load carries, the materials... all contribute to the way a pack is perceived and used. Few get all parts right. Just witness the difference between the original Mountainsmith Ghost and the new joke. The pack hasn't even come out yet, and already it is getting awful reviews.

Edited by butuki on 03/05/2012 02:05:44 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Arrived! on 03/05/2012 08:18:57 MST Print View

No, it's just a pack.

Thanks for the weights.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Arrived! on 03/05/2012 08:21:36 MST Print View

Heh, David, you just like to argue. Whatever.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Arrived! on 03/05/2012 08:33:34 MST Print View

No, I don't. I do wish your posts were about 1/3 as long and 1/2 as verbose but that is my issue.

As I read through the marketing fluff (forget your day job, you need to work for these guys), quite assured that we are speaking of a $199 mass produced pack, I realize that this is a worthy successor to the (long in the tooth) Vapor Trail but that it is in no way revolutionary and simply the natural evolution of a simplistic, and excellent, pack.

You comment about it's durability but it has just arrived. Perhaps you can report back after using it on a couple of multi-day trips.

brent driggers
(cadyak) - MLife

Locale: southwest georgia
compression straps on 03/05/2012 08:39:50 MST Print View

Miguel,
I havent used a granite gear pack but have been looking hard at this pack for my winter hiking. It seems that many of their packs put the lower compression cord or strap OVER the side water bottle pockets. How does that work? Can you remove/replace a bottle without removing your pack?
Thanks for any info

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Arrived! on 03/05/2012 08:47:06 MST Print View

One other question - is the framesheet flexible (i.e. almost fold in 1/2) like the Vapor Trail or noticeably stiffer?

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Alaska
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/05/2012 10:58:29 MST Print View

How about we avoid getting riled up and get back to the pack itself.

The front pocket on the Crown isn't as tall as the blaze, but it swallows my duomid. There is also a linelock compression cord an inch or so above the pocket that could secure a tall platy if necessary.

I think the main issue in choosing between the Blaze and Crown will be sizing: If you can get one of the two sizes of Crown to fit, it is rated for loads of up to 35 lbs (as is the Blaze). The framesheet in the Blaze seems to be a bit stiffer, but of course, is also heavier. The fabric is the same on both packs - 100D ripstop body and 210D Cordura reinforcements.

Another point - do you prefer a rolltop or drawstring closure? I find the rolltop closure on the Crown MUCH easier to use than the closure on my old circuit. Both the blaze and crown also accept a separate linelock lid as well.

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Alaska
Re: compression straps on 03/05/2012 10:59:46 MST Print View

@Brent: I'm not Miguel, but I do have the Crown.

The compression cords can be routed either over OR under the side water bottle pockets.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/05/2012 11:46:21 MST Print View

>> I do wish your posts were about 1/3 as long and 1/2 as verbose but that is my issue. <<

Yes, you are correct David, that is your issue.

Miguel, thanks for responding (at length) to my questions regarding how the VC60 compares to the Blaze AC60. I knew that the frame sheet was removable on the VC60 but never made the connection that the pack straps wouldn't be connected to the frame sheet (dooh!). Since I'm well set for frameless packs I'm not sure that I like the idea of a removable framesheet.

I have read a long term review of the Blaze AC60 that talked about fabric durability and the pockets were torn up a bit but the reviewer said it had seen hard use and was still holding up well. This was one of my biggest concerns because I have had sil-nylon slice through with almost no effort. I have moved away from sil-nylon in my packs completely.

The adjustable torso will probably benefit me as well if it is as you describe. I'm kind of between sizes and have always had a hard time finding the right torso length.

I'll probably buy both packs when the VC60 hits my local retail outlet and try them both with my gear before deciding which one to buy but your comments have really been helpful and will also guide my decision (many thanks).

As for "it's just a pack"... that's true, but I've also heard that some people will pay up $1000 bucks for a pack that is used to carry the same 25 lb load that I will be carrying... but I guess that pack won't be "just a pack" because it would make my 25 lb load feel like it only weighs... well maybe 23 lbs?... I don't get it. It's just a pack.

Edit: Aaron - Thanks for the additional info.

Edited by skopeo on 03/05/2012 11:48:57 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/05/2012 12:20:02 MST Print View

"As for "it's just a pack"... that's true, but I've also heard that some people will pay up $1000 bucks for a pack that is used to carry the same 25 lb load that I will be carrying... but I guess that pack won't be "just a pack" because it would make my 25 lb load feel like it only weighs... well maybe 23 lbs?... I don't get it. It's just a pack."

So you agree then.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/05/2012 12:53:18 MST Print View

>> So you agree then. <<

Absolutely, if that makes you feel better and allows this thread to get back on track, you win!

Miguel and/or Aaron -

Any comments regarding the new waist belt? (smaller buckle, thinner padding, sizing, adding pockets etc.?)

