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Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack Review

Lightweight, full-featured, very comfortable internal frame day pack.


Overall Rating: Recommended

Granite Gear targets its packs to hikers who are willing to carry a little extra weight in return for an extra measure of comfort, and the Vapor Day delivers on that philosophy. At two and a half pounds, the Vapor Day Pack is quite light for an internal frame pack with a full feature set and loads of comfort. Overall, the Vapor Day is versatile, extremely comfortable to carry, and its lightweight framesheet extends its weight carrying capacity. It is also a great value.

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by Will Rietveld |

Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack REVIEW SPOTLITE REVIEW - 1
The new Granite Gear Vapor Day is a lightweight full-featured top-loading internal frame pack. The women’s version is the Vapor Day Ki.


New for spring 2008, Granite Gear packs a lot of comfort, features, and load carrying capacity into the 2000 cubic inch (32 L), 2.5 pound Vapor Day Pack. While it is not the lightest day pack available, it is very lightweight for the comfort and features it provides.

Granite Gear’s name has become synonymous with comfortable packs, and the new Vapor Day Pack is consistent with their reputation. Using lightweight materials, the suspension system (shoulder straps, backpanel, and hipbelt) on the Vapor Day Pack is similar to their larger backpacks, meaning it is well padded and easy to wear.

The Vapor Day incorporates Granite Gear’s Vapor frame, which is a simple rectangular HDPE plastic framesheet that is attached to a foam padded backpanel (this same frame is used in Granite Gear's popular Vapor Trail backpack). It is light and effective - horizontally flexible to conform to the back and vertically rigid to transfer weight to the hips. Unlike Granite Gear’s other frames, the Vapor frame is not adjustable for torso length and shoulder width; the only “adjustments” one can make are choosing the correct pack size and tweaking the suspension system.

Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack REVIEW SPOTLITE REVIEW - 2
The Vapor Day Pack’s suspension system (left) is well padded for extreme comfort. Hipbelt pockets shown are an add-on accessory and are not included with the pack. Features on the front of the pack (right) include a full height stretch nylon zippered pocket and a cradle to attach larger items to the front of the pack.

Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack REVIEW SPOTLITE REVIEW - 3
Each side of the Vapor Day (left) has a stretch nylon pocket. Notice the slit to route the side compression strap under the pocket rather than over it. Water bottles hang up on the inside strap, but the arrangement works well for stuffable gear. The top of the pack (right) has a zippered security pocket.

At $129, the Vapor Day Pack is an excellent value for a day pack with such abundant features (listed below). While two and a half pounds is nothing to sneeze at, I do not believe a day pack needs to be ultralight, as one is unlikely to be carrying more than 10 to 15 pounds. For me, it is also good training for backpacking, because my backpack weight is normally near the same range, at 12 to 18 pounds.

I tested the Vapor Day on numerous fall day hiking and winter snow travel trips, fifteen in all, and noticed a number of pros and a few cons.

  • The Vapor Day is extremely comfortable to carry, with or without a heavier load.
  • I like its panel access, but the top compression straps get in the way of the zipper.
  • The internal framesheet is very lightweight and flexible, allowing the pack to contour to my backside and provide extra weight carrying capacity when I need it.
  • The stretch-woven fabric covering the inside of the shoulder straps, hipbelt, and backpanel is very water-resistant, but will eventually soak up water
  • The stretch nylon front pocket expands to hold a lot of gear, but it’s not waterproof, so gear inside gets wet if it’s raining or snowing. I would prefer this pocket to be waterproof, the same as all of the other zippered pockets on the pack.
  • The stretch nylon side pockets are tough and very stretchy. Water bottles are reachable with the pack on. The pockets and side compression straps readily secure anything attached to the side of the pack.
  • A cradle and two straps on the front of the pack allow larger items (like snowshoes) to be attached.
  • A sleeve behind the backpanel is very handy to store a sit pad.
  • A bungie system on the internal hydration sleeve is apparently intended to stabilize a larger hydration bladder, and can be removed if it’s not wanted. The single hose port is small and difficult to get a bite valve through.
  • The pack does not have any standard hipbelt pockets. However, Granite Gear’s add-on pockets ($19/1.4 oz each) are waterproof and padded, perfect for a digital camera.

Overall, the Vapor Day is versatile and lightweight for a full-featured, internal frame pack, and it is pleasantly comfortable to carry.

Specifications and Features


Granite Gear (


2008 Vapor Day Pack


70 denier hybrid sil/urethane ripstop nylon Cordura with 210 denier nylon Cordura bottom and reinforcements. The harness system and back panel are lined with nylon stretch-woven (softshell) fabric


The Vapor frame is a rectangular composite framesheet attached to a padded backpanel.


