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Gear Review



Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: Shasta

Manufacturer: Gregory

Your Opinion: 
 - 10 Votes


Page By: Josh

Created/Edited: Dec 13, 2001 / Dec 13, 2001

Object ID: 67

Hits: 4131 


The Shasta is one of Gregory's all-time most popular packs and is favored by those who appreciate its clean, versatile lines and multi-functionality. You can customize the Shasta by adding two external pockets, each holding an additional 280 cubic inches. Climbers will like the dual daisy chains and ice axe loops, while skiers will appreciate the way the V-pull compression straps hold their skis. The floating top pocket means you can overstuff the pack but still close it up.


Viewing: 1-10 of 10

GuitarWIzardUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Having upgraded to the new 2002 Shasta from the previous model, I am quite satisfied with the new one. With a size Small (4,700 cubic inches), I managed to swallow a Dana Designs Pattar tent with the footprint and rainfly; XGK stove, fuel, and food for a couple days; winter camp clothing, etc. without any problems. The compression straps seem to be a hair shorter on the new pack versus the older model, which was kinda annoying when lashing my foam pad to it, but I managed. The waterbottle holder that is designed to eject your bottle when you bend over is useless....thank God they have an elastic cord to wrap around your bottle. For easy hiking on relatively flat terrain, it probably wouldn't be much of an issue, but for mountaineering......a mesh pouch in its' place would've been much more welcome. The weight savings is quite noticable, and is a comfortable pack. It does not seem as stiff as the previous model, but handled 40lbs with no problems....not sure if I would want to surpass say, 50-55lbs though. If you want a pack that's light, durable, can lash 10 tons of gear to, and quite capable of some (not all) winter pursuits, you should definitely look into this pack. Minus the waterbottle pouch and a little stiffer, this would get 5 stars...
Posted Feb 25, 2002 2:35 am

43moonUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

I have been able to pack a lot of gear into this pack. I have never run out of room with the use of compression sacks for my tent, sleeping bag and clothes.

I have to agree with the other review, the bottle holder is not a highlight of this pack. The pack does work with a bladder, but the internal pouch can be a little cramped with a three liter bladder.

There are a lot of places where you can attach items to the outside of the bag. The removable fannypack/lid is a plus in my book. It recently made the difference that allowed me to drop my pack and hit the summit, while storing my bladder in the fanny pack/lid, and leaving everything else behind.

It is a little on the heavier side, but not too bad.
Posted May 25, 2003 6:31 pm

rpcUntitled Review

Voted 2/5

Decent, big, multi-day outing pack with lots of straps on the outside. Don't like the lack of small, zippered pockets (for keys etc.) in the top pouch. The bottle holder is OK though have lost one or two Nalgenes.

Major Problem: internal fram started falling apart after about a year of intensive weekend (mostly) use. Since REI replaced it for free, I still have (pretty new too). 5 star vote for REI return/replace policy!
Posted Nov 18, 2003 4:20 pm

MishaUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

This is my 3rd internal frame backpack, and so far the best one. Some things that I really like about it:
- It is big enough to fit your gear and food for several days (3-7, depending on how minimalistic you are) in the backcountry
- Feels great on my back. I really enjoy its adjustable internal frame construction. When you get it, make sure that you spend some time adjusting the frame to fit your body perfectly.
- Lots of external loops where you can attach your crampons, helmet, ice axe, rope and any other gear that does not fit inside the pack
- Reasonably priced. I got it for $210 which was not bad for such a good quality pack. Make sure to shop around for the best deal!

Now, what I don't like:
- It has only one smaller compartment on the very top of the pack. It would be nice to have several other small pockets for your misc. gear
- Water bottle holders are not very good. First of all, they are not too easy to reach when you wear the pack. Also, while I did not lose any bottles (yet), I can see why people complain that it is not too hard. One of the pockets is particulary 'loose'.
Posted Dec 15, 2003 1:14 am

Steve LarsonWell made, comfy, kind of heavy

Voted 3/5

I've used this pack now for about three years. Like many previous reviewers, I've found it carries well, and certainly holds a lot of gear. I gave it three stars because there are many lighter packs out there now, and I've found that all of the previously mentioned annoyances (bottle holder, lack of small pockets, flaky frame construction) have grown more annoying over time, and it just seems to weigh more each time I pick it up.

I've also found that all those straps seem to flop all over the place. I do like the pair that wrap around the sleeping bag compartment, but if I'm not using them to lash on a sleeping pad or some such, they just flap around and snag on things.

I think that Gregory would do well to dump the Nalgene holder in favor of another mesh pocket, and take a closer look at whether all those straps are really needed, or if there's a way to design them to serve the same function without having so much extra length there when they're not being used to extend the lid way up high, or to compress the main compartment. Lighter weigh materials would also be good. I would also appreciate some gear loops on the hip belt and shoulder straps (I had to add my own).
Posted May 24, 2005 1:58 am

thebeave7Nice Big Load Pack

Voted 4/5

I've been carrying the Shasta off and on for 5 years now. I've used it for overnight solo winter climbs, 15 day solo through hikes, and for hauling heavy loads of friend's gear. It definitely excels at the 45-60lb range, holding strong as if no weight were added. The waterproof bottom serves to protect the pack nicely. The simple design is what won me over, no extra pockets, zippers and such.
Being a slender individual I did initially have issues with the pack bruising my hip bones, as the padding was a bit stiff, since then it has broken in nicely. As with Steve I found the straps to be excessively long, so I hacked off what I did not need. The Nalgene holder is very nice if you use a traditional water bottle(or 1L soda bottle), but is somewhat useless if you prefer bladders. All in all it is a nice heavy load carrying pack at a very reasonable price.
Posted Feb 10, 2007 7:40 pm

awilsondcNo Frills...

