Thursday, March 30, 2023

Granite Gear Virga3 26L Backpack Assessment

Granite Gear Virga3 26 Backpack Review

The brand new Granite Gear Virga3 26L is a frameless ultralight backpack weighing 1.26 lbs that can enchantment to day hikers and backpackers alike. Weighing 20.2 oz (572g), it has an adjustable torso size so you may dial in a customized match with quite a few pockets and attachment factors to hold bulkier gear. Twin sternum straps, shoulder strap bottle elastics, and a detachable webbing belt will enchantment to quick packers, however don’t intervene with utilizing the Virga3 26 like a daily backpack or personalizing it with the preexisting third get together shoulder strap pockets or bottle sleeves you already personal.

Specs at a Look

  • Gender: Unisex
  • Kind: Body-less
  • Adjustable Torso Size/Width: Sure
  • Full Weight: 20.2 oz (572g)
  • Stripped Weight: 18.6 oz (526g)
  • Load Lifters: Sure
  • Pockets: 3 Open
  • Hydration Appropriate: Sure
  • Ice Axe/Trekking Pole Loops: 2
  • Colours: White (undyed) or Black
  • Supplies: 100D and 210D Robic nylon
  • Max Advisable Load: 20-25 lbs

The brand new Virga3 26L is in its third technology within the Granite Gear product line. It has all the time been in style with hikers who desire a decrease capability and ultralight model of Granite Gear’s multiday backpacks. Excluding the hip belt and shade choices, the Virga3 26 is nearly an identical to the brand new Virga3 55L which can be frameless and has been up to date as effectively.

The Virga3 26L is a roll-top with three open pockets on the sides and front.
The Virga3 26L is a roll-top with three open pockets on the edges and entrance.

The Virga3 26L is a roll-top backpack arrange in traditional ultralight model with two aspect water bottle pockets and a entrance stretch mesh pocket. It has higher and decrease compression straps on three sides, not two, which is a signature function of most Granite Gear backpacks and is available in enormously useful when you must carry cumbersome gear like snowshoes that won’t match inside your backpack.

The Virga3 26L has two compression straps on three sides making it easy to carry bulky gear.
The Virga3 26L has two compression straps on three sides making it simple to hold cumbersome gear.

The Virga3 26L has an adjustable torso size so you may size or shorten the torso to suit higher. That is completed by elevating or decreasing the shoulder straps that are connected to daisy chains behind the shoulder straps. Granite Gear has thoughtfully marked the torso size comparable to the positions in inches so you may simply reposition the straps utilizing the gated buckles that join them to the daisy chains.

The torso fit can be adjusted by moving the shoulder straps up or down, or wider or narrower.
The torso match will be adjusted by shifting the shoulder straps up or down, or wider or narrower.

Along with lengthening the torso, you may widen or cut back the width between the shoulder straps which is essential for girls and lots of males of smaller stature. If in case you have the straps set vast and begin to really feel ache in one in every of your shoulders, strive shifting the straps nearer collectively. Shoulder strap distance generally is a actual challenge for some individuals, particularly for males with vast chests, however this stage of adjustability has been current on most of the Granite Gear packs I’ve reviewed going again the previous 10+ years.

I pack a folding foam pad behind the shoulde straps and then lin ethe interior of the pack with a nylofume pack liner.
I pack a folding foam pad behind the shoulder straps after which line the inside of the pack with a nylofume pack liner.

The Virga3 26L is a frameless backpack requiring a distinct packing methodology than backpacks with frames or body stays. Many individuals place a foam sleeping pad inside the primary compartment, immediately behind the shoulder straps, or rolled like an enormous pipe in the primary compartment to provide the pack some form so it doesn’t collapse in on itself. As soon as that’s completed you may pack as you usually would stuffing clothes and kit behind the froth pad or contained in the rolled cavity that it creates. Personally, I choose packing 4 sections of a foam ZLite Sol sleeping pad behind the shoulder straps since a rollable foam pad just like the traditional Thermarest RidgeRest takes up an excessive amount of quantity, and thinner pads just like the Gossamer Gear 1/8″ Thinlight don’t present sufficient rigidity. When worn, the Zlite foam pad flattens out in opposition to your again and prevents objects contained in the pack from poking your again.

Since it’s frameless, the Virga3 26 tends to barrel in case you pack the primary compartment too tightly. That is to be anticipated and the norm for a frameless backpack. Being frameless, additionally implies that the hip belt, which is an easy webbing strap, just isn’t load-bearing, so the burden of the pack will relaxation fully in your shoulders. The perform of the hip belt on this state of affairs is to tug the underside of the pack nearer to your torso to maintain it from bouncing as you stroll, though it’s additionally fully detachable in case you choose to not use it or need to use a climbing harness with the pack.

The Virga3 26L comes with two sternum straps and has S-shaped shoulder pads.
The Virga3 26L comes with two sternum straps and has S-shaped shoulder pads.

The shoulder straps are S-shaped, that are normally snug for women and men. They’ve daisy chains sewn to the entrance, so you may connect bottle sleeves or pockets to them when you’ve got ones you already choose. Alternatively, the pack comes with 4 elastic bottle keeper cords that you should utilize to connect smaller ridged bottles to the shoulder straps. I like my very own third get together pockets higher.

The shoulder straps include two sternum straps so you may switch extra of the load off your shoulders and onto your higher chest, considerably just like the vest straps which are showing increasingly more on lower-volume packs. That is completely non-obligatory nevertheless and you’ll simply take away one of many sternum straps in order for you a extra conventional really feel. I discovered that crisscrossing the 2 sternum straps is extra snug for me, particularly when hauling cumbersome and heavy winter traction aids.

The side pockets can hold two 1L Smartwater bottles
The aspect pockets can maintain two 1L Smartwater bottles

The aspect pockets are deep and may maintain two Smartwater bottles. They’ve a shock twine adjustment working alongside the highest so you may pull the pockets tight to maintain the bottles from falling out. The lower-side compression strap can even un by means of the aspect pocket or over it, so you may nonetheless have compression even when the pocket itself is full. The pack is hydration appropriate with a middle hose port though there’s only a toggle inside to hold a reservoir and never a reservoir pocket.

You can connect the ends of the rolltop the buckles on the top front compression strap if you want more top compression.
You’ll be able to join the ends of the rolltop to the buckles on the highest entrance compression strap in order for you extra prime compression.

The roll prime clips collectively on prime of the pack and there’s a perpendicular prime strap that holds it down. If choose utilizing a roll prime that connects to the aspect of the pack quite than the highest as a result of it offers higher clearance and compression, you may connect the roll prime clips to the clips on the higher compression strap overlaying the entrance stretch mesh pocket. This eliminates any further webbing straps and is a properly executed design function.

Comparable Frameless Backpacks


The brand new frameless Virga3 26L is a enjoyable pack to hold and can be utilized for a wide range of mountaineering and out of doors journeys so long as you retain your pack weight below 20-25 kilos and keep away from overstuffing the pack. I get a kick out of utilizing the brand new white undyed coloring, though there are lots of examples of hikers who’ve illustrated their packs with colourful designs on Granite Gear’s Instagram Feed. The one actual criticism I’ve of the pack is its efficiency in winter situations, the place the buckles jam up with snow and received’t shut. Regardless of that use case, this new third-generation Virga3 26L is a extremely practical and adjustable ultralight backpack that’s good for hikers who desire a miniature model of a multi-day day ultralight-style backpack for day mountaineering or fastpacking.

Disclosure: Granite Gear donated a backpack for overview.

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