Gregory Inyo 45: Techni-comfortable

Gregory Inyo 45 half way up on Saber. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

After doing a little new-piece-of-gear happy dance, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work putting the Gregory Inyo 45 through it’s paces to see if it cried mercy.  I took it out cragging, on multi-pitch trad climbs, backcountry skiing and alpine climbs.

At 3 lb 6 oz and 45 L, it’s on the lighter end of packs that size and is the perfect size for a technical day climb or an overnight trip that doesn’t require a lot of gear. Gregory did a great job designing a women’s pack that fits us climber gals – our smaller frames and different pelvis size and cant.  The hipbelt and shoulder straps are comfortable and nicely padded, this pack carries 35-40lbs well.

The Inyo 45 has a lot of great features that balance the technical with the splurging, the features that ultra-streamlined packs do without (pockets, zippers, niffty attachment features). On the hipbelt there’s the typical Gregory pocket (I love them for their use of hipbelt pockets), and a gear loop on the other side of the hipbelt.  A little bit of technical, a little bit of comfort.  Techni-comfortable. Easy access for that chapstick, sunscreen, kleenex, protein bar, map; easy access for those cams, nuts, hexs, nut tool. All the pockets – hipbelt, top and underside of the top compartment, front slot pocket – make it easy to organize gear and have the gear you need to be accessible. And then there is the side zipper.  I’ve never had a side zip pack and now I know why my friends who have them rave about them. The side zip is one of the greatest inventions know to man!  It allows for such easy access to all of your gear.  This is one of my favorite features of the Inyo.

For cragging this pack has tons of room for all the things you may and may not need.  Even filled only part full, it didn’t slide around and still

Gregory Inyo 45. Awesome side-zip feature. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

carried the rope comfortably.  The way the side straps and v-front pocket are designed you can ratchet them down and make the pack one snug unit thus shrinking the size to fit exactly what you are bringing.  I took the Inyo 45 up two multipitch trad climbs in Leavenworth.  Half way up the first climb my partner asked if he could use my micro-cams.  Thanks to the side-zip there was no “let me dig through my pack”, I had that sucker split down the side in seconds and my microcams pulled out.  The hipbelt gear loop was handy for quickly clipping the cams and nuts I pulled while following.  Also, the material of this pack is sturdy and took the scraping well that I gave it as I squeezed through a few narrow spaces.

Next up on the roadtest circuit was backcountry skiing.  So the newest addition to my gear collection, yours truly, and my climbing buddy Gerhard headed up after work to the mountains to get in some evening turns and see how the Inyo fared.  The Inyo did very well as a skiing pack.  The v-shaped front pocket is a perfect place to stash a shovel and probe.  The side-zip let me pull out my jacket (which was inconveniently located in the middle of my pack) in seconds when the wind picked up.  My K2 Miss Baker skis easily strapped to the sides and stayed firmly in place.  And most importantly, the Inyo 45 was a very comfortable pack to ski in.  It’s key for a ski mountaineering pack or backcountry ski pack to fit snuggly so while carving up the slopes it’s not sliding around trying pull you off your line.  This pack delivered.

The Gregory Inyo 45 in action on the multipitch trad route R&D. Photo by Gerhard.

Now it was time for the glacier test – whether I could fit ALL of my mountaineering gear into the Inyo 45.  Packing up for my climb of Little Tahoma, the Inyo 45 fit almost everything I would need for the 2 day mountaineering trip.  Even with gear strapped to the sides, I found it about 5 liters too small to hold all the gear needed for a two-day glacier trip. If I was climbing something like Mt. Daniel in 2 days where I didn’t need my glacier set-up, just my overnight and snow-scramble gear, this pack would be perfect.  Or a 2 day trip of Forbidden, with just overnight and rock gear.  But, for me it just wasn’t big enough for a two day glacier climb; between all the gear, food, and water for the approach.

Still, this pack did awesome for every other type of trip – rock climbing, backcountry skiing, overnight trip that doesn’t require a full glacier set-up, technical day climb. And I fully intend to take it out with me for a day of ice climbing when that season rolls around.  Bottom line – this pack balances technical features and features of comfort. The hipbelt gear loop, the pockets, v-front pocket system and side-zip all make this pack very efficient for carrying and accessing your gear quickly.

Gregory’s Inyo 45 page:

~ by Genevieve Hathaway on June 16, 2010.

2 Responses to “Gregory Inyo 45: Techni-comfortable”

  1. Maybe if you didn’t take the kitchen sink on your trips you’d have enough room.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gregory packs UK, Bramwell Inter'. Bramwell Inter' said: Check out this awesome review of the women's specific Gregory Inyo 45, part of our Fusion LTS series of packs. […]

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