Gregory Iso Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW

A full-featured and comfortable daypack using lightweight materials to keep the weight down.

Recommended

Overall Rating: Recommended

Gregory's Iso backpack is an excellent lightweight full-featured day-pack. It is very comfortable and provides quick access to frequently needed items on the trail. I feel it has too many pockets and internal dividers, and some of these (especially the small dividers within the pack) could be removed to lighten the pack further.

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by Jay Ham |

Gregory Iso Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW

Overview

The 1,200 ci Gregory ISO is a small volume pack designed for short, fast, and light trips. I used this pack mainly for long distance trail running, mountain biking, and day hikes. It certainly meets many requirements a fast-packing day tripper would have; lightweight, lots of pockets for organization and quick access, hydration compatibility, and Gregory's well-known commitment to comfort.

Besides the main compartment, there is a zippered front pocket with three internal divider sleeves, an expandable helmet or "stuff it" pouch, an internal hydration sleeve (with backpanel accessibility), two side panel mesh water bottle pockets, and two zippered, mesh hip belt pockets. Most notable among these, the helmet pouch zippers tight along its sides when not being used, but expands and securely holds a helmet or other bulky objects with ease. Another nice feature is the zippered hydration bladder access on the backpanel that makes refilling the hydration bladder much easier without unloading the pack.

The hip belt pockets can hold a compact digital camera or a couple energy bars. These pockets are easy to unzip one-handed, but the zipper requires two hands to close. This was only a problem while mountain biking; not so much when hiking and running.

Although Gregory’s assortment of pockets are well designed, I personally don’t need so many pockets and internal dividers. Eliminating a few (or most of them) would not decrease functionality for me and the weight reduction would be preferred. Nevertheless, all of the pockets are well designed and easily accessed.

Gregory ISO Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW
The Gregory ISO pack has a zipper backpanel access for refilling the hydration bladder.

Gregory's ISO pack is very comfortable and stable. The wide hip belt, a necessary design element for useful hip belt pockets, offers great load distribution from the shoulders to hips. The shoulder straps with adjustable sternum strap conform well to my shoulders. Gregory uses 3-D spacer mesh for the backpanel, shoulder straps, and hip belt to disperse perspiration.

The ISO has a great compression system. Three 1/2 inch webbing straps compress the upper part of the pack. These use side release buckles to allow access to the main compartment and front pocket. The lower compression is more akin to a draw cord that is routed behind the side panel pockets, allowing the lower portion of the pack to be compressed without affecting side pocket accessibility. One pull of the centrally located webbing strap, and the lower portion of the pack compresses. This is a really great design.

Gregory ISO Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW
The compression on the Gregory ISO pack greatly reduces the 1200 cubic inch volume and provides excellent stability.

Features and Specifications


Citation

"Gregory Iso Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Jay Ham. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/gregory_iso_backpack_spotlite_review.html, 2007-02-25 03:00:00-07.

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