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/05/2012 13:20:49 MST Print View

Thanks Mike.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/05/2012 21:11:26 MST Print View

Brent, as Aaron has explained about the side straps... Unlike older Granite Gear packs, they've updated their side pockets with routing holes so that you can have the compression straps on the outside or inside. If you look at a photo of the Crown and Blaze you can see the openings in the side pockets.

Mike, the cordura silnylon is much stronger than regular silnylon. It's heavier and has a stiff feel to it. Granite Gear even explains the manufacturing process of stretching the nylon so that it gets stronger. They use the example of stretching the plastic connectors on a six-pack... the more you stretch it the stronger it becomes. You'd really have to put it through some rough abuse to get it to rip.

Joseph Butera
(Jbutera) - M

Locale: Pennsylvania
Why I Purchased the Granite Gear Crown VC 60 on 03/10/2012 06:04:51 MST Print View

I just purchased my Granite Gear Crown VC 60 at EMS. I have not taken it into the field yet, but here is why I think it might be the perfect pack for me.

1) Light Weight w/Suspension: I like that it is lightweight but not frameless. I have tried frameless UL packs and just cannot get them to carry well and to transfer enough of the load onto my hips. I guess I am not quite UL enough for them (base load about 13 pounds before pack & consumables) So I am willing to trade a few extra ounces in order to have a real suspension, a frame and, yes, load lifters to pull it all in. The GG Crown hits the sweet spot weighing in at 2 LB 2.8 OZ (REG) on my scale. So for me it seems like the best compromise between weight and comfort that I have found.
2) Intelligent Design. You can just tell that this thing is well thought out by experienced people. It's the little things... like accessible angled side pockets, side compression straps that don't ruin the side pocket functionality, tight stretchy mesh outers instead of twig-catchers flapping in the breeze, etc...
3) Cool and Close. The VC back panel looks like it will be cool and non-absorbent. And, here's the big thing for me, it is not pushing the load out away from my back. Everything about this pack seems to be trying to keep the load tight to your core-- right where it belongs.
4) Roll Top. I am tired of drawstring tops that don't really seal and I am looking forward to the integrity of a roll top closure.
5) Brilliant Compression. If 60 litres sounds too big for your kit (as it did to me) don't worry. This pack seems to be truly variable in size because of the roll top and the superb compression system. Note how the compression design is not just a strap or two on the side panels, instead it is a very thorough system with ten adjustable lines plus the vertical fabric panels that distribute the compression forces all the way up and down the pack, not just where the straps are! Ten adjustable straps you ask? Yes. 2 on each side + 2 on the outer panel + 2 on the roll-top closer which nicely pull the top load down AND forward + 2 straps to cinch down the top even more. So given all of this adjustable compression, it looks like you could vary the size of this pack almost infinitely from a day pack up to a 60 liter trekker all while keeping the load tightly trimmed. I like that!
6) Stealth colors and a nice look.
7) And, oh yes, let's not forget about those two little stretchy pockets on the shoulder straps!

Well, that's my take on it so far. Hope it lives up to my expectations when I can finally get it out on the trail.
--Jay

Edited by Jbutera on 03/10/2012 13:02:46 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Why I Purchased the Granite Gear Crown VC 60 on 03/10/2012 08:39:42 MST Print View

For those interested, Phil actually used and tested the Crown here:

http://sectionhiker.com/granite-gear-crown-vc-60-backpack/

shane sibert
(grinder) - F

Locale: P.N.W
crown AC on 03/10/2012 11:18:36 MST Print View

Thanks for the indepth reveiw, it was helpful and answered many questions I had about the Crown verse the Blaze.

I own a Blaze. Yes the weight is more then advertised, mine is 3lbs. I like that the blaze is adjustable, that is important to me because I'm a bigger guy-205lbs. I like the large mesh pockets and don't mind the roll closure.I have noticed some very minor wear on the mesh outter pockets of the blaze after only one season. I was contemplating the crown, but not enough of a difference for to justify a pack without the adjustable suspension and in reality just a few ounces less.

Edited by grinder on 03/10/2012 11:25:38 MST.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Review on 03/10/2012 12:42:50 MST Print View

David, thanks for posting that link, I hadn't seen that review.

I still haven't been able to get my hands on one yet. I checked my local retailer yesterday and they still haven't received any yet. Reviews like this are very helpful. I've tried on the Blaze AC60 many times and like it, but I want to try the Crown VC60 before making my decision. Fit will be the ultimate deciding factor for me, followed by weight, but both these packs have the features I want in a pack. I particularly like the numerous compression straps since the only reason I need a larger pack is to accomodate larger food supplies on longer trips (can't see myself ever needing to carry 35 pounds since I'm usually only out for a week or less). As the trip progresses, it's nice to be able to shrink your pack size down as I eat my way through my food supply.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Review on 03/10/2012 14:13:28 MST Print View

I contacted GG to get an idea of the torso size of the Large Crown. From the top of the hip belt to where the shoulder straps attach to the main bag is 17.25". The Regular is 14".

