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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Gregory Whitney 2008 > Test Report by arnold peterson

GREGORY WHITNEY 95 BACKPACK
TEST SERIES BY ARNOLD PETERSON
LONG-TERM REPORT
June 25, 2008

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
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TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Arnold Peterson
EMAIL: alp4982(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
AGE: 70
LOCATION: Wilmington Massachusetts USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (74.80 kg)
TORSO: 19 in (48 cm)

Backpacking Background: Presently almost all my experience has been hiking in New Hampshire, Florida, Colorado USA, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia Canada using an 11 lb (5 kg) day pack. I have backpacked on Mt. Washington and at the Imp shelter located between North Carter and Mount Moriah mountains in New Hampshire. The gear I will be writing about has been used a lot hiking mostly all year around in New Hampshire. I have completed the forty-eight 4000 footers (1219 m) of New Hampshire. My day hikes have been as long as 12 hours covering almost 20 miles (32 km).


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Gregory
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: gregorypacks.com
Phone Number: 800.477.3420
MSRP: n/a
Listed Weight: 6 lb 9 oz ( 3.0 kg)
Measured Weight: 6 lb 7 oz (2.9 kg) approximate
Model: Whitney 95 Response CFS
Color: Humboldt Green
Size Torso: Medium [fits 18-19.5 in (45-49 cm)]
Volume: 5797 cu in (95 l)
Load in comfort zone: up to 70 lb (32 kg)

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The hangtag included the following information: short company history, product description with annotated picture, measuring instructions, and specifications.

Construction: This backpack appears to be sturdy, and well constructed. The action of the zippers feels good.

Product description: It all starts out with the great look of the Whitney 95. I checked out how hydration is handled, as that is of major importance to me. There is a sleeve in the back pack that accommodates the standard bladder types with an opening at the top of the bag on each side. The opening is not obvious, but there is a small blue teardrop identifying the location. There are 2 easily accessible compartments for water bottles. Water bottles are able to withstand lower temperatures without freezing than the tubing associated with a bladder. Being able to access the main part of the bag from top, bottom and both sides is very convenient. For added convenience there are numerous compartments. They range from small to large enough to hold an extra layer of clothes.
Getting into the pack and getting it adjusted was quick and easy. I put the pack on, snapped the belt buckle and adjusted both sides simultaneously. I snapped the chest buckle together and adjusted. I found the straps on the shoulder harness and looped them through the special ring for controlling the waist band angle, and with a strap in each hand pulled up and away from my body simultaneously, and that completed most of the adjustments.
There are several places to attach additional equipment, such as snowshoes. There is a pair of loops that are held together with Velcro. There is a built in strap that provides a loop, so items can be attached to the bottom of the pack. This strap continues up the front of the pack and provides another place to attach equipment. Each side of the pack has a loop to attach equipment. There are many possibilities and I hope to uncover all of them during the duration of the test. The most accessible pockets are zippered and are on the waist belt. I plan to use them for a compass, whistle, and possibly other small items.
The top bonnet can be converted into a fanny pack. I find this very helpful when I want to make a short side trip to either a peak or to catch a scenic view without having to carry the main pack.

Features from website:
3D precurved harness and waistbelt
Quick-adjust five point waistbelt angle adjustment
Auto-cant harness technology
Crossover compression
Top, front, side and bottom access
Front pocket and twin side pockets with stash pouch
Top pocket converts to a fanny pack
Hideaway water bottle holder and stash pocket
Dual waistbelt pockets
Dual hydration ports and sleeve
Water-resistant zippers
Waterproof, wear-resistant bottom panel
210d HT double diamond ripstop/Broken twill nylon

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions on the hang tag were very brief. They mentioned their website and a phone number to obtain more information. I was also able to identify the various components, especially the Quick Adjust Waistbelt System and the hideaway bottle holder, from the annotated picture.

