Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70 Backpack

Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70 Backpack


An excellent balance of weight and performance,
the Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70 comfortably carries loads of up to 60 pounds while weighing
just four pounds. Let’s take a closer look at this award winning pack. I have taken off the Nimbus Trace Access 70
so we can take a closer look at its suspension system and its organizational features. We
will start with that suspension system. So let me turn the pack around. And you can see
definitely some unique construction here on the pack. And it is construction that has
that balanced focus of being able to carry weight, but also not adding undue weight to
the pack itself. So underneath here you can see the molded
Nimbus frame sheet, composite material here that gives it really, really nice structure
and stability, again, without adding a whole lot of weight to the pack. You can see the
padding that extends down the back, across the lumbar section of the pack. So nice padding
there, but some nice breathability because of the way that is cut. And, again, some weight
savings as well. You have got padded contoured shoulder straps.
You have got padded and contoured hip belt as well. As is the case with several of Granite
Gear’s larger back packs, there is some customization that can be done on the pack.
So to begin with, it comes in two different torso length options, a short which fits from
14 to 18 inches or a regular size, which fits torsos ranging from 18 to 22 inches. For further
customization you can choose to size up or down on the harness. And you can go with a
hip belt option that best fits your waist size. All of those designed to really help you dial
in your fit. In each case, there is still some adjustability on the hip belt. On the harness itself you have got the sliding
adjustable sternum strap. You have got the load lifter straps up above. So just a lot
of thought put into the design on the Nimbus Trace Access 70 to insure that while you are
carrying large loads and a lot of weight, you are also getting a really custom fit. Now let’s take a look at how the pack is
organized and how you get into the pack. So I will spin it the other direction. You can
see right here on the front that there is the ability to lash gear right to the face
of the pack. Those compression straps allow you to do that. They also allow you to really
cinch down the load, but we will just get that out of the way so we can look at the
pack itself. It is a lidded pack. So you have got storage
in that lid. You have got coverage of the pack bag itself. You also have a large roll
top spindrift collar here at the top of the pack bag. I have got a lot of gear inside
this pack, but a lot of room to put even more gear, even more clothes. So a lot of expandable
capacity there. The height of the lid can be adjusted to accommodate
when you have got that spindrift collar really blown out or filled. But it can also cinch
down when that is not the case, as you are seeing it set up right now. It also can come
off entirely when it is just not needed and you are looking to save some weight. It is not the only way to get into the pack
here at the top. You also can get into the pack from an interesting panel on the front
of the pack. If I pull these zippers up with a little bit of a Velcro attachment point
there, and that gets you right into that sizable interior capacity of the pack. You will see
that Granite Gear has included some internal compression there, nice design. Everything
stayed exactly where I put it in the first place. You can cinch those down as tight as
you need to. You don’t need them at all, tuck them to the side and keep them out of
play entirely. Nice feature there on a pack of this size
instead of just having to go the whole way in through the top of the pack. Big stretch
pocket here on the face of the pack, so some nice organization there as well. And we already
showed off how you can lash gear to the front of the pack as well. A couple of other organizational features
to call out here on the pack, certainly the side stretch mesh pockets. You have got one
on either side of the pack. I have got a sleeping pad stuffed away here on that one and a water
bottle on the other side. On higher above that on each side of the pack, you have got
a small zippered pocket. You have got a head lamp stuffed in there. For me I really kind
of like the stretch mesh design on that pocket. Because of the zipper they are very secure.
You can put things in there without any worry of losing them along the way. But because
of that mesh design you aren’t bound by a certain shape to the pocket. So a nice little
place to be able to put just about anything and everything. It almost gives you the opportunity
to over stuff it to a certain degree. We talked about the compression straps on
the side, on the front of the pack. Certainly allows you to cinch down the load on this
pack regardless of how full it is or isn’t, but the other upside is you have got all kinds
of gear stashing potential here, ability for you to lash it to the exterior of the pack.
So instead of just having the space on the inside, you have also got all kinds of external
space to take advantage of. With its load hauling capability, that balance
in terms of the weight of the pack itself, some really nice organizational features for
a pack of this size, it is easy to see why the Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70 has
won awards.