Panel loading, well padded suspension system with stretch-woven face fabric, removable hipbelt available in three sizes, stretch nylon front and side pockets, top security pockets, waterproof zippers (except front pocket), pad sleeve behind backpanel, 3-liter hydration sleeve with one center hose port, two ice axe loops, load lifter straps, sternum strap, hipbelt stabilizer straps, gear cradle on front with two attachment straps, four side compression straps


Men’s Vapor Day is available in regular and long torso lengths and three hipbelt sizes; women’s Vapor Day Ki is available in short and regular torso lengths and three hipbelt sizes


Measured weight: 39.9 oz (1131 g) - Men’s Long Torso pack with medium hipbelt
Manufacturer specification: 34 oz (964 g) - Men's Regular Torso pack, hipbelt size not specified


$129 USD


"Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack Review," by Will Rietveld. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2008-04-16 00:04:00-06.


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Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack Review
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack Review on 04/15/2008 20:39:38 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack Review

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Pockets on 04/16/2008 08:26:37 MDT Print View

Hey Will, could you post a close up picture of the side pocket strap system, Ive been thinking of doing this to my regular vapor trail and I'd like to see how they actually do it.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack Review - Pockets on 04/16/2008 10:52:31 MDT Print View

I actually bought two of Granite Gear's hip pockets and two shoulder strap pockets which I transfer to all my packs as needed, even my fanny packs. I have now spoiled myself with them and can't live without the front pockets.

The shoulder strap pockets are really useful for holding a GPS unit making it both available to me but also making the satellite signal available to the GPS.

I must admit that the pocket transfer process constitutes a lot of threading straps through tight buckles and by the time you're done, you are ready to order a set of pockets for each and every pack in your inventory. (So far, I've been too cheap to do that).

I use a Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone pack (3800 c.i.) as my winter pack and I can attest to it's extreme comfort no matter what the load! Note that the N. Ozone has a beefier suspension than the vapor suspension.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
"Vapor Day Pack..." on 04/16/2008 11:08:09 MDT Print View

I beleave what Johnathan is referring to is the lower side compression straps that can be run inside the side pockets. Gregory has also done this on the Makalu Pro alpine pack. This allows the compression strap to be run inside the side pocket and not interfere with removal of water bottles or other items stored in the packs side pocket. The strap would be tight against the pack bag and a bottle would be in the pocket but over the strap. The strap can also be run outside the pocket if a user wishes to have the strap help secure an item stored in this location. I have not seen the Vapor first hand but from the pictures posted this looks to be the design intent. I know of other packs that allow for the lower compression strap to run either behind or over the side pocket in some manner.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack Review on 04/16/2008 16:30:20 MDT Print View

Hi Will

Interesting. Looks as though rain could pour in through both the top zips though??


Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack Review on 04/17/2008 18:06:42 MDT Print View

40 ounces is way too heavy for a daypack and dare I say, worthy of a review on BPL! I would expect this type of review from BP, but not from BPL.

I would much rather see reviews on the ULA AMP/Relay, Golite Ion, MLD [Super] Zip/Prophet, GG Murmur, Zpack Zilch, Oware Day pack.

Hopefully there's not a Osprey pack review in final edit.

Edited by fperkins on 04/17/2008 18:07:21 MDT.

mark cole
Re: Re: Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack Review on 04/19/2008 20:19:09 MDT Print View

I completely agree Frank!

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Re: Pockets on 04/24/2008 08:22:26 MDT Print View

Hi Jonathan. Here's a photo of the side pocket with a compression strap routed over the pocket. The slits on the sides of the pocket allow the compression strap to be routed inside the pocket, not inside the pack, so things like water bottles hang up on the strap when inserting them.Close-up view of Granite Gear Vapor Day side pocket with compression strap going through the pocket

Edited by WilliWabbit on 04/24/2008 08:24:09 MDT.

Dave .
(Ramapo) - F
Hip Belt on 05/03/2008 09:24:24 MDT Print View

Hi Will,

Do you know if the hip belt on the Vapor Day is removable? It'd be great to be able to take it off when you don't want/need it.


Eric Douglas

Locale: Brooklyn
Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack Review on 05/03/2008 11:03:07 MDT Print View

The belt is removable. It's the same belt that's on the Vapor Trail.


David Sperry
(davidsperry) - F
Vapor Day dimensions on 05/16/2008 17:16:32 MDT Print View

Hi I was wondering if you could let me know what the dimensions of the Vapor day pack are when full? 2000 cubes is perfect for a 6month+ trip with clothing, laptop, etc as long as I dont bring camping equipment. Hopefully this bag is carry-on sized. You dont need to measure with the hip belt as its removable. Thanks for the help!

Edited by davidsperry on 05/16/2008 17:26:12 MDT.