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Reviews > Packs > Frameless Backpacks and Day Packs > Gregory Advent Pro Pack > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

Gregory AdventTM Pro Backpack

Test Series by Ryan Christensen

Last Update - October 22, 2007

Advent Pro Backpack
Advent Pro backpack as received

ACCESS MAIN REPORT SECTIONS VIA THESE LINKS:

INITIAL REPORT
June 14, 2007
FIELD REPORT
Augutst 27, 2007
LONG-TERM REPORT
October 22, 2007

INITIAL REPORT
June 14, 2007

Reviewer Information:

Backpacking Background:

Name: Ryan L. Christensen

Age:  42

Gender:  Male

Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)

Weight:  235 lb (102 kg)

Email address:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com

City, State, Country:  Idaho Falls, ID, U.S.A

I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago and began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. For several years, we have hiked or camped nearly every month, year-round. We vary our experience: desert, forest, meadow, and mountain; spring, summer, fall, and winter; sunshine, rain, wind, or snow. I am a lightweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.

Product Information:

The information below comes from the Gregory website and product brochure.

Advent Pro Backpack

Manufacturer:

Gregory Mountain Products

Manufacturer website:

http://www.gregorypacks.com

Place of Manufacture:

USA

Year Manufactured:

2007

Material:

Siliconized G30 Nylon Ripstop
210 HT Nylon Fabric Reinforcements

Colors Available:

Flame Orange
Shock Blue

Sizes Available:

Small - 2,065 cu in (33 L)
Medium - 2,200 cu in (35 L)
Large - 2,425 cu in (39 L)

Warranty:

The Gregory Lifetime Guarantee

"We build Gregory gear to last a lifetime and that's how long we stand behind it. We guarantee to you, the original purchaser, that this product will be free from defects in materials or workmanship, for as long as you own it. If you think this product has any defects in materials, send it to us postpaid and clean with your proof of purchase. If the product is defective, then we will fix it or replace it with a new one and return it to you at our expense..."

Limited Warranty

"This warranty does not cover damage due to unreasonable use or improper care...incidental or consequential damage nor the natural breakdown of materials which occurs with extended use..."

MSRP:

$149.00 USD

 

Product Specifications

Manufacturer’s Specifications

 

Listed Weight:

Small - 2 lb 4 oz (l kg)
Medium - 2 lb 9 oz (1.2 kg)
Large - 2 lb 14 oz (1.3 kg)

Tester’s Actual Measurements

 

Weight:

Large - 2 lb 9.8 oz (1.18 kg)

Color Tested:

Flame Orange

Product Description:

The Advent Pro is a high-tech, lightweight daypack or ultralight pack, designed to comfortably carry loads of 25 lb (11 kg) or less. It is one of three new packs in the Anti Gravity Series, which Gregory advertises as "QUICK AND LIGHTWEIGHT VERSATILE PACKS FOR HIKES, BIKES, SPRINTS, AND RACES." Strong lightweight silnylon fabric and minimalist suspension systems are key elements of these packs. The seven packs currently in this line range in volume from the 2,425 cu in (39 L) Advent Pro (large) to the 300 cu in (5 L) Stimulus. These seven packs range in price from $149.00 USD to $49.00 USD with the Advent Pro being one of two packs priced at $149.00 USD.

Front View Backpanel View Side View

The G30 fabric in the Advent Pro is a silnylon, which is silicon impregnated ripstop nylon. Gregory says this G-fabric is 75% lighter than other pack fabrics, is deceptively strong, and stretches under pressure rather than tearing. Gregory also claims its G-fabric is "self-healing." I will not intentionally puncture or tear the fabric; however, I am extremely curious about this particular claim. Therefore, I will pay close attention to see how well the G-fabric heals itself if punctured or torn. The other fabric in the main body of the Advent Pro is a 210-denier high tenacity (210 HT) nylon. According to Gregory's website, this material has two parallel ripstop threads to stop tears, is lightweight, resists abrasion, and is waterproof. This fabric has a 1.2-ounce (34 g) polyurethane coating and ultra-violet inhibitors. Once again, I am keenly interested in the claims related to this fabric. I will note how the 210 HT fabric performs in my subsequent reports.