TRYING IT OUT

I really like the Humboldt Green color. There are a lot of things that are similar to my Gregory Z backpack which should make learning how to use this backpack easier. I started packing with the sleeping bag since it is the first item to go in. It is a BA Battle Mountain -15 F (-26 c) sleeping bag. It was too big for the lower compartment with the shelf in place. The shelf was easily detached on the back side, and then the sleeping bag was squeezed in easily. I then added my Tarptent Cloudburst II (2 person tent) into the top part of the bag, followed by the Big Agnes Sleeping Giant foam pad. I added several more items and by that time the weight was about 30 lb (13.6 kg), probably light for most winter backpackers but heavier than I have carried. I tried it on and it did not feel as heavy as the last time I tried that same weight with the Gregory Z backpack. I like the way the pack feels like a part of me. The adjustments are quick and easy. The first thing I did after putting the pack on was to snap the belt in place. Then I put both hands on the belt and felt for the adjustment straps and pulled both away from my body simultaneously until they were snug. I then snapped the chest strap together and adjusted it till it was snug. This chest strap is on a slider and can be incrementally adjusted to the most comfortable position. I then used my hands to follow the chest straps until I could feel the straps connecting the harness to the waist belt. I took a strap in each hand and looped it through the Quick Adjust Waistbelt System, then simultaneously with both hands I pulled the straps upward and away from my body until I heard a slight noise coming from the adjustment area. It felt like something was snapping into place. The top bonnet can be converted into a fanny pack when desired. I have a lot to learn about optimal use and packing techniques.
IMAGE 1
belt packet

IMAGE 2
bottle holder

IMAGE 3
lumbar support

IMAGE 4
fanny pack converted

IMAGE 5
Stabilizer System

IMAGE 6
Velcro attachment loop

IMAGE 8
secured bottle holder

IMAGE 9
almost packed

IMAGE 10
ready to go

TESTING STRATEGY

I will be testing in MA and NH, and possibly in VT USA. The temperatures could typically be as low as -20 F (-29 C). Rain and snow is almost a certainty. Mt Washington has had temperatures as low as -60 F (-51 C) and has recorded the strongest winds on earth at 231 MPH (372 km/hr). This year I will not be going south and have started gearing up for colder hiking weather. Temperatures change greatly from the base of a mountain as altitudes increase, ranging from 4000 to 6000 ft (1219-1829 m). Being able to stay warm is more than comfort, it is survival. The following mountains are on my winter agenda: Sandwich Mt 980 ft (121 m), Mt Nancy 3926 ft (1197 m), Mt Weeks N peak 33901 ft (1189 m), Mt Weeks S peak 3885 ft (3885 m), Vose Spur 3862 ft (1177 m). The Sleepers E peak 860 (1177 M), Nubble Peak 3813 ft (1162 m), and Cannon Balls NE peak 3769 ft (1149 m), which are all part of the New England Hundred Highest Peaks. Contingency peaks would be Mt Lincoln 5089 ft (1551 m), Mt Liberty 4489 ft (1359 M) and Mt Moosilauke 4802 ft (1464 M). Based on 3 one night recent backpacks I am equipped to be comfortable to about -5 F (-21 C).

Function

I will first find out how easily my equipment fits into the Whitney and how accessible it is once in the pack. Will I be able to find things easily in low light conditions? Will I be able to do this with liner gloves on? I have found out there is not much I can do with mittens on. I will be looking at water storage and if there is an easy way to keep my water from freezing. Will it be easy to attach snowshoes to this pack? Will the snowshoes stay in place and not shift and cause unbalance? I like a pack that I don't feel the need to take off when taking a rest break. Will the adjustments be easy to make? Will I be able to reach some pockets without having to take the pack off?

Dependability

Will this pack stand up to the abuse of trail use, bushwhacking and cold temperatures? After many hikes will the pack still be in good condition? Will the seams stay intact? Will the contents of the backpack stay dry under wet conditions?

Plan

I plan to do all my hiking with the Whitney during the test period. I will be increasing the weight and difficulty of the hikes as the test progresses. The weather and personal matters have temporarily altered some of my original plans, but there are plenty of alternatives and conditions will improve.

SUMMARY

I like the look and feel of the Gregory Whitney 95 backpack, and how it becomes a part of me. The several adjustments that Gregory has designed into this backpack make it possible to adapt for conditions as they change. When there is a change in load weight or volume, or if changing from winter clothing to summer clothing, all one has to do is give a few tugs on the appropriate straps and the backpack is back to being optimized again. The features make the Gregory Whitney 95 flexible and adaptable to many situations.

