ProView – Gregory Baltoro 75
It’s summer in Colorado, and our snow laden peaks are finally shedding their winter coats. And that means it’s backpacking season in the high rockies.
When it comes to backpacking, what you bring can really make or break a trip. But as all backpackers know, space is a double-edged commodity. Take too much and you’re going to lose steam fast. Take too little and you’re bound to be kicking yourself when that summer monsoon cascades in.
Gregory Baltoro 75
Product Name: Gregory Baltoro 75
Product Description: Ultralight performance with only the features you need (and none that you don't). The Baltoro 75 combines superlight, recycled fabrics with a fully ventilated, dynamic suspension to maximize output on the trail.
Offer price: MSRP: $239.95
The Baltoro 75 is the ultimate long-haul or basecamp backpacking pack. Carry features like the Response A3 suspension make every movement a joy while the Sidewinder Bottle Holster is a really nice addition for quick access to your sticker coated Nalgene. Whether you’re on a multi-day loop trek or setting up a backcountry basecamp, you’ll find this pack to be well geared for packing the backpacking equivalent of “everything but the kitchen sink”.
- Elaborate (many pockets, easy to lose items)
- Lots of straps (catch on trees, etc)
Enter Gregory’s Baltoro 75. A big pack that is feature packed but amazingly mobile for its size. I’ve been trekking with a 30 year old hand-me-down heavy retro pack, so an upgrade was sorely needed. Turns out, technology has greatly improved over the years and Gregory’s Baltoro does not disappoint. I took the Baltoro out for a spin in Colorado’s high Rockies and it was well equipped for a multi-day trip with varied objectives.
In the front range’s backyard, Rocky Mountain National Park provides accessible backpacking options with a wide range of trip possibilities. In this case, I decided to take the Baltoro out for an overnight in the Andrew’s glacier area with a planned side trip to do some alpine climbing. In early June, we experienced quite a bit of snow but otherwise beautiful conditions and partly dry trails. The pack did an excellent job of fitting all the backpacking necessities while also accommodating climbing gear and the like.
The Baltoro is functionally amazing. It’s feature packed and that goes a long way when you’re carrying loads of gear for long distances. First and foremost, the pack is excellent at managing gear. The main compartment has several ways to access it (top stuff style, side zipper, and bottom zipper). This ease of access is great for quickly finding the right gear when you need it without emptying all the contents into a wet or dusty trailside. On top of this, an internal divider provides extra storage management (sleeping bag compartment, etc). At 75L in volume, this pack can haul almost whatever you need, so you can set up camp in style. On the external side of things, the Sidewinder Bottle Holster is a really nice feature. Gone are the days of taking off your pack and digging for a Nalgene. Now you can simply snag the bottle while on the move and easily stow it again. If you’d rather use a bladder, the pack comes equipped with a bladder sleeve and hook, with hose routing as well. On the hip belts, two generous size compartments are awesome for stowing your phone, GPS or any gummy snacks you might want to munch on while hiking. Another fun feature is the sunglass holder. Securely stow your shades on the shoulder strap without fear of crunching/scratching them in another pocket. My only take away is that Gregory added so many pockets into this pack that it can be difficult to find the right pocket for the right gear. It’s not always clear which strap or zipper is getting you into the right area. This mild inconvenience will surely pass as I become more familiar with the pack.
Mobility & Fit
For a 75L pack, the Baltoro feels extremely mobile. While moving quickly along the lower reaches of the Sky Pond trail the pack sat easily on my shoulders, the shoulder straps having ample cushion for comfort. As we ascended and started up steeper grades the Response A3 suspension really had its work cut out for it. At certain points we were punching through waist deep snow or sliding along slushy glaciers and the pack always stayed securely in place. In a large pack like this I would expect to feel off balance at points, but this was never the case. In addition to the suspension, the back area is well ventilated and breathable. In every pack I’ve ever owned the back area is sure to get sweaty, but the Baltoro is well designed in this area and over many miles I stayed dry. As a plus, the Baltoro has a small rubber area at the base of the back area which does a great job of keeping your shirt from crawling up while on the move. I’m 6 ft. tall and had the Baltoro in a medium. I prefer a snug fit and it felt great at that size.
The Baltoro feels extremely durable and held up to the abuse of the trip. We slid down snowfields, forged through deep snow between tight trees and brushed up against sharp rocks and there was zero damage or wear to the pack. Because we were doing some climbing in the area, the pack doubled as a climbing gear haul bag to the base of the climb and worked well for this task. Hauling cams, rope and more to the base of the climb across talus, steep snow fields and scrambling for a bit turned out to be very easy considering the size of the pack. Through all of this the pack remained unscathed. The material on the bottom of the pack is of high quality as mud, snow, and water left almost no residue after being wiped off.
Environmental Impact & Final Thoughts
I frankly have little idea on what environmental impact the Baltoro has. It’s difficult to find any info on Gregory’s Baltoro page if the pack is utilizing any environmentally safe or recycled materials. If there are any efforts being made here, it would be great for Gregory to toute those so outdoors folks can feel good about their impacts in purchasing the pack.
In addition to this trip, I’ve used this versatile pack to pack gear on trips to Moab and around Colorado. It has a great look and the color schemes are really catchy. It’s an extremely capable pack that I would recommend to any backpacker or enthusiast alike.
About the Gear Tester
Neill splits his time working at Outdoor Prolink as their Membership Manager and frequenting the mountains around the west as much as possible. Growing up skiing, climbing and exploring the mountains around Ouray, Colorado he is passionate about the outdoors and getting after it every day.