I put up a detailed early review of the Granite Gear Crown VC 60 on my blog. I've summarized the important points here so that you don't have to click over unless you just want more information and pictures (sorry for the lack of pictures here, the forum software is being a PITA).
Measurement and Fit
The following measurements are based upon my pack---a size Regular torso with a Medium hipbelt:
Main Pack Weight - 23.14 oz / 656 g
Hipbelt Weight - 5.68 oz / 161 g
Framesheet Weight - 5.75 oz / 163 g
Total Weight - 34.57 oz / 980 g
True Torso Length - 17.75" / 45.1 cm (from the middle of the hipbelt)
Traditional Torso Length - 19.5" / 49.5 cm (from the bottom of the hipbelt)
Hipbelt Length - 31" / 78.7 cm
Hipbelt Height - 4.25" / 10.8 cm
What I have found is that I wear this pack a little higher than previous ones I've owned, and the wrap-around hipbelt essentially negates my problems with far less tension on the belt than I am used to. For me, the torso length is ideal, and thus the fit is excellent. I do not need the load lifters unless experiencing torso collapse from a heavy load (30 pounds and above, in my experience so far).
Materials and Durability
According to Granite Gear's website, the main pack (the grey fabric) is made of 100 denier ripstop nylon while the bottom and reinforcement sections (the green fabric) are made of 210 denier Cordura nylon (in a taffeta weave). The pockets are made of some kind of stretch mesh.
While I have yet to experience any kind of long-term use of these materials (obviously, since the pack was only recently released), I did have the opportunity to spend some time bushwacking with the pack through nine-year old deadfall and new reforestation.
I can find no evidence of snags or wear on the nylon materials. I was particularly concerned about the stretch mesh pockets, as they caught on several branches, and the right pocket has one small tear, about 3/8" (0.83 cm) long. To be fair, I was at a point of serious frustration with the conditions, and I felt the snag, but pushed on without trying to remove it. I cannot imagine that any other mesh would have fared differently.
Load Carry and Suspension
Granite Gear lists the maximum load capacity to 35 lbs / 16 kg. So far, I have carried the pack on several day hike tests, with normal UL two-day loads (17-18 lbs / 8 kg total pack weight) and one overnighter (28 lbs / 12.7 kg, including snowshoes and 3 1/2 of water). On one day hike, I also strapped my wife's pack to the top, bringing the total to 30 lbs / 13.6 kg.
Without a doubt, in each of these instances, the Crown has carried the load excellently. The Crown's framesheet is made of plastic and generally floppy, but it works very well. I have carried the pack with both the stock framesheet and a folded up Gossamer Gear 1/8" Thinlight pad, and both transfer weight very well to the hips. In fact, I cannot tell a difference in the carry between the two. Since I already carry the pad for my inflatable mattress, the pack weight drops to 28.82 oz / 817 g. In fact the time that I strapped my wife's day pack to the Crown, I was using the Thinlight pad instead of the framesheet, and I only experienced minor torso collapse (due to the fact that I just strapped it on with little attempt to balance it) that the load lifters easily resolved.
I also have an old framesheet with a sleeve for an aluminum stay from an old Marmot pack. After a little trimming, it fits in the Crown's sleeve very nicely. As soon as I can access a friend's drill press, I intend to add some holes similar to the Crown's framesheet so that---ideally---I will only be penalized two ounces or less for the improved carry.
The Vapor Current pad is also robust enough to act as a thin framesheet itself. A careful packer might be able to get by without any frame at all.
Compression and Linelocs
Frankly, the Linelocs seem gimmicky to me. The 3/8" webbing used for the top compression straps would barely register as additional weight if used instead of the Linelocs. The cord supplied by Granite Gear is not all that burly. I don't expect it to abrade quickly, but I don't expect it to last either. It seems to have no advantage over the thin webbing used elsewhere.
No advantage, that is, save one: modularity. Typical 2mm cord fits well in the Lineloc buckles, meaning that I can add lightweight, dyneema cords cut to any length that I need. I picked up a set of buckles from Gossamer Gear to use with Lawson's Ironwire. With spring arriving, I haven't bothered to fiddle with them yet, but it should be a simple process to rig straps for carrying snowshoes on the pack.
(1) The fit is excellent---especially the long, tall hipbelt.
(2) Modular components. I can configure the pack in several ways according to the needs of a particular trip, getting it as low 23.14 oz / 656 g (no hipbelt or framesheet). While this is not the lightest pack available, it keeps me from having several specialized packs.
(3) Modular frame options. I feel confident that I can easily meet---if not exceed---the 35 lb / 16 kg limit Granite Gear specifies with the framesheet options that I have. I don't like to carry that much weight, but I do need to a couple of times a year.
(4) I just plain like the way it looks. The aesthetics of the pack are really pleasing.
(5) For the weight, Granite Gear prioritizes the right things---proper carry, generous padding, and modular options. It is an excellent feature set.
The Granite Gear Crown VC 60 is a well-built pack with an excellent feature set for its weight. I recommend it.