This Granite Gear Crown VC 60 review is about an ultra-lightweight backpack with the weight below 1 kg, and with a very specific design. There exist versions for men and women, and both are presented in the text.
Best price & place to buy
- The best place regarding the price and shipping conditions is usually Amazon.com.
- Additional top lid can be purchased separately.
Crown VC 60 – Description
This is a top loading pack of a specific type, see more about this below. VC in the name means ‘vapor current’, which describes the suspension system with channeling and contours on the back panel.
The suspension is supported by an ultra lightweight HDPE frame sheet. This frame sheet can be removed completely.
The pack is with a fixed harness and shoulder straps. You will notice stretch mesh pockets on both shoulder straps.
There is yet another large mesh stretch pocket on the front of the pack, see the picture, and you have compression straps that run over it. So you can attach some stuff there and carry efficiently.
On both sides of the pack, you have large stretch mesh pockets, for water bottle or any similar piece of equipment, see the picture above. They are equipped with compression straps that can run through or over the pockets.
So you realize, the pack is without any zippered pocket. Inside, you have a water bladder sleeve. On the bottom, you have dual attachment loops.
The pack is built in two different sizes. This compensates the fact that it has no adjustability in the harness. But it offers a lot of adjustability in the hip belt, see below.
Stand out features
1. Ultra lightweight
For its size, and with the weight below 1 kg, this is indeed an ultra-lightweight pack. But there are some downsides of this absence of weight; this implies the absence of some essential features as well. See more about this below.
2. Roll-top access
This is an interesting feature; the top collar can be rolled in and then fixed on both sides by clips. This is visible in the picture below. So you do not have a traditional top lid (it can be purchased and added separately, see below).
3. Interchangeable hip belt
The following options are possible for the hip belt at the moment of purchase:
- Small: 26 – 30 in.
- Medium: 30 – 34 in.
- Large: 34 – 38 in.
- XL: 38 – 42 in.
- Women’s belts (see below about the model for women) are specifically sculpted to fit the angle of women’s hips.
Unless you specify otherwise, you will get the following by default:
- Regular torso – men’s medium belt; 30 – 34 inches waist.
- Long torso – men’s large belt; 34 – 38 inches waist.
In this video, you may see how to attach the lid to Granite Gear Crown VC 60 pack. You will see how the pack changes its overall shape:
Technical specifications & summary of features
- Two sizes, regular (R) and long (L).
- Men’s design.
- Purpose: ultralight multi-day backpacking.
- Weight: 0.96 kg (2 lbs 2 oz) for R and 1.0 kg (2 lbs 4 oz) for L.
- Volume, liters (cub in): 60 (3660) for R and 65 (4000) for L.
- Carry weight: up to 35 lbs (16 kg).
- Frame: Vapor Current frame, HDPE.
- No torso length adjustability.
- No rain cover.
- Torso fit: 18 – 21 inches for R, and 21 – 24 inches for L.
- Waist/Hips fit: 26 – 42 inches for R, and 26 – 42 inches for L.
- Fabrics: Cordura 100 D and 210 D Nylon.
- Access: roll top.
- Pockets: 3 stretch pockets, side and front, plus 2 on the shoulder straps.
- Interchangeable belts.
- Lineloc compression.
- Tool loops.
- Hydration ports and internal hydration sleeve.
- Extended overflow crossover straps.
Here is a short promotion video about the Crown VC 60 pack, have a look:
Pros & cons
I am afraid my list of cons is long:
Granite Gear Crown VC 60 is indeed ultra lightweight. But see some reasons for this:
- There is no true metal frame.
- There is no bottom compartment (which would imply one external long zipper that adds to the weight, plus a divider which in some packs also has a zipper that adds to the weight).
- There are no external zippered pockets, every zipper adds to the weight!
- There are no hip belt pockets which also add to the weight, etc.
The price is high and if you want to buy the lid, this will add some $30 to the price. But it is fair to say that you do not need the lid.
But the pack has received an incredibly high rate from Amazon customers, no less than 4.9/5. This is simply an amazing rate, rarely seen in any backpack.
My own rate of this pack is quite different, and reasons for such a rate are summarized in the table above. My most important objection is about the harness and frame, and the lack of features. It is far inferior in comparison to some other top brands, see the table below.
Comparison with other brands
Here is a comparison table with several packs from other brands:
AG 65 M
Crown VC 60
|Zippered side pockets||yes||yes||no|
|Metal internal frame||yes||yes||no|
It is fair to say that the brands and models given in the table are the absolute top in this industry, so it is indeed hard to compare with those three models. To realize this, I warmly suggest you follow the links in the table.
The prices for the packs in the table, at the moment of writing this text are, respectively: $229, 260, 180. Yet, if you add the price for the extra lid for Granite Gear Crown VC 60 pack, it becomes $210 so it comes very close to the other packs. This makes it very expensive.
Women-specific fit is known under the name Granite Gear Crown VC 60 Ki. This is completely the same design, yet with a few small differences introduced to fit women’s body shape. Here is the list of specifications:
- Two sizes, short (S) and regular (R).
- Weight: 0.9 kg (2 lbs) for S, and 0.96 kg (2 lbs 2 oz ) for R.
- Volume: 55 liters (3350 cub in) for S, and 60 liters (3661cub in) for R.
- Torso fit: 15 – 18 inches for S, and 18 – 21 inches for R.
- Waist/hips fit: 26 – 42 inches for S, and 26 – 42 inches for R.
Here is a video about the model for women:
To conclude this Granite Gear Crown VC 60 review, what you have here is a quality pack, built of good materials and very reliable. However, this is a rather big, pack, and in my view, a proper internal frame is a must. For such a size, it is strange that it is not with an adjustable torso fit.
The pack lacks quite a number of features which I love to see in any pack, and in particular in a pack of this size. Therefore my rate as given in the table above. This is how I see the pack, but bear in mind the incredible rating which the pack received by others at Amazon.
This is an addition in 2018 – Gregory has a new ultra-light series, so check this Gregory Optic 58 backpack.
I shall be happy to have some comment from you, there is a comment box below. Have a nice day.