Useful information for those who may not be able to try on before ordering.

Michael Huffman
(air2mud82) - F

Locale: Germany/Montana
REI on 03/10/2012 14:59:01 MST Print View

Any idea if REI will carry this pack? I have a gift card.

Jeff J
(j.j.81) - F

Locale: Oregon
REI on 03/10/2012 15:54:13 MST Print View

My personal experience with GG at REI is that they may offer it, but only as a special order. Even if it's listed online, you'll need to call your local store to confirm before heading over; it won't specify that it's available online only. That was what I had to do when I wanted the Escape.

So order it for in-store pick up, and try it out.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/10/2012 16:25:06 MST Print View

>> I contacted GG to get an idea of the torso size of the Large Crown. From the top of the hip belt to where the shoulder straps attach to the main bag is 17.25". The Regular is 14". <<

David - Good info, thanks for posting that.

Looks like I'm going to be in between sizes. The measurement points on my Vapor Trail were approx. 18 inches (maybe the same as the Large Crown with measuring variances) and my son's Vapor Flash (reg) is approx 15 inches from the top of the belt to where the shoulder straps attach. My Vapor Trail is too large for me and my son's Flash is a bit to short, so I'm betting I will need around 16-16.5 inches between your two measurement points. The adjustable frame sheet of the Blaze AC60 is starting to sould like the winning feature for me depending on how well it sizes up and down. I'll still test the Crown before deciding but it's nice to be armed with some info before heading into the store (although I'll probably buy both and return the one that I like the least after putting my gear into them).

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/10/2012 18:16:26 MST Print View

One of the members here questioned my estimate of the size of my Crown compared to the GoLite Pinnacle (I had thought that the Pinnacle was much larger, and the Crown was comparable to the Jam), so I stuffed both packs with two of the same winter sleeping bags (being careful to apply the same pressure when stuffing). To my surprise the Crown with extension collar held the same amount of volume, plus there was fabric to spare in the extension collar to allow the roll top closure to be folded over three times and cinched down the sides for the proper closure. This effectively makes my Pinnacle obsolete. What is wonderful about the Crown is that my original estimate of it being about the same size as a Jam was perfectly right... just roll down the roll top closure, cinch it, and you've got a much smaller volume pack that doesn't flop around and collapse. Very versatile for when carrying lots of extra food and for long term international travel. I really, really like this pack. And I don't say that very often. In fact, of the few times I've written about a pack here on BPL, this is the first time I've said something positive! (shelters are a different story)

I'll use the Pinnacle, with hip belts and shoulder straps lopped off, as a sack for my Arctic 1000 harness. And I may sell my unused Blaze, though I'm not sure yet. It's nice to get my gear closet down to a really simple, manageable level.

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: REI on 03/10/2012 18:45:40 MST Print View

Any idea if REI will carry this pack? I have a gift card.

Michael, I called REI HQ last week and they told me they had a handful in the system, something like 3 medium and 2 large. They will ship it to you if you like. I told them to order more because it would be a popular pack, but I'm not sure if they were taking me seriously.

Michael Huffman
(air2mud82) - F

Locale: Germany/Montana
REI on 03/11/2012 10:13:30 MDT Print View

Calling now, thanks!
------------------------

Edit:

Made contact with 'em. As of the posting of this message, their normal customer order system didn't even show the pack, but when he did some further research he found that the (seperate) system that takes orders shows they have 4. Mine should be shipping from the Maryland warehouse, with the other warehouse being in Washington --each showed as having two packs.

He could tell me the torso size, but it did not show waistbelt sizes. I'm guessing/hoping that a regular torso brings with it a medium (30-34") waistbelt.

So, they should have three in stock now!

Edited by air2mud82 on 03/11/2012 10:53:04 MDT.

Emil Gazda
(Emilio)

Locale: Southeast
REI on 03/11/2012 14:50:18 MDT Print View

Granite gear site states that all crowns are shipping with medium hipbelts until further notice.

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: REI on 03/11/2012 19:28:28 MDT Print View

Glad you were able to snag one, Michael. I'm still trying to decide. My ten-year-old Vapor Trail looks like hell but still carries great.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/12/2012 13:01:42 MDT Print View

I'll say this...I just tried on a Crown 60 at REI and I'm kind of thinking about selling my Pinnacle. There is something about this pack.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/12/2012 13:26:36 MDT Print View

@ Paul.

$29.99 and not a penny less.

Bump.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/12/2012 15:25:55 MDT Print View

Dave,

I will go with $29.99. So $29.99 for the Pinnacle. Now shipping to Canada costs a little more than to somewhere here in Amurica. And you have to consider that this pack can be considered a "hazardous" material. How? We you will probably like it so much that you are going to quit your job and go do some Skurka like epic for the next 6 months and that could cause some problems at home. So....shipping to Canada, $35.00. Then you add the "hazardous" charge of another $35.00.

