The Gregory Savant 58 backpack is lightweight, comfortable, and provides some nice features for weekend and extended-weekend trips. While it performs adequately compared to other backpacks in this category, the pack has a few frustrating design shortcomings that buyers should at least be aware of. We felt the max load settled in around 45 pounds.
Storage The Gregory Savant 58 features a large, horseshoe shaped zipper access to the main pack body that really stands out. I could access the main compartment like I would a suitcase, whether while the pack was lying down or standing upright. This made access, packing and unpacking a breeze.
The Savant 58 comes with two large, zippered hip-belt pockets that provide excellent storage. The large roll top style lid comes with a seam-taped zipper. This combination provided great waterproof storage for a variety of items.
The pack also comes with a side stash, zippered quick access pocket that is located behind the water bottle pocket on the right side of the pack. Unfortunately, this design was not practical. If you pack the main compartment of the pack full, there is no room to put anything in this side stash pocket, since the main compartment and this side stash pocket are essentially sharing the same space. This was also true of the side water bottle pockets. The material used for these pockets has very little stretch, and therefore these pockets could not expand outward, forcing them to share space with the main compartment. Getting 1-liter bottles in and out of these pockets is a real hassle.
Hip Belt The Savant 58 incorporates 10 mm breathable EVA foam in the hip-belt, which works well and provides good comfort. The hip belt is easy to adjust, adding to the comfort of this pack.
Backpanel/Shoulder Straps The pack uses breathable, molded foam on the back panel and shoulder straps, all of which proved to be comfortable and easy to adjust. While there was sufficient airflow, I have found airflow in other packs to be better, as other packs provide for more separation between your back and the panel.
Stability I used the Savant 58 on a number of backpacking trips carrying loads in the 30 to 35 pound range and found it to be very stable. The pack did not shift or float regardless of the terrain, or occasional scramble. I did discover that when carrying loads in the 40 to 45 pound range, the pack did begin to float and, while I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “unstable,” it was certainly the maximum (or very close to the maximum) comfort level for this pack.
Overall Comfort The Savant 58 provides good overall comfort while carrying loads up to about 35 pounds in a variety of conditions. The pack’s light-weight feel, good padding and easy adjustments contribute to it competing well in this class of packs in terms of comfort.
Durability The Savant 58 proved durable, even after weeks of intense use. The seam-taped zipper on the lid continued to perform well and, other than a few scratches, the pack showed few signs of wear.