The Gregory Kalmia 50 backpack for women comes with a FreeFloat 360 ventilated suspension system, three access points, adjustable harness and much more. Keep reading.
Key features & benefits
- Extremely ventilated back system.
- Adjustable torso length.
- Adjustable hip belt fins.
- 3 Access points.
- Many pockets.
- Sunglass QuickStow system.
- Auto-rotating shoulder straps’ attachments.
- Eco-friendly materials.
So what this Gregory Kalmia 50 pack is about
This pack is on Amazon under the name Gregory Mountain Products Kalmia 50 Backpacking Backpack, so this is a pack in the mid-to-large range suitable for multi-day hiking and backpacking tours.
The pack is from the brand new Gregory Katmai & Kalmia series. The Kalmia packs are for women and you have them in two nominal sizes as Kalmia 50 and Kalmia 60 packs. Note that both have two sub-sizes XS/S and S/M, you will see the numbers below. But there is also Kalmia 60 Plus pack in two sub-sizes. So there are 6 packs in total.
This is a classic top-loading pack with a floating lid and a collar. But it also has a bottom zippered compartment and a divider between this section and its main compartment. The divider is just a simple shelf with toggles, so it is removable. You also have a C-shaped side access point with a zipper, see the picture below.
The pack is hydration compatible and you have a large internal hydration sleeve shown below, with SpeedClip hanger compatible with Gregory 3D Hydro Trek reservoir (not included).
Overview of the most important features
The suspension system
The pack is supported by a lightweight steel alloy perimeter frame and a fiberglass anti-barreling stay. The frame gives tension to the extremely ventilated trampoline-style mesh back panel. They describe this as the FreeFloat 360 suspension system.
Gregory has been building such ventilated packs in the past, you can see it in their Gregory Zulu series, but nothing can be compared with what you have in these Katmai & Kalmia packs. The picture below shows how it looks.
Here you have an auto-rotating, dual-density shoulder harness with adjustable torso length and an adjustable sternum strap equipped with a safety whistle and a hydration clip. So the shoulder straps adapt to the body shape and size of the user.
The picture below shows how the torso length is adjusted. You have the Velcro hook and loop connection, so just break it and move the harness up or down. There are markers that will guide you, then simply press it in place to re-engage the connection.
This is convenient when several family members of different body sizes use the same pack. The adjustability range is given in the specifications below. Note that there is a difference between the two sub-sizes.
You have pleasant foam padding all over the shoulder harness and on the hip belt, and this is covered by a very breathable mesh, see the pictures. This is a moisture-wicking system and they claim that they used what they call the Polygiene Stays Fresh Technology for odor control. It is supposed to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. This technology is Bluesign approved and OekoTex listed.
You have adjustable hip-belt fins so you can move them and shift them in the best position for your body fit. This feature is again suitable for multiple users. All these features together allow you to comfortably carry a weight of up to 45 lb (20 kg).
The pack comes with a full set of 9 pockets. So you have the usual zippered hip belt pockets, and on the front there is a huge zippered pocket with an inner mesh pocket, see the picture below. On top of this pocket, you have yet another front oversized stretch mesh pocket with buckle closure (it is visible in the top picture above).
On the side you have one mesh stretch mesh pocket with pass-through for over-or-under compression. On the other side, you have a SideWinder bottle holster (the picture below) for one-handed on-the-go water bottle access, you can tuck it away when not in use. There is a large zippered pocket on the top of the lid, and also an underside zippered pocket.
- You have the usual upper and lower side compression straps.
- Sunglass QuickStow system on shoulder harness, see the picture above.
- Trekking pole loops paired with upper bungee locks.
- ComfortGrip molded zipper pulls with molded webbing keepers.
- Interior toggles to connect Nano 14 Daypack (daypack not included).
They use all recycled materials for this pack, and this is summarized in the picture below.
The fabric is durable. The main body fabric is a 210D high density 40% recycled nylon and a 420D high density 45% recycled nylon, PFC-free, and DWR. The bottom is a 420D high density 45% recycled nylon, PFC-free DWR.
Please see more in this video:
Who is this pack for
You have already seen that this is a gender-specific design, a pack built for women. Multiple adjustability options make it suitable for various female users of very different body shapes, you will see the numbers below.
As for the volume/weight ratio which is around 25 liters/kg, the pack is not very light, but this is expected in view of its numerous great features. The ventilated back panel makes it a great option for users who sweat a lot and also for a warm environment in general.
I mentioned its carry load capacity, so this is good enough for the trail, and this is a great backpacking and hiking pack.
Regarding the price, it is steep, but this is an impressive top-quality product from a globally respected brand, so you know what you are buying.
- Gender: women’s pack.
- Two sizes: XS/S & S/M.
– XS/S: 2746 in³ (45 l).
– S/M: 3051 in³ (50 l).
– XS/S: 4.3 lb (1.95 kg).
– S/M: 4.36 lb (1.98 kg).
- Maximum carry weight: 45 lb (20.4 kg).
- Fits torso:
– XS/S: 14 – 17 in (36 – 43 cm).
– S/M: 15 – 19 in (38 – 48 cm).
- Waist fit:
– XS/S: 22 – 46 in (56 – 117 cm).
– S/M: 23 – 48 in (58 – 122 cm).
– XS/S: 27 x 16 x 13 in (69 x 41 x 33 cm).
– S/M: 29 x 16 x 13 in (74 x 41 x 33 cm).
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime.
Final thoughts, rating, pros & cons
In summary, this Gregory Kalmia 50 Backpack for Women is one of the best they have ever built. The ventilated system that you have here is among the best you will find on the market. The organization is excellent, several access points are useful to have, and adjustability options are a guarantee for a comfortable carry of weight. Fully recommended. I have included it in my list of best backpacking packs for women.
Please see how I rate this pack against my usual rating criteria:
Note that the XS version is in the range of their new Gregory Facet 45 pack for women which is far lighter. You might want to know also that they have Kalmia packs built in Plus Size for oversized users.
Let me know if you have questions, there is a comment box below. Thank you for reading and have a nice day.
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