This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information. I wish to thank Backpackgeartesters and Gregory for the opportunity to test the Whitney 95 backpack.

Arnold Peterson


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I backpacked in southern New Hampshire and near the Middlesex Canal in Massachusetts. The forest east of Manchester is fairly flat with some rocky outcrops, several small ponds, and a mostly hardwood forest. The first time I backpacked there the ground was ice and snow covered and the second time I backpacked there all the snow and ice had gone. I spent 3 one night backpacks in a local forest which is flanked on the east side by the railroad. The west side is bordered by the Middlesex Canal (operational from 1793 to 1853). There is a small section of the canal that had been restored but now has gone back to nature. Beyond the canal is a cranberry bog that has not been harvested in over 45 years. Between this and the canal there is a swamp once used as an aquifer for the town water wells. The wells were closed due to contamination. The brush, thorny bushes and trees keep most people out of this area. Under certain conditions it is near ideal for radiational cooling, which means that the temperature drops lower just before dawn. The temperatures for these backpacks ranged from just above freezing to a low of 13 F (-11 C). There was little or no wind on these backpacks. The ground was covered with snow or ice on the first two backpacks with the exception of small areas under the evergreen trees and a few bare spots where it was rocky. On the third backpack most of the snow was gone but the ground was frozen and icy in places. The ground under the shelter was frozen and ice glazed.

My hiking locations were all in New Hampshire. The first long hike was done on Mt. Monadnock 3165 ft (965 m). The temperature was hovering around freezing, 3 in (4.5 cm) of soft snow was on top of ice and snow. Winds at the top were around 35 mph. The second long hike was done on the Old Bridle Path, which leads to Mt Lafayette 5260 ft (1603 m). The temperature was above 70 F (21 C), there was little or no wind and the ground was covered with over 3 ft (91 cm) of granular snow and ice.

Other hikes were done from trailheads off the Kancamagus Highway: Greeley Ponds Trail, East Pond Trail, and an unknown trail. The temperature was about 20 F (-7 C) and the snow was over 4 ft (122 cm) in most areas. Artist Bluff Path 2340 ft (713 m) and Bald Mt Path 2340 ft (713 m) start at the same point in the overflow parking lot for the Peabody slopes of Cannon Mountain. At about 0.3 mi (0.5 km) the trail divides and there is a spur trail to Bald Mt. The trail to Artist's Bluff can be done as a loop. The snow depth varied from bare spots to over 3 ft (91 cm). The temperature was just above freezing.

The paved bike path runs parallel to the road passing through Franconia Notch. This bike path is used by snowmobiles, cross country skiers and hikers in the winter. The path is well used with the snow being well packed. The condition was icy, granular and a few bare spots. Temperatures were below freezing.
IMAGE 1
east of Manchester New Hampshire

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Packing the Gregory Whitney 95 for overnight backpacking

Since writing my initial report, I have learned better how to stuff my Battle Mountain -15 F (-26 C) sleeping bag into the lower compartment of the backpack. The backpack now does the work of a compression sack. I then was able to roll up the foam and air pad kit and put it into the top part of the bag, followed by the bivy sack. My main attachment to the outside of the pack would be snowshoes.
Typical items with weights are as follows:

Whitney: 103 oz (2.92 kg)
Battle Mountain: 80 oz (2.27 kg)
pad kit: 80.5 oz (2.28 kg)
cell phone: 8 oz (227 g)
camera: 10 oz (283 g)
head lamp: 6.5 oz (184 g)
misc kit: 8 oz (227 g)
extra shirt: 13 oz (369 g)
fleece jacket: 17 oz (482 g)
total: 20.38 lb (9.24 kg)
water varies depending on conditions
This list will expand and change with the seasons and duration of backpack.