Voted 4/5

So far this has been my first and only backpack, but I have used the **** out of it for the past four years and it has never let me down.

Things I like:

Water bottle holder - I love this feature. I put the standartd 1L nalgene bottle in it, and I have NEVER had one fall out as others have reported.
Size - I use this pack mostly for over-nighters, and frequently don't bring enough gear to completely fill the main pouch. A nice feature this pack is that it has an "extension" for the main compartment. The extension normally tucks into the pack out of the way, but provides some extra packing space for longer trips.
Balance - This pack wears very comfortably and distributes weight very well. Sometimes I forget I'm carrying 40lbs on my back.
Durablilty - Still as good as the day I bought it. Nothing has broken after 50 some trips.

Things I don't like:
Limited access - If you pack this thing full, it is tough to get to items toward the bottom of the pack without unpacking most of the stuff on top. For the main compartment, you only get access from the top. I guess you could remove whatever is in the sleeping bag compartment and try to get to the bottom that way, but there is some fabric between the main compartment and sleeping bag compartment which only has openings on the side which makes it difficult to get larger items out from the bottom.
Sizing - I'm kinda tall (6' 3") and bought the large pack but I wish the torso section was a little taller, and the waist band a little smaller (it came with a large, and I had to order a medium to fit my 34" hips).
Weight - I'm sure I could find a similar back that was 1-2 pounds lighter.
Only 2 compartments - The main compartment and the lid are all you get. More would be nice.

All in all, I'm happy I bought this pack. It has been a great value for what I paid ($250ish new) and is still nearly as good as new after 50 or so trips.
Posted May 31, 2007 2:22 am

bigsky801Good one

Voted 4/5

I've owned the Shasta for about 7 months, and have been able to use it probably seven or eight times. So far, I've been pretty impressed with the pack overall. It has great quality materials, along with enough straps for me to get everything cinched tight, along with any thing I need to attach on the outside of the pack. I can tell that this pack will take plenty of abuse for some time to come. All the buckles and bits of plastic seem to fairly beefy, along with all the nylon straps. It just has alot of features that were well-thought out, like it was actually designed by someone who would use it, including the nalgene bottle holder on the hip-belt. I like the non-stick padding at the bottom that keeps everything from moving around back there, although it likes to sometimes pull up the back of my shirt. I used this pack in early August this summer on a Wind River trip, 37 miles in 3 days to give it a good testing. I was very impressed with the pack overall. I previously had used a Lowe Alpine that simply wasn't big enough for longer trips. I personally think that the Gregory outshines the Lowe Alpine, especially in quality by quite a margin (there is also price difference). The Shasta was a big upgrade for me. I don't have a great back, which is one of the reasons I went with this pack. I have so many different adjustments, I am able to get it comfortable quite easily.

The Shasta can be loaded up pretty well, with quite a bit weight without a problem. What I really appreciated in the Shasta, is the flexibility of this pack. If you don't fill up, it collapses and is able to cinch down to a smaller unit for one or two nighters. Likewise, I've found it able to swallow a lot of gear when needed for the longer outings. With this pack it is important to try and distribute the weight correctly to make it more accommodating for your shoulders and back. Other than the fairly steep price, (I paid about $250 from Campmor) I haven't regretted this pack at all. I can tell it's going to last for awhile, so that definitely justifies the higher price to me personally. FYI, I bought the medium size, I'm about 5' 10" and it seems to fit my frame pretty well.
Posted Nov 9, 2007 3:49 am

aemterGreat pack, but heavy

Voted 4/5

The Gregory Shasta is a great pack for hauling loads. The materials are very durable and the construction is very good as well. It's a simple pack with only 2 access points (1 zipper on the bottom and top access) and a small zippered lid that can be removed and used as a fanny pack. The one major drawback is that it's quite heavy (my size medium is over 6lbs). One way to slim things down is to go at it with a knife and scissors - cut off all the extra webbing and cord that you won't use. This isn't a great choice if you're hauling sub 30lb loads, but once this pack is loaded up with 40lbs, 50lbs, or more it really excels.
Posted Jan 2, 2009 12:19 pm

WMLBe prepared to grunt!

Voted 3/5

This thing is a behemoth, tipping the scales well above 5lbs.

That being said, if you are a backpacker or enjoy carrying overly heavy loads, have fun!

If you are into the general philosophy that 'light is right,' or are not a larger person, this pack is not the one for you.

It is well made and very functional, but has waaaay too many different load stabilization straps, which add weight and excessive things to tinker with in the backcountry.

Durability is outstanding, with mine taking a beating several times out and coming out completely unscathed.
Posted Apr 27, 2010 8:48 am

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