The Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 is designed for extended backcountry expeditions and gracefully balances storage and comfort. Its carrying capacity and well designed side pockets stand out from the rest of the test group but certain aspects, like the limited back pocket and large waist belt, keep this pack from reaching its full potential.
Comfort The Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 has a 6-ounce internal frame that effectively shifts weight to the hip belt and can also be removed. The thickly padded hip belt supports the pack’s weight excellently, but traps in heat even in mild temperatures. Pushing 35 pounds of weight wears on the lower back, but still feels comfortable while hiking.
Storage The Crown V.C. 60 has a massive internal storage space, excellent stretch side pockets and a small rear pocket that is easy to lose items in. Easily adjustable compression straps provide ample short-term storage and small shoulder strap pockets provide easy access but the hip belt’s webbing loops lack usability.
Internal The Crown V.C. 60 has a large internal storage space with an extension collar for even more storage capacity. It is largest at the bottom, which will tend to lower the packs center of gravity and focus pressure on the lower back.
Side Pockets In terms of size and shape, the Crown V.C. 60’s side pockets are the best out of the test group. The large, stretchy pockets are shallow enough to provide easy access while on the move, yet wide enough to fit two 2-liter Platypus bladders.
Rear Pocket The Crown V.C.60’s rear pocket holds the least amount of capacity in the test group and is skinny, tight, and opaque, making smaller items hard to find and access.
Hip Belt The Crown V.C. 60’s wide hip belt is well padded and distributes weight transferred by the frame evenly. The large surface area of the padding traps in body heat and resulted in sweating during mild temperatures. Hip belt pockets are non-existent, instead many loops of webbing take their place. While they provide a place to clip gear or potentially add aftermarket pockets, ultimately they are out of place and are less useful for backpackers.
Shoulder Straps Despite their thin nature, the Crown V.C. 60’s shoulder straps remain comfortable since so much weight is transferred to the hip belt. Small stretch pockets are located on the shoulder straps for easy access to quickly grabbed items.
Versatility A large, flat bottom gives the Crown V.C. 60 its large internal volume but does not fluctuate to accommodate smaller loads. Since the internal frame sheet can be removed, the pack can be tailored to the most weight concious of hikers. The compression system uses lightweight cordage instead of straps and can change length easily to accommodate extra items.
Weight The Crown V.C. 60 has most features of modern backpacking packs, but uses less material do achieve the same outcomes. This pack comes in at a relatively light weight considering its carrying capacity and comfort.
Durability The Crown V.C. 60 is made mostly of Cordura 100-denier nylon with patches of 210-denier nylon in high-wear areas. The mesh pockets are a lighter material and, since they extend all the way to the bottom of the pack, will wear faster than other areas of the pack.
Mike Summers is an avid hiker, cyclist, climber, and outdoor enthusiast. While exploring America’s best outdoor spaces, Mike has developed an intimate relationship with his gear systems, allowing him to stay safe and comfortable in an otherwise forbidding environment. When he’s not exploring, you can find him sharing insights and chronicling his journeys at improbablebutpossible.com.