My first backpack was to a forest east of Manchester New Hampshire. My pack weighed about 30 lb (13.6 kg). I arrived just after dusk and it was cold and very icy. I put on my traction devices and headed for the spot I had planned to stay. Unpacking the Whitney was easy. I propped the pack against a tree, opened the top and pulled out the tent. I setup the tent, and then I brought the sleeping bag from the bottom part of the pack, and the foam and air pad kit from the top of the pack, and put them into the tent for assembly. Since I had space in this 2 person backpacking tent I put the backpack in the tent. The temperature was about 20 F (-7 C), but felt colder due to high humidity. I slept very well until 5 am when I awoke, finding myself cold. The clouds had cleared during the night and the temperature must have dropped considerably. I was cold enough to want to get up and head out. I removed the pad kit from the sleeping bag and stuffed the sleeping bag into the lower part of the backpack. Rolled up the tent and put in the top of the backpack. I took down the tent and rolled it up and put it in the top of the backpack. I was packed and ready to go in a short period of time. The extra capacity of the Whitney made packing a lot easier than packing my previous pack.

The next 3 backpacks were done in Middlesex county Massachusetts. My pack weighed about 27 lb (12.3 kg) for these backpacks. The first of these backpacks was started knowing that a rain storm was coming and could last all night and for most of the next day. It was after sunset when I started and the temperature was just above freezing and the humidity was high. There was little or no wind. I found a place where evergreens gave some protection. I placed the Whitney against a tree for support. I removed the bivy from the top of the pack and set it up. I then removed the sleeping bag from the bottom of the pack and the foam and air pad kit from the top of the pack and placed them on the bivy for assembly. I placed the sleeping bag assembly in the bivy and left the pack propped against a tree. I slept comfortably for about 6 hours. When I woke up, I was warm and it was raining moderately. Upon inspection, I was damp but not wet. I went to sleep again quickly. When I woke the next time, the rain had reduced to a drizzle. I decided to pack and leave before it really started to rain. There were a few beads of water on the Whitney. To pack, I repeated the procedure of the first backpack, except for the bivy which I rolled up and put in a plastic bag before inserting it into the top of the backpack. When I got home I found the Gregory Whitney backpack was barely damp on the outside and I could not find any dampness on the inside. I spread it out along with the other items that had gotten damp or wet. Everything was dry within 4 hours.

It was almost 2 hours after sunset when I started the second backpack of this series with a temperature of 15 F (-9 C) and a slight wind coming from the north. I placed the Whitney against a tree, unpacked and setup. I then got into the sleeping bag and did a little reading and soon I was asleep. I woke several hours later, but soon was back to sleep. When I awoke again, it was time to pack and return. The temperature had dropped to 13 F (-11 C) during the night. I used my liner gloves to operate the zippered closures on the Whitney and had no trouble. I packed the Whitney in my normal manner.

The third backpack of this series was started about 2 hours after sunset with a temperature of 20 F (-7 C) and there was a light breeze all through the night. I was set up and ready for some reading in a very short time. In the morning I found all surfaces were dry including the Whitney which had been left against a tree. The temperature had dropped to 16 F (-9 C) by morning. I was packed and heading out before dawn and was able to see the sun rise before arriving home. Even though everything had felt dry, I still spread the gear around for a few hours before storing to make sure things were are dry.

My fifth backpack was to a campsite east of Manchester New Hampshire. My pack weighed almost 27 lb (12.3 kg) for this trip. I arrived at the place I was going to camp at about 5:30 pm after about an hour of hiking. It was warm, so I put my temperature/humidity meter out and recorded 82 F (28 C) and 56% humidity. While I was setting up the bivy and sleeping bag, a pair of wild ducks flew in and settled on the pond. I could also see tracks of wild turkey near the shore. After setting up, I became aware of the No-See-Ums and I was ready to do some hiking. I hiked for over 3 hours with a much lightened pack, and when I returned, I left the pack against a tree. It was now 49 F (9 C) and 76% humidity and the frogs in the pond were quite noisy. I read for only a short time before going to sleep. It was almost 6 am when I awoke, the temperature had dropped again to 32 F (0 C) and humidity was 86%. The outside of the Whitney backpack had some water beads. I packed and headed for the trailhead. When I got home, even though the gear felt dry, I spread it out in the sun.

