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Bergans vs Gregory
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Mar 4, 2016
I'm looking at two different packs: Bergans of Norway Glittertind or Gregory Baltoro.

Primary use is going to be hauling climbing gear on long(er) approaches and hiking/traveling from time to time. I've read good things about both. No, I can't try either on. Nobody carries them in my area.

Anybody compare the two? I don't know much about brand recognition of packs. Are both brands considered quality? Glittertind is on sale. Baltoro is more expensive. But price isn't a real concern for me at this point. The few reviews I've seen on the Bergans talks about the unique suspension system blah blah blah.

Wish I could try them on. I might just buy both and return the one I don't like...



FourT6and2
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Mar 31, 2015
72 points
Mar 4, 2016
My only input would be to look closely at the packs' weights. The only Gregory I ever used was seriously heavy for it's size, like 5+ pounds empty. Gunkiemike
Joined Jul 29, 2009
2,648 points
Mar 4, 2016
HI!

I live in Sweden, being next to Norway, there's a lot of Bergan stuff around. I wouldn't call it high end gear, more like something in the middle.

Weight on big packs is an important factor. Are you sure you need a 70? My Black Diamond 50 liter pack is plenty for me, even for week long trips camping and climbing peaks in Norway, at least in the summer.
Jarmland
Joined Apr 13, 2012
10 points
Mar 4, 2016
Both are excellent brands - Gregory, being american, is more common here. Bergans isn't as common in america but that's due to geography not quality. Graham Johnson
Joined Apr 27, 2006
1 points
Mar 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: wiped
Cant make any claim about Bergans but i have a lot of experience with gregory. I really love their packs. The first pack I ever bought was the gregory wingate. Its fairly comparable to the baltoro. I purchased it for backpacking ~9yrs ago. I still use it for backpacking and for hauling loads of climbing gear. I also have the gregory denali which Ive used a ton. I use it for winter trips where I am carrying winter camping gear and ice climbing gear. I also used it on denali. I really do love that pack as well.

Ive found the gregory packs i own to be very well made and robust. as one poster mentioned they are heavier than others but if youre using them to haul climbing gear, to a climb and not up a climb, saving 2-3lbs probably isnt a big concern. It has never bothered me.

For more alpine style climbing where i need to wear the pack up the climb i dont use my gregory (mainly cuz its 60L).

anyway, i would say if you purchase a gregory, you will get a comfortable, durable, well built pack that weighs a little more than the competition (but is worth the extra weight in my opinion).
Jake wander
Joined Aug 11, 2014
168 points
Mar 4, 2016
I asked for a similar recommendation backpacking friend.
He recommended Deuter Aircomfort Futura Vario Pro system. Got to say, I love good airflow at my back on those humid and hot days.
amarius
Joined Feb 23, 2012
23 points
Mar 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Tabula Rasa
I have the Gregory Baltoro and am really impressed. It hauled everything I needed (and more) for 9 days in the Wind Rivers including climbing gear. Pack was stuffed to the gills and carried wonderfully. I have no experience with the Bergans, but have been a very happy Gregory user for 14 years. mhackman08
From Boulder, CO
Joined Sep 4, 2015
6 points
Mar 4, 2016
Jarmland wrote:
Are you sure you need a 70?


No, I'm not looking at a 70. The Bergans is a 55, Gregory a 65.

I need it to fit a 70 meter, 10.2mm rope, harness, shoes, jacket, some food/snacks, guide book, some draws, some static rope for anchors, carabiners, slings, etc. I don't have a trad rack. But maybe in a year or so I might. A 45L is cutting it tight. So I was looking at the next size up. Which is 55-65.
FourT6and2
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Mar 31, 2015
72 points
Mar 4, 2016
I actually found an REI close to my work and ran out to get fitted. And turns out they had a few Baltoro packs there. I'm 6' 2", 185 lbs., with a 21-22" torso. So that came out to be a Large pack size. But I tried on a large and it didn't seem to fit well. The metal bar at the top of the pack prevented me from tilting my head back to look up. Which is important when hiking and on approach if I need to scramble.

Tried on a medium and that fit better. But the shoulder straps were a bit tight. So I'm thinking I need a medium pack, medium waste straps, large shoulder straps. The guy at REI said they can't swap straps. But Backcountry Edge has this pack online where you can specify what size you want each of those things. So I might go that route.

But I don't really know how a pack is supposed to fit. The guy at REI said the waist belt should sit overlapping your hip bone. But that didn't feel right to me. The pack just slips down past the bone. But if the pack sits above the bone, so the bone supports the pack's weight, that feels right.

