Thru-hikers and fans of ultra-lightweight gear well remember the Granite Gear Vapor Trail and we're sad to see it go a couple of years ago. Granite Gear has answered that call with the Crown VC 60. Devoted entirely to ultra-lightweight performance, but also comfortably carrying up to 35 pounds. The Crown VC is equipped with Granite Gear's new Vapor Current suspension system. At a glance, it looks heavy or it certainly looks a little more substantial than what was on the Vapor Trail, but the Crown VC actually weighs less than the Vapor Trail did at 2 pounds, 2 ounces. You can see the channeling here and the contouring on that backpanel, which makes it comfortable. It also allows heat to escape, so it's a nice cool ride even under a full load. What you can't see here, that lives behind it, is a very low-profile HDPE framesheet that gives it a little bit more stability, but can also be removed entirelywhen you plan to go as lightweight as possible. You actually get the packed weight down under two pounds by taking out the framesheet. A nice dual-density hipbelt here, also die cut for weight savings. Nice and supportive. You can see the padding here on the back side. This can be swapped out for an number of different sizes to ensure that you get an appropriate fit. The shoulder straps and the harness here above are fixed, so those don't swap out, but there is adjustability in the load-lifter straps also down here below you can see some nice pocketing has been added to the shoulder straps. A couple of stretch mesh pockets to keep things close at hand. You'll notice that the Crown VC is not a traditional top loader in that there's no lid here on top. It's a roll top closure. This saves on weight and also keeps things nicely secured. You can see how that attaches there and unrolls. The packed bag has about 3600 cubic inches of capacity, which is certainly quite a bit of room for anyone who's carrying light and has shaved some of the packed weight of the other gear that they're carrying. Granite Gear does sell separately a LineLoc lid, which fits right over the top here. It gives you a little additional storage and protection for the packed bag itself. On the front of the pack, you'll see a large, stretch mesh pocket. Over top of that is the LineLoc compression system. This opens up quite a bit and there's a lot of storage space there on the face of the pack. You can also store layers and other gear beneath those compression straps. Nice stretch mesh pocketing on the sides, we've got a water bottle here and a stove on this side. There are compression straps that I've run underneath the gear that really cinches closed on the pack bag and still allows me to get these pieces in and out of the pocket. You can undo that and run them out over the top if you want to more fully secure everything in place. Also some nice low-profile ice axe and trekking pole loops at the bottom of the pack. Pretty much everything you need to get out there and go fast.
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