Marmot Graviton 58 ReviewMarch 8, 2017
- Quick release compression straps
- Large capacity, wide body
- Vented back panel
- Versatile access
- Reduced durability
- Small attachment loops
- Slender back pocket
- Thin shoulder & waist straps
The Marmot Graviton 58 is a versatile pack with a large internal storage compartment that is fully accessible thanks to a large duffle-style zipper. It's quick-release compression buckles are the best in the test group, but some storage areas like the back pocket and lid could be improved. Ultimately, urban focused features add to the packs weight and become less useful as one heads into the backcountry.
Essentially the Graviton 58 is having an identity crisis: is it for the long-distance backcountry explorer or the globe-trotting weekend warrior?
The Graviton 58’s mesh back panel and arcing tubular frame provides airflow to the user’s back but moves the packs center of gravity away from the user. While the frame effectively transfers weight from the pack to the hips, thin webbing material on the waist belt and shoulder straps sacrifice comfort for weight savings. “Creature comfort” features like the duffle-style zipper add to the packs weight, reducing its comfort while worn.
The Graviton 58 has a large main compartment with built-in hydration bladder sleeve and clip, two stretch mesh side pockets, a small opaque rear pocket and a lid with internal mesh zippered compartment and key clip. Quick-release buckles on the compression straps offer convenient short-term storage.
The Graviton 58’s large main compartment is wider than other packs in the test group, which helps weight be as close to the users back as possible. Its shape is tapered and larger near the top where the majority of the weight is best placed.
The Graviton 58’s side pockets are tall and wide enough to hold a 1-liter Nalgene water bottle securely. Compression straps can be routed under or over the mesh to allow various degrees of security.
The Graviton 58’s rear pocket is easy to lose items in since its materials are completely opaque. Also, the pocket’s capacity and accessibility are compromised when the compression straps are attached across the duffel-style zipper.
The Graviton 58’s shoulder straps are thin and leave shoulders aching for more padding as loads exceed 25 pounds.
Like the shoulder straps, the Graviton 58’s hip belt is thin but remains supportive as the rigid frame transfers weight effectively. Hip belt pockets provide easy access to a few smaller items.
The Graviton 58’s lid has storage solely in the top zippered pocket, and while the space is separated by a mesh inner pocket, items remain difficult to access when the lid is packed full. It attaches to the body via the same quick release buckets found on the compression straps which makes it easily removable when traveling around town or on a quick hike, conveniently separating the pack into “one small personal item and a carry-on”.
The Graviton 58 features a full outer zipper, which allows access to all parts of the interior at a moments notice. This is convenient for urban travel but is less useful in the field for all but the most inexperienced backpackers. Even when packed full, the body squeezes into normal overhead compartments on a plane when the lid is detached.
Compression straps have a handy quick-release mechanism that makes strapping items to the outside of the pack fast and efficient. With one squeeze, the buckles pop open, and slide off easily, yet remain secure when snapped back together.
Two quick attachment loops are a good idea, but the cordage is not long or stretchy enough to accommodate even a pair of trekking poles without strain, limiting their usefulness.
The Graviton 58 is the heaviest pack in the test group and can just barely be considered an ultralight pack. To make up for added weight of features like the large duffel-style zipper and vented back panel, weight was shaved from more critical areas like the shoulder and waist straps and the materials used in high-wear areas.
In an effort to save weight, the Graviton 58 uses thin 70-denier Robic nylon fabrics for the main body and 100-denier nylon in high-wear areas. This pack showed more signs of wear than any other pack in the test group, including small tears in the bottom resulting from lighter use than others in the test. If the compression straps are arranged to allow access to the zipper, the stress falls entirely on the zipper.
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.