The Baltoro seemed like a good pack. I like how you can get entry into the larger compartment via the top, the sides/front, and the bottom. But yes... it is quite heavy for a backpack.

Can't try on the Glittertind. But I can order one and return it if I don't like it I guess. so I might go that route for both from Backcountry Edge.
FourT6and2
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Mar 31, 2015
72 points
Mar 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit of Tiffany Mountain, Okanogan County, WA.
I have a Baltoro 75, and I love it. People always talk about the weight of packs, but that thing sits so comfortably on my back that I notice it less than a much lighter pack. It's also an incredibly burly pack. I've had mind for a few years now, including guiding backpacking trips through the North Cascades last summer. I went up and over Cascade Pass with a group and I was carrying 75 pounds in my pack: suspension was still able to handle it. It's also fairly nice to scramble in because the hip belt pieces rotate, allowing you to lean at your hips and have the pack move with your body.

No experience with the Bergans, so I can't comment on that, but I will definitely say that for bigger packs, comfort is way, way more important than weight.
Gavin W
Joined Feb 19, 2015
129 points
Mar 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit of Tiffany Mountain, Okanogan County, WA.
FourT6and2 wrote:
I actually found an REI close to my work and ran out to get fitted. And turns out they had a few Baltoro packs there. I'm 6' 2", 185 lbs., with a 21-22" torso. So that came out to be a Large pack size. But I tried on a large and it didn't seem to fit well. The metal bar at the top of the pack prevented me from tilting my head back to look up. Which is important when hiking and on approach if I need to scramble. Tried on a medium and that fit better. But the shoulder straps were a bit tight. So I'm thinking I need a medium pack, medium waste straps, large shoulder straps. The guy at REI said they can't swap straps. But Backcountry Edge has this pack online where you can specify what size you want each of those things. So I might go that route. But I don't really know how a pack is supposed to fit. The guy at REI said the waist belt should sit overlapping your hip bone. But that didn't feel right to me. The pack just slips down past the bone. But if the pack sits above the bone, so the bone supports the pack's weight, that feels right. The Baltoro seemed like a good pack. I like how you can get entry into the larger compartment via the top, the sides/front, and the bottom. But yes... it is quite heavy for a backpack.


I actually had the same experience with the Baltoro, jumped down to a medium and it worked (I'm 6'1). Not sure if the guy at REI realized that you can adjust where the shoulder straps sit in the pack frame (follow the top of the shoulder strap behind the padding), that might help with what you're trying to do.
With my Baltoro, I have the hipbelt wrap around the iliac crest (top part of my hipbone) so that the top half of the hipbelt is above my hipbone, and the bottom half is just barely wrapping around the top of my hipbone. That allows my hips to carry the weight, while not getting blisters from the back shifting around with a heavy weight.
Gavin W
Joined Feb 19, 2015
129 points
Mar 4, 2016
Gavin W wrote:
I actually had the same experience with the Baltoro, jumped down to a medium and it worked (I'm 6'1). Not sure if the guy at REI realized that you can adjust where the shoulder straps sit in the pack frame (follow the top of the shoulder strap behind the padding), that might help with what you're trying to do. With my Baltoro, I have the hipbelt wrap around the iliac crest (top part of my hipbone) so that the top half of the hipbelt is above my hipbone, and the bottom half is just barely wrapping around the top of my hipbone. That allows my hips to carry the weight, while not getting blisters from the back shifting around with a heavy weight.


Thanks!

Yeah I asked him about the adjustment point on the inside of the pack, those little slits/clips. He said, "Nah those don't really make a difference." lol

Gregory has a video on their site of a cool little fitment jig. REI didn't have this. They had some janky old one that just measures your torso length. The one in the Gregory video looks like a backpack just without the pack part. So you can set the waist, torso, hip belt, and shoulder straps to get an exact fit. That's what I was hoping to find.
FourT6and2
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Mar 31, 2015
72 points
Mar 5, 2016
FourT6and2 wrote:
No, I'm not looking at a 70. The Bergans is a 55, Gregory a 65. I need it to fit a 70 meter, 10.2mm rope, harness, shoes, jacket, some food/snacks, guide book, some draws, some static rope for anchors, carabiners, slings, etc. I don't have a trad rack. But maybe in a year or so I might. A 45L is cutting it tight. So I was looking at the next size up. Which is 55-65.


Fwiw, I easily fit all that in my Deuter Rise 35L. It becomes a 45L when completly unrolled.

Most times though, I don't heven have to cram it all in there. Your rope can usually go on the outside of the pack and you don't often have to carry everything all at ounce. If you have the rope your partner can carry the rack and draws!

