Gregory, the world’s leading pack maker for over 35 years, has been honored with the 2015 Backpacker magazine Editors’ Choice Gold Award for the newly redesigned Baltoro backpack. Bestowed on a manufacturer whose products have sustained best-in-class performance for more than five years, the Gold Award is the benchmark editorial award for a backpack.
“The Baltoro and women’s Deva are our pinnacle products and we took their redesign very seriously,” states John Sears, director of product development at Gregory. “By introducing a new suspension and adding features while cleaning up the aesthetic and reducing weight, we’re confident that consumers will love this product. We’re thrilled that the team at Backpacker, which is renowned for its rigorous testing process, agrees, and has once again presented us with such an important award.”
Since its inception, the Backpacker Editors’ Choice Awards have come to be regarded as one of the most sought-after awards for outdoor equipment and apparel in the industry. All winners excel under extensive field-testing conducted by Backpacker’s team of editors, who take hundreds of products into the backcountry to put them to the test. This extensive process ensures that the performance of the winners is truly worthy of distinction and meets the guiding principle behind the program: gear that is of real value to the readers of Backpacker magazine, who are active, long-term outdoor enthusiasts.
The men’s Baltoro and women’s Deva feature the new Response A3 suspension. An Automatic Angle Adjust chassis keeps the packs comfortable and balanced by adapting to your body and maintaining your center of gravity throughout variable conditions. Two-position adjustable, independently pivoting shoulder harness and hipbelt components, combined with a 7075 aluminum wishbone frame define the new suspension. Additionally, a ventilated center of the back panel provides breathability and a removable foam pad provides adjustability to lumbar support. The pre-curved 3D shoulder harnesses and hipbelts feature an easy-change design for quickly finding the perfect custom fit.
The Baltoro is available in 85, 75, and 65 liter volumes while the Deva is available in 80, 70, and 60 liters. All of the bags include the Sidekick pack, an internal hydration reservoir compartment that doubles as an ultra-light removable daypack for summit bids or quick trips into town. Top-load design with large U-zip and a sleeping bag compartment with a drop shelf all provide ample access to the main compartment of the pack. A WeatherShield pocket on the hipbelt protects electronics from weather, as does the included color-matched raincover. The Baltoro 85 and Deva 80 retail for $349 while the Baltoro 65 and Deva 60 are $299.
Backpacker editors Dennis Lewon and Kristin Hostetter formally presented the awards to the Gregory team during the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City in January. The complete list of Backpacker’s 2015 Editors’ Choice Award winners will be officially announced in the magazine’s April Gear Guide issue, on newsstands March 10th.