The first major hike was Mt Monadnock 3165 ft (865 m). I used a 3 L hydration pack for water and placed it in the hydration pocket and used the water port for the hose. I put extra clothing in the bottom compartment. I used the belt pockets for snacks. I put mittens in the center zippered pocket. I used the top bonnet to carry a compass, cell phone and camera. My pack for this hike weighed about 16 lb (7.3 kg). Temperatures hovered around freezing. It had snowed the night before and there was 3 in (7.6 cm) of new soft snow covering mostly ice. Our plan was to hike the White Dot Trail to the summit. This trail goes up steadily until the top, with very few short flat areas. This is the shortest but the steepest trail. As we got near the top, the wind was about 35 mph (56 km/hr). We were being pushed around by the wind and that was not a very good feeling. However despite the high winds I felt very connected to the Whitney. The surface was half rock and half ice. We were very close to the top which was not visible due to heavy overcast and winds. The safe thing to do was to turn around and proceed back. The trip down was slower due mainly to slipping. During this backpack I felt that the backpack was a part of me and did not have any effect on my stability. The trip took about 7 hours. I was surprised not to have any soreness in my shoulders.

The second long hike was with 2 companions and we went up the Old Bridle Path leading to Mt Lafayette. The weather being warmer and the hike being more difficult, I lowered the weight to about 13 lb (5.9 kg). Almost half of this weight was water. It was a beautiful sunny day with the temperature being over 70 F (21 C). I carried a 3 L hydration pack, and did not pack as much as the first long hike. For this hike I put my camera in the secured mesh packet. This allowed for easy access to it without having to remove the pack. The ground was covered with over 3 ft (91 cm) of snow. This trail is well traveled and as the snow season progresses the trail is lower than the surrounding snow. This continues until it starts to get warmer during the day and the surrounding snow shrinks down. Now the trail which has become almost a solid chunk of ice is now higher but only about the width of 2 snowshoes. My companions had snowshoes and I had Kahtoola traction devices. Hiking under these temperatures produced a slippery and unstable surface. Our progress was slow. We got a late start; it was after 11 am when we started climbing. This is considered a moderate hike. We hiked about 2 mi (2.1 km) and stopped for lunch at the brink of the ravine. From here we had spectacular views of Franconia Ridge. The way back was a lot easier on the cardio, but was a constant strain on the legs. I did slide off the trail and post holed up to my waist and did not reach bottom. Getting up after a fall was no different than not having a pack. It was almost 6 pm when we arrived at the parking lot. We had been on the trail about 6-7 hours. The only thing that was wet was my feet, and that was because I had gotten snow between my socks and my boots.

A series of 3 hikes originated from the Kancamagus Highway. My pack weighed about 25 lb (11.3 kg) for these hikes. These were done the same weekend and the temperatures were about 20 F (-7 C). The snow was over 4 ft (122 cm) in the woods. I was staying at my ski club and each day I did a different trailhead. I had my backpack ready for overnight camping and these hikes were to be training hikes. The parking lot for Greeley Pond Trail was greatly reduced in size due to all the snow. There were no cars in the lot which is unusual. I put my gear on and hiked until I reached a stream crossing that I did not want to take a chance crossing. The rocks in the stream had a lot of snow and I could see water flowing around most of them. The trail divided here, one fork went over the stream and the other went left along the bank. I followed the path on the bank until the snow was so high that I was walking in the upper branches of the evergreens. The trail seemed to disappear here, so I turned around. The next day I found an open trailhead lot at East Pond Trail. This parking lot also had a lot of snow and there was not much space to maneuver. Being the first car, I parked so I could drive straight out. I hiked on this trail until I came to a stream I could not cross. I turned around, returned and drove back. The next day, I found another parking lot that looked cleared out enough to get in. This turned out to be a loop trail about 2 mi (3.2 km). It felt good to finally be able to finish something even though it was a short hike. Hiking in the winter with snowshoes or traction devices is a slow process and quite tiring. I spent about 5-6 hours total for these 3 trails. I was feeling very comfortable with the Whitney and had no pressure points where the backpack had rested on me.

