The Granite Gear Virga 26 is built for experienced, ounce-counting backpackers who have reduced the overall trail weight of their gear and are looking for a pack to match. Despite weighing just 1 pound, the pack will haul up to 20 pounds.
Designed with the experienced ounce counting backpacker and hiker in mind, the Granite Gear Virga 26 liter pack is a great option for day hiking, overnight trips if you have a light load. And if you have reduced your trail weight significantly and you are an ounce counting backpacker, this could be a multi day pack.
We will take a look at all of the features and what makes this pack so special.
The whole theme of this pack is streamlined and simple and lightweight. So we will turn the pack around and look at the suspension system. You don’t have a frame or a real back panel here at all. True to the just really light weight design. This pack is meant to carry up to 20 pounds. So it is not meant to carry a huge load. We will take a look here. You don’t have really any foam or any padding back here. And if you do carry some sort of a closed cell foam pad that folds up or rolls up, you could use that inside the pack as some sort of a foam back panel. But other than that, it is just the fabric here on the back.
You do have a really high density 100 denier cordora material here on the back. And just throughout the pack you have really durable materials as well.
In the shoulder straps you have dual density foam straps. So these are going to support the weight of the pack. On the front of the straps there is a stretchy mesh pocket on either side. You have an adjustable sternum strap. So that is going to give some support there. If you go up to the top, you do have light weight load lifter straps. You don’t have any real adjustability in the shoulder straps as far as moving it up and down, but these load lifter straps are going to be able to kind of loosen and tighten where the straps are on the pack. So this is going to accommodate a torso length from about 18 inches up to 21 inches.
If I move down there is a really light weight webbing belt on the bottom and that is really easy to adjust, also in keeping with the light weight features of this pack.
The design of this pack is a pretty traditional ruck sack style pack. So you have just one big main body compartment. But on the outside of the pack there is a lot of organizational features, a lot of ways to lash gear onto the outside and some minimal pockets. So we will turn the pack around and take a look at all of those.
On the side, as you can see, I have got a pair of trekking poles just lashed to the side. You have got tool loops down here on the bottom. So I just have the bottom of the trek-king poles there. And then the compression straps on the side hold the trekking poles down. So you can put tools here. You can either ... there is ice axe loops so you can definitely lash gear like that. And then behind there I have a stretchy mesh pocket.
This strap down in the bottom is routed outside the pocket to hold the gear on the outside, but you can actually route that inside the pocket as well. On the other side I have got a water bottle in there. And if I want to, I can route this strap underneath of that water bottle. And that way I can cinch down the body of the pack. But it is a pretty deep pocket. So this is a pretty tall water bottle I have got in there. And you can store other things like tent poles or anything like that in there.
On the front you have a big stretchy shove it pocket right here on the front. And in there I have just got an extra layer. So just a packable light weight layer. As you can see, that pocket goes all the way down to the bottom. Great place to store light weight gear on the front and there is compression straps on the front as well.
So there is a lot of versatility with this pack. I have got it packed out pretty well, meaning that, you know, I have got most of the capacity filled. But if you have a lighter or smaller load, you can use all of these compression straps to really cinch down the weight and to keep everything cinched together.
As I mentioned, this is a top loading pack. So you have a non traditional lid. You roll down the top of it and clip it off. And what is nice about the collar up here is that you have a bigger capacity collar. I have got it packed it out most of the way to the top, but if you need more capacity here, you can extend this collar up a lot higher. So, you know, if you need to put some extra gear in there, you can certainly use it in that way, but this pack opens up to be really big. So you can access the hydration sleeve that is back here. You have got a hydration port on the outside of the pack. And, again, just that big open ruck sack style pocket.
If I cinch down this top lid, you do have another strap that goes over the top. So you could put a sleeping pad or something like that. You could drape a rope over the top if you need to. So definitely a multi functional pack. This is perfect for anyone who wants to go fast and light, needs a pack that is pretty versatile, but is also in keeping with that ounce counting backpack style.
It is the Granite Gear Virga 26 liter pack.