Gregory Maven 65 backpack for women is the largest pack in their new series, a great lightweight tool for backpackers and hikers with plenty of exceptional features.
- Rain cover included.
- The water bladder sleeve doubles as a SideKick daypack.
Key benefits & unique features
- Very lightweight backpack.
- Fully adjustable harness.
- Unique adjustable hip belt.
- New Aerolon suspension.
- Internal divider can be used as a top flap for a lidless use.
- Quick-stow feature on the shoulder strap for attaching glasses.
- Removable bottom straps. They can be used as a hip belt on the SideKick daypack.
Maven 65 pack – description
This series includes four packs for women, the Maven 65, Maven 55, Maven 45, and Maven 35 liters. They all share some common features but there are also some extras in the two largest packs. The Maven 65 is built in two sizes, XS/S and S/M, see more below.
The Maven 65 is a classic top-loading type pack, with a floating and removable lid and with an extendible spindrift collar underneath the lid. They have a cleverly designed ultra-lightweight variant of this pack: you can remove the lid and use the sleeping bag divider to attach it to the top of the pack and use the pack in such a lighter lidless variant.
The divider comes with four attachment buckles, so you detach it and attach it to the top as the flap. In such a variant, the pack again looks like a complete pack and its main entrance is protected from the elements; its weight in this case is only 1.42 kg.
On the bottom, you have a zippered sleeping bag compartment, so this is yet another alternative access to the pack.
The rain cover is one of the bonuses; it comes in a separate external zippered pocket which is beneath the front stuff pocket, see the picture below.
The Maven 65 pack is hydration compatible, and here again, you have something cleverly done, similar to some other Gregory packs, like in their Amber 60 pack and the Stout 65 pack. The internal reservoir sleeve is removable and it doubles as an ultralight daypack, shown in the picture above. It is very suitable for day trips, for summit hikes, or for town walks.
To deploy the daypack, just detach it from the two hooks inside the main compartment. It comes with a large zippered front pocket visible in the picture above, and its shoulder straps are with some thin padding.
The suspension system
As mentioned above, the pack is built in two sizes and you can choose your proper torso length in the moment of purchase. Note also that there is a small difference in volume as well. You also have an adjustable torso for an additional fine tuning and for a perfect fit.
Adjusting the torso is easy, you just have to break the Velcro tabs behind the panel and then to slide the harness into the desired position. After doing this, press firmly to re-engage the Velcro connections.
The suspension used here is described as Aerolon. This is a completely new system wich utilizes an ultra-light 7 mm hollow aluminum flexible and supportive frame, with entirely new geometry and flexibility. It allows for 4 inches (10.2 cm) span of torso adjustment.
This is an ultra lightweight design, with what they call Matrix Ventilation System shown in the picture above. So you have a foam matrix back panel structure covered by a very breathable mesh which allows for an excellent air flow and for moisture evaporation.
The hip belt is contoured and nicely padded with a multi-density LifeSpan EVA foam. The same sort of padding and cut-outs for weight saving is on the shoulder straps. In the lumbar zone, you have what they call the gripton pad system, very supportive as typical for Gregory’s pack, with a soft-molded silicon overlays for enhanced load transfer. It is shown in one of the pictures below.
In the specifications, you will see that you have two different sizes for the waist belt as well. Another great feature here is the adjustability of the hip belt. I find this very useful if the pack is used by family members with different waist size.
You have Velcro tabs which keep the hip belt pockets in place. You undo this connection, loose the hip belt stabilizer straps, and then pull the hip belt until you have the desired length and enough padding around the waist. After that, just re-engage the Velcro and tighten the stabilizers.
There are many attachment elements here. You have very functional dual side compression straps. The lower straps are with the inside-out feature, so you can run them both through the pockets in order to compress the pack, and over the pockets to secure the items in the pockets. The upper straps are V-shaped; they run twice over the sides, so they cover a larger space and allow for various size objects to be carried in the side pockets and fixed in place.
On the left shoulder strap, you have the quick-stow feature for sunglasses, shown in the picture below. It includes a webbing loop and an elastic cord so when you attach your glasses there, you can secure them with the cord.
