Gregory Savant 58 Backpack

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Manufacturer Description

The largest pack in the All Mountain pack line is ideal for extended trips when you need to carry a little more. A great companion to take backpacking, climbing or traveling around the world. The sturdy wishbone frame lets you carry everything you might need for your outing.

Features

  • Intuition 3D Suspension
  • Water-resistant roll top style top pocket
  • Large horse-shoe zipper access to main pack body
  • Breathable, molded foam backpanel, harnesses and waistbelt
  • Side stash, zippered quick access pocket
  • External hydration access
  • Side and bottom compression
  • Dual axe/tool attachment points
  • Top lid security pocket
  • Integrated, color-matched raincover
  • 4 mm gauge wire used for the wishbone internal frame suspension
  • 10 mm EVA foam for waistbelt
  • 12 mm EVA foam for harness
  • Tested size Medium
    • Weight -1650 g (3 lb 9 oz)
    • Volume – 58 liters (3539 cu in)
    • Torso Length – 45.7 – 50.8 cm (18 – 20 in)
  • Retail – $200

YMMV Review

Gregory makes solid packs. Gregory has been making backpacks since 1977, and I imagine plenty of those are still in use. My history with them goes back over 12 years to when I was a mountain guide. My guiding pack was a Gregory Denali Pro. This pack I have reviewed for the site as it is still the same model they sell today. Why change a good thing right? The Denali Pro still hangs in my garage ready for whatever trip I may have for it. It is truly a durable and well designed pack.

Savant from the Front – Click to See Larger

For YMMV Reviews, I have had the opportunity to also test some of their newer designs with excellent results. The Fury 24 was designed for fast and light adventures and has been another good example of their quality. The Savant series is new to Gregory. An All-Mountain collection with some interesting new features that I have not used in a pack. I was excited to get it out on the trail and put it through some good testing.

Testing

To test the Savant, I got it out on the trail. I took it on several hikes ranging from 2-3 days. Most of the hikes had some steady ups and downs. Weather was pretty good during the testing with only a bit of rain. Most of the days were about 6 miles in hiking length.

Side View – Click to See Larger

Design ★★★☆☆

Appearance (10%) ★★★☆☆

Construction (30%) ★★★★☆

Features (15%) ★★★½☆

Storage (20%) ★★★½☆

Sustainability (10%) ★☆☆☆☆

Weight (15%) ★★½☆☆

The Savant is part of Gregory’s All Mountain Collection. The Savant is the men’s version, and the Sage is the women’s. The 58 is the largest of three men’s sizes. There are 48 liter and 38 liter versions as well. The Savant is ideal for extended trips. There are lots of pockets and storage locations for those that like to keep stuff organized. The series uses a non-adjustable Intuition 3D Suspension. Since the suspension is not adjustable, there are three different suspension sizes for proper fit. The Intuition 3D Suspension has a streamlined design for comfort and weight savings. The backpanel has cross ridges with moisture-wicking mesh to provide cooling support across the back. The pack uses a lightweight wishbone wire frame that provides good load transfer with only a single stay. The 3D harnesses and waist belts use a moisture wicking mesh to pull moisture away from these contact points and reduce the chance of discomfort. The hipbelt is nice and wide to contour around your hips and spread the weight out.

On each hipbelt, there is a zippered pocket to stash items on the go. The hipbelt webbing is routed underneath the pockets, so they can maintain shape even when on. The clip itself uses a reverse pull which is more ergonomic as well as easier to tighten. The shoulder straps have an adjustable sternum strap to customize the fit. Both the hipbelts and the shoulder straps have stabilizers to further adjust the fit and ride of the Savant. The Savant 58 has an interesting top lid. Instead of your standard zippered top lid, this one is a roll-top closure which makes it more weatherproof. Gregory only calls the lid water resistant, but they did tape all the seams so it is essentially waterproof, just not guaranteed. This top pocket is really large meaning you can stuff a lot in there. If you are worried about things getting wet, it is also important to note that there is an integrated waterproof cover in its own hidden pocket. This cover is made to fit the Savant and will cover the bulk of the pack.

