With a long history of making great fitting backpacking packs, Gregory has been playing in the space of day packs and hydration packs over the past few years. Often times, when a company jumps into the day-pack category, they often need a few years to really get in sync with what consumers want.
Over the past few months, I’ve been testing out the Gregory Miwok 22 which is a 21 liter day-pack meant for different types of day trips and adventures. When I first started to test out this pack, I thought it looked a little small for a day pack. After playing around with the Miwok 22 indoors to find out all its features and possible benefits, I found this pack to expand out and carry a significant load. After exploring the pack indoors, I decided it was time to take it into the field and see how it performed. My first test was to take it out hiking. I took the pack on a number of day hikes in the Rocky Mountains with mileage ranging from 5-15 miles. When I head out for a day hike, I like to bring along the following; rain jacket, food, small emergency kit, headlamp, water, camera, and dog treats. With these items, a small hydration pack doesn’t always fit the bill. I found the space in the Gregory Miwok 22 to have plenty of space for all my gear and then some while hiking. Some of the pockets I used while hiking included the two hip belt zippered pockets. I was able to store my energy bars and point and shoot camera’s in these pockets. They also fit a smart phone. When it got cloudy, I used the fleece lined sunglass pocket to store my shades. For future models, I would like to see this pocket expanded as it was a tight squeeze for some of my sunglasses. There are two large mesh pockets on the sides of the backpack that work great for wet clothes, water bottles, and anything else you might want separated from the rest of your gear.
Next, I took the Gregory Miwok 22 out on a 5 hour mountain biking ride. And while this pack was not specifically designed for mountain biking, it worked out just fine. I was able to get all my water in food as well and spare tubes and tools. Since I like to have my gear work in a number of situations, I also have worn this pack as my everyday backpack that carries my 14″ laptop, my iPad2, lots of cords, water, and anything else that fits in the pack.
For storage and pockets, this pack has been one of my favorites. It has a pocket for almost anything you need to stash. When looking for a pack, I like compartments and pockets, but I don’t like it to be all zippers and no function. For an outside stash compartment, there is an expandable outside compartment if you want to fit in bigger pieces of gear. It also works great for stashing a rain jacket when you are in and out of wet weather. Next to that, there is a zippered compartment that can fit small to medium sized items. The main compartment has plenty of room for your larger jackets and gear and also includes a slot for a reservoir. One of the things that sets the Gregory Miwok 22 apart from other packs is the cinch cords. There are two cords on each side of the outside of the pack that you can pull to cinch your load. This helps keep the Miwok 22 compact and keeps items from moving around a lot in your pack. It also creates a snugger and more comfortable fit on your back. The other features that help make this backpack fit well include an adjustable sternum strap, a mesh backpanel, and a mesh hip belt to keep the load even on your back and hips.
The Gregory Miwok 22 retails for $110 and comes in gray and red. It weighs 1lb and 10 oz. and best fits torso lengths between 16-22. In our opinion, we really liked the performance of this backpack. And while it is a little spendy, if you treat it well, it will last you 10 plus years and can be used for a number of different activities. For more information, please visit GregoryPacks.com