In this Gregory Stout 45 review, you can read about a completely redesigned version of this ultra-lightweight backpack, 1.28 kg (2 lb 13 oz) only, ideal for weekend and overnight tours and for travel.
Key benefits & bonuses
- Rain cover included.
- Incredibly lightweight.
- Adjustable harness.
- Versatile tool.
Previous and new versions – main differences
Here are the most important ones:
- Instead of 3 sizes which were available in the previous version, the new pack is one size but with an adjustable torso length.
- The front pocket is totally redesigned, see below.
- The back padding and ventilation system is completely different.
- No hip belt adjustability in the new model.
- No dual daisy chains on the front in the new model. Pity.
- One external top pocket on the lid in the new model, as compared to 2 pockets in the previous model.
- A different fabric is used in the new version.
Gregory Stout 45 backpack for men – description
The Stout 45 pack is a part of a big series of five packs for men which includes packs of 30, 35, 45, 65, and 75 liters. They share many features but there are also differences between the two largest packs and the other packs.
So as you realize the Stout 45 is in the middle of the series, and this is a mid-size pack in general. This makes it a versatile tool, suitable for weekend and overnight tours but also for day tours.
The main compartment is with a standard hydration sleeve and with a single exit port behind the harness, so you can pass the water pipe along any shoulder strap. This complete series is for men, but they have built a parallel Amber series for women; you can see about both series in my another text where I gave an initial information about the modified new versions of the packs.
The largest packs, 65 and 75 liters have some extra features which are not available in the rest of them.
The rain cover
The cover is an extra bonus, it comes stored in its own pocket and it adds some $30 of value to this pack. Its weight is 74 grams, so if you feel you do not need it, leave it at home and you have an extra pocket for other purposes.
The Stout 45 is a classic top-loading pack with a floating lid and the collar underneath it. The collar is expandable so you can add some extra stuff, and then you can raise the lid to accommodate for this. There is also a strap that runs across the collar to cinch the load or to fix gear like a rope if you put it there under the lid.
There is yet another bottom access through a zippered entrance in the place where you normally have a sleeping bag compartment. In this case, this is just an entrance, there is no divider inside. Such a design you can find also in Gregory’s Maven 45 and Paragon 48 backpacks from their new 2017 series.
The harness and suspension system
The suspension system is what they call Trailflex suspension. It is based on a spring steel internal frame with 3 mm and 4 mm wishbone shape wire that transfers the load to the lumbar zone. This is a very flexible system designed to follow your body movement and to shave the weight.
As already pointed out above, the torso length is adjustable. This is a new and important feature which was missing in the previous version. I would say the most important change in general. All you have to do is to push the hand behind the harness and to break the Velcro and then to move the harness to the desired position. The adjustment range is 16 – 22 inches (41 – 56 cm) and you have a very precise fit, for any length in this range.
Note that there is a lot of confusion in the descriptions available on the Internet, and the same is if you check the pack on Amazon (follow the link given above) where the pictures are mixed with those from larger packs. This pack has no adjustability on the hip belt, this is only for the larger packs in the series.
The padding on the hip belt is not so impressive, to say the least. But the padding on the shoulder straps and in the lumbar zone is very good, and I do not see much difference from what you have in Gregory’s Maven and Paragon packs, or in their Zulu packs.
The big change is also in the back of the pack. It is now more flat as compared with the previous version, with foam and mesh, altogether quite comfortable Trailflex technology. They claim that it provides an enhanced airflow and increased comfort but do not expect a lot of ventilation here. You will be sweating a lot with this design. If the ventilation is very important better choose a pack from their Zulu series.
You have 7 pockets in total, plus a rain cover pocket. A large stretch mesh pocket is on the front, and you will notice it is completely different from the previous version of the Stout 45 backpack. The mentioned rain cover pocket is underneath this front pocket.
There are two side stretch mesh pockets, and you also have dual zippered pockets on the hip belt. One zippered pocket with 2 zipper pulls is on the lid, and one good zippered mesh pocket is underneath the lid.
The pack comes with dual non-removable compression straps on the bottom, here you can attach a sleeping pad or a tent.
There are two attachment loops on the bottom section, for trekking poles or ice axe attachment, and those are accompanied by two bungee tie-offs higher on the pack.
You also have very useful dual compression straps on the sides. This adds a lot of functionality; you can store any elongated object in the side pockets, like tent poles, tripod, or anything similar, and then fix it with both lower and upper straps.
Here is a short video by Gregory about their Stout series:
Pros & Cons
Here is my summary:
I find the pack a bit expensive, but the value corresponds to the price, this is a quality tool, and think also about the bonus rain cover. Perhaps you would like to know, there is no emergency whistle on the sternum strap.
Rating of the Gregory Stout 45 backpack for men
Volume to weight ratio - 9.5/10
Features and bonuses - 8.7/10
Comfort - 8.2/10
Price - 8.2/10
The volume-to-weight ratio gives the effective number of liters of volume per one kilogram of weight. It is impressive in this pack, no less than 34 l/kg.
User Review( votes)
Please feel free to add your rating here and also in the comment box below.
Specifications & summary of features
- Best use: hiking, mountaineering, backpacking, travel.
- Volume: 2746 cu in (45 l).
- Weight: 2 lb 13 oz (1.28 kg).
- Maximum carry weight: 40 lb (18 kg).
- Size: 29 x 13 x 11 in (74 x 33 x 28 cm).
- Torso fit: 16 – 22 in (41 – 56 cm).
- Waist fit: 25 – 53 in (64 – 135 cm).
- Adjustable torso length – Trailflex suspension.
- Adjustable sternum strap.
- Access: top & bottom.
- Floating top lid.
- Rain cover included.
- Hydration compatible.
– Frame: spring steel.
– Body: 200D x 900D dobby polyester and 210D ripstop polyester.
– Base: 630 ballistic polyester with 135 polyester reinforcements.
- Warranty: limited lifetime.
- Trailflex ventilation technology.
- Dual zippered hip belt pockets.
- Dual side pockets.
- Front stretch stuff pocket.
- Dual trekking pole attachment points.
- Dual compression and lash points.
- Colors: 2, see the pictures.
Comparison with competitors: Gregory Stout 45 vs Kelty Redwing 44 vs Osprey Kestrel 48
See how the Gregory Stout 45 compares with two other top packs in the same size range from other brands, to see more please follow the links:
*This is not compartment in the strict sense.
The prices of the three packs at the moment of writing this text (please follow the links for updates) are respectively, $155, 150, 125, so I would say appropriate for each of them.
In conclusion of this Gregory Stout 45 review, in spite of such an incredible weight, this pack has practically all features you need on the trail. Durable materials are used in its construction, yet the spring steel frame is very lightweight and flexible.
I wish to stress again the rain cover which is a bonus, it is essential in the Alps where I normally go for climbing, but this may be different for you.
I already mentioned that the pack is versatile. This is because of the following two things, a) the size, and b) harness adjustability.
- The size makes it suitable for both weekend and overnight tours, as well as for day tours. In the case of a small load, you can always cinch the volume down, there are straps for that purpose.
- The adjustable harness allows for several family members with very different torso lengths to use this pack, just break the Velcro and adjust it in seconds.
- It is also great for growing teenagers; such a pack will grow with them.
As you can see, the Stout 45 pack compares nicely with its top competitors. So yes, I can fully recommend this pack. If you need a smaller pack from the same series, here it is, the Gregory Stout 35. But if you need a pack for women with the same features, please check my Gregory Amber 44 review.
I hope this text has been useful, thank you for reading. Let me know what you think, there is a comment box below. I wish you a pleasant day.