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Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian

in Backpacks - Internal Frame

Average Rating
4.50 / 5 (4 reviews)

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Rob Reit
( rreit )
Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian on 06/28/2007 20:55:41 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I needed a pack that could handle a dense load without being a no-frills climbing pack. I carry photo gear with me weighing anywhere from 8-20 lbs. which prevents me from being an ultralight, but I try to shave as much as weight as possible to make room for the camera gear.

This pack seemed like the right compromise to me b/c of the highly customizable suspension, light weight, decent number of storage pockets, both front and top access, and good load carrying capacity. This pack comes with a padded hip belt and "thin" shoulder straps which I replaced with the plastic "exoskeleton" hip belt and "wide" shoulder straps.

I don't have much anything bad to say about it just yet. The top pocket zipper is facing backwards, so I can't reach in there to grab stuff, but this hasn't been a problem for me yet.

I'll update this review later as I get some miles on this pack.

After having used this pack many times, I've become disappointed with the pack's weight-carrying ability despite the fact that I'm using the beefier hip belt and wide straps. Up to around 33 lbs. or so, the pack is reasonably comfortable, but when I go beyond that, I find it very difficult to keep the hip-belt in place no matter how tightly I cinch it. I never had that problem with a Gregory Triconi pack or an Osprey Aether 70 I borrowed once.

The other more esoteric issue I have is with the lack of compression straps on the bottom of the pack. For sleeping on hot summer nights, I ditch the sleeping bag and instead bring a Cocoon silk liner. Due to the lack of bottom compression straps, this means it's all but impossible to keep weighty items up near the center of my back. Also the pack lacks an internal sleeping bag divider, which again makes it difficult to position weight properly within the pack at times.

So I'm lowering my rating at this point to a 4 (I had originally given it a 5).

Edited by rreit on 07/18/2007 16:00:13 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Osprey Aether 70 - Men's priced at: $202.95 - $279.99
Shop Cocoon, Granite Gear, Gregory products at GearBuyer
Robert Berkowitz
( tupawk )

Comfortable pack for moderate weights on 05/13/2008 10:15:19 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I needed a larger pack that was able to handle heavier loads and after some research decided on the Nimbus Meridian. I was not disappointed.

My situation is definitely in the minority. I needed a pack that can carry gear for myself and my three year old son on some easy backpacking trips lasting anywhere from 1 - 6 nights.

The Nimbus Meridian had the capacity I needed with room to spare. I was able to fit my son's REI Zip sleeping bag, my own Western Mountaineering Megalite long, extra cloths for my son and myself which included long underwear top and bottoms (just for my son) and extra socks, an MSR Hubba Hubba tent, a Jetboil PCS stove, a Hiker water filter (which I am leaving at home next time, chlorine dioxide works fine for us both), first-aid kit, 5x8 silnylon tarp (we were expecting lots of rain), my sierra designs raincoat, Squishy bowl and cup, approx 6 pounds of food, and 2 L of water.

All of the above weighed in around 26-27lbs which the Nimbus Meridian carried wonderfully. Granted we only hiked short distances over a period of three days but I did wear the pack all day just at a much slower pace! :)

The pack is very adjustable to get a good fit. I recommend following the user guide that comes with the pack to dial in where the shoulder harness should attach to the pack. You also have the option of exchanging the shoulder and hip belts for other styles/sizes to get an even more custom fit.

I liked the panel access zipper to the main pack compartment. This was great since I have only used a regular top loading pack in the past. It made it much easier to get out the pad for sitting down while taking some snack and play breaks.

Overall I am very pleased with the performance of the pack so far. It was very comfortable in my load range.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Jetboil Zip priced at: $59.21 - $74.99
MSR Hubba Tent priced at: $208.95 - $329.95
MSR Hubba priced at: $246.95 - $329.99
Edwin Lamberth
( ALFisher )
Great Pack for Multiple Uses on 07/20/2009 17:40:23 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I bought this pack for three main reasons: (1) I thought of it as a way to ease my way into backpacking light; (2) I wanted to be able to carry a little extra weight for hikes with my kids; and (3) I do a good bit of fly fishing and we all know that most FF can pack in a little extra weight sometimes. In short, I needed flexibility yet still be far lighter than your average pack that will carry this much gear.

First, let me say this about the design of the pack. I have owned it for two years and I haven't found anything that it is missing that I think I need. In fact, I have found the exact opposite. It has features that I really enjoy - the lid expands or can be taken off, the access zipper is great, and the straps just outside the zipper for additional gear are great in a pinch for a kids' bedroll or for your rain gear so you'll have easy access to it.

Second, the pack so far has proved itself to be very resistant to stain, water, tears, etc (knock on wood). Just last week, I hiked through an unexpected downpour. Because I had my essentials inside in waterproof/resistant sacks, I didn't even worry about a pack cover or my poncho (short storm and very warm outside). I wouldn't have needed one, regardless of how the contents were packed because there was no water in the pack.

Third, I have read some complaints about the side compression straps being over the side pockets. This is a non-issue for me, and I use the side pockets for fishing rods, gear, etc.

Fourth, the lid on the pack is a plus for me. I thought I wouldn't use it and save myself 6-8 ounces, but I am glad I have it because now it doubles as my FF "vest" and it is easy to lash on a light rain jacket (I have used a golite virga and a frogg togg) and a water bottle with a built-in filter. This gives you your all-day fishing needs.

Finally, I have come close to the 40lb mark packing in my kids gear and even though I had a noticeably heavier pack on picking it up, I felt no less comfortable at the end of the day than if I pack a lighter load of 25-30 lbs. Basically, it lives up to my flexibility needs.

I probably could have gone with a GG Vapor Trail or a GG Meridian Vapor, but I was willing to add just a little more weight (only 10 more ounces above the Meridian Vapor) to allow me to carry a little more weight.

I can't recommend this pack enough to people looking for something similar this. I am grateful for all the folks on this site who told me about GG packs, gear, etc. They don't sell their packs in a lot of stores, but they are extremely high quality.

Edited by ALFisher on 07/20/2009 17:43:09 MDT.

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Lynn Tramper
( retropump )

The Antipodes of La Coruna
Too bad about the squeak on 10/17/2010 19:17:16 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I want to love this pack, I really do. It is comfortable, it is roomy enough for most trips, it fits well, carries heavier laods well, and has all the feature I could want in a pack (I got extra pockets for the hipbelt). But I just cannot stand and cannot fix the interminable squeak that issues from it with every step I take. It seems to be a feature of the fabric/padding used in the harness system that is at fault. It would be a '5' if not for the squeak :(

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