The Advent Pro is both top and front-loaded. Two straps secure the top pocket to the pack body. On the topside of this pocket, there is another zippered pocket that has the Gregory logo embroidered on it. The zippers have pull tabs. On the underside of the top pocket, there is a small square pocket that has a hook and loop closure and nylon cord pull. With the top pocket out of the way, the main pack body is accessed through a drawstring closure (drawstring has a cordlock) that is also secured with a buckle. One may also access the main pack body via a zipper opening that opens from the left side.

A webbing strap and buckle, which attaches to the pack's main body, secures the front helmet pocket at the top just below the zippered front access. On the right side of this helmet pocket is a zippered opening, which provides access to a pocket the size of the entire outer part of the front helmet pocket.

On the front of the pack, near the bottom, there are several useful features. First, there is an 8 in (20 cm) nylon webbing daisy chain. Next, there is a nylon webbing loop and a nylon stretch cord loop on both sides. In addition, there are two nylon straps with buckles for securing a sleeping bag, or other item, along the bottom of the pack front. There is also a drawstring compression cord with cord lock.

On the right and left side of the pack, there is a stretch mesh pocket that holds a 32 oz (1 L) Nalgene bottle quite nicely. In addition, there are side compression/lashing cords, complete with cord locks. Running along the zippered front access on each side is a 6 in (15 cm) nylon webbing daisy chain to which one may secure items.

There is a zippered pocket on the left and right sections of the waistbelt. The zipper extends the entire length of the waistbelt section. The zipper opens a pocket as large as the waistbelt section. These pockets should provide ample room for energy bars, GPS, camera, wallet, insect repellant, sunscreen, or other items. The underside covering of the waistbelt is AerotechTM mesh fabric that is supposed to increase air flow and comfort.

This pack does not have a frame. However, the molded foam backpanel is firm and provides some support to the pack. This backpanel covering is a mesh fabric that will hopefully help reduce sweating. The backpanel has two large raised areas in the shoulder region, two smaller raised areas in the kidney region, and five raised areas in the lumbar region. No doubt, these are to enhance comfort.

The shoulder pads are contoured in a slight reverse "S" shape. The undersides are covered in the same AerotechTM mesh as the waistbelt. At the top of each shoulderpad is a shoulder stabilizer strap. Along the bottom of each is the Wraptor Stabilizer System. The shoulder stabilizer straps and the Wraptor straps are easy to adjust. Along the front of the shoulder pads is the sternum strap. The sternum strap slides easily along an 8 in (20 cm) track for the perfect fit. The sternum strap is secured with a buckle and an adjustable strap.

Initial Impression:

Right out of the box, I was impressed with the Advent Pro. The first thing that interested me was the color, Flame Orange, which was more orange than I expected based on the image on the company's website. Next, I was intrigued with the lightweight silnylon and 210 HT fabrics. As I had time to inspect the pack more closely, I was impressed with all the buckles, straps, cords, pull tabs, pockets, and zippers.

The Gregory Advent Pro appears to be a versatile, lightweight, pack with numerous cool features. The materials (fabric, straps, zippers, buckles, cordlocks, etc.) seem to be of very high quality. The workmanship also appears to be of high quality. There were no loose threads, fraying material, or uneven seams. The buckles and zippers work well. All zippers have pull-cords with plastic grips; a nice touch. I can hardly wait to put this pack to the test.

Initial Testing:

My initial testing consisted of trying all zippers and buckles, which all worked well. Next, I pulled on the pack and proceeded to adjust the pack to fit me. I started by adjusting the shoulder stabilizer straps and the Wraptor Stabilizer straps. Both were extremely easy to adjust. Next, I adjusted the waistbelt. The female end of the buckle is fixed to the waistbelt on the wearer's left side. The belt is adjusted from the wearer's right side. This is a quickdraw type adjustment; fast and easy to use. Next, I slid the sternum strap to the proper location and adjusted the strap to fit the width of my torso. This too was easy to do.

