Gregory Baltoro 75

Price: $330
Weight: 4 lbs. 15.4 oz. (size medium)
Fabric: Nylon (210D)
Capacities: 65, 75, 85, 95L
What we like: A comfortable and nicely appointed pack for shuttling serious weight.
What we don’t: Heavy at nearly 5 pounds.
See the Men's Gregory Baltoro 75  See the Women's Gregory Deva 70


Gregory’s flagship men’s Baltoro and women’s Deva packs are long-time favorites for those carrying serious weight. We took the 75-liter version on the demanding Huemul Circuit in Patagonia and were pleased with its stable feel and premium construction. At nearly 5 pounds, it’s overbuilt for those who want to travel fast and light, but if you value the extra cushioning and support, it’s one of the best packs on the market. Below we break down the Baltoro’s carrying comfort, weight, organization, durability, fit, and more. To see how the Baltoro 75 stacks up, see our article on the best backpacking packs.


Carrying Comfort

Heavy-hauling comfort has always been a defining characteristic of the Gregory Baltoro, and the current model continues the tradition. With my 75-liter pack loaded down with all of my normal backpacking gear plus extras like a harness, carabiners, and plenty of layers for the fickle Patagonian “summer,” I immediately was impressed with how well the pack supported and distributed the load. The full-length metal frame and compression straps provide a sturdy structure, and the padding along the hipbelt and shoulder harness is noticeably high-quality, balancing softness with enough support for long days on the trail. Further, the sculpted backpanel includes a removable lumbar pad for added customization (I left it in and appreciated the snug fit it provided).
Gregory Baltoro pack (hiking in forest)

In addition to the premium cushioning and strong build, the Baltoro’s innovative pivoting shoulder straps and hipbelt play an important role in carrying comfort. Each piece shifts independently, so the pack remains level and close against your body while the shoulder straps and hipbelt move up and down. This feature is especially noticeable on extended climbs, where I could feel one side drop while the other raised up as I took a step. Gregory isn’t the only manufacturer with this type of design—and it’s not as radical as Arc’teryx’s Bora AR, which allows the hipbelt to move up and down on a track—but I’m sold on the benefits of the pack’s freedom of movement while moving quickly over technical terrain.
Gregory Baltoro (side profile)


Gregory has made incremental progress with the weight of the last couple Baltoro designs, but it remains a fairly heavy pack. My medium size 75-liter model tips the scales at 4 pounds 15.4 ounces, which is just over 3 ounces lighter than the previous model. Stacked up to its direct competitors, this is about average: REI Co-op’s Traverse 70 weighs 4 pounds 14 ounces, the Osprey Aether AG 70 is 5 pounds 3.4 ounces, and the Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 is 5 pounds even. Depending on your needs on a specific trip, you can save some weight by leaving a few of the Baltoro’s features at home: removing the Sidekick hydration sleeve/daypack, lower compression straps, interior sleeping bag divider, and rain cover saved me 9.2 ounces. It’s still a long way from a lightweight design, but the adaptability is a nice option to keep empty weight in check.
Gregory Baltoro (El Chalten)


One of the benefits of a feature-rich and heavy pack is excellent organization, and the Baltoro does not disappoint in this regard. You get a total of 10 well-sized exterior pockets: three zippered pockets in the top lid for small items, two tall zippered pockets and a large mesh shove-it pocket along the front, two mesh water bottle holders, and two enclosed hipbelt pockets. The zippered space on the underside of the lid houses the rain cover, but also includes a key clip and enough space for a few bars. I also found that the water bottle holster on the right side was perfectly angled for quick and easy access to my Nalgene while wearing the pack. The only disappointment is that the water-resistant hipbelt pocket is too small to fit a larger smartphone (we could fit our smaller iPhone SE into the pocket, but were unable to get a larger iPhone X with a low-profile case inside, which also rules out the Plus versions).Gregory Baltoro (top lid)

U-Shaped Main Compartment Access
Perhaps my favorite organizational feature of the Baltoro is the U-shaped zipper along the front that gives you complete access to the main compartment. Unzipping and opening the large flap makes it incredibly easy to find and grab just about anything inside the pack (there’s also a separate zippered access for the sleeping bag compartment at the bottom). For a trip like the Huemul Circuit where I needed to put on and take off jackets and grab gear like a harness and carabiners for a Tyrolean traverse, the quick access saved a lot of time rummaging around or unloading the pack (something one of my hiking partners had to do multiple times a day with her top-loading Granite Gear Crown2 60).Gregory Baltoro (main zipper access)

Sidekick Daypack
As with the previous Baltoro, Gregory includes an ultralight daypack on the inside of the main compartment. Called the Sidekick, the point of this pack is twofold: it functions as a hydration sleeve, storing up to a 3-liter reservoir inside the main pack, and can be removed when you arrive at camp for day hikes. As a standalone daypack, the Sidekick isn’t very impressive: the narrow shape and modest 12-liter capacity is both smaller and less comfortable to carry than a bag like the REI Co-op Flash 18. That said, the light padding on the shoulder straps and optional hipbelt straps (the lower compression straps on the main bag convert into the Sidekick’s hipbelt) make it completely functional for carrying a few hours’ worth of water, food, and an extra layer or two. Finally, if you don’t want to use the Sidekick, leaving it behind saves you 4.2 ounces.Gregory Baltoro (trail adjustments)