From the Back – Click to See Larger

Underneath the lid, there is a small stash pocket that can be used for smaller items you need to keep secure. Speaking of stash pockets, there is a small zippered pocket on the right side of the pack near the stretch mesh pockets. The mesh side pockets are similar to other packs and are great for water bottles, tent poles, or other items to get stowed away. The main pocket is large and does not have any dividers. I mention this as some packs have a separate sleeping bag compartment. The hydration system hangs in the main pocket up against the back. What is nice is that the access to this hydration pocket is actually from the top and is separate from the main compartment. Making it easier to use when on the go. The top of the main compartment has a standard cinch closure that is easy to operate. The top, however, is not the only way to access the main compartment. The Savant has a large horseshoe-shaped zipper that opens up the whole front of the pack for easy-access inside. On the front, the pack is finished off with a large drop in stash pocket.

The Savant also has many of the small additions you expect to have on a full-featured backpack. There 8 webbing loops on the front, 4 to a side for attaching items. The Savant has dual axe loops with Velcro attachment points for carrying your tools. The sides have two compression straps to secure the load while the bottom has its own pair, which is also good at carrying a pad. Lastly, there is a webbing strap and clip that runs over the top of the main compartment which is an excellent place to carry a climbing rope if needed. The Gregory Savant comes in at under 4 pounds in all three sizes and has been rated to optimally carry 35 pounds of gear.

Top Pocket Undone – Click to See Larger

There is not a lot of information in regard to the materials used in the pack. The main material seems to be ripstop nylon while many of the contact points use mesh. I was not able to find much information about the sustainability of these materials, so I expect there is nothing to be found. Most companies like to highlight this if it has been used. I also did not find much on any corporate initiatives surrounding sustainability. I would like to point out that Gregory does support a variety of charitable organizations that benefit the outdoors. For these reasons, I gave the Savant a one for sustainability.

Fit ★★★½☆

Adjustability (15%) ★★★☆☆

Back Comfort (20%) ★★★½☆

Ease of Movement (20%) ★★★☆☆

Padding (10%) ★★★☆☆

Strap Comfort (20%) ★★★☆☆

Torso Sizing (15%) ★★★★☆

This is not my first Gregory pack, and since I had such tremendous luck with the Denali in a medium size I went with the medium in the Savant. I figured that this would fit similarly in that the torso length would be right on, and I would be nearly at the tightest point in the waist belt. This is exactly what happened again. For reference, I am about 5 feet 11 inches and have a 32-inch waist. I would not go with any other size but can’t lose too much weight or the waistbelt might be too big. I only have a couple of inches to spare. The hipbelt uses 10 mm of EVA foam for cushioning while the shoulder straps use 12 mm. I found that this amount of cushioning was just right for a medium-weight pack. I generally had about 25-30 pounds in my pack, and the Savant carried it well. It has been rated to carry up to 35 pounds optimally and would agree that this should be no problem. I do not think it would be ideal to carry too much with the Savant as it has only a single stay to help distribute the weight.

Top Pocket Rolled – Click to See Larger

The weight distribution of the Savant was well done. Of course at 25-30 pounds the pack is not overly large but after a couple of hours you can start to tell how it is doing. For me, I have so many weeklong trips with my Denali Pro that the Savant just felt like a lighter version of that similar Gregory feel that I am used to. Both the shoulder straps and hipbelt felt comfortable and did not rub me wrong. They were not as plush as my Denali but also did not need to be. The mesh felt comfortable to the skin, but I do want to say that I never tried it directly on the skin. I do not think I would ever plan to wear a pack without a shirt any ways, that seems like unneeded discomfort to me. All the straps worked as supposed to. I really like having stabilizer straps that work as designed, these can make a big difference in fine-tuning the fit. They are also great places to make subtle adjustments when on the trail. The backpanel has a ridged design to provide some air channels and keep your back cool. It does have a slightly rougher feel to it than others I have tested, which was not my favorite. After a couple of minutes, I would not notice it, it just was not an “ooh that feels soft” type of feeling.

Suspension System – Click to See Larger

Hiking with the Savant 58 was easy to do as it moves fairly well as you do. The shoulder straps, in particular, are able to move with your arms. This is good for me as I almost always use trekking poles and straps that get in the way of my arm swing become very annoying really quickly. The waistbelt is sewn directly into the backpanel which does restrict a bit of its movement. It is not bad, but I have had packs that are a bit more mobile. I should mention that, for the most part, they were all smaller than the 58. I am not sure if this is the same all the way down to the 38 model, and if it is, then I can definitely there are similar packs that have more mobility.