So yes, $29.99 for the pack plus $70 shipping. I'll message you my paypal info. =)

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 on 03/12/2012 19:41:25 MDT Print View

Bump da Bump

I like your offer. Any chance you can include Travis' HMG Tarp. If so, I am in.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Finally got a look at the Crown VC 60 on 03/17/2012 13:16:22 MDT Print View

Family Guy wrote:

>> I contacted GG to get an idea of the torso size of the Large Crown. From the top of the hip belt to where the shoulder straps attach to the main bag is 17.25". The Regular is 14" <<

I finally got my hands on the Crown VC 60 and really liked what I saw however, it's a no go for me because neither size will fit me.

The measurements above are different than what I measured on the Crown VC60. From the top of the shoulder strap attachment to the top of the belt measured 15" for the regular Torso (same as my son's Vapor Flash) and the large measures almost 19 inches which is even bigger than my Large size Vapor Trail! The Large is way to tall for me and the Regular Torso was close but I ran out of shoulder strap adjustment length which is too bad. I guess GG has shortened the shoulder strap belt length as much as possible to save weight but that was a mistake in my mind as it doesn't allow me to ride the pack back a bit. The VC60 just can't work for me. Too bad because I really liked what I saw.

The Blace AC60 fits me perfectly when adjusted to 16 inches (using the same measurement points from strap attachment point to top of belt). It has one more inch of adjustment, so it could go as long as 17 inches but no where near as long as the Crown VC 60 in size large.

I haven't bought the Blaze yet because I noticed that the shoulder straps had "Trim Reg" written on them. The sales dude didn't know what that meant, so I headed home to do research. Appears you can get a wider "expedition" width shoulder strap as an option and this will improve the carrying comfort for heavy loads. The trim is the standard according to Granite Gear's info so I will go with that when I finally pick up the pack. I've never heard about the wider straps so it is all good info.

Edited by skopeo on 03/17/2012 14:30:17 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Finally got a look at the Crown VC 60 on 03/17/2012 14:47:56 MDT Print View

Thanks Mike - I almost ordered a large and am glad I didn't.

This is the e-mail response I received from Granite Gear:

"Hey David: Sorry you haven’t gotten a response from the Customer Service email. We had 2 snow days last week where we were closed for business. We’re now trying to play catch-up. I had sent an email earlier to our warehouse to get measurements and finally ended up grabbing the packs myself.

Regular Torso – from top of hipbelt to the base of the shoulder straps = 14”

Long Torso - from top of hipbelt to the base of the shoulder straps = 17 ¼”

Hope this helps make your decision easier. We do have plenty of stock in both sizes and we finally have different belts sizes. Let me know if you need anything else.

Thanks again for choosing Granite Gear products. Dana"

Perhaps someone in the warehouse was a bit confused?

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Arrived! on 03/17/2012 15:23:14 MDT Print View

David -

I could understand a half inch variance in measurements just because the "top of the waist belt" is not a precise line however I think the Granite Gear guy missed it by a long shot on the large. Since my measurements for the Regular are exactly the same as my son's Vapor Flash, I suspect I'm measuring fairly accurately.

I actually like your measuring system and wish we could get the pack manufacturers to adopt this measuring system. I have recently measured my MLD Burn (my favourite pack) and it's exactly 16 inches which seems to be my magic number. I measured my Exodus and it's 16.5 so no wonder these packs work so well for me. Now that I know that I need 16 inches between your measurement points I can tell almost instantly whether a pack will fit me or not.

The Large Crown VC60 me was just silly on me. The shoulder strap attachment point was actually higher than my shoulders! Granite gear pack straps are meant to wrap around your shoulders (and use the load levelers to pull it up tight) and it's what I've always liked about their packs. The size large was so big that tightening up the load levelers actually caused the shoulder strap to bunch up!

I probably could have used the regular size Crown VC60 except that I have fairly thick shoulders (which I'm sure you do too). This means the shoulder straps have to be a bit longer to make it all the way around our shoulders and unfortunately, they made the straps a bit short (trimmed down to save weight) and the straps don't make it around my shoulders before running out of length. This puts all the weight on my shoulders which is no good. Since you are a solid guy, you might want to think about this as well. I think the pack was designed for super slim thru-hikers.

The Blaze didn't have any of these issues. The adjustable torso length and the long straps allow it to fit me perfectly. Too bad, the Crown would have been perfect for me. I do prefer the large pocket on the Blaze. It's a lot larger than the pocket on the Crown and will meet my needs better anyway. Too bad about the extra 12 oz of weight.

