While plenty of adventurers get excited about purchasing the latest gizmos, gadgets, toys, and trinkets designed to make life out in the wilderness a little bit more enjoyable and a little bit more relaxed (and it’s easy to see why), more and more people are realizing just how critical it is to get their hands on a quality bag that carries all of their gear into and out of the woods again – and a decent amount of folks get more excited about the bag than anything else!
And as soon as you set your eyes on the Gregory Stout 65 backpack you will understand exactly how easy it is to get juiced up about a bag.
To learn a little bit more about this bag and whether or not it is ideally suited to your needs and your style of adventure let’s dig a little deeper.
Our Initial Impressions
Right out of the gate we have to tell you that the Gregory Mountain Stout 65 has been completely and totally overhauled from top to bottom compared to the 2016 version of this same backpack.
This new bag retains the same kind of “monstrous” dimensions as the older version but is even lighter weight, includes a brand-new pack with adjustments for the harness and the hip belt, and includes a lot of extra “creature comfort” features that will keep you and your gear safe and protected while you had out into Mother Nature.
The overall weight capacity of this backpack comes in at just over 50 pounds which means it can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it, and then some.
Amazingly, however, is the fact that the corrector only weighs about 3 lbs. 13 oz. This makes it infinitely practical for hikers, campers, mountaineers, as well as “weekend warriors” that aren’t ever going to spend a night off of the trailhead.
The overall design and configuration of the new Gregory Stout 65 is totally distinct from the older version.
Instead of three different sizes, there’s only one standardized size.
Instead of the fixed harness system that the older model featured, there’s a brand-new adjustable harness setup that uses a breeze to configure and also very comfortable in practice.
There’s also a brand-new “bottom compartment” tucked away in this new version of the bag, something that was completely missing in the original and something that a lot of people online had asked for. The folks at Gregory were more than happy to oblige.
Unfortunately, there is also no day pack in this version of the Gregory Stout 65 that was available in the previous configuration. That’s a bit of a sad thing to see missing, but it’s understandable considering just how special this bag is from top to bottom now.
At 65 Litres, the Gregory Stout 65 is the second largest bag available from the folks at Gregory in the Stout selection. It’s a top loading monstrosity that includes a hydration sleeve and hose port for easy setup and go that also disappears if you aren’t going to be using a hydration bladder at any one particular point in time.
The zippered bottom compartment features a removable divider, and while the design could certainly be improved upon a little bit it still offers plenty of space in each compartment for wet/dry and clean/dirty gear that you want to keep apart from one another.
The biggest standout feature for the Gregory Stout 65 has to be the adjustable harness system that includes a suspension platform that adjusts as you mix and match the individual settings on the harness itself.
Because the Gregory operation has done away entirely with the three different versions of the old 65 L bag and has a “one-size-fits-all” set up now the adjustable harness is the bread and butter of this platform and can be dialed in to fit you like a second skin.
A super lightweight and steel spring “wishbone” frame runs throughout the back panel of the bag to add a lot of rigidity and durability without any discomfort. It helps to transfer load effortlessly to the lumbar zone with a tremendous amount of padding. This is going to help you on those longer hikes and hauls when you’re carrying a lot of gear for sure.
A couple of different pockets are situated all over the bag to help keep things nice and organized, really neat feature is the inclusion of two zippered pockets that are attached directly to the hip belt itself. The hip belt is infinitely adjustable as well, and having a little bit of extra storage that features some security so close at hand is nice to see as well.
Tons and tons of attachment points exists throughout the bag, and each of them have been double reinforced and secured. You’ll find a couple of pairs of loops, a couple of pairs of bungee cords, and a couple of dual compression straps that you can adjust and configure as you see fit to dial in.
As far as drawbacks are concerned the biggest one has to be the lack of side zipper pockets that would have really made organizing the Gregory Stout 65 a dream.
As it is right now, the top only and bottom only access points are flexible in most situations but there are definitely going to be times where you wished you could have gone into your gear from assignment rather than having to pull everything from the top or the bottom to get something in the middle.
Secondly, there are a couple of questions of longevity and durability that exist with the Gregory Stout 65 bag. These questions only exist because the backpack itself is still so new compared to the older version and the folks at Gregory definitely have a solid reputation in this department.
At the end of the day, the changes made to the newest version of the Gregory Stout 65 have been pretty substantial and definitely take a bag that was already rock solid and turn it into something even better.
Plenty of features exist to better manage cargo storage, to better protect things from outside elements, and to really dial in the comfort and stability of the bag/harness itself. There’s a lot – A lot – of storage space inside this bag for something so lightweight and that helps to separate it from the rest of the pack as well.