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FIELD REPORT
August 27, 2007

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

Since receiving the Advent Pro, I have worn it on a couple of bike rides near my home in Idaho Falls; a town in southeastern Idaho, with an elevation is 4,700 ft (1,433 m) above sea level. Because these are short local rides, I have generally just carried my 3 L (3 qt) hydration bladder in the Advent Pro. The Advent Pro is overkill for this particular application. However, the Advent Pro may be ideal if I were to attempt an ultralite overnight bicycle trip.

In late July, I wore the Advent Pro on a day hike up Table Mountain, or Table Rock, as most locals know it. This is an 11,106 ft (3,385 m) peak in western Wyoming, located 10 miles (16 km) east of Driggs, Idaho. Atop Table Mountain, one comes face to face with the 13,770 ft (4,197 m) Grand Teton; one mile away separated by the 3,000 ft (914 m) drop into Cascade Canyon. This 11 mile (18 km) round trip hike seems much longer due to the 4,000 ft (1,219 m) elevation gain. The last 100 ft (30 m) or so is a scramble through scree and larger rocks. Advent Pro Atop Big Southern Butte

The Advent Pro was easy to adjust to my particular body size and shape. I really liked the quickdraw hip belt and suspension system. As we began our hike, my pack weighed approximately 25 lb (11 kg). I carried 7 L (7.4 qt) of water (three of which were in my hydration bladder), lunch for my three sons, one of their friends, and myself. In addition, I had my rain jacket, GPS, and some snacks. Even with my load approaching the upper end of its designed comfort zone, the Advent Pro was quite comfortable. Adjusting the hipbelt, which has one quickdraw strap, the contoured shoulder straps, and the Wraptor Stabilizer System, I was able to secure the load close to my body with my hips bearing most of the weight. Therefore, during the four hours it took me to summit Table Mountain, my shoulders did not even begin to hurt. With the load in close to my body, I did not have to worry about the pack bouncing, or causing my lower back any discomfort. The temperatures were in the 90s F (32 - 37 C) and as usual, I sweated profusely. Consequently, I was unable to tell whether the AeroTech Mesh breathed better than other materials. The top pocket had more than enough room for my camera (unfortunately, the batteries were dead so I was unable to get any photographs on this trip), sunscreen, insect repellant, and 50 ft (15 m) of nylon rope. The zippered pockets on the hipbelt were ideal for my GPS, lip balm, and snacks. Although somewhat heavily loaded, most of the weight was water. There was still plenty of room had I chosen to take some additional items.

In mid August, I wore the Advent Pro on a four-wheeler ride around and up the Big Southern Butte. The Butte is located approximately 23 mi (27 km) southeast of Arco and rises approximately 2,500 ft (762 m) above the surrounding area in southeastern Idaho. On this ride, I carried my 3 L (3.2 qt) hydration bladder, lunch, a camera, and my GPS in the Advent Pro. The Advent Pro performed as it has on my other outings; great. It continues to fit comfortably whether completely loaded or not. This was a hot, dusty ride, with the dirt akin to flour in many places. This resulted in the Advent Pro being extremely dusty at the end of the ride. I quickly noticed that the interior of the top pocket and main compartment, constructed of Gregory's G30 fabric, were not dusty. However, the inside of the front exterior pocket, made from the 210 HT fabric, was dusty. The silnylon fabric did a good job of keeping the dust out whereas the porous mesh fabric permitted the dust to enter.

Advent Pro Dirty Advent Pro Clean

The upper left photo shows just how dusty the pack was after the four-wheeler ride. After this trip, I was concerned that I might not be able to get the pack clean again. However, that concern turned out to be unnecessary. Using water and a cloth, I was able to clean the pack quite nicely. Although not difficult, I spent about thirty minutes wiping the dust from the fabrics and all the nooks and crannies of the seams, straps, buckles and pulls. Even though not as pristine as it was upon receipt, the upper right photo shows just how well the Advent Pro cleaned up.