Edited by skopeo on 03/17/2012 15:32:30 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Arrived! on 03/17/2012 15:40:00 MDT Print View

Mike - I like this measurement 'type' as well. My sweet spot is right at 17" so I was quite excited about the 17.25" measurement. Finally I might be able to wear a Granite Gear without an adjustable torso suspension. You have confirmed that this is not the case and I am not surprised. The large Vapor Trail was much too tall for me and the regular was too short.

Thanks for posting the 'corrected' measurments.

On a side note, I found that the adjustable torso 'slots' of the Ozone were a bit optimistic. I always wore it at the 20" mark (it went to 22" and as low as 18") but I am actually closer to a 19" torso measurement by normal measurement standards. Regardless, measuring from the top of the belt to where the shoulder harness attaches to the main bag is now my new standard means of measuring. This assumes that the shoulder straps are sufficiently apart where they attach to the main bag.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Shoulder straps... on 03/17/2012 15:46:18 MDT Print View

>> This assumes that the shoulder straps are sufficiently apart where they attach to the main bag <<

Interesting you mentioned this. On the Blaze AC60, I noticed that the adjustments are all in a line (same width apart) except for the last set of adjustment holes. The last set of holes are set an inch or so farther appart than the rest of the adjustment notches. I assume this is to accommodate larger people and separates the straps a bit when you adjust to the largest torso length.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Shoulder straps... on 03/17/2012 15:50:57 MDT Print View

Mike - do they rotate outward like on the Ozone? Those shoulder straps were attached with a bolt (I think you actually had one of these so I am stating the obvious to you) and would rotate out depending on the width of the users shoulders. I suspect they don't given the new torso adjustment system (?)

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Shoulder straps... on 03/17/2012 17:32:59 MDT Print View

David, I've never owned the Ozone but the adjustments on the Blaze are just slots. The slots are spaced an inch apart with the last set of slots being farther apart than the rest.

I think the shoulder straps on the Blaze have quite a bit more length in the adjustable webbing and maybe even the padded part of the shoulder strap is longer on than the shoulder straps on the Crown. Maybe Miguel could chime in regarding a comparison of the shoulder strap length since he has both packs. The longer shoulder straps on the Blaze provide a bit of forgiveness in selecting a torso length IMO and is what is missing in the Crown.

I am also undecided as to whether I like the narrower webbing straps used on the shoulder straps on the Crown. Although I know that the shoulder straps don't really carry that much weight, they just seem too light to me somehow. I suspect this is just me resisting innovation. It does save weight and they are probably plenty strong with the narrower webbing. The Blaze has much more substantial straps and buckles but of course this all adds to the weight of the Blaze.

I'm just bummed out that I can't fit the Crown.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Shoulder straps... on 03/17/2012 23:55:49 MDT Print View

"I'm just bummed out that I can't fit the Crown."

Indeed.

Somehow pack makers never consult us....

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Alaska
Curious on 03/18/2012 00:52:42 MDT Print View

One thing I'm curious about is the weight carrying capacity of the crown vs the blaze. GG's website states that both packs are rated for 35 lbs, even though the Blaze's frame seems to be a bit stiffer. Anyone have any thoughts about this?

FWIW, I took a 5 day trip loaded up with about 28 lbs max and the Crown felt great.

zorobabel frankenstein
(zorobabel) - F

Locale: SoCal
crown vs blaze padding on 03/20/2012 17:41:37 MDT Print View

I haven't seen anything about comparing the padding on the 2 packs. Could those that have tried both please comment on the padding (especially for shoulder straps and hipbelt)? I'm also interested in hipbelt stiffness.
Thanks!

Emil Gazda
(Emilio)

Locale: Southeast
Crown Hipbelt on 03/22/2012 05:37:45 MDT Print View

I just received my Crown yesterday. The hipbelt is adequately padded and once worn seems to retain the shape of your hips. I would be careful when choosing a hipbelt size. I am 32 waist and went with a Medium. I had to cinch it down almost completely. A small would have been better in my case. May have to switch it out if I drop 2 or 3 pounds.

zorobabel frankenstein
(zorobabel) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Crown Hipbelt on 03/22/2012 11:59:51 MDT Print View

Thanks. Good to know about the hipbelt sizing, I'm 30".

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Arrived! on 03/24/2012 22:34:59 MDT Print View

I tried this pack on and actually like the way it fits. I might actually look at it again tomorrow.

Edited by reacttocontact on 03/24/2012 22:36:14 MDT.

Richard Juen
(skinkrj1) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: REI on 03/24/2012 22:55:45 MDT Print View

I picked up the Crown V.C. 60 at the REI Seattle store earlier this week. They had 1 Long, which I got, and 2 Regulars. They also had some Blaze packs to compare side by side. So far I have gone on 2 hikes about 10 miles each and could not be happier. I upgraded from the old Jansport external frame pack. No more shoulder pain! The weight of the pack rested very comfortably on my hips the whole time with minimal adjustment needed. The pack comes with the Medium hip belt and I will need the Large. REI will not provide for an exchange of the hipbelt, therefore I will have to go to Granite Gear for that. Oh well.

