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Best Backpacking Backpack: Granite Gear Blaze 60 - Gear Hacker

Table Of Contents

  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Storage 80% 80%
  • Accessories 100% 100%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Price: $270 

What We Like: Lightweight and adaptable top lid.

What We Don’t: Backpanel ventilation.

Men’s

Short Torso

60 L

15-18 inches

38-46 cm

2.9 lbs

1.31 kg

Regular Torso

60 L

18-21 inches

46- 53.5 cm

3 lbs

1.36 kg

Long Torso

60 L

21 – 24 inches

53.5 – 61 cm

3.1 lbs

1.41 kg

Women’s

Short Torso

60 L

15-18 inches

38-46 cm

2.9 lbs

1.31 kg

Regular Torso

60 L

18-21 inches

46-53.5 cm

3 lbs

1.36 kg

 

Through-hikers and minimalists rejoice! The Granite Gear Blaze is a perfect mix of weight and support. Made with lightweight but tough-as-nails nylon and excellent surrounding compression straps, this backpack is made to be carried all day. Along with wild features like the top lid, which can serve double duty as either a front pack or a fanny pack, or like the vertical zipper, which allows full access to the main compartment. The Blaze is a backpack that everyone can enjoynot just experienced through-hikers who cut their toothbrushes in half to save weight. 

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Cons

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Cons

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External Storage

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Cons

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Pros

Lightweight

Adaptable to Lid

Cons

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Pros

Main Compartment Access

Cons

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Technical Design

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Granite Gear has been able to accomplish something very difficult in the outdoor gear space. Combining lightweight materials, adaptable features, and impressive comfort all in one bundle. At first look, the Granite Gear Blaze 60 seems quite flimsy and minimalistic, but after loading it with a few days worth of food and gear, it is comfortable to carry and haul over all sorts of terrain. 

Granite Gear is definitely aiming to target the through hiker market with this pack, but they’ve created something that even weekend warriors would love. 

Best Backpacking Backpack: Granite Gear Blaze 60 - Gear Hacker

Comfort and Suspension

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 comes in three sizes for the men’s pack and two sizes for the women’s. Once you have found the right torso length size pack, there are more options for adjusting the hipbelt and the shoulder strap to dial in that perfect fit. 

Best Backpacking Backpack: Granite Gear Blaze 60 - Gear Hacker

The back panel is made of a molded foam to keep air flowing along the back. This system, while saving weight, is not as breathable as the mesh system that is found on the Osprey Atmos and Aura. The molded foam will create some hotspots over longer or warmer days. There is dual-density foam in the shoulder straps and hipbelt to help spread the cargo weight along the hips and shoulders. The shoulder straps come with load lifters and a removable sternum strap that has an integrated whistle. 

Features and Convenience

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 has a spindrift closure which rolls closed and is held down with two straps. The main compartment can also be accessed through a hidden vertical zipper, giving more access to gear without having to take everything out of the pack.

The top lid of the pack is removable and has a large zippered pocket for storage. Granite Gear didn’t stop there when they developed the top lid. After removing the lid, it can be strapped to the front of the pack to create a front pack for easy access to items like maps or snacks. After getting to camp, you can then attach the top lid to the removable hipbelt to create a summit bag for lightweight peak bagging. 

Best Backpacking Backpack: Granite Gear Blaze 60 - Gear Hacker

Along the side of the Blaze are two extra-large water bottle pockets that can fit two Nalgene water bottles in a single pocket. The pockets are also great for storing longer items that can be held onto the pack with compression straps such as paddles or fishing poles. On the front of the pack is a stash pocket to hold extra layers for easy access. The hipbelt features two zippered pockets for easy access items such as snacks or a pocket knife..   

Best Backpacking Backpack: Granite Gear Blaze 60 - Gear Hacker

Weight

Weight is where the Granite Gear Blaze 60 really shines. At only 3lbs for the men’s regular backpack, it is the lightest pack on our list. In part due to the 100D Robic high-tenacity nylon with a DWR finish on the main body and a 210D Robic nylon in high abrasion zones, this pack is made to last.

As mentioned earlier, Granite Gear aimed this pack at the minimalistic and lightweight through-hiking market. Keeping the pack light but comfortable was the objective in this pack’s development, and I think they did an amazing job. 

Best Backpacking Backpack: Granite Gear Blaze 60 - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 was built with lightweight functionality in mind but turned into a great all-around pack as well. At $269.95, the Blaze is a pack that I would recommend trying on first and seeing if the lightweight design is what you are looking for. There are more comfortable packs on the market, but they are heavier and don’t include some of the great features that the Blaze includes. 

With the multi-functionality of the top lid to the vertical zipper that allows main compartment access, the Blaze has some truly original features. Built for the through hiker but usable by everyone, the Granite Gear Blaze is an impressive pack. 

Best Backpacking Backpack: Granite Gear Blaze 60 - Gear Hacker

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