Observations:

Thus far, I am very pleased with the Gregory Advent Pro backpack. It is extremely lightweight. With minimal effort, I have been able to adjust the pack, with various loads, to fit my particular body shape and size. The materials are holding up nicely; no fraying, loose seams or problems with zippers, straps, etc. thus far. The large Advent Pro, which I am testing, seems to be a bit overkill in terms of size for my average day hike. However, I believe it will be about the proper size for cross-country or snowshoeing day trips.

I have no concerns about the Gregory Advent Pro backpack at this time.

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LONG-TERM REPORT
October 22, 2007

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

Advent Pro Backpack

During this phase, I was able to get in two more 25 mi (40 km) bike rides with the Advent Pro. These rides were near my home at an elevation of approximately 4,800 ft (1,463 m). Temperatures were in the 70s F (20s C). As on the other rides, the Advent Pro was quite comfortable, but was overkill for my 100 oz (3 L) hydration bladder and an energy bar.

In early October, I was able to wear the Advent Pro on two day hikes in Hell's Half Acre National Landmark. The elevation is approximately 5,300 ft (1,615 m) above sea level. The temperature was in the 50s F (10 - 15 C), winds were calm, the sky was overcast and there was a slight rain on one of the hikes. Hell's Half Acre is a 66,000 acres (267 km2) lava field and is the youngest of the eastern basaltic lava fields of the Snake River Plain of southeastern Idaho. The photo to the right is typical of Hell's Half Acre. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website says "... the lava in Hell's Half Acre erupted about 4,100 years ago... was probably about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the consistency of molasses, and traveled at speeds up to 30 mph.... Lava rock is extremely sharp, glassy and fragmented, with open cracks, lava tubes and caves. The most prevalent landscape consists of A'a (ah-ah) and Pahoehoe (pa-hoy-hoy) lava flows.... A variety of plants and wildflowers contrast the black and gray lava flows... such as Evening Primrose, Indian Paintbrush, wild onions, penstemon, geraniums, and Prickly Pear Cactus... ferns growing in deep cracks and a variety of desert vegetation... from tiny mosses and lichens to juniper trees hundreds of years old. Other native species include sagebrush, rabbitbrush, bitterbrush, blue bunch wheatgrass, and needle-and-thread grass.... Wildlife roaming the lava flows include mule deer, antelope, sage grouse, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, and occasional snakes. Soaring above the flows are red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons, and golden eagles." Hiking in Hell's Half Acre is a unique, and somewhat surreal experience. It is quite possibly unlike any other place on earth.

There are no developed trails in the area I hiked. There are however, two unimproved trails marked by wooden poles. One trail is a 0.5 mi (0.8 km) educational loop which provides a good sampling of the lava flow. The other marked trail is a 4.5 mi (7.2 km) trek to the main vent, or source, of the lava.

Although I am not an ultralighter, I wore the Advent Pro on an overnight backpacking trip into the Catamount Yurt near Inkom Idaho. We began this hike shortly after 8:00 pm MST. The temperature was approximately 32 F (0 C) when we started.

Observations:

Advent Pro Backpack

My first hike In Hell's Half Acre was the 0.5 mi (0.8 km) educational loop. One can complete this loop in approximately 0.5 hr. However, I took quite a bit more time, as I ventured out to examine several cracks, depressions, caves, etc. In the Advent Pro, I carried a 100 oz (3 L) hydration bladder, a rain jacket, GPS, camera, GORP, and a couple of Zone bars. This in no way filled the backpack and only weighed about 10 lb (4.5 kg).

The second hike in Hell's Half Acre was on the 4.5 mi (7.2 km) trail to the main vent, or source, of the lava. However, due to time constraints, I had to turn around about three miles into the hike. But, I will hike to the vent another time. I loaded the Advent with about the same amount of gear as on the first hike. However, I took an extra liter of water in a Nalgene bottle just in case. It fit nicely in the side pocket. The Advent Pro performed perfectly, as on the other trips. There was a little rain on this trip. The silnylon shed the water nicely. The 210-denier high tenacity (210 HT) nylon fabric became a bit damp. However, it dried out fairly quickly once out of the rain.

