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Submitted: 09-06-2011 by Will Tanner

Granite Gear Testimonial: In summer 2011, along with three other young men, I canoed to York Factory on the Hudson Bay from Grand Portage on Lake Superior. The 1300 mile adventure took 77 days – the success of which we owe in large part to Granite Gear. The small-town Minnesota company provided us with 6 of their expedition packs, four Superior Ones and two Queticos. The Superior Ones are honkin’ huge, which we used for personal gear and food. The Queticos are still spacious and were used for our trail gear. I want to commend Granite Gear for four features I found exceptional in these packs: (1) durability, (2) adjustable space, (3) waist and chest strap buckles, and (4) lift handles.

First and foremost, let it be stated, we used and abused these packs. And they took it – in flying colors. There is little visible wear after a summer of pretty constant portaging, loading and unloading of canoes, sunshine, pouring rain, and, on the odd occasion, complete submersion in a rapid.

The many adjustable side and cover straps allowed us to fill the packs to the max, past a recommended carrying weight. They cinched down well as we ate through food and accommodated whatever we threw at them. The straps attached with buckles, which permitted further additions to the pack externally. And not one buckle broke, which surprised me.

The waist and chest straps distributed the weight of the pack across and around the body more evenly. This is a feature I’d experienced on hiking backpacks, but not yet on traditional canoe packs. Very much appreciated, as canoe packs are generally loaded heavier than backpacks. Though canoe packs are usually intended to be portaged over the shortest possible, we started our journey with the 8.5 mile Grand Portage, so I voice great thanks for the added support.

The accessible and sturdy lift handles made loading and unloading the canoes and throwing the packs up for portaging much easier than the regular grasping of the cover corners.

In summary, these are solid packs. Well made. Well engineered. I would recommend anyone thinking about an expedition canoe trip or even a once-a-year-wilderness warrior to seriously consider investing in one of these packs.

- Will Tanner, Voyageur Hudson Bay Expedition

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