Granite Gear Blaze 60 Review

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 offers an impressive combination of lightweight design and large capacity while handling heavy loads comfortably, especially for women.

Granite Gear Blaze 60L Backpack - Black/Black Gingham Long
  • Light frame
  • Wide range of sizes and adjustability

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Poor breathability
  • No rain cover included

This backpack is regularly featured on review sites as one of the best available, and it is easy to see why. Granite Gear has used some unique materials and design choices to produce a lightweight pack that can carry a full load while still feeling comfortable. No corners have been cut to make the pack lighter, with generously sized pockets and tougher material to reinforce high-wear areas. There are plenty of sizes to choose from and lots of adjustability options to customize the fit. The woman’s model has tweaked the shape of the shoulder straps and hip belt. In our opinion, this is the best backpack for women.

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Buying Options
Our Award
Best for Men
Best Lighter Backpack for Men
Best Large Capacity Backpack for Men
Best for Women
Best Lighter Backpack for Women
Best Large Capacity Backpack for Women
Size
S/M - L/XL
S/M - L/XL
S/M - L/XL
S/M - M/L
S - M - L
M - L
S/M - L/XL
WS - UL
XS/S - M/L
W - Regular
Weight
2 - 2.2 kg
1.9 - 2.1 kg
2.5 - 2.8 kg
1.5 - 1.6 kg
2.1 - 2.4 kg
1.6 - 1.8 kg
2.2 - 2.3 kg
1.3 - 1.4 kg
1.6 - 1.7 kg
2.1 - 2.3 kg
Capacity
65 - 68 liters
46 - 48 litres
68 - 70 liters
58 litres
65 litres
63 + 10 liters
65 - 68 liters
60 liters
55 litres
60 + 10 liters
Load
13.6 – 18 kg
9.1 – 15.9 kg
14 – 27 kg
22.7 kg
22.7 kg
22.7 kg
14 - 27 kg
22.7 kg
N/A
15 - 20 kg
Pockets
9
10
8
6
10
8
5
6
5
8
Torso Lengths
43 - 58.9
40.5 - 58.5 cm
43 - 58.5 cm
38 - 60 cm
40.6 - 55.9 cm
46 - 56 cm
43 - 58.5 cm
38.1 - 60.9 cm
35.5 - 47.7 cm
35 - 62 cm
Rain Cover
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
Yes

Analysis and Test Results

This is a very well-designed backpack. It is available in 5 sizes, including two specifically for women. The women’s version comes in smaller sizes and includes shoulder straps, and a hip belt contoured specifically for the female form. The adjustable torso and hip belt options can be a bit fiddly, but they provide a comfortable, personalized fit once set correctly.

It features ample storage options for efficient gear organization, complete with a removable and adaptable lid. The exterior pockets are larger than usual, and the main compartment has a full-length zip to make access easier. There are nine compression straps, three on the front and three on each side, that ensure your load is always stable and make attaching extra equipment simple.

The custom nylon that composes the backpack is durable and tear-resistant, and the DWR coating is very water-resistant. It’s a shame there is no rain cover provided to give you the option to fully protect your gear from the rain. The only real negative with this backpack is its poor breathability. However, its lightweight, adjustability, and good storage, not to mention its good looks and low price, make it an excellent choice for all hikers, particularly for women.

Performance Comparison

granite gear backpack

Material

Granite Gear has used a custom version of nylon to make this backpack. For the majority of the body, they have used 100 denier Robic high-tenacity nylon. However, on the high-impact and high-abrasion areas, they have reinforced them with 210 denier Robic nylon with UHMWPE (Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight-Polyethylene) triple ripstop technology.

The Air Current frame comprises a molded ABS sheet and a molded foam pad.

Breathability

The foam pad has air channels cut into it to increase breathability. However, the foam pad slides into a nylon sleeve, and it is designed to fit closely to the contours of your back, so there isn’t much ventilation. The padding on the hip belt and shoulder straps can also quickly become sweaty.

Waterproofing

There is a very effective Barrier DWR (durable water repellent) coating on the backpack’s material and zippers that will keep your gear dry in typical rainy conditions. The hip belt pockets are made of nylon, not mesh, and have DWR-protected zips, so their contents stay dry in everything but the most extreme conditions. However, the only way to make a backpack waterproof is to use a rain cover. This model doesn’t have a rain cover, so you would have to buy one separately.

Dimensions

Despite how light it is, you can easily fit a lot into this backpack. It is wider than the average backpack and doesn’t come up as high, which tends to suit women. The lid can hold 5 liters, and it is detachable. The pockets on the hip belt can each hold 0.5 liters.

Sizes
Capacity
Weight
Load
Measurements
Women Short
60 liters 3660 cubic inches
1.31 kg 2.9 lbs
22.7 kg 50 lbs
59.7 x 33 x 20.3 cm 23.5 x 13 x 8 inches
Women Regular
60 liters 3660 cubic inches
1.36 kg 3 lbs
22.7 kg 50 lbs
59.7 x 33 x 20.3 cm 23.5 x 13 x 8 inches
Unisex Short
60 liters 3660 cubic inches
1.31 kg 2.9 lbs
22.7 kg 50 lbs
59.7 x 33 x 20.3 cm 23.5 x 13 x 8 inches
Unisex Regular
60 liters 3660 cubic inches
1.36 kg 3 lbs
22.7 kg 50 lbs
59.7 x 33 x 20.3 cm 23.5 x 13 x 8 inches
Unisex Long
60 liters 3660 cubic inches
1.41 kg 3.1 lbs
22.7 kg 50 lbs
59.7 x 33 x 20.3 cm 23.5 x 13 x 8 inches

Fit

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 comes in a wide range of sizes. As well as being shorter, the woman’s version has narrower shoulder straps in an S-shape, and the hip belt slants upwards to fit the female figure better.

It is fairly easy to adjust the torso size, and the inches are clearly marked to make it easier to get the right size. To change the torso length, there is a flat metal plate on the end of the shoulder strap at the top. This slides through the openings in the frame sheet. Each size has four adjustment options in one-inch increments.

The Re-Fit hip belt is also adjustable. It is marked in 2-inch increments. It is held in place by Velcro, and to adjust, you simply pull it apart and reposition it to the desired length.

Torso Length
Hip Belt
Women Short
38.1 – 45.7 cm 15 – 18 inches
60.9 – 101.6 cm 24 – 42 inches
Women Regular
45.7 – 53.3 cm 18 – 21 inches
60.9 – 101.6 cm 24 – 42 inches
Unisex Short
38.1 – 45.7 cm 15 – 18 inches
66 – 106.7 cm 26 – 42 inches
Unisex Regular
45.7 – 53.3 cm 18 – 21 inches
66 – 106.7 cm 26 – 42 inches
Unisex Long
53.3 – 60.9 cm 21 – 24 inches
66 – 106.7 cm 26 – 42 inches

Storage

There are seven compartments on this backpack, all generously sized. On the hip belt, you have dual large pockets with zippers that are big enough to fit a plus-sized smartphone with additional room. There are also two large fabric side pockets with reinforced bottom panels and cinch closure for secure storage. A long stretch woven front pocket provides extra space for items to be accessed quickly. A hidden, full-length zipper gives access to the main compartment, making it easy to reach items at the bottom. The main compartment doesn’t have a divider. The lid has a zippered external pocket.

Comfort

Despite being a lightweight backpack, the Granite Gear Blaze 60 makes carrying a heavy load comfortable. The dual-density shoulder straps, hip belt, and back panel are well-padded. The design of the internal frame evenly distributes the weight of the load between the hips and shoulders. There are load lifter straps on the shoulder straps and stabilizer straps on the hip belt to adjust how you carry the rucksack. It can be fiddly to adjust the torso and hip belt length to your size, but this is a very comfortable backpack once correctly fine-tuned.

Features

One of the more unique features of this backpack is the lid. It is designed to be removable, so it can be left behind if you want to reduce weight. The spindrift collar can be rolled down and cinched securely in place if the lid is removed. If desired, the lid can be attached to the shoulder straps to create a chest pack if you have gear you want quick access to. The Re-Fit hip belt can also be removed from the main pack and combined with the lid to make a small waist pack.

Inside the main compartment is a sleeve for a water bladder. Exit ports at the top are compatible with most hydration systems, but there isn’t one included with the pack, so you would need to buy one separately.

Lash points on the lids and two small fabric loops at the bottom of the pack can be used to attach equipment. There are three compression straps on the front and each side, giving you 9 in total. These can be used primarily for stabilizing your load, but they are also useful for stowing extra gear. The sternum strap is adjustable and removable. A whistle is incorporated into the sternum strap.

The Re-fit hip belt can be removed. It has stabilizer straps on each side that are adjustable. First, undo these straps, then slide your hand behind the hip belt to release the Velcro holding it in place. When you pull on the end, it should now slide out.

Durability

Granite Gear uses a custom nylon that is hard-wearing and tear-resistant. Some areas of the backpack, including the bottom of the side pockets and the base, are reinforced with tougher, higher-denier material. There were initially some issues with the polycarbonate frame sheet cracking, but Granite Gear modified it to be tougher and more flexible to fix the problem.

The Blaze 60 backpack has a Limited Lifetime Warranty that covers defects in materials or workmanship. If the backpack fails due to material or manufacturing defects, Granite Gear will repair or replace it at its discretion. They are a small company whose customer service department has a reputation for being helpful if you have any problems.

Sustainability

Granite Gear gives no information about the sustainability of its products. They are partnered with a number of charities and initiatives that care for the environment. Some of their products use 98% undyed fabrics and materials to reduce water waste by 55%. However, no details about their manufacturing process are available, and they don’t seem to use recycled material.

Conclusion

This well-designed backpack can comfortably carry a heavy load despite being lightweight. There are plenty of storage options for organizing your equipment and all the necessary features, including the removable and adaptable lid. It is available in a wide range of sizes, and both the torso and hip belt can be adjusted to customize the fit. The women’s version is available in smaller sizes, and the shoulder straps and hip belt are shaped to adapt to the female frame. The Granite Gear Blaze 60 is an excellent backpack for everyone, but especially for women.

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