Edited by skinkrj1 on 04/05/2012 13:07:10 MDT.

zorobabel frankenstein
(zorobabel) - F

Locale: SoCal
crown vs blaze on 03/28/2012 09:04:35 MDT Print View

I found a Crown large at REI yesterday and a Blaze small.
I'm a 19" torso and the large was way too big, the shoulder straps were sewn to the pack ~ 2" above my shoulders. It had a M hipbelt and I had to pull the straps all the way for it to fit my 30" waist - with an empty pack. With 25 lbs in it, it might have been too big.
I didn't load either of them as they didn't fit, but in regards to padding, I'd say the Blaze hipbelt is twice as thick and twice as rigid as the Crown hipbelt. The Crown hipbelt had a better fit somehow, at least with an empty pack.
The shoulder straps on the Crown are just a bit wider and a bit more rigid than the Blaze, but also flat and less thick.
The Crown back frame is pretty flexible. The Blaze back frame is more rigid, and flexes less. The Nimbus suspension doesn't flex at all - for comparison.
The Crown large had about 2-1/2 lbs on the REI scale.

Hopefully I'll find a medium Crown in the future and load it.

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Alaska
Hipbelt on 03/28/2012 13:23:52 MDT Print View

I had to exchange my medium hipbelt for a small. With a 30 inch waist I really had to cinch down the medium till there was no strap left.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Hipbelt on 03/28/2012 14:49:03 MDT Print View

The hipbelt is one of my favorite things about this pack. I'm planning on taking it for a test hike in the next day or two, and I'll try to report back soon.

Barbara K
(Barbara)

Locale: So Cal
REI on 03/28/2012 20:41:52 MDT Print View

I backordered a Crown regular size on line from REI today. The stores near me dont have it in stock (2 REIs and an A16.) They're not saying what the delivery date might be yet. I used the REWARDS20 and my $2.47 dividend :-)

Edited by Barbara on 03/28/2012 20:42:28 MDT.

Drew Jay
(drewjh) - F

Locale: Central Coast
Framesheets on 05/17/2012 15:32:29 MDT Print View

Wanted to add a clarification on frame sheet stiffness as I couldn't seem to find this information before trying/buying these packs in person. The Crown VC frame sheet is super flexy. If you empty the pack and stand it up it droops considerably under its own weight. You could fold it nearly in half very easily. I don't know if the difference is in the frame sheet or the thicker foam, but the Vapor Trail is considerably stiffer. It will stand up straight under its own weight. I actually prefer the design on the Vapor Trail over the Crown because of the stiffer frame and cushier belt and shoulder straps. The Crown back panel is definitely cooler though. What really surprised me in person is the Blaze frame sheet. It is WAY stiffer than the Crown or VT. Rating its capacity the same as the Crown is confusing at best.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Framesheets on 05/17/2012 15:55:11 MDT Print View

Not to mention that the belt is firmer and thicker on the Blaze so it will definitely carry more load. THe shoulder straps are also wider and longer (padded portion). The Crown is essentially frameless and I suspect you could get better stiffness with a Z-lite pad in say, a Jam.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 -vs- Vapor Trail on 05/18/2012 16:48:09 MDT Print View

Is there anyone who had a great experience using the Vapor Trail and has now used the Crown VC? If so, any thoughts about how the two packs compare when it comes to carry comfort? The reason I asked is that I want to pick up an extra pack to be a loaner. I had given my VT to someone in need… and I find I need one more loaner pack. Given my positive experience with the VT, I thought the Crown VC would be a great replacement since it's being advertised as the VT refined and improved.

I gave it quick try at REI today and didn't find it as comfortable as I remember the VT. Of course, there are four possibilities. My memory sucks. I have gotten used to the Gorilla, the Crown carries differently (maybe better for me), which is effecting my assessment, I was using simulated weight which means the pack wasn't as carefully packed… and since the frame sheet is only semi ridged it might not be performing optimally, or that it's carry comfort has dropped (at least for my back shape).

What are people finding?

--Mark

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 -vs- Vapor Trail on 05/18/2012 21:45:26 MDT Print View

Hi Mark - I found the suspension (combination of shoulder harness and belt) to be superior on the VT. The Crown adds a bunch of features but to keep the weight in check it forgoes the better suspension of the VT. At least this was my finding (same thing with the Blaze v.s. the Ozone).

