I believe that the one I have is the 1999 model. I'm about 5'8", 140lbs and have carried about 40-45 lbs max with it.
The pack is extremely comfortable. I like the fact that the hip belt has creases every few inches so it hugs my small waist well. I used to have the Arc Teryx Bora 80. The Bora 80 had a hip belt with rigid padding so that it didn't contour well around my hips. I also thought that the padding was extremely thick and bulky. The Palisade on the other hand felt great. If need be, the top portion can be converted into a fanny pack when you want to leave the rest of the pack behind.
The 1L Nalgene pocket is a little hard to get to when wearing the pack, but it works better than other packs that have shallow pockets where you'd risk losing them. I've noticed that the new version of the Palisade has a tilted water bottle pocket so they must of addressed the "problem".
This pack has been my workhorse for two years. I've also scouted out the current model (I recommended it to a friend) and the design looks the same.
I've used it on a day trip up a mountain (I'm usually the "sherpa" for my son and other family members) up to a four-day hike into the mountains. I've also really enjoyed it on mountain overnighters where you carry all your gear up to camp and then just the essentials for the summit climb.
I've carried as much as about 60-65 lbs. and it always amazes me how comfortable and balanced the pack feels even fully loaded down. The suspension on the pack gives me enough options to make subtle adjustments during a long day.
I never seem to have a problem organizing my gear and getting at stuff when I need it. The top pocket offers a lot of room for those items you need to get at quickly. The pocket on the back of the pack also provides room for essentials. My sleeping bag fits nicely into the pocket in the bottom of the pack and I can usually get a couple extra items in there. The sleeping bag pocket also offers another option to access items in the bottom of the main compartment. Between the daisy chains and other options on the outside of the pack I can always store my gear neatly and securely.
My one complaint is with the water bottle pockets on the side. They are a little difficult to get at.
Overall, I think the pack is very versatile for a variety of uses. If I were to own only one pack this would be it.
Bought this pack in 1998, backpacked around New Zealand for 6 months and have used it consistently since then. For week long b-packing trips but also as a pack to take to a base camp and then use to summit with as well. If you get it fitted correctly, it just hugs you and carries loads really well. Gregory will switch out shoulder straps and pads as well as hip belts if needed. This pack is extremely durable if a little heavy, the only thing I wish it had was an access to the main compartment from the front pocket. Otherwise, it's wonderful!
I just bought this pack from REIOutlet.com for only $175. It isn't the latest version, but it is the version shown in the picture above. I have yet to take it on a big hike, but I have loaded it with about 45 lbs. and tested it out on a short hike. It was pretty comfortable and performed well going up and down steep hills on a not too rocky trail. My last pack was a huge REI external frame and I enjoy the feel and sound (no creaks) of the palisade much more. I have the medium size of this pack which is about 4800 cubic inches. The latest version has every size of the pack slightly bigger, so my medium is similar in size to the new small. Update: After a 50 mile backpacktrip, I am still very happy with this pack. I could fit a bear cannister into it horizontally which allowed all of my other gear to fit well. Very comfortable.
I purchased mine in 2003 so I have the newer model (tilted nalgene pocket etc.) I was amazed at how comfortable this pack is with a full load in it. (40-50lbs) The medium size fits me snugly (5'-10", 190lbs) andI didn't have any problems with the weight shifting or throwing me off balance in steep/exposed terrain. It hugs to your body like a spider monkey. The compression straps on the sides and lack of bulky side pockets make lashing trekking poles or snowshoes easy and convenient.
I have used my Paisade climbing Mt. Shasta and on weeklong back country trips in the Sierras. For the fit, price and versatility, this is an excelent pack for a multitude of uses.
I would have to agree with ClimberKristin in wanting access to the main compartment through the pocket, but it does allow you to really stuff the main compartment without worry of blowing out a zipper or opening a velcro flap. I took off a star for the lack of a traditional hydration pocket. I am somewhat amazed that this pack did not include one.
This is my really my first pack for extended multiday treks, and it has been a blast wherever used. From fitting it in the store to 30 miles later of trail, it never felt like it needed to broken in.
Overall, I like the simplicity of the main pocket, which allows me to pack and divide stuff as I prefer. I can't say that I have ever used the outside access to get into the main pocket. The main pocket also expands considerably, which is nice for times when you need to stuff and run for weather or other reasons. The top pocket also detaches to form a hipbelt, but I'm not sure how useful it would be in those regards.
In terms of packs, I am not a big fan of extra bells and whistles, and the Palisade fits me in those regards. The nicest feature is the easily accessible water bottle pocket, which makes akward movements a thing of the past.
With 60 pounds in mine on a multiday trip, my shoulders and hips never felt overally fatigued and the pack was extremely comfortable throughout. I would highly recommend this to any members new to backpacking, and though the cost is a bit high, the comfort is worth it.
I've used this pack and other Gregorys, and this review will apply equally to most of their larger packs. Gregory makes a very durable pack, and, consequently, some of the heaviest packs on the market. The Palisade is a good example of this: advertised as one of their simple, stripped-down packs, it's covered in extra junk, junk made of heavy-duty fabric and secured with oversize webbing, buckles, and zippers. If it weren't for the excessively heavy frame, this pack might be fixed by careful application of scissors to remove most of the 'features'.
