Granite Gear Crown2 60 Backpack

9.2
9.2 score
[Editors rating (9.2)] = (Gearweare.net) score (9.2)/10

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Editor rating: 9.2 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
Sometimes simplicity is best. Granite Gear provides a traditional yet minimalist backpacking experience with a pack that's incredibly light and comfortable, but with all the customizable features you'll ever need.

Moving on from the classic Crown V.C. 60, the new and improved Crown2 60 version boasts impressive new features without compromising comfort and weight. With a patent-pending fully adjustable Re-Fit hip belt, a pioneering Air-Current Mark 2 compression molded P.P. frame sheet and back panel, and bonus lid, Granite Gear must be confident in this new design.

A minimalist design results in only a reduced number of features than other packs in the Granite Gear range. However, Granite Gear has cleverly kept all of the essential pockets and straps needed for and all-day hiking trips.
Granite Gear Crown2 60 Backpack Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Durable

Comfortable

Great suspension

Removable features

Extremely lightweight

Cons

Expensive

Max load of 35Ibs

Key Features

Design & specs

With a simple, lightweight design at the forefront of this pack, I expected more minor features than the Granite Gear provides. However, although not heavy on features, you'll find Granite Gear includes all the essential elements.

One of the critical features of a hiking backpack is the lid. The Crown2 60 is easy to open from the top with a roll-top opening and centered dual strap/singular buckle, which allows for nifty compression and easy access. There aren't many pockets, but those included are just what you need for all-day hikes.

Some of my favorite features were the:

  • Two surprisingly large stretchy mesh water bottle pockets.

  • A handy front mesh panel helpful pocket for drying wet items or for reaching important items.

  • Side and front compression straps make it easy to secure sleeping pads or tent poles that won't squeeze into the main compartment.

  • Dual large hip belt pockets with DWR treated zippers are handy for storing smaller items that you need to grab on the go, such as your compass, snacks, phone, water bottle etc., are better placed in an easy to reach pocket.

  • A handy removable lid has an extra compartment with a DWR treated zipper.

  • The Hydration port & internal hydration sleeve keep you hydrated on long day hikes.


  • Comfort

    Granite Gears' goal of lightweight comfort is obvious. The reduced weight of Crown2 60 (regular size without the lid) is one of the most significant comfort factors. Cleverly so, the user can reduce the weight even further with several removable features, allowing for ultralight loads.

    For example, removing the frame sheet alone reduces the weight to 1.7lbs. But be careful not to remove too many features, as the hip belt pockets are just too convenient for storing easy-to-reach items.

    Surprisingly, for such a lightweight pack, there's ample cushioning and carrying comfort found with the Crown2 60. Replacing the traditional metal frame in place of a plastic frame sheet allows for an extra lightweight design. I appreciate this on hot day hikes when absolute comfort is vital. You'll find further comfort with a molded back panel for suspension and cleverly placed compression and cinch straps, which ensure the pack tightens down tightly.

    However, the downside to such an ultra-lightweight design is the carry load capacity. Packs aimed at pure lightweight comfort will rarely be able to handle extreme loads. Sadly, the engineering of the Crown2 60 is no different, as it doesn't handle loads over 35 pounds exceptionally well.

    Over this weight, you might find the suspension system weakened and the comfort impacted. However, your pack should feel the same as one with more features and a heavier, more durable design if you keep the weight to 30 to 35 pounds.

    Happily, I noticed some well-placed, additional comfort features. First, the substantial padding on the hip belt and shoulder straps allow for a more comfortable fit, although this adds a few extra ounces. This might have been a surprise for an obvious minimalist pack, but the added comfort is well worth the slight addition in weight. Lastly, although the torso length is fixed in place, you can order this backpack in 3 different torso sizes to allow for a better fit.

    Durability & Materials

    Granite Gear knows how to make their products last with the use of durable materials. This backpack is no different as it's made of both 100D high tenacity nylon and 210D high tenacity ripstop nylon, both with the NeverWet liquid repelling treatment.

    Choosing a solid and durable material was a clever move, as it leaves the Crown2 60 astonishingly hardy and abrasion-resistant without sacrificing its lightweight ethos. You might want to keep in mind that this slightly thinner, the lightweight fabric needs a bit more care than the traditional camping pack. However, this shouldn't bother any adventurer's looking for an ultra-lightweight carrying experience.

    Comparison to Similar Backpacks

    If you're anything like me, you'll find yourself on a variety of different adventures throughout the year with the need for differing gear. The Granite Gear Crown2 60 is perfect for lightweight adventures and short backpacking trips.

    However, if you're looking for a pack that can handle multi-day packing trips with lots of gear, why not try the Osprey Aether Pro 70. Geared towards technical hikes, mountaineering or adventuring, this pack is ideal for anyone looking for a load hauler that's light, comfortable, and packing the suspension.

    Like the Crown2 70 backpack, it has plenty of removable features, organizational space, and room available to store everything. However, Osprey's signature firm "Anti-Gravity" suspension allows the user to comfortably carry up to 60 pounds. It simply depends on whether you're planning a short trip or a long haul with such similar pricing models.

    Verdict

    The bottom line is this is a super light and super comfortable day pack perfectly suited to the lightweight backpacker. If you're looking for a pack that keeps its weight as light as possible for adventures with minimal gear, then this pack could be a good choice.

    Despite a less is more ethos when it comes to features, there are still many reasons to buy this model. You don't need lots of features when you keep all the right ones. This pack is perfect for anyone looking for a light, comfortable kit with the right organizational pockets, removable features, lightweight design, and comfortable suspension.

    Although the high price might seem a bit of a shock, you must remember that you're paying for value from a market leader in ultralight packs. Nevertheless, Granite Gear's impressive following among thru-hikers and other minimalist backpackers suggests it's a brand worth considering.