We are going to take a closer look at Granite Gear’s Leopard AC 58, another pack from Granite Gear that effectively balances load hauling capability with light weight construction. Pack checks in at just three pounds, but comfortably carries up to 40 pounds.
Taking the Leopard AC 58 off so we can take a look at its suspension system. Turning it around you will find Granite Gear’s air current suspension system which is what the AC stands for in the name of the pack. There is a molded alloy and channeled frame in behind the foam back panel. That frame does the brunt of the load carrying, stabilizing that load and transferring it to your hips where you can most comfortably carry and support it. That foam back panel, really comfortable against the back. There is channeling and cut always that are almost invisible here behind the fabric, but it allows air to flow, keeps heat from building up. That fabric covering gives a little nicer next to skin or at least against the shirt comfort between yourself and the pack itself.
Padded shoulder straps, nicely padded shoulder straps, contoured, kind of better fit to body. Also nice dual density padding here on the hip belt. That hip belt can be swapped out for varying sizes depending on your waist size to make sure you are getting the best fit possible. The pack itself is also available in two different sizes to better accommodate varying torso lengths. A little bit of adjustability on each size of those packs so that you can fine tune the fit and make sure that it is fitting you best.
On the shoulder straps here in the harness there is a sternum strap, buckle closure on the front and there is a sliding adjustment there so that can come up or down to better accommodate the fit on your chest. Integrated load lifter straps, certainly other points of adjustability. Lower on the shoulder straps and an easy pull closure on the front of the hip belt.
As I mentioned, the pack does come in two different sizes, short and regular. Short comes in right around 3200 cubic inches. The regular, which we are looking at right now is a little over 3500 cubic inches of storage capacity. As you can see, it is a lidded top loading pack. There is pocketing here on the top of that lid.
The lid can also be taken off entirely when you want to shed weight, so bringing the weight down from right around three pounds to something more along the lines of two pounds 12 ounces. There is height adjustability to the lid so you can bring it up to allow this roll top closure at the top of the pack bag to expand so you have got some greater capacity should you need it. That roll top closure, again, insures that without the lid, everything inside the pack still remains protected from the elements.
You can see compression straps on either side of the pack, dual compression straps you can really cinch down that load if you don’t have the pack fully stuffed out. There is also compression straps across the top of the pack bag which serves that same purpose.
There is a large stretch pocket here on the front of the pack so you can see that long vertical zipper that lets you get into that. This flap allows you to store quite a bit behind it. Again, with the compression straps here, that really expands and lets you stuff things in behind it. There is even a small security pocket, zippered security pocket in behind that flap.
You will see daisy chains here that give you another option for strapping or lashing gear to the exterior of the pack.
This pack does have a little bit of an alpine feel. There is functionality here that would let you use it as a mountaineering pack. And the design here with the daisy chain allows you to attack Granite Gear’s crampon holder. We don’t have it here. It is sold separately, but attaches on here and will safely let you take crampons without potentially damaging the pack itself with those teeth.
It is a sturdy, but light weight corduroy fabrication used throughout the pack.
A couple of other quick features to call out on the Leopard AC 58. You do have tool attachments here on the face of the pack, ice axe or trekking pole loops, two large wan pockets, one on either side. You have got a water bottle. You have got a sleeping pad. The compression straps here can be run over top of the pocket to really secure that item or you can run it behind the pocket. That will cinch down the packed bag itself, but give you quicker, easier access to whatever you are carrying in that wan pocket.
Small zippered pocket here underneath, kind of idea for a rain cover sold separately, not included or anything that you just want to quickly get hands on. On the hip belt you, again, have a daisy chain or attachment points here on the belt, so ideal for lashing other gear, pockets, tool loops, things of that nature. Additionally there is a lined sleeve inside the pack and there is an exit port. So this would be a hydration compatible pack. Again, hydration system is not included.
Granite Gear AC 58, another light weight load hauling offering from Granite Gear. It has got versatility for back country hiking, extended backpacking or even top of the mountain alpine use.
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