Granite Gear Lutsen 45 ReviewAugust 25, 2016
- Great load transfer & stability
- Quick & easy to adjust
- Carries heavier loads well
- Top loading only to main compartment
- Heavier than others in test
- Slightly hampered mobility
Granite Gear’s Lutsen 45’s polycarbonate frame sheet stabilizes and transfers loads extremely well while the easily adjustable torso length and hip girth allow quick changes on the trail. Although not a superlight long weekend pack, the Lutsen 45 can carry heavier or winter loads into the backcountry with ease, allowing more flexibility and options in your packing strategy.
The comfort of the Granite Gear Lutsen 45 lies in its ability to transfer and stabilize heavier loads. The Air Current suspension system combines an injection molded polycarbonate frame sheet with a dual density, deeply channeled foam back panel. The frame sheet is vertically and laterally stiff, efficiently transferring loads to the hip belt which is easy to adjust. This combination keeps the load from swaying or twisting about. The extremely comfortable shoulder harness completes Granite Gear’s Re-Fit system, which, like the hip belt, is adjusted by hand via overlapping hook and loop covered panels. Ventilation was adequate in brutal Texas summer conditions; moisture gathered where the back panel made contact with the body but actual heat was never an issue.
The stability of the Granite Gear Lutsen 45, even for heavier loads, was excellent. The Air Current polycarbonate frame sheet provides the stiffness necessary to harness loads between 25 and 40 pounds, which is impressive for a 45L pack. The compromise for having this remarkable stability is less mobility; rotating the shoulders independently from the hips is met with some resistance.
The 45L capacity with auxiliary storage places this pack at the top of the category. Large, stretchy pockets on both sides and the front expand carrying ability while the roll top closure with double compartment floating lid and cinch strap allow overstuffing. Small items can be kept handy in the two stretchy hip belt pockets. Long weekend load volumes, even in winter, are no problem for the Granite Gear Lutsen 45.
The resilient polycarbonate frame of the Granite Gear Lutsen 45 proved to be bulletproof and the 210d/100d main fabrics, although light, emerged unscathed. Ditto for the smallish water resistant zippers and half width webbing and buckles; the ultralight approach didn’t prove to hinder durability during this test.
The aforementioned quickly adjustable Air Current Fe-Fit adjustable suspension system alone is a main selling feature for the Lutsen 45. The minimalist approach to fabrics, webbing and buckles is a bonus. Other useful features include a hydration sleeve/port and two adjustable tool loops and holsters.