Gregory Miwok 12 ReviewJune 22, 2018
- External hydration bladder pocket
- Deep, secure side pockets
- Hip belt pockets
- Very low hanging water bladder clip
- Not as durable as other day pack options
The Gregory Miwok 12 pack is a very comfortable pack to wear, with or without a bladder. We tested wearing the pack hiking, running and riding, full and nearly empty, with a bladder and without.
The back panel is thick and well ventilated. It was very comfortable when holding a bladder and protected testers’ backs when the bladder was empty or missing. Even when packed full with cameras, GPS and other hard edged items the foam back panel held its shape and stayed comfortable.
Mesh and die-cut holes in the back panel provided excellent ventilation and easily kept testers cool during hard hikes and runs in 60-degree weather. The only downside we found to the back panel was that it’s not removable. Dirt and twigs can get behind the panel and are hard to clean out.
Shoulder straps are mesh-covered foam with many diamond-shaped holes for good ventilation. Half-inch webbing connect the bottom of the shoulder straps to the pack. 1-inch webbing connects to small pockets for the hip belt. Testers were able to put phones like the iPhone 7, small GPS units or small bars into the hip belt pockets for easy access.
Stability on the Miwok 12 is good when hiking and running when the pack is full. With no compressions traps or internal pockets, we couldn’t prevent items from bouncing in a partially filled pack when running. When hiking, bouncing wasn’t an issue no matter how full or empty the pack was.
The Miwok 12 carried enough gear for half- to full-day hikes. Its 12 liters of space is divided up into one large main pocket and two small stash pockets on the top of the bag. A stretch pocket pocket on the front and hip belt pockets stored small items for quick access.
There are no other pockets or dividers inside the main compartment. One stash pocket on top was large enough for a large GPS, a phone and a couple bars. Another smaller pocket inside that with a key clip fits keys and a wallet.
The stretch front pocket fits a thin extra layer. The non-removable elastic cord at the top of the stretch pocket makes it awkward to put larger items in the stretch pocket. Smaller items like bars or GPS are easier to put in.
The two hip belt pockets are small but fit an iPhone 7 or small point and shoot camera during testing. They were comfortable to wear but reduced airflow slightly since the pockets were solid fabric with no mesh for airflow.
Deep side pockets on both sides held water bottles and other items very securely during testing. They easily held 1 L water bottles. We also tried GoPro cameras on handles and small tripods. Large tripods and trekking poles were too large and fell out as there was no compression strap to hold the top.
Overall the Miwok 12 is a very easy to use pack with many features. A key clip is tucked inside an internal pocket, hip belt pockets gave easy access to cameras and bars during hikes and reflective marking with a safety light attachment point below the stretch pocket are nice safety hits for activities after dark.
A hydration hose clip on the right shoulder strap held the hose tight during hikes. It came loose sometimes during runs. The clip cannot be moved to the left strap. A small elastic loop on the left shoulder strap holds sunglasses. It can hold both arms very securely for sunglasses with arms less than ½-inch wide. Any wider than that, only one arm fits and was secure enough for hiking. Excess webbing on all straps can be held in place with small elastic loops. Some testers used these to prevent loose webbing from catching on trees or handlebars.
The Miwok 12 can pack flat but the back panel is not removable so cannot be folded or rolled well. The waist belt is not removable.
The pack held up well during testing. It showed very little abrasion and nothing broke. Some small thread was coming loose on the water bottle holders and the bottom of the back panel after testing.
The hydration system on the Gregory Miwok 12 is excellent. An external pocket holds the bladder making it easy to refill. The hook and loop closure at the top of the pocket holds it shut. A 2-liter bladder fit well, a 2.5 L was tight and a full 3-liter bladder did not fit. The clips on the bladder hanging loop were small enough to fit through small bladder handles. The only issue with the hang loop on the Miwok is that it is attached very low in the pocket. The water bladder sags at the bottom of the pocket a bit even with the hang loop attached.
The water bladder was easy to refill and put back in even when the pack was full. We had to guide the bottom of the bladder back in with a hand when the pack was very full.
The bladder hose was easy to route out of the external water bladder pocket through two straps on the shoulder strap. A small hose clip on the right shoulder strap holds the hose very well through hiking. It popped loose on occasion while testers ran and bounced more. The hose clip can’t be moved to the left shoulder strap.
The Miwok 12 is a versatile bag. Twelve liters was enough space to carry everything for a half-day hike and was enough for full day hikes for the testers who packed lighter. It is stable doesn’t bounce much if full when running and riding. The Miwok doesn’t have a laptop pocket but held a 13” laptop in the main pocket.Continue Reading
Ross is an outdoor adventure writer, photographer, and sometimes computer programmer based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. He runs, rides, SUPs and skis but often finds himself in CrossFit gyms trying to lift heavy weights.