Granite Gear Virga 3 Backpack

I used Granite Gear lightweight packs for about 20 years. Thousands of kilometres. A great product.

Finally switched to a Hyperlite Mountain Gear pack in 2019 for the aesthetics, water proofing, and durability.

But I’m still a fan of the Virga line.

… longtime Minnesota-based brand, Granite Gear. Its latest ultralight backpack, the Virga 3, is a top-to-bottom rethink of the previous Virga, with more inclusive sizing at the center of the new design. …

The Virga 3 isn’t the first size-inclusive backpack, but it’s among the first explicitly made for an ultralight audience. It’s frameless, designed to carry 25 pounds or less, and weighs in at 27 ounces for the 55-liter version (the 26-liter pack totals 20 ounces).  …

… accommodates waists from 28 – 42 inches (26 – 40 inches for the women’s model), and is exchangeable for a larger ReFit belt that fits waist sizes from 36 – 52 inches for no additional cost.  …

Granite Gear’s Size-Inclusive Ultralight Pack Is a Step in the Right Direction

I like the looks of the Virga 3, as well.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

TSA Confiscated My TINY Pocketknife

I’d made dozens of flights with a tiny Swiss Army knife in my carry-on without a problem.

But flying out of Vegas, the TSA told me that NONE were allowed — not even those with blades no longer than 2.36 inches long and no wider than 1/2 inch.

Those were allowed at one time but are not in USA 2023.

items confiscated at Calgary Airport

related – Flying with a Camping Stove in your carry-on luggage.

Many have had clean camping stoves confiscated from their personal luggage.

I put my pot in one carry-on bag. The tiny screw-in stove part mixed in with other small electronics and metal pieces in another bag.

So far that’s worked for me. I don’t check luggage for a hiking trip unless absolutely necessary.

Continental Divide Trail Gear 2022

Mac posted his annual statistics on the Continental Divide Trail.

Most important to hikers is finding out what gear works best over that long haul.

Most Common CDT Backpacks

  1. ULA Circuit
  2. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest
  3. Zpacks Arc Haul

Most Common CDT Shelters

  1. Zpacks Duplex
  2. Zpacks Plex Solo
  3. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1

Most Common CDT Sleeping Bags/Quilts

  1. Enlightened Equipment Revelation
  2. Enlightened Equipment Enigma
  3. Western Mountaineering Versalite

Most Common CDT Sleeping Pads

  1. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite
  2. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite – Women’s
  3. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite, Short

Most Common CDT Insulated Jackets

  1. Enlightened Equipment Torrid (Men’s/Women’s)
  2. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody (Men’s/Women’s)
  3. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 (Men’s/Women’s)

Most Common CDT Shells

  1. Outdoor Research Helium (Men’s/Women’s)
  2. Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite2
  3. Montbell Versalite (Men’s/Women’s)

There’s much, much more:

Continental Divide Trail Hiker Survey (2022)

Pacific Crest Trail GEAR 2022

Details on Mac’s Halfway Anywhere Pacific Crest Trail Hiker Survey (2022)

There is much, much more on the Halfway Anyway survey results page.

Pa’lante V2 Backpack

I’m currently VERY happy with my Hyperlite.


But the Pa’lante V2 does have some features to envy.

And the $240 cost is very competitive.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Jupiter of JupiterHikes has used a series of Pa’lante packs on his thousands of miles of thru hikes. I found his personal review of the Pa’lante evolution both interesting and entertaining.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

%d bloggers like this: