I like big packs, and I cannot lie. Small ones just don’t do it for me. Some folks are into them, I’ve heard, but for me, the bigger the better. I don’t like to have to think too hard when packing, about how to fit it all together in the space available. I just want to shove everything into a bottomless bag and head out the door for a day of fun. To that end, the Gregory Savant 58 is everything I’ve been looking for, and more.
I’ve never been a fan of carrying a rope bag outside of my pack for anything but the shortest approaches (Rifle), but with this bag you don’t have to. Sure, with smaller packs you can attach the rope to the top, but then you have to take it out of it’s bag, coil it, etc. Not so with the Savant. You can indeed have your cake and eat it too with this monster. Just take the whole rope bag, shove it in there, and marvel at how much more room you have to fill with gear, shoes, water, kitchen sink, etc.
Don’t be shy, load this thing to the brim if you want. The frame easily handles heavy loads, even if that includes ropes, bolts, a drill and a bunch of other heavy hardware. In fact, this is a great pack for the Creek, and the suspension carries like a dream, meaning you’ll hardly notice the rope, two gallons of water, and sixty-seven cams you’re carrying up a steep, sandy trail.
The pack certainly has a lot of bells and whistles, though most are fairly functional. The stash pockets on the waist belt are great for things like keys, wallets, anything you don’t want to put down and accidentally leave at the cliff. The external pouch is a great spot for flip flops and a guidebook, and the integrated rain cover might seem like a gimmick, but during a recent downpour while climbing on Independence Pass, it was easy to throw on and kept my pack bone dry despite the deluge. I could do without the bottom compression straps, as they get in the way of the internal access zipper, but backpackers will probably appreciate that feature.
And speaking of the internal zipper access, I prefer the system used on the Savant’s predecessor, the Serrac, which was one zipper that ran the length of a side, allowing for unobstructed access to the inside. This horse-shoe design still lets you get at the internal contents fairly easily, but isn’t as user friendly as the previous incarnation. Also, if you aren’t into big, the pack is available in 38 and 48 liter versions as well.
Overall, the Savant 58 is an ideal choice for those who want a quiver of one backpack that will work well for everything from a day at the crag to multi-day backpacking through wilderness areas.
Retail on the Savant 58 is $199.
More info and tech specs are available on the Gregory website.
Disclaimer: Wait! Do you really need to buy more new stuff? If so, this product is worth a look. In the spirit of full disclosure, this product was provided to SplitterChoss.com for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!