Drew Jay
(drewjh) - F

Locale: Central Coast
Comparison on 05/19/2012 19:08:39 MDT Print View

I have not done a trip in either yet, but have loaded both up with my gear and food in the appropriate weight range. Based on that the VT was much more comfortable for me. I disliked the Crown immediately but had the totally opposite reaction to the VT. My current plan is to go with the VT for my 2-3 day pack, the only thing that could change that is the temptation to try a 2012 Gorilla.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Comparison on 05/19/2012 23:01:21 MDT Print View

I would be interested if you end up comparing the GGVT to the 2012 Gorilla. I switched from the VT to the original Gorilla when it first came out. I thought the VT was slightly more comfortable, but the advantage was slight, and in every other way the Gorilla was a better match for me. The 2012 Gorilla is more comfortable for me than the original, I think it's a good, maybe better that the VT. Of course, I could be bias, since I own the 2012 Gorilla, and don't own a GGVT anymore :(

--Mark

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Back "pad" on 05/20/2012 00:35:42 MDT Print View

Sorry, as much as I like the design of the GG Crown 60 I can't abidee its clammy back pad, regardless of how many grooves it has. Who thunk that one up?

kevperro .
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Tough Customers on 05/20/2012 10:14:09 MDT Print View

You guys are tough customers. My large is maybe slightly longer than I need but I have no problem with the foam back nor the shoulder straps compared to my ULA Catalyst. It is different but at this point both will carry my 12-20lb load all day in comfort.

What I worry about more is the longevity of the stretch mesh pockets. It looks like a stray stick or bush could tear them.

I'm using it frameless also which puts the weight at 30oz.

Alina G
(Alina) - MLife

Locale: Toronto, Ontario
Which size (Granite Gear Crown 60 Ki) should I get? on 08/21/2012 00:36:37 MDT Print View

Hi
I would greatly appreciate your help in terms of sizing the Granite Gear Crown VC 60 for me. I am planning on getting the women’s version. I am a little confused about the measurements. When measuring the length of torso do I press the measuring tape right up against the spine, following the curvature, or run the tape from the neck to the hips in a straight line? The first method will make the measurement a little longer. I did use the second method and my torso was 17and ¼”
Regarding waist I know that I am to measure at hip crest. Easier said than done. Is it somewhere around the belly button? If yes, then I am 36” but the measurement was taken right on the skin. I guess I need extra space for clothing. Maybe a jacket, fleece etc. as well. How much extra do I allow for clothing? I see that some guys talk about waist measurement not the hip crest. I guess it is because guys measure the same whether at the hip or at the waist?
Based on the above should I go for short torso and large belt? I am surprised that I am short torso as I am 5’6” which is not short for a woman and I think that I am proportionate.
Does anyone have the optional belt pockets? Do you find them useful? Do you have one or two of them? I am not sure if I should get them or not.
Does anyone have the lid?
Thank you in advance.
Alina

Tim Heckel
(ThinAir) - M

Locale: 6237' - Manitou Springs
4 straps on 09/14/2012 15:08:56 MDT Print View

Do you really have to undo 4 straps to access the main pack body? It sure looks that way from the photos.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Arrived! on 09/14/2012 17:14:39 MDT Print View

I have had a GG Crown 60 for about 9 months. Yes you have to undo four clips to get into the main pack body. Rolling up the top is what takes the longest. At the most it takes 10 seconds--usually less. It is not a problem for me. I like the roll top. It is one of my favorite features about the pack.

kevperro .
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
4-straps on 09/15/2012 16:44:14 MDT Print View

I agree... it isn't as bad as it looks. I miss my hip-belt pockets though so I'm eye-balling the Zpacks pouch. I've put about 12-days on the pack and still feel the same about it.

Good pack but we shall see about longevity. I still use my Catalyst too and if I had to carry 25+ lbs I'd take the Catalyst.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Alternate Framesheet Questions on 04/03/2014 12:14:05 MDT Print View

If you're going to carry gear at the higher end of the comfort range for the Crown VC (let's say around 30 lbs), does it make sense to look for a different, stiffer framesheet? Or perhaps add another sheet to the first (there's plenty of room in the framesheet pocket)?

If yes, where might one find a stiffer framesheet? I noticed on the Nimbus Trace, they're now using maple wood (!) as the framesheet. Makes me wonder if 1/8" plywood would work.

I have a kneel pad made of blue CC foam. Trimmed it to fit into the Crown's framesheet pocket, would that increase stiffness and thus carrying capacity? Or would it just pad my back a bit more?

In which dimension is the stiffness important? Do you want the sheet stiff top-to-bottom, a vertical stiffness that resists folding/collapsing from top to bottom? (If so, the existing Crown VC sheet is not very stiff in this dimension). Or is the stiffness important in the horizontal dimension, ie, that it resists conforming to your back? Based on all the aluminum-stay type frames you see, I'm guessing you want little flexibility in the vertical dimension (so the top of the pack does not fold/sag down) but you DO want flexibility in the horizontal dimension (so the frame moves with your back).

If the vertical stiffness is the important one, than simply adding one or two flat aluminum stays, oriented vertically, to the existing framesheet, might stiffen the Crown VC for heavier loads.

