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Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review
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Maia Jordan
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review on 05/08/2012 12:14:35 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review on 05/08/2012 13:16:57 MDT Print View

I hope Addie is OK or at least on vacation!

Last week we heard from the Big Boss, and this week BPL evidently has the lovely Maia running the office! Great to hear from both of you!

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/08/2012 13:17:58 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review on 05/08/2012 14:43:16 MDT Print View

Nice pack except for the torso sizing. Each adjustment is about 2" from reality. I am a 19.5" torso but had to use 22" (the last hole) to get sufficient comfort.

Alina G
(Alina) - MLife

Locale: Toronto, Ontario
Granite Gear Crown pack review? on 05/08/2012 15:31:41 MDT Print View

Any chance of similar review of Granite Gear Crown pack? Maybe even comparison of the two?
Thank you.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Nice Review where's Addie? on 05/08/2012 17:19:27 MDT Print View

I like the review but what happened to Addie? Maia seems capable enough but I hope Addie stays around:)

Robert H
Re: Re: Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review on 05/08/2012 17:23:17 MDT Print View

It looks a bit Frankenstein! But hey, when did that stop any of us. Thanks for the review.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review on 05/09/2012 10:57:16 MDT Print View

Have been hoping to see an objective review of the 60. This has seemed to me like a great player as an option for a thru-hiker with only a handful of others. The addition of the vertical rear mesh pocket is a superb answer to something that has been missing from GG's packs for about a decade.

ps - Hi, Maia.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: GG Blaze A.C. 60 -- True BPL measured volume? on 05/09/2012 18:05:31 MDT Print View


Nice review. Could you comment on how much BPL-method measured cubic inches there is in the main compartment of the pack? If you recall the massive review of packs done in the last 18 months, I think it was by Roger Caffin, they used packing peanuts and stuffed the pack full of such, then poured the peanuts in a cubic box that had lines drawn at each cubic foot full of space, thereby being able to tell how much cubic space there was. In that review, the GG Nimbus Ozone came out far short of its advertised cubic inches of volume. I'd like to know if Granite Gear has gone to a more accurate stated capacity.


Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review on 05/10/2012 08:06:07 MDT Print View

I re-read this review and wonder why the pack wasn't weighed by BPL?

On a related note, if one requires more suspension (and a better one) they could buy a Nimbus Meridian and take off the top pocket which would get them to the same weight as the Blaze but without the front pocket.

Also, watch those linelocs carefully. The plastic ends pull off easily.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review on 05/10/2012 08:11:45 MDT Print View

David, I thought of that too. I miss the old Nimbus Ozone pack, the best pack GG ever made. It has a very long extension collar. Removing the lid from the Nimbus Meridian leaves you with a pack slightly heavier (a couple of ounces) than the Ozone but with hardly any extension collar, and there is nothing to protect the top of the pack from drizzle. It isn't anything as nice as the Nimbus Ozone.

My only complaint about the Ozone is that it truly is not a 62 liter pack as measured by BPL's methodology. It is about that of an Osprey Atmos 55 L pack. I took the amount of peanuts in the pack and they fit into the Atmos.

When one does a John Muir Trail hike and has to take the large Bearikade Expedition Canister pack size counts even though my base gear weight is 12.5 pounds (minus the bear canister).

Edited by marti124 on 05/10/2012 08:12:29 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review on 05/10/2012 17:13:09 MDT Print View

Hi, all-

First, BPL weight of the AC60 came in at 2 pounds 14.4 ounces. Sorry we didn't get the confirmed weight in there!

In my experience fitting GG packs I've found that the majority of people fit their "proper" frame size, or sometimes down an inch. Like anything, though, fit is dependent upon the individual.

I did not independently verify the volume of the pack. Frankly, that's a whole mess that even the industry cannot seem to agree on. "Standards" are not... and while I could use the method referenced above, its most significant relativity would be to other packs measured in precisely the same way. (Even with the foam peanut method, for example... do you just pour the peanuts in? Or do you "tamp" them in a little bit? How much? Do you measure the pressure of tamping for consistency? If you just pour them in, how do you ensure that all corners of the pack are equally filled? If you add any amount of pressure on the peanuts, how much do they deform? Do you add the same amount when they're then measured in the box? Loads (wait for it...) more questions like this.) One other oddity I've found in pack volume measurement is that some manufacturers include certain pocketry, while others don't. I hope we can get some more consistency in the industry.

Performance and comfort of the Blaze have been excellent, and the capacity for loads of widely varying size has been no less impressive.