65L is actually pretty cavernous...
John The Wolf
Joined Feb 13, 2015
53 points
Mar 5, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit of Tiffany Mountain, Okanogan County, WA.
That's true. I only use my 75L for backpacking trips. For a day at the crags I can get everything (single rack, shoes, helmet, rope, draws) inside my BD Speed 30. I think the only time I've totally filled my 75L was the first couple days of a trip I guided last summer, 11 days with 9 highschoolers who had never backpacked before, no resupplies (so we carried all our food). I had a 2-person tent, sleeping bag, all my clothes/outerwear, camp shoes, a large bear can full of trail mix, 15L worth of other food stuffs, a stove, 2 fuel bottles, and an expedition sized-first aid kit. Unless I'm carrying a tent and sleeping bag and 2 days worth of food (at a minimum), I would use a smaller pack. Gavin W
Joined Feb 19, 2015
129 points
Mar 5, 2016
if you dont absolutely love the fit of a pack when you try it one (after all the adjustments) .... dont buy it

theres enough youtube videos on how to fit a pack so i wont rehash the details ...

but i will say pack it to the gills and load it with ~30-40 lbs + and run around the store with it for a few hours

as a reference each 10mm rope weights ~ 9-10 lbs ... so put 4 ropes in/on the bag

REI is a great place to try this

;)
bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
3,068 points
Mar 5, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Eldo!
I have the new osprey atmos 65 pack, and its extremely more comfortable than the previous generation. Osprey has the all mighty Guaranty, even if a rodent rips into your pack osprey will fix it for free. Jfriday1
From Lakewood, CO
Joined Jun 25, 2012
82 points
Mar 7, 2016
This is turning into more of a review thread I guess. I tried on a bunch of packs the other day at REI. Was a marathon sessions of putting weights and bean bags into various packs haha. But the guy who helped me was great.

I really liked the Black Diamond Speed 40. I liked how simple it was. And how it actually held a lot more than you'd think. I compared it to some other packs that were listed as being 45 liters, yet the Speed 40 held more. The Mammut Neon Gear 45 barely held half of what the Speed 40 held, for example.

Patagonia Ascensionist was horrible. Just a nylon sack pretty much.

Patagonia Crag Daddy was good if all you're looking for is a duffle bag with straps. Hip belt and shoulder straps are worthless at supporting weight.

Speed 40 was good. But lacked any sort of real back padding. And the hip belt was useless. It didn't support any weight at all. If there is a pack out there like the Speed, but has a real hip belt and real back padding, that's what I'd go for. BD also has the Mission pack, which looks like it's the same as the Speed, but has a crampon pouch that I can probably use as a water bottle holder. And I'd probably get a 45 or 50 liter, not the 40.

Osprey Variant was actually the most comfortable pack I tried. Even compared to the Gregory Baltoro. But the Variant has a lot going on. Straps and buckles everywhere. Took me 10 minutes just to close the thing up and get it on my back haha. But it's not bad. If it were more simple, like the Speed 40, it'd be a winner. But I might default to this one.

Arcteryx Miura 45 (new version) was ok. I liked how it opens up wide and unfolds completely. But padding is non-existent. Waste belt is worthless (just a strap). And has nowhere to stow a water bottle or anything. Also very expensive for what it is. I was told the older version was better.

Black Diamond Creek Seemed built tougher than the others. Opens up wide on the side/top. But I don't see myself spending money on a "dedicated crag" pack when a technical pack would do the trick and be more versatile.

North Face Cinder Kinda cool how it stands up on its own. Sort of seems like a hybrid mix of a backpack and a haul bag. But again, the padding and the should harness and the hip belt are worthless. None of these packs have strap/support systems that actually support the weight of the pack by sending the load to your hips. I don't get it.

Gregory Baltoro is good. Maybe overkill for my needs now that I had some real time with it. Fairly comfortable. But I do really think I'd prefer something more simple and streamlined, like the other technical packs I looked at.

Gregory does have the Alpinisto 50. Which is like the BD Speed, but looks to have more substantial padding and a real hip belt. I'd have to order that one to try it. But I can return it if I don't like it.

And finally, I found some really nice packs from Montane. They are new for this year so nobody has them yet. But they both look to be exactly what I want: simple, streamlined, good padding, built for climbing/hiking. But don't have the kitchen sink built into them. The Fast Alpine and the Summit Tour:



FourT6and2
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Mar 31, 2015
72 points
Mar 7, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Seneca mist
A vote for the Baltoro here.i have the 65 and love it. It is a beefy pack a with solid suspension system, which sounds like what you'll need with the amount of weight you'll be lugging around. The zippers are beefy too, so you can stuff the shit out of it without fear of blowing a zipper. Also, another feature I like are pockets. A lot of internal frame packs are lacking individual storage compartments, just a tube. The Baltoro has some nice zippered pockets that will help with organization while traveling.