Another weekend, only one day was good for hiking, so I hiked Bald Mt and Artist's Bluff. My pack weighed about 25 lb (11.3 kg) for this hike. Since the parking is also shared by the ski slope this trail gets a lot of hikers. The trail was well packed and icy. This hike is less than 2 mi (3.2 km) and is moderately steep, with a few short sections requiring some scrambling. This is an excellent hike to start a season and the views of the ski slope and surrounding mountains are great. I spent about 2 hours on this hike. With traction devices on, my only choice was to stay on the trail to avoid postholing. I felt very comfortable doing the scrambling with the Whitney.

Up to this point I had not used the bonnet as a fanny pack. I had used really small fanny packs that would hold a small camera and a cell phone. I figured this would be good to have when hiking on the snowmobile trail and near the Flume and the Basin. I put a camera, cell phone, water bottle, compass and gloves in the bonnet. There was still some space, but this was a good start. I first hiked on the snowmobile trail, which is a paved bicycle path in the non snow season. The trail has a lot of curves and most of them are banked, so the path is not level. It was like walking on a slant surface. I then went to the Basin and hiked the path around the Basin; this area is close to the highway and tends to have a lot of tourists. I followed the Pemi Trail where it crossed the Basin Trail to a point where the stream was uncrossable. The following day I went a little further north and hiked on the snowmobile trail with another member from the ski club who was cross country skiing. This section of the trail is almost straight and has less than moderate slope. These hikes were a good test of the bonnet as a fanny pack. It seemed to slowly slide down on my waist. The clothing I had on was pretty smooth and offered little friction. It works just as well in front or in the back. I will need to try this again in warmer weather. I could easily access the items I needed. This should work well for short hikes from camp, or doing a very steep short summit.

SUMMARY

At this point I have gone on 5 backpacks, 2 long hikes and 8 shorter hikes. The Gregory Whitney 95 has a lot of space and is very comfortable to hike with. I feel like I am growing into this backpack, in that the more I use it, the easier I find to add items and place them so I can access them easily. It is heavy, and requires more time to make the adjustments. I find all the zippers work well and I have not had any trouble using any of them even with my liner gloves on. I find I can access more stuff without having to take off my backpack. On the long hikes I did not feel the need to take off the backpack when stopping for rest. The contents of the pack have been dry under various conditions including rain. The bonnet used as a fanny pack will work well when only a small amount of gear is required. I have found the people I have encountered in the gear stores are not familiar with the latest features of this backpack. I am still becoming proficient in making the numerous adjustments. The Gregory web site provides excellent information and I have used it a lot to get familiar with my backpack. I look forward to spring and summer backpacking, which will bring new challenges.

TESTING STRATEGY

I will continue using the Gregory Whitney 95 backpack for all my hikes during the remainder of the test. I am planning to do some backpacks in the south central part of Massachusetts in late May or early June. Most other weekends I hope to be in the Lincoln New Hampshire area of the White Mountains. My plan is to use each backpack or hike as training for the next event. I have gone to heavier weights when doing leg presses at the gym to make carrying a heavier pack easier. Some members in my ski club are interested in hiking as well as backpacking and that will provide additional hiking partners. I am looking forward to learning about the full potential of this backpack and becoming better at making adjustments. In my next report I will be reporting my experiences with spring and summer backpacking.

This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information. I wish to thank Backpackgeartesters.org and Gregory for the opportunity to test this fine product.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I did two bushwhacking hikes on very steep parts of mountains in the Franconia area in May when most of the snow was gone. Temperatures were about 50 F (10 C) and the slopes were a combination of sloping rock, grassy areas, and dense evergreens. I hiked around Echo Lake to Profile Lake and returned to Echo Lake. I hiked Mt Moosilauke 4802 ft (1464 m) on a 60 F (16 C) day, when winds at the top were about 35 mph (56 km/hr). I backpacked in Douglas State Forest with a temperature of about 80 F (27 C) and no wind. When I backpacked for three nights on the Monadnock Sunapee Greenway Trail and the surrounding areas of Washington New Hampshire, day temperatures were at least 80 F (27 C) with little or no breezes and the nights were about 60 F (16 C) with lots of insects.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I have been impressed with the comfort, even on long hikes and backpacks. I have worn the pack for as long as 7 hours and have not felt the need to take it off. I have been in 80 F (27 C) weather and have been comfortable. I did notice when the winds were about 35 mph (56 km/hr), I was pushed around a bit, which is normal for me.