Performance ★★★½☆

Durability (25%) ★★★½☆

Ease of Use (25%) ★★★☆☆

Hydration (10%) ★★½☆☆

Use of Space (10%) ★★★½☆

Versatility (10%) ★★★½☆

Weight Distribution (20%) ★★★½☆

I have really enjoyed using the Savant 58. I had high expectations for the pack, and it has not left me down. I must say that I truly did not get the opportunity to thoroughly hammer on this pack as I did my Denali Prowhen I was a mountain guide, but it held up good to the little abuse I did give it. All the material used is very robust and have not shown any issues thus far. While we may not have a lot of mud and rain to deal with there are plenty of rocks, and sharp ones at that and the Savant has held up well. It easily carried all my gear for a couple of nights out on the trail and depending on the type of trip, I could use it for up to a week out. I found that the mesh on the back panel, shoulder straps, and waistbelt did a good job pulling moisture away, but the backpanel did not breath super well. I find that most packs don’t, no matter what type of back panel they have unless the wind is blowing. Even with some wind it did still have a tendency to be a bit warmer than a similar trampoline type suspension system. On the other hand, I did like the external access to the hydration compartment. Unlike trampoline style suspension systems, the hydration compartment is much easier to use. Herein lies the tradeoff, either more breathability for your back or easier packing. Take your pick. I did find, however, that the fuller your pack was the harder it would be to get the reservoir and even more importantly in if you have to refill it on the go. A generally used a large bladder to avoid this but something worth noting if you are in a really hot environment.

Pack Front Closed – Click to See Larger

As far as the other pockets go, I really liked the main compartment. I am a bit of an organizational packer so being able to access stuff with the large horseshoe zipper was awesome. This was especially handy when you got to camp, and you only wanted to get a couple of things out without exposing all your items to the elements. You can get out what you need easily and quickly. The other pocket I really like to have is the security pocket under the lid, mesh side pockets, and large outer stash pocket. All this I find is almost required on a backpack for me. If not required, then they definitely are a big plus to have. The side stash pocket is an interesting pocket. I am still not sure what I would use it for. I have never had a pocket there and never thought I really needed one. I found it a little tight when I had a lot of stuff in the adjacent mesh pocket so this also might have caused me to use it less. Conversely, the pockets on the hipbelt are very functional. Some pockets tend to get too tight when you go to actually use them as the tight belt pulls them smaller. This is not the case with these; they work well even when the pack is in use.

Horseshoe Zipper Access – Click to See Larger

On all my trips, I did not get more than sprinkle to test the pack in. While this is great for me, it is not the best for this review as I did not get to test the roll top pockets water resistance. Looking at the pocket it seems like it would be able to take a lot, and I am truly not sure why it would really need to. With the integrated pack cover if it was going to be rainy for a while, I would just pull it out and protect my whole pack, not just the top pocket. I did like how big the pocket itself was. You could stuff a whole lot in there if you pleased though it does make it harder to find things quickly. I also found the pocket a bit more difficult to close. It takes a couple of times rolling it and securing it before you do not have to think much and do it. One thing that is lost with this type of pocket is being able to have either a buddy or yourself if you are very dexterous get something out of your top pocket with your pack on. It can be done but is definitely not very easy. I know it is not the lightest pack for its size, but I personally appreciate having the extra straps and attachment points to be able and carry everything I need comfortable. With compression straps, axe holders, webbing loops, and other additions, it allows you to carry items stability without having to MacGyver a solution on a pack with not enough attachment points.

Security Pocket – Click to See Larger

Overall ★★★½☆

Overall, I really like Gregory Packs. They make some solid packs that not only carry things well but will last a long time. The Savant 58 joins the list of a well-done pack, in my opinion. There are many features, which make it great for trips ranging from overnight to up to a week depending on how you pack. If you are like me and have a place for everything, then you will love this pack. There are several pockets and a horseshoe zippered opening to access the main compartment from the front. The Savant also has a water resistant top pocket and included pack cover. There are a couple of things that are a bit of a challenge. Some of the pockets get a bit tight when the pack is full, namely the stash pocket and the hydration compartment. The roll-top pocket also takes some getting used to. It has some great pros to it but also some limitations. If you are looking for a good multi day pack, take a look at the Savant 58. It comes in several sizes and volumes to get you what you need. With Gregory, you know you are getting a quality backpack. The Gregory Savant 58 will retail for $200, which I think is a fair price. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros [fieldĀ name=iFrame]

  • Durable
  • Lots of pockets
  • Separate hydration compartment
  • Good weather resistance with top pocket and raincover
  • Loved the front panel access
  • Has all the needed extras

Cons

  • Some pockets harder to use when full
  • Roll top takes practice to use correctly
  • Some limited mobility at the hips

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Adventures

About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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