Dearest Quarantine, we are over you and ready to responsibly take our children to a land where nature is our screen. Zion has been on our bucket list for a while and now it’s time to see it. For this backpacking trip, the Maven from Gregory Backpacks will be my go-to pack. This will be my second backpack from Gregory to test out. Having previously used and tested out Gregory’s Deva, I was excited by the Maven and it’s user friendly design.
I used my 2L water bladder from Camelbak but I wish that I had also gotten the Gregory 3D Hydro reservoir to go with the bag. The speed clip is great for the Gregory branded H20 reservoir but not as friendly to another brand. Thanks to hair ties, I was able to make it work well enough for the short hikes. It would have been a bigger pain if we were thru hiking.
Designed for Women
The Maven is primarily comprised of durable 100D-420D High Density Nylon and integrated Lifespan EVA foam into the Freefloat Hybrid suspension technology. The Maven is specifically shaped for the female body in the narrower shoulder straps, slimmer Wishbone alloy frame and weighing in at only 3 lbs 3 oz. for the XM/S Frame.
The hip padding and dual density should straps allow for a comfortable fit while hiking and scrambling over rocks and through streams. A sunglass holder, hip pocket that fits an iPhone with case and all my chapsticks and a breathable foam back panel make for a comfortable journey.
The full zipper across the Maven backpack allows for easy access to gear inside and also makes the bag more ideal as not only a backpacking bag but as a travel bag. The four way stretch of the Maven’s front mesh pockets allows me to stuff it with a jacket, a stuffy from the kids, or any last minute items I may need to store. The mesh pocket is secured with a buckle.
The zipper grips are nice and can easily be used with gloves on. However, my favorite aspect is the quick pull draw cord. It is easy to quickly open with one hand to access gear at the top of the Maven or close it up and keep moving on the trail.
If you need to access gear on the bottom of the Maven, you can do so by the bottom zipper flap. There isn’t anytime you can’t get to your stuff.
A bottle storage is available on the sides of the Maven. Sunglasses can be securely stored on the shoulder strap with an elastic loop.
I felt that the Maven was true to size when I compared my torso measurements to the suggested frame. I ended up with an XS/S frame and it fits my 5’6″ frame perfectly! The hip belt also for easy movement and no hot spots when hiking for a long time or in inclement weather.
The hips belt is easy to adjust and readjust if need be. Easy to access pockets can store an iphone, chapsticks, snacks, small rocks, feathers and leaves that my kids collect on the trail, Muir Energy Gel, mace and anything else you may need to be close by.
What I would Change
I miss the built in day pack that was available on previous models. Thankfully, I had thrown in an extra day pack for the kids assuming there was one in the Maven like there is in the Deva and past Maven models.
Overall, the Maven is the same quality we have come to respect and expect from Gregory Backpacks. The colors are always a good pop of energy on the trail and make you easy to spot.
While our plans may have changed for the inaugural trip of the Maven, I can guarantee that many more are to come and I expect this pack to last a long time. The seven year-old is already putting dibs on it when it fits him.