I used the fanny pack for two bushwhacking hikes on the mountains near Franconia Notch. I carried a 1 liter water bottle, camera, cell phone, sun lotion and insect repellent on these 2 hours hikes. I found that the fanny pack was great to use on these short hikes where the slopes were very steep. I have hiked here before with a backpack and wished my center of gravity was lower. With the fanny pack I could accomplish this goal and feel balanced.

I did a 2 hour hike with the Whitney with a 25 lb (11.3 kg) pack from Echo Lake to Profile Lake and back. This was mostly on a bicycle trail and I was able see how stable the Whitney was when I was walking at a faster rate. The path was mostly level with a few steep areas. There was a trail around the lakes which was mostly small rock and tree roots. I found the stability excellent on all parts of this hike.

On the Mt Moosilauke hike, I was carrying 17 lb (7.7 kg), the temp was 60 F (16 C) and the winds at the summit were about 35 mph (56 km/hr). The pack was comfortable throughout this 7 hour hike.

I backpacked with 5 other hikers to a shelter in Douglas State Forest. My pack was loaded to about 33 lbs (15 kg) this included 4 liters of water. The 5 mi (8 km) to the shelter took about 4 hrs, it was hot and I required a lot of stopping for rest. The pack was comfortable at all times and felt a part of me. One of my hiking companions made slight adjustments to my backpack. The hike out took only 2 hrs, and the pack was about 5 lb (2.3 kg) lighter and it was a little cooler. I had space left over in my backpack even with a bivy, air and foam pad, sleeping bag, down pillow, food, miscellaneous clothes, and 4 liters of water. Other items including camera, cell phone, sun lotion, insect repellent, compass, head lamp, and personal items were in the bonnet which was still not quite full.

On the three night backpack on the Monadnock Sunapee Greenway Trail I hiked with a 25 lb (11.3 kg) backpack. We did about 6 hour hikes on 2 days of about 6.3 mi (10 km) and 5.5 mi (9 km). We spent our first night at General Washington Shelter. See picture below. The second day we drove north and spotted a car at Pillsbury State Park and hiked to the Max Israel Campsite. See picture below. The temperature that day was about 80 F (27 C) and the humidity was high along with the insect count. We heard thunder north of us and sensed that rain was coming soon. We set up a tarp over part of the camping platform to have a place to cook and eat out of the rain. We pitched our bivys and tents around the platform. It did rain very hard during the night. It rained heavily and even though my backpack was not completely protected the contents of the backpack stayed dry. On the third day we hiked back to General Washington Shelter where we spent our last night on the trail. My hiking partners had a surprise 70th birthday party for me. A great way to start another decade. During this backpack I was comfortable in my backpack at all times and I had easy access to any items I needed from my backpack. This was a memorable backpack and I will be back with this group or others to do more of this trail.
IMAGE 1
General Washington Shelter

IMAGE 2
Max Israel Campsite

SUMMARY

I have been very pleased with the Whitney 95 backpack. I find it is a product that has grown on me. The more I use it the better I become at using it. The comfort amazes me even in hot humid weather. Getting at the items I need quickly and easily is very convenient. I have used it a lot and it still looks like it did when I first got it. This is a very reliable product. I can do near perfect adjustments by myself, but sometimes need assistance for optimum performance. The comfort and convenience of the Gregory Whitney 95 compensates for it being heavier. My Whitney 95 was exposed to a lot of rain and the contents remained dry.

CONTINUED USE

I will continue to use the Whitney 95 for backpacking, and winter hiking when I will be requiring more capacity. When I get stronger I will be taking it on steep higher altitude hikes. I will use the fanny pack for short hikes where a backpack is too large, and I need more capacity than a hydration pack. The fanny pack is vey adequate for items like cell phone, camera, sun lotion and insect repellent.

I would like to thank BackpackGearTesters.org and Gregory for the opportunity to test the Whitney 95 Backpack.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Gregory Whitney 2008 > Test Report by arnold peterson



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