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  1. #1
    Wherever you go, there you are. casanoah's Avatar
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    Default Virga VS. Breeze

    I plan on doing an ultra-light thruhike in 2006 but I'm still vacillating on some of my equipment choices. What do ya'll think of the Granite Gear Virga pack as opposed to the GoLite Breeze pack. Pro's, con's, etc.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    I've never used the Virga, but I own a breeze. I'm not a huge fan of the Breeze, and I only put about 12-18 lbs in it. Shoulders hurt. It is worth mentioning I have a medium and probably need a large.

    The Virga is 21 oz I believe, and the Breeze only about 13. Depends if half a lb is that important to you. Granite Gear has a good reputation and every other thru-hiker seems to have a vapor trail now. The virga has more padding than the Breeze (which has none) and a waist belt I think. I would bring your gear to an outfitter and try em both out.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  3. #3
    Yellow Jacket
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    Quote Originally Posted by casanoah
    I plan on doing an ultra-light thruhike in 2006 but I'm still vacillating on some of my equipment choices. What do ya'll think of the Granite Gear Virga pack as opposed to the GoLite Breeze pack. Pro's, con's, etc.
    First, I don't own either. But I do have a GG Nimbus Ozone which I use when hiking with my kids (I can fit gear for 3 of us in that pack).



    1. The shoulder straps on the Virga appear to be more comfortable than the breeze. YMMV
    2. Obviously, the Virga has a hipbelt which the Breeze does not. No matter what Ray says, I still find a hipbelt useful if I have more than 15# in my pack. For one, it holds my pants up. Don't laugh, when you start loosing weight on the trail, how do you plan to keep your pants up?
    3. The Breeze may have a slight edge on material durability.
    4. The Virga has a bit more volume, which you may need from time-to-time.
    5. The Breeze has a mesh front pocket rather than a couple of straps. This isn't as big of an issue as you might think. Though some folks swear by their front pockets, I don't.
    6. The side pockets on the Virga are a bit ackward to use as times (the strechy material is very tight when the pack is full and the one compression strap crosses over them).
    7. The thumb loops on the Virga's shoulder straps are nice if you don't use trekking poles.
    You are going to wearing the pack almost daily for 8+ hours per day for 4-6 months. So, if the pack fits you well (correct shoulder strap attachment point to hipbelt centerline distance), I'd go with the Virga. As the pack's comfort outweigh the minor negatives (pack material, front pocket?, side pocket awkwardness).

    I almost bought a Vapor Trail once, but I couldn't get the fit right. Medium was too tall and the small was too short. Which one reason why I'd make sure the fit is correct. If you don't have local access to the packs, you might want to buy two sizes and return the one that doesn't fit well. The extra $5 in return shipping are worth it.
    Last edited by tlbj6142; 07-21-2005 at 11:57.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

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    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    Last edited by neo; 07-21-2005 at 13:13. Reason: added another link

  5. #5
    Wherever you go, there you are. casanoah's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the info. I think I'm leaning more towards Granite Gear but I still need to check them out first hand before I finally select a bag. Also now I'll need to investigate the Equinox Katahdin, which seems very promising. Thanks again for the input.

    Peace & Cookies

  6. #6
    Yellow Jacket
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    Quote Originally Posted by casanoah
    Also now I'll need to investigate the Equinox Katahdin, which seems very promising.
    Before you run off and buy a Katahdin, consider this...

    I own one as well. But...



    1. Its one size fits all. You can raise the hipbelt an inch or so, but that's it. I had the hipbelt up all the way to make it mostly fit, but then they bottom of the pack hits your butt while your hike. Man that sucks!
    2. The "extension collar" isn't. Don't expect to fill the pack above the main pack's seam, otherwise it won't close all the way. But then does that really matter? See #3.
    3. The back side (the side that touches your back) is a stiff mesh material. So make sure you use a pack liner as water/dirt is free to enter/leave from that side of the pack. The material is the same stuff used some expensive office chairs. Those office chairs would eat the pockets off my jeans every couple of months or so. Imagine what that may do to your back? Definatley can't go shirtless.
    4. The back material is a bit wide and awkward at times. The pack also tends to "crumpel up" right in your lumbar region. Ouch! I'm not the only one to report this. The same comments have been made on bpl.com.
    5. The compression straps are way too long.
    Now for the good...
    1. The shoulder straps and hipbelt are very, very comfortable (assuming the pack fits).
    2. While many on-line reviews say otherwise, I love the two small "wing" pockets. They the perfect size.
    3. You can buy the pack in yellow!
    4. You can see through the pack, which is nice.
    I made several mods to my pack in hopes of making more useable...
    1. I permanently moved the shoulderstrap attachment point down a couple of inchs to help with fit. This resoved complaint #1.
    2. I added a framesheet pocket on the inside of the pack. This resoved the crumple up affect mentioned in complaint #4.
    3. Finally, I just pulled the entire packet appart. I'm going to use the hipbelt and shoulderstraps on a new P-1 like pack.
    Speaking of the P-1. Check it out. It just might be the perfect "ultralight comfort" pack on the market. www.ula-equipment.com. Since the pack is custom build you can order the exact (don't have to do just S/M/L call for custom sizing) shoulder strap attachment point to hipbelt centerline distance you want.

    Plus it has hipbelt pockets. Those things are like crack. One trip and you'll want them all the time.
    Last edited by tlbj6142; 07-22-2005 at 15:18.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

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