Because of the rugged terrain and undeveloped trails, these are moderate-level hikes. There were a few times when I had to jump over a crack in the lava. I was quite impressed with how well the Advent's Wraptor Stabilizer System held the pack snug to my body. It did not bang into the lumbar area which was really nice. The contoured shoulder straps were very comfortable, even as I bounced over cracks and scrambled over rocks. I personally sweat just thinking about hiking, so it was no surprise that I was sweating on these hikes. But, I believe the AeroTech Mesh on the back panel and the underside of the shoulder pads breathed fairly well. This mesh fabric dried quickly as well.

Advent Pro BackpackGenerally, one snowshoes or skis to the yurts in the Portneuf Range Yurt System. However, I wanted to get in an easy late fall backpacking trip with my 12 yr old son. Therefore, we chose to hike to the Catamount yurt near Inkom, Idaho. This hike is approximately 2.25 mi (3.62 km) across open, rolling terrain. The elevation gain is approximately 816 ft (249 m). Although not an ultralighter, this hike gave me an opportunity to test the Advent Pro as an ultralight pack. Because each yurt in the Portneuf Range Yurt System has a wood stove, Coleman white gas cooking stove and lantern, pots, axe and bunk beds, I was able to get by without several items I would normally carry. Normal items I left behind included a tent, a stove, cookware, and a water filter. The pack was nevertheless fully loaded. I carried a 15F (-9 C) down sleeping bag and a Therm-a-Rest ToughSkin pad. I was barely able to get the straps around this sleeping pad. However, an ultralighter would use much less of a pad, so this should be of no concern. I also carried 2.6 qt (2.5 l) of water as there is no water available; one normally melts snow. Other items in the pack included a fleece jacket, a rain shell, long johns to sleep in, white gas for the yurt's stove and lantern, and my share of the food (dinner = beef steak, baked potato, ceasar salad, apple pie; breakfast = omlete boiled in a baggie and Tater Tots). As you can see, we did not skimp on the food. This is in line with my normal yurt trip menus. I also carried a GPS, camera, headlamp, a pair of fleece gloves, and two energy bars in the very roomy top pocket. All of the items listed fully consumed the Advent Pro's available volume. The Free Floating Quickdraw Compression System worked well in securing this full load. The pack weighed right around 30 lb (13.6 kg) which is at the high-end of Gregory's advertised comfort range for this pack.

As mentioned above, we began hiking in the dark with temperatures near freezing. Because my motor runs hot, I wore a short-sleeve T-shirt and nylon hiking pants. Although chilly at the start, I warmed up in short order. It was not until we arrived at the yurt and unloaded our gear that I realized that I had been sweating on my back. Even loaded to the hilt (as shown in the photo above and to the right), the Advent Pro was very comfortable throughout the hike. The load remained securely against my back. The shoulder straps and hip belt were nearly unnoticeable. And, the weight was effectively shared between my hips and shoulders. There was neither any undue fatigue on my lower back or shoulders nor on the Advent Pro's seams and attachment/stress points. I was extremely impressed with the performance of this pack under the conditions of this hike.

Likes:

Dislikes:

Summary:

After four months of testing, the Advent Pro still looks new. There are no loose seams or fraying material. Zippers, straps, and buckles work as smoothly as the first day. The silnylon and 210-denier high tenacity (210 HT) nylon fabrics along with the other materials, construction, and workmanship are high quality and have been quite durable. There are no rips or punctures. Consequently, I am still curious about the "self-healing" abilities of the silnylon material. As you can see from the photo above, the Advent Pro has more than enough room to hold the gear I typically take on a day hike. Therefore, I plan to wear the Advent Pro on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing day trips this winter to see how well it fits over and holds bulky winter gear. The side pockets effectively hold Nalgene bottles. The waist belt pockets are perfect for a GPS, compact digital camera, bug spray, sunscreen, or other items. I really like the Gregory Advent Pro and believe it to be an excellent pack for day hikes, bike rides and ultralight thru-hiking. I would highly recommend the Advent Pro to my friends or others looking for a quality lightweight daypack.

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This concludes my test series. Thanks to GREGORY and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test the Advent Pro.




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