Despite the several features intended to help with fit, I found this pack to be stiff in the back, and with an excessive spinal curve that just didn't match my back.
The Palisade, like all of Gregory's packs, is well designed and built. However, it belongs to the old 'take-it-all-with-you' school of 80's backpacking. These packs for those who can't leave the house for an overnight with less than 60 lbs., an attitude that Gregory as a company has helped foster.
If this pack fits well, it carries 50 lbs. comfortably. But if you need to carry that much, why not get an Osprey, a Dana, any other pack that is both lighter and has a better frame.
most of the following applies to Gregory packs in general. the Palisade carrys weight extremely well, if the pack is fitted properly. Gregory will provide different sizes parts, frames, belts, mix & match. Gregory packs are generally heavier than other packs, but this weight goes toward making a more solid pack. I've carried 70lbs in my Palisade, and it felt like 55 in my Kelty or Dana. THe fabrics the pack is made of are very very durable. I have friends who've done things to their pack that would have killed a lesser pack.
Used this pack once for a 22 mile trip. I had it loaded with about 40 lbs and some of the seems looked as though they were going to pull apart. The pack holds a lot, but is very uncomfortable. The hip belt is hard and the shoulder straps have barely any padding. By the end of the hike my shoulders were killing me, the pack was adjusted right but didnt transfer the weight into the legs. Packs are a personal prefrence so try them on and try and get one at a place that will let you return them after use just incase you dont like it.
if you go for a week or more but total overkill for a weekend. I ended up using mine only on a Denali trip for which it worked well. Maybe I will use it again for some winter trips.
Carries fine and I like the front pockets.
I don't like the Nalgene holster, when it's warm I use a bladder and when it is cold you can't carry a Nalgene outside the pack or insulated holder anyway!
I purchased my first Gregory Palisade in about 2000 and loved it using on an many weekend and long term backpack trips through 2007 covering at least 1,000 miles. Apart from a few minor design features I would like to have on the pack, I loved it. It fit well and carried heavy mountaineering loads up to 70 pounds in comfort.
Prior to the start of the 2008 season I decided to upgrade to the latest various of the Palisade noticing that many new features were added including center opening, internal water bladder, and sloping external water bottle holder. Unfortunately, one key feature that I really liked on the previous model I really liked was also changed, specifically the hip suspension system. After a few weekend trips then my long term 110mile trek, I just couldn’t seem to get the fit correctly and distribute the weight properly.
My intention was to use the pack and work to get the fit right. On our first outing of this year, I snow backpack in cold weather on San Jacinto carrying a full load of winter gear, the pack seemed to get worse being off centered. I noticed when we returned home that the plastic hip system had literally broken on one side. This either occurred do the cold temperature, 15 degrees at night, or just because of the heavy load.
Regardless, I decided to return the pack to the retailer where I purchased it, who provides a money back guarantee. Too bad! I really liked my previous Palisade and in fact still have it and will use it for my rock climbing gear pack.
I have decided on another manufacturer as a replacement.
ok, so this thing with the broken hip suspensiom issue that keeps coming up. i had this happen to me after putting about 100 rugged miles on this pack. basically the plastic hip-belt support cracks and tears in half. this is unheard of to many gregory dealers and long-time users, who view gregory as the ultimate in reliability. here's the deal. a while ago gregory mixed a bad batch of plastic. they didn't realize it till the stock was shipped out. 5% of their product was defective. fortunately gregory is good about it, we explained the problem, and they are replacing my pack with their fixed one, free to cost, they even picked it up from my doorstep.
just get it fixed. don't let this problem put you off. it is the best, most indestructible, comfortable, reliable pack i have ever owned. i've sent it through hell and it's come out on top.
gregory's patented hip belt is a dream come true. it custom tunes to your size and hip angle. It also moves with the motion of your hips, making it so the bag does not rock from side to side while walking. this pack also works well as a technacle bag.
A rubber waterproof bottom makes it so you neer have to worry about what you set the bag down on.
the 80 liters makes this capable of going huge distances and several weeks if you know what you are doing.
I have a number of hiking/climbing partners who have VERY expensive packs, and I've tried all of theirs. This pack (although expensive as well) is by far better. I think it is more suited for taller folks, but it can be adjusted rather easily. I can comfortably pack enough gear and supplies to sustain myself in EXTREMELY cold conditions for roughly a week.
I bought this backpack for mainly Winter backpacking.
I'm only 5'4" and weight only 110lbs, thus this 75L pack is kinda big and heavy for me, but I have to carry lots of stuff when I go backpacking in the Winter season. Ane I need very reliable and confortable one. Yes, this is the one.
Since I started using this backpack, I brought it to the Buckskin Gulch, Grand Canyon, Yosemite for multi day backpacking trip.
When I bought this pack, I checked all the other brand and tried it on. As a designwise, I like Ospley, but unfortunately it didn't fit me well.
Gregory made a pack very simple, but very comfortable and reliable.
Most of the time, I pack 35-45 lbs in it (again...I'm weight only 110 lbs) and its more than 1/3 of my body weight. But, I have never get any problem carrying this backpack in any condition.
I'm really happy to use this backpack. This is one of the best gear I ever got.