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Gregory Targhee 32 pack

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Gregory Targhee 32 for Blister Gear Review.

Gregory Targhee 32

Gregory Targhee 32

Size Tested: Medium

Stated Torso Range (Medium): 46-51 cm / 18-20 in

Volume: 32 Liters

Stated Weight (size Medium): 1700 grams / 3 lbs 10 oz

Blister’s Measured Weight (size Medium): 1720 grams

Stated Features:

  • Stowable mesh helmet holder
  • A-frame and stowable diagonal ski carry straps
  • Dual stowable aluminum toggle ice axe retainers
  • Stowable vertical snowboard / snowshoe carry straps
  • Full-length back panel main compartment access
  • Perimeter-wire-reinforced VertFlex suspension
  • Dedicated avalanche safety pocket
  • Oversized top accessory and goggle pocket
  • Tubular gear loop, ice clipper slots and zippered accessory pocket on hipbelt
  • Internal security pocket
  • Hydration sleeve with insulated shoulder harness hose cover
  • Dual-layer HD nylon bottom panel
  • Winter- and glove-friendly materials and hardware

MSRP: $199

Reviewer: 5’10”, ~180 lbs

Torso Length: 52 cm

Test Locations: Canterbury club fields and backcountry, NZ; northern New Mexico backcountry

Days Used: ~30

It’s a bit surprising to me how many mediocre ski-specific backpacks I’ve come across in the past five years. On the face of it, it just doesn’t seem like it ought to be difficult to design a pack that carries loads comfortably; is laid out well; stows avy equipment well; has easy-to-access pockets with easy-to-use zippers; has a good helmet holder; and a solid ski carry that can accommodate wider skis.

I’ve used various packs from Black Diamond, Dakine, and Arva, and most of those packs did some of these things very well, but none of them offered all of these things, or did all of these things well.

But I’ve finally found a favorite ski pack, and it’s called the Gregory Targhee 32.

So far, I have zero complaints about the Targhee 32. It is probably the most comfortable pack I have ever worn, its pockets, zippers, and overall layout hasn’t caused a moment of frustration, and the A-frame ski carry is great. With about 30 days touring in this pack, I’ve yet to find a reason to grumble, and mostly I just find myself telling everyone how much I like it.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Gregory Targhee 32 for Blister Gear Review.

Jonathan Ellsworth in the Gregory Targhee 32, Canterbury club fields, NZ.

So if you’re looking for a comfortable, roomy daypack for ski touring, and you aren’t looking for an airbag / avy bag pack or an Avalung, I can highly recommend the Targhee 32.

Blister Gear Giveaway

For the next week, we’re giving you a chance to win your own Gregory Targhee 32. See our Gear Giveaway for more details.

Fit

One thing to note: my torso length measured just outside of Gregory’s stated range for a size Medium: 46-51 cm. (I measure at ~52 cm.) I initially was going to go with a size Large, but was advised that very few people fit a Large. Anyway, I’d still advise you to consult Gregory’s fitting guide and go from there, but if you are on the fence between sizes, you might do well to go with the smaller size rather than size up. The Medium fits me extremely well, and I have never wished I went with a Large.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Gregory Targhee 32 for Blister Gear Review.

Jonathan Ellsworth in the Gregory Targhee 32, Canterbury club fields, NZ.

NEXT: Features, Bottom Line

6 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Jim December 2, 2015 Reply

    Could you post a couple of pics with the pack in the open position so we could see how its packs up and the various compartments ?

  2. swissiphic December 2, 2015 Reply

    Bought the Targhee 45 a few years ago to replace the venerable Arcteryx Borea 45 which finally simply wore out after almost a decade of faithful service. It carried loads well, was bomber and was simply a trustworth workhorse that survived numerous 100 ski touring day seasons without complaint. Can’t say it was refined and polished but it got the job done, no complaints. With it’s demise came the anxiety of new pack selection…after days of research and analysis; the gregory was selected. Living in a remote location, a gamble on online ordering was made. Pack arrived, pack seemed to fit, and after a few outings, the pack made me happy. Very, very happy. I agree with all the positive review comments and highlight the fact that for me, the pack receives the high accolades in the most important department…uphilling or downhilling; it simply…disappears… After over 30 years of back country skiing and numerous ski touring packs, I’ve never had a pack that achieved this remarkable level of comfort and general refinement of all the features. Well done Gregory. Having gushed with the compliments, I do have a few nitpicks…very minor but mentionable. The top lid pocket had an internal fabric liner that seemed to lack expansion into the full volume of available space. So I cut it out. The awesome never need to ski strap tips together A frame ski carry system works well and is used often in early and late season ski tour days…the bottom compression strap is bomber but the top one isn’t designed to carry the brunt of the skis weight nested on the tail side of the heelpeice. No problem for smooth trails and easy terrain, becomes and issue when negotiating convoluted terrain or steep downhills; tails of skis are vulnerable to smashing into rocks and heels of ski boots. As a higher positioned ski is a required attachment arrangement for many of my days of ski carrying, the wear has fatigued the stitching and strained the pack body fabric. As a solution, I use rubber ski straps looped through the bottom bomber compression strap and cinche them tight on skis that are raised to whatever level is desired. Works great. Pack seems to have a bit of a wieght limit in terms of comfortable carrying; loads above 35 pounds seem to overload the frame/hipbelt to the point of some sagging. Not an issue for any regular ski touring day trips but a person carrying rope, ice axes and a full load might feel it. Would have been nice if fabric was waterproof; wet coast pouring rain, wet snow and sleety outings require pack cover. No biggy though, reasonable compromise.

    • Author

      Great info, swissiphic! Thank you. I have only used the Targhee 32, not the 45, so can’t speak to current differences between these packs. But as for the internal fabric liner in the top lid pocket of the 45 that you mention, the current 32 doesn’t have that. I’ll be curious to hear of others’ experiences with these Targhee packs.

  3. Blister Member
    Jamie January 23, 2016 Reply

    Great into. I’ve just been skiing with the Osprey Kode 32. It seems to carry more than its volume would suggest and I’ve found it quite cumbersome both up and down hill. I’d be ok with that going up hill but the pack is very obvious going down hill.

    I am only ever out on day trips. Some are quite long and I need to carry skins and food and water in addition to regular pack kit. I have found in the past that 25l is more than enough and only bought the Kode 32 because I thought 22 wouldn’t be enough and was assured that the Kode 32 would be inconspicuous while skiing.

    As I said above, this hasn’t been my experience. As well as being a slightly bigger pack than I am used to, the sizing was awkward. The S/M was too small with the chest strap very high on my chest and the only other option is the M/L. I am 5’8″ and it seems odd that I would fit the same size pack as my ski partner how is 6’6″.

    Has anyone else had experience with the Osprey Kode 32 and, in particular, how it compares to other packs. I know that the Kode has been reviewed by Blister before and would really value an update.

  4. Blister Member
    Jamie January 30, 2016 Reply

    I’m in Australia and it’s all but impossible to lay my hands on this pack. One that I am considering is the Arcteryx Quintic 27. Has anyone had any experience with this pack? There are small number of brief reviews on it but Blister is my go-to source.

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