Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian

May 14, 2007
Outside Magazine
Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian

Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian

Carry On
From day hikes in canyon country to soggy treks in the Cascades to dusty trail runs in New Mexico, more than a dozen testers carried loads big and small—and everything in between—to find the best packs of the year. In every category, we discovered daypacks and overnighters that strike a near-perfect balance between weight and performance: No pack that made the final cut weighs more than 4.5 pounds, yet none requires TLC when the going gets rough. Exhibit A: Gear of the Year winner Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian, which is as comfortable as it is tough.

Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian (3.7 lbs, 3,800 cu in) $250
1. Comfort: Go ahead, try and overload it. On treks in New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness and even ski touring in the Tetons, testers were unanimous: The Meridian carries like a champ. Credit the firm yet flexy composite frame-sheet that moves with your body, dual-density foam in the hipbelt that cushions luxuriously, and a precision fit (both torso-size and interchangeable suspension parts) that you can dial in with a few turns of a screwdriver.

2. Versatility: It's light enough to use as a weekend pack yet big enough for a week's worth of supplies—and you won't feel you're compromising in either case. How? An array of compression straps means you can under- and overload to your heart's content, a panel zip allows instant rummaging in the main compartment, and the top lid converts to a lumbar pack for base-camp duty. Stretchy side pockets will accommodate a small sleeping pad.

3. Durability: The Meridian may weigh less than four pounds, but there's nothing gossamer about the construction. There's no easily abraded mesh to be found, and its big-toothed, water-resistant zippers are sturdy and easy to operate. Siliconized ripstop nylon shaves ounces and makes the pack extremely weather-resistant—while a few key high-stress areas, like the bottom and compression panels, are made with tough 210-denier Cordura.

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