You also have the bottom compression straps, so you can attach a sleeping pad or a tent here. They are also removable if you need them to attach things elsewhere on the pack. They are designed to be used as a hip belt on the SideKick daypack.
The Maven 65 backpack is equipped with a bottom loop for an ice axe or poles attachment, accompanied by a tie-off higher on the front of the pack. You can see it in the picture above.
On the top of the lid, there are four attachment loops, and similar webbing loops are available on the bottom as well. So, plenty of options indeed.
There is a top pocket on the lid, with an additional zippered pocket for organization. One large stretch pocket is on the front of the pack (visible in the pictures above), so here you can store things which you may need when you are on the go, or to store wet stuff and keep it separated from the dry compartment. There is a buckle on the top of it, to secure the items in the pocket.
On the sides, you have the usual stretch pockets with angled access for a water bottle (this only on the right side pocket). They are equipped with straps so you can secure things stored in them.
The two hip belt pockets can be repositioned independently due to the Velcro tabs which you have there. With this, you still have an easy access to the pockets if you change the hip belt circumference. The left pocket is a mesh and the right pocket is a durable fabric.
Here is a video by Gregory about this series, please have a look:
Pros & Cons
This is a great pack and the two lists below are very different in length:
The side zippered pockets are rare nowadays, this is something I love to have and several of my packs have them. But this may not be essential for you, and you can disregard this objection.
Rating breakdown of the Gregory Maven pack for women
Please add your own rating here.
Specifications & summary of features
- Gender: for women.
- Best use: backpacking, hiking.
- Two sizes: XS/S, S/M.
– XS/S: 1.53 kg (3 lb 6 oz); 1.42 kg in lidless use.
– S/M: 1.56 kg (3 lb 7 oz).
– XS/S: 63 l (3844 cu in).
– S/M: 65 l (3966 cu in).
- Size (L x W x D):
– XS/S: 71 x 33 x 29 cm (28 x 13 x 11.4 in).
– S/M: 76 x 33 x 28 cm (30 x 13 x 11 in).
– Main fabric: 210 D ripstop nylon.
– Secondary fabric: 210 D HT ripstop nylon.
– Frame: aluminum.
- Maximum weight: 50 lb (23 kg).
- Torso length:
– XS/S: 33 – 43 cm (13 – 17 in).
– S/M: 41 – 51 cm (16 – 20 in).
- Access: bottom, top.
- Adjustable lid.
- Adjustable harness.
- Adjustable hip belt.
- Hipbelt circumference:
– XS/S: 56 – 117 cm (22 – 46 in).
– S/M: 58 – 123 cm (23 – 48 in).
- Ventilated back panel.
- Compression straps.
- Removable daypack.
- Rain cover.
- Ice axe/pole attachment.
- Hydration compatible.
- Hipbelt pockets.
- Warranty: limited lifetime.
Comparison with competitors
Here I show the Gregory Maven 65 pack side by side with two other packs from top brands. These are all packs for women and all of them are new 2017 items, all of them definitely among the best backpacks currently available on the market:
Ariel 65 AG
|Acess||top||top, front||top, front|
|Zippered side pockets||no||no||yes|
|Hip belt pockets||yes||yes||yes|
|Metal internal frame||yes||yes||yes|
*This is for EU market. Not available on the US market.
**For the S/M size.
Only when you put the packs side by side, you realize the huge difference in the weight between the Maven 65 pack and the other two models. As you see from its features, nothing is missing in this pack, so in spite of its weight, it still has all you need.
The prices at the moment of writing the text are around $224, 232, and 135, respectively. Please follow the links for updates.
In conclusion of this Gregory Maven 65 backpack for women review to stress again that this pack is loaded with bonuses and features, and yet incredibly lightweight. Some of the features are completely unique for this series only, and some are unique for the Gregory brand. As I mentioned above, there are 3 other sizes in this series, so plenty of options to choose if you need a different size pack. All in all, I can fully recommend this pack. It is included in my list of the best women’s backpacking packs.
Thank you for reading. In the case of questions and comments, please use the comment box below. Have a nice day.