6 thoughts on “Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70 Backpack

  1. A great and sincere review. Thanks. I am looking for a big camera/video load hauler. Is this a durable pack, or does it seem fragile? Thanks. We will probably never meet so I will wish you a great life.

  2. No home run,…but it could have been. After receiving my new NTA 85 size Short today I was at first impressed with seeing it's well done aspects, so after checking the torso adjustment recommended and finding it on the 16" setting (which is my torso size), I loaded it with 30 lbs to check the feel. That's when my disappointment set in. Several huge design flaws became very evident and makes this a pack that will not work for anyone, PERIOD. I know this is going to hurt sales of this pack, but my number one concern is for the end user's fine experience. The following is a synopsis of my experience:
    1. The size M hip belt that it came with when fully tightened was slightly too big to stay in place walking around, though I used the sizing chart on Granite Gear's web site the Medium called for there is too great in circumference when cinched as tight as it will around my 30" waist/33" hips. Its fit was only snug at the bottom, so it would squiggle down a bit as I walked. Rigid and vertical without any ability to cant to the shape when in position, so the very bottom edge digs in causing numbing in a matter of minutes and from the middle of the belt to the top edge there's no contact at all; standing off my body 1" of air. I'm a small 66 year old man 5’8” with an athletic build, a 30" waist and 33" hips. The hip belt doesn't cant with my hip shape. May be easy to remedy with an exchange for a women's small size; but probably not considering the rest of the design flaws and here they are.
    2. Remember, it's a total 30 lbs including the pack and I loaded the items properly. I put on the pack, cinched the hip belt as tight as it could go, tightened shoulder straps, sternum strap and then the load lifters. Oh yeah, the load lifters when snugged were horizontal and at the end of adjustment, which caused the shoulder straps to tighten excessively to the point that I could tell this was an unsolvable problem. It's well known that the load lifters optimum angle is 45 degrees; acceptable between 30-60 degrees and these were zero. This means that the physical height of the pack is 4"-5" shorter than they needed to be correct by design. If actually used for even a day this alone would make the pack unbearable, due to the pull back pressure they put on the shoulder straps. There's no solution for this outside of complete redesign making the pack body 4"-5" taller and bringing their lateral location toward the center of the shoulder straps. (FYI, I spent two hours in adjusting from 17" to 18" where now they were a negative angle wrapping around and down the shoulder straps causing even more stress on top of my shoulders, too. I even tried the 15" adjustment with only a 5 degree rise and that's not even close.
    3. With a secured 30 lb. load the pack wobbles and sways out of control with every step to the point that I could now see that Granite Gear has a great need for designers that actually have backpacking experience and people to test in the field to give them real feedback from use. That's where I come in. I'm doing R&D for several companies whose names I cannot mention that respect the knowledge of experience with good pay; primarily so they don't end up putting themselves out of business with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on some know-nothings brain flatulence. I'm estimating hundreds of thousands of dollars lost with the production of this pack alone; not to mention the damage to reputation. Gross mismanagement there.
    4. The maple core frame is another flop. When on it's very uncomfortable and restrictive due to having no flexion. Forget about shaping to the curve of your back to adjust this. The edges of the maple core sheet are rough sawn and as they're not sanded smooth will accelerate the corners wearing through the two 2" wide corner pockets where they are supporting the top of the pack.
    5. Other points of improvement needed are, the shoulder strap padding needs to be more comfortable, the yoke sucks and so does the one point connection of the hip belt. This is probably the reason it's so uncontrollable. I'm always looking toward a better mouse trap, but now that I've tried this maple core panel, I'm not impressed with the fit, nor does it appear that it will endure the rigors of extended trail use.
    All this from an ooold trail tramper since the '60s that was trying to go a bit lighter. I'm not on the ultralight groove, but cutting my base weight by 4lbs/4ozs was my endeavor, without sacrificing all that I like about my Arc'teryx Bora 80. Yeah, it's heavy even empty at 8lbs/8ozs, but I can carry 42-50 lbs in comfort and it's married to me with every move I make. I see my error in trusting some award winning baloney about this pretender.
    What the GG NTA 85 has I do like is great materials and manufacturing, the front double zip access, a roll top, etc. GG, but as pretentious as this is you don't get to second base. You're out, when it could have been a home run. 1 star too many.

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