Edited by Bolster on 04/03/2014 12:19:24 MDT.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Alternate Framesheet Questions on 04/03/2014 12:36:21 MDT Print View

"If the vertical stiffness is the important one, then simply adding one or two flat aluminum stays, oriented vertically, to the existing framesheet, might stiffen the Crown VC for heavier loads."

If you are using a tent that has poles you can use the pole(s) as a additional stays. That is what I do in my GG Vapor Trail and I think it works great. The pack does not sag at all with 35 lbs. I put them in the back "pocket" in a V shape.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Alternate Framesheet Questions on 04/03/2014 13:28:35 MDT Print View

I played around extensively with the framesheet with the Crown, and personally, I would look toward an aluminum stay system for that weight.

The Gossamer Gear stay in size Large is a perfect match to go up to the load lifters on the Regular Crown. I imagine it would work very, very well to sew webbing channels on a very light plastic sheet. You wouldn't need the full thickness that GG uses--it would mostly be there to do what a framesheet does best, to keep the stuff in your pack from poking into your back. All the load transfer would be provided by the stays, and with Granite Gear's hipbelt attachment, they would have direct contact and strong load transfer to the belt.

A more efficient, but far more difficult strategy would be to sew some webbing channels directly on the pack itself. They wouldn't (probably couldn't) be the full length of the back panel, but if you open up the seams (be really careful! this is dangerous!) you maybe cover the necessary parts so that it would stay in place without moving. It would all have to be spot on, though, because the way GG designed the pack requires a certain amount of tension along the back to keep things in place.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Alternate Framesheet Questions on 04/03/2014 13:45:33 MDT Print View

The Crown offers an optional Klymit inflatable backpad, which is stiffer than the plastic frame it comes standard with:

http://www.granitegearstore.com/Vapor-Current-AirBeam-Frame-P345C53.aspx

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Airbeam Frame on 04/03/2014 14:07:19 MDT Print View

Vapor Current Airbeam Frame...interesting, didn't know that was available. Weighs 3 oz, and the flat plastic framesheet that comes with the Crown VC is 5.6 oz. I could have a sub-2 lb pack for another $50!! Woohoo!

Blows my mind that an air bladder would be stiffer. But GG is advertising that this Airbeam Frame increases capacity to 40 lbs.

Arn Aarreberg
(aarrebea) - M

Locale: Northern Bay Area, CA
RE: Airbeam Frame on 04/03/2014 14:50:22 MDT Print View

This is very interesting and I was also unaware of this being available. Kind of makes me rethink my VC 60. I originally purchased this pack as a load hauler for longer trips and trips where I need to be the pack mule with my wife. I was disappointed with the carrying ability over 30 lbs, but, I really liked the pack overall and the hipbelt is great. This may be a simple and relatively affordable fix that decreases weight and increases comfort. Win, win!

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: RE: Airbeam Frame on 04/03/2014 15:01:14 MDT Print View

Good catch, Dave. I forgot about the Airbeam frame. I'm wondering, though, if the stiffer frame would mean that it wouldn't adapt to the shape of your back as well as bendable stays. In that respect, I would think the stays are still preferable.

But the Airbeam, if it works better than the framesheet, would be a much easier fix, especially with the current REI coupon and similar 20% off sales.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: RE: Airbeam Frame on 04/03/2014 16:16:15 MDT Print View

It's similar to the system used by MLD. I wonder if any users of the Full Suspension MLD packs could comment on carry....?

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: RE: Airbeam Frame on 04/03/2014 16:41:24 MDT Print View

I picked a GG Aji w/airbeam frame a month ago as I wanted a zip panel loader pack to carry dslr camera gear. The Airbeam frame makes a BIG difference in the support as the included plastic frame sheet is a joke. Worried about inflation/deflation as I go up/down from altitude but a snow climb up the side of Mt. Fuji from sea level to ~2600m showed no problems. Only downside is it is ~1" thick so takes up some space in the already cramped Aji pack. I also bought a Klymit Inertia X Wave sleep pad and hope to use the Airbeam as a leg extension pad this Summer when I try some tarp camping.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: RE: Airbeam Frame on 04/03/2014 17:30:33 MDT Print View

Dave, my Exodus FS is still my go-to pack. I can't comment much on it's carrying capacity past 22 lbs, since that's about the most I've ever had in it. My base weight ranges from 8.7 - 9.3, but when I take my 10 yr old daughter total weight can hit 22+. At these loads it rides like 8# in my Murmur and is more comfortable (for me). Sorry that I can't speak to how it does at the weights you guys are talking about, but I'd expect it to do very well at 30#. Combine the good air beam stiffness and transfer with the excellent GG hip belt and you likely have a winner for 30+ loads.

Edited by arttyszka on 04/03/2014 17:36:21 MDT.