My 2 cents
McHull
From SCPA
Joined Aug 29, 2012
250 points
Mar 8, 2016
the variant can also be used for alpine .... its a tag large but it IS an alpine pack

and if it fits you best ...

with ospreys great warranty ...

;)
bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
3,068 points
Mar 16, 2016
Tried out the Bergans of Norway Glittertind. Yep... most comfortable pack BY FAR. Light years beyond the Baltoro or any other pack I tried. It fit me like a glove. The instant I put it on, I was like yup this is the one. Loaded with 30 pounds, you don't even feel it. And it has some fancy suspension system that twists with the various parts of your back and hips. I got it on sale super cheap so I went for it. Only downside I can potentially see is that it's a hiking/travel pack so it might not hold up to the wear and tear of being dragged across rock during approaches. But hell, for $150 I'm not complaining.

I also tried the Gregory Alpinisto. Basically like the Black Diamond Speed, but with better padding, straps, and hip belt.

I'd like to try the Montane packs but the Bergans is a winner.
FourT6and2
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Mar 31, 2015
72 points
Mar 16, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: After a very very damp and cold evening climbing o...
WTF is wrong with you, you are buying a crag pack not a expedition pack. 45 liters the suspension doesn't matter. that guy named seb
Joined Oct 24, 2015
182 points
Mar 16, 2016
that guy named seb wrote:
WTF is wrong with you, you are buying a crag pack not a expedition pack. 45 liters the suspension doesn't matter.


Oh, my bad. I didn't realize you dictate what I'll be using the pack for. I'll be sure to PM you when I need to use the toilet too, and ask for permission. Thanks buddy!
FourT6and2
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Mar 31, 2015
72 points
Mar 17, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Peace
A climbing pack is a completely different animal than a backpacking pack. If you want a pack designed for climbing, 95% of the packs on the market are junk. You want:

- Simple
- Tough
- Simple
- and light

- and simple

You can make almost any pack carry well enough if you load it properly. The suspension system does not need to be complicated.

Neither of the packs in the original post come close to my criteria for a climbing pack.
jfs
From Bend, OR
Joined Mar 31, 2012
10 points
Mar 17, 2016
jfs wrote:
A climbing pack is a completely different animal than a backpacking pack. If you want a pack designed for climbing, 95% of the packs on the market are junk. You want: - Simple - Tough - Simple - and light - and simple You can make almost any pack carry well enough if you load it properly. The suspension system does not need to be complicated..


1) I'm not looking for a "climbing" pack. I'm looking for a comfortable pack that I can use for a variety of things, including hiking, travel, and hauling some gear to the crag... NOT to "climb" with.

2) I found what I'm looking for. The criteria here being me. You use what you want. I'll use what I want. Then we can all be happy. I have the pack I was looking for. Done deal. I won't be returning it because you or anybody else doesn't like my decision. That's silly.

3) I initially bought a "climbing" crag pack—the Grag Daddy. It's nothing but a duffle bag with straps. Useless for what I want. Returned it. And you can see I tried out a number of actual "climbing" packs (Black Diamond, Arcteryx, North Face, Patagonia, etc.) And I totally agree with you—the packs on the market designed for "climbing" are largely junk. They are either full of gimmicks or have straps and hip belts that are nothing but webbing and offer zero comfort/support.

There are two that stand out (to me) though: The Gregory Alpinisto and the Montane packs I posted above. But they are more in the way of alpine/mountaineering packs. BUT... so what. You can use them for whatever you want. Is there some law out there that says you can't? What makes one pack a "climbing" pack and another not? Size? Weight? Material? Straps? The pack I went with is no larger in physical size than the Crag Daddy I initially bought. It's not significantly heavier either. But it's more comfortable. Carries weight better.

The Baltoro is heavy. It is cumbersome. And that's why I didn't go with it. The Glittertind is closer to an alpine/mountaineering pack than anything. And it will work just fine for what I want. :)

"Neither of the packs in the original post come close to my criteria for a climbing pack"

The Baltoro is certainly not a climbing pack, agreed. The Glittertind... after using it... I wouldn't climb in it obviously. But it's much lighter and smaller than the Baltoro. And much more simple. But more comfortable and much lighter. It will work for what I want. If you want simple, light, and tough... get a duffle back and use that I guess. Or one of those ulta light packs made of Cuban Fiber / Dyneema. They are just sacks with straps. Should do the trick for you. Not for me.
FourT6and2
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Mar 31, 2015
72 points


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