Granite Gear Blaze 60: The Ultimate Backpack Review

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 Backpack, renowned for its exceptional balance of weight, comfort, and functionality, stands as a quintessential choice for avid backpackers.

This review delves into its performance, based on a rigorous 35-mile journey through the demanding Escalante Route in the Grand Canyon. Designed for the discerning adventurer, the Blaze 60, with its women’s specific model, promises an impressive blend of a lightweight framework and comprehensive features. This introductory exploration aims to provide insights into its capabilities, addressing the needs of those seeking a reliable, comfortable, and versatile backpack for extended outdoor excursions.

Specification Detail
Price $270
Weight 3 lbs. (Women’s Regular)
Fabric Robic Nylon (100D & 210D)
Capacity 60 Liters


1. Carrying Comfort and Fit

Initial Impressions and Adjustability

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 initially presents a challenge in comfort expectations, especially when compared to more cushioned models like the Osprey Aura 65. Its straps, appearing less robust, could lead to concerns about its capacity to handle heavy loads comfortably. However, the backpack’s adjustable torso and waist belt allow for a personalized fit, countering initial doubts with its surprising adaptability.

Weight Distribution and Comfort

During a rigorous 35-mile journey through the Grand Canyon, the Blaze 60 showcased its remarkable ability to manage a full load. Despite its lightweight design, it adeptly supported between 35-40 pounds without creating pressure points. The backpack is engineered for even weight distribution, ensuring balance and stability, which is essential in challenging terrains.

Modularity and Impact on Comfort

Featuring modular components like a removable top lid and hipbelt pockets, the Blaze 60 offers a balance between versatility and comfort. For shorter excursions, these features can be shed to lighten the load. Yet, for longer, more demanding trips, utilizing the full set of features provides enhanced comfort, making it a versatile choice for various backpacking needs.

2. Weight and Load Management

Lightweight Design

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 stands out in the realm of backpacking gear with its impressively lightweight design. Weighing just 3 pounds for the women’s regular size, it offers a significant advantage for those looking to minimize their load without sacrificing essential features.

Load Capacity and Comparison

Despite its ultralight build, the Blaze 60 doesn’t compromise on load capacity. It comfortably supports up to 50 pounds, surpassing the expectations set by its weight class. In comparison to other ultralight packs like the Zpacks Arc Blast 55 or Granite Gear’s own Crown2 60, the Blaze 60 strikes an admirable balance between minimal weight and robust load management.

Performance Under Load

In real-world use, the Blaze 60 demonstrates remarkable efficiency in handling substantial weights. Its design facilitates easy load distribution, reducing strain and enhancing stability. This makes it an ideal option for longer treks where carrying comfort becomes increasingly crucial with each mile.

3. Organization and Accessibility

Abundant External Pockets

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 excels in organization, featuring six external pockets. These include a top lid pocket, two large side pockets, a front mesh pocket, and two spacious hipbelt pockets. This array of options ensures crucial gear is always within easy reach, enhancing the backpack’s functionality on the trail.

Innovative Access Points

One of the standout features is the main compartment’s hidden front zipper, located alongside the mesh pocket. This ingenious design allows for quick and hassle-free access to items deep in the pack, a boon when setting up camp or needing something in a hurry.

Versatile Storage Solutions

The Blaze 60’s top lid is not just a pocket but can also be removed entirely or transformed into a chest pack. This versatility, coupled with the sizeable hipbelt pockets that can accommodate large smartphones, and side mesh pockets fit for 32-ounce water bottles, underscores the backpack’s commitment to convenient and adaptable storage solutions.

4. Ventilation and Back Panel Design

Back Panel Structure

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 features a molded foam back panel that prioritizes support and comfort. This design choice, focusing on stability and load distribution, however, means that the backpack leans towards a warmer carry experience compared to mesh-heavy designs.

Ventilation Experience

In practical use, the lack of extensive ventilation becomes apparent, especially in moderate to warm temperatures. The Blaze 60’s back panel tends to retain heat, leading to a noticeable increase in back sweat during hikes. This contrasts with backpacks like the Osprey Aura AG, which are renowned for their superior ventilation due to their Anti-Gravity mesh back panels.

Considerations for Warm-Weather Hikers

For those who frequently hike in warmer climates or have a tendency to run hot, the Blaze 60’s ventilation might be a limiting factor. It’s an important consideration for buyers, as the backpack’s design might not offer the level of breathability some hikers need for comfortable, all-day wear.

5. Durability and Material Quality

Robust Material Selection

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 is crafted from 100- and 210-denier Robic nylon, a choice that significantly enhances its durability. This fabric is known for its robustness and resistance to abrasion, making the backpack well-suited for the rigors of extended backpacking trips.

Encounters with Rugged Use

In real-world testing, the backpack’s material proved its mettle. Even when subjected to harsh conditions like rocky and uneven terrain, the fabric demonstrated impressive resilience. A minor incident involving a microspike puncture was a testament to the material’s toughness – the small tear didn’t expand despite continued heavy loading.

Weather Resistance

Adding to its durability is the DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating applied to the backpack’s body and zippers. While not a substitute for full waterproofing, this feature offers an added layer of protection, keeping the contents dry during light to moderate rain. For severe weather, however, additional waterproofing measures like a pack cover are advisable.

6. Variants and Customization

Variety of Models

The Granite Gear Blaze 60 is available in both women’s-specific and unisex versions, catering to a broad range of hikers. These models share the same core design, weight, and feature set, ensuring consistency in quality and performance across the variants.

Customization Options

Both versions offer customization options, particularly in terms of adjustability for fit. This includes different torso lengths – the women’s model comes in short (15-18 inches) and regular (18-21 inches), while the unisex version adds a long option (21-24 inches). Such flexibility ensures that hikers of various body types can find a comfortable and snug fit.

Color Choices

In terms of aesthetics, the backpacks differ in color schemes. The women’s Blaze 60 features bright teal accents, offering a vibrant option. Conversely, the unisex model opts for more muted colors like black and tan, appealing to those who prefer a subtler look. This range of colors allows users to choose a backpack that not only meets their functional needs but also aligns with their personal style.

7. Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Exceptionally lightweight for its capacity (3 lbs.) Back panel can run warm due to limited ventilation
Comfortable even with loads up to 35-40 pounds Adjusting fit can be time-consuming initially
Robust and abrasion-resistant material (Robic nylon) Women’s pack limited to one colorway
Versatile organization with ample external pockets
Removable components for weight and feature customizability
DWR coating provides added weather resistance



Ready for a game-changing backpacking experience? Explore the Granite Gear Blaze 60, a perfect blend of comfort, durability, and functionality. Ideal for all your adventures, this backpack won’t disappoint. Click now to buy now on Amazon