At the moment I can't recall if the following point made it into the article: I couldn't find much to cut off the pack. Actually, I decided to just leave it stock. I'm not going to rip the frame out of a framed pack, or take out the foam pad from the back, or dump the hipbelt... those modifications just don't make sense to me on a pack like this. But I have no problem trimming excess strap, removing things like ice axe loops or hydration pockets and so on... and there wasn't really any of that to remove. Kudos to GG for that! At the same time, I wouldn't plan on stripping the factory weight of this pack much lower than it is.

David Lang

Locale: Northwest U.S.
Blaze AC 60 on 05/12/2012 01:10:47 MDT Print View

Both my fiance and I have this pack. We both just loved the design and fit of this pack. The padding is thick and comfortable, adjusting the suspension for torso length is easy, and you can comfortably carry this pack all day long.

The only thing that I have thought about doing to mine was trimming the excess length from the straps, as several of them are quite long. But I decided against it for now because I don't find it bothersome yet, and the weight savings would be minimal.

As stated in the review, this pack is well made, and IMO, a well thought out design. The lack of zippers is great. Nothing to get snagged up. The roll top design keeps gear securely in place, and the stretch pockets are a feature that I appreciate.

One last thing to note- the hydration pocket on this pack is useless because it is such a tight fit. I didn't really care, because I don't carry a bladder on the trail, but I thought I would mention it so that people considering this pack would be aware of that. I could barely fit my hand halfway down the sleeve.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Blaze AC 60 on 05/12/2012 08:24:37 MDT Print View

"Nothing to get snagged up."

I would disagree with this because of the side and front pockets. They are not very snag proof.

One comment about the front pocket. Once your main bag is full, the available volume of the front pocket is reduced considerably. I wish more pack makers would create front pockets that are separated from the main bag such that they are actually a pocket and not a strip of spandex. That way you could use the volume of the pocket to its fullest.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review on 05/12/2012 09:49:02 MDT Print View

Wow, that is not an attractive pack. Looks like leftovers sewn together. What's with the straps over the pockets?

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Blaze AC 60 on 05/12/2012 10:03:13 MDT Print View

David's right about the pockets snagging. I tore a small hole in the side pocket of my Crown, which uses the same mesh for its pockets as the Blaze. I will say that the stretch mesh is pretty tough (for mesh). I was in some pretty nasty bush whacking, and I felt the snag and could have prevented it. But it is a weak point over fabric pockets.

shane sibert
(grinder) - F

Locale: P.N.W
Blaze AC 60 on 05/12/2012 10:37:26 MDT Print View

I have carried a Blaze since it's first introduction. I dig the suspension and the colors and think it is good pack, not as comfy as the nimbus ozone but close. I have experianced some abrasion wear to the mesh due to my tent poles.

The down side was the hydro pocket (the pocket is so tight, no way to get a platy in it)and the paracord plastic things at the end of the cord. So, I ordered from quest outfitters some plastic cord end caps which are MUCH better in function and appearance. The next thing I did was ordering some mesh similar to what is on the packs stretch pockests from Quest and then took the pack to a local seamstress and had her cut and sew the matertial into the hydration pocket so now my platy will just slide right in. Works fantastic with no weight penelty. Now the pack is just about steller!

blaze ac end capsblaze ac hydration pocket modified

Edited by grinder on 05/12/2012 10:39:27 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Cool Mod on 05/12/2012 10:51:36 MDT Print View

That's a pretty cool mod. I forgot that the Blaze has the zipper in the hydration pocket too. Pretty unnecessary in my book.

Edited by GlacierRambler on 05/15/2012 12:50:50 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Blaze AC 60 on 05/15/2012 12:03:40 MDT Print View

I do carry a bladder on the trail, but can't remember the last time I used a hydration pocket. They're a pain to access and use! I've found it much, much easier to just strap my bladder under the lid or top straps. So on the Blaze, for example, I just lay the bladder cross-wise on top of the pack, then cinch the straps over it. When I'm carrying less water, super easy to stop at a stream or whatever, yank off the bladder, and fill up. Also no futzing with routing of hose.

Even with a full pack I could still shove a sil tarp and rain gear in the back pocket...

One thing I would consider removing, come to think of it, is the silly little velcro "organizer" things on the end of some straps. The idea is to take your excess strap, neatly roll it up, and secure it. They're unnecessary and a bit clutzy.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Blaze AC 60 on 05/15/2012 12:12:44 MDT Print View

"Even with a full pack I could still shove a sil tarp and rain gear in the back pocket..."

I will post a review at some point of the modular front pocket I have been testing for HMG (on my Porter). It is not affected at all by how you stuff the main bag.

David Lang

Locale: Northwest U.S.
Blaze AC 60 on 05/16/2012 03:19:19 MDT Print View

"I would disagree with this because of the side and front pockets. They are not very snag proof."

I was just stating that there were no zippers that would get snagged. The mesh pockets, as with any mesh material, can snag up pretty easily.