Back and hip ventilation was one area where we felt the old Baltoro fell noticeably short. The padding was covered in fabric that soaked up sweat but didn’t dry quickly, and the small mesh cutout in the center of the backpanel did very little to encourage airflow. Gregory has now addressed this issue pretty well with a sculpted backpanel that is mostly mesh and includes plenty of openings in the foam. Even though our backpacking trip technically was in the middle of the Austral Summer, it wasn’t warm for extended stretches, but I am confident in saying that Gregory has made strides with the design. Truthfully, very few internal frame packs excel at ventilation—Osprey’s Atmos AG is one notable exception—but the redone backpanel and more breathable fabric along the hipbelt and shoulder straps bring the Baltoro in-line with many of its competitors.
Gregory Baltoro (back padding)

Weather Protection

A squall that moved in midway through the third day of our trek gave me an opportunity to test the Baltoro’s weather protection. As mentioned above, the pack comes with a rain cover that stores on the underside of the top lid. I was able to quickly deploy the cover and use the attached clip to secure it across the backpanel, which kept the entire pack body dry until the storm passed. One of the hipbelt pockets also is water-resistant, and I left my phone in it for about 10 minutes in sideways rain until I got too nervous and took it out. When I opened the “Weather Shield” coated pocket, the phone was completely dry, so I have a good amount of confidence in the design (it’s still a good idea to store it under the fully waterproof rain cover in a downpour).
Gregory Baltoro (hip pocket)


The Huemul Circuit was very demanding on gear: my Baltoro was strapped to and carried across two Tyrolean traverses, laid down on rough trails and rock-covered glaciers, and squeezed between (and sometimes pulled through) dense brush and trees. Through it all, the bag came out in nearly perfect condition. The pack body balances weight and durability with high-quality zippers and a mix of light 210-denier (D) honeycomb nylon and tough 420D high-density nylon. Moreover, the reinforced base still looks new (after a little scrubbing with soap and water) thanks to thick 630D nylon and a layer of foam cushioning. Even the mesh pockets feel substantial—a notable upgrade from the thin and open mesh on Gregory’s lighter Paragon—and haven’t picked up any snags or tears. All told, durability is one of the big selling points of this pack, especially for those that get out a lot and aren’t easy on their gear.
Backpacking packs (glacier view)

Fit and Sizing

With my 18-inch torso and 31-inch waist, I opted for a medium size in the Gregory Baltoro 75 and had no issues in getting an excellent fit. For reference, the pack also is available in small (which fits 16-18 in. torso lengths and 27-47 in. waists) and large (20-22 in. torso length and 30-50 in. waist) sizes. The pivoting shoulder strap design does mean that there are only two pre-determined heights to adjust for your torso length, but this didn’t have a negative impact for me. Overall, most people should be able to get a good fit with the Baltoro.
Gregory Baltoro (river crossing)

Women's-Specific Gregory Deva

We tested the men’s 75-liter Baltoro for this review, but Gregory also makes a women’s-specific version called the Deva. The packs are nearly identical in design, although the Deva comes in slightly smaller capacities (60, 70, and 80L compared with the Baltoro’s 65, 75, and 85L), and different shoulder strap and hipbelt shapes. Importantly, the Deva includes all the features that we love in the Baltoro, including the U-shaped access to the main compartment, supportive cushioning, and sturdy construction.

Other Capacities of the Gregory Baltoro

We tested the 75-liter version of the Baltoro, which was a great match for our multi-day trip along Patagonia’s demanding Huemul Circuit. Those packing lighter or going on shorter trips should consider the Gregory Baltoro 65, which costs less at $300 and shaves around 2 ounces in weight, but otherwise retains an identical feature set and overall build. Other capacities in the lineup include a larger 85-liter model ($350 and 5 lbs. 2.4 oz.) and 95-liter “Pro” version ($380 and 6 lbs. 7.5 oz.), which is purpose-built for extended outings in the backcountry.

What We Like

  • The Baltoro is as comfortable as ever. The strong suspension and pivoting shoulder straps and hipbelt carry heavy loads extremely well.
  • Fantastic organization: the pack has tons of exterior pockets to distribute gear and the U-shaped access to the main compartment makes grabbing items that are stuffed away very easy.
  • Despite dropping a few ounces in weight from the previous model, the Baltoro still is plenty tough and hasn’t shown any signs of wear.

What We Don’t

  • Heavy at nearly 5 pounds and overkill if you pack light or only head out on short summer trips.
  • The dual-use Sidekick daypack/hydration sleeve isn’t very comfortable (but you can leave it at home).
  • The water-resistant hipbelt pocket doesn’t fit larger smartphones.

Backpacking packs (glacier)

Comparison Table

Pack Price Weight Fabric Capacities Access Pockets
Gregory Baltoro 75 $330 4 lb. 15.4 oz. Nylon (210D) 65, 75, 85L Top, front 10 exterior
Osprey Aether AG 70 $310 5 lb. 3.4 oz. Nylon (210D & 500D) 60, 70, 85L Top, front 7 exterior
REI Co-op Traverse 70 $249 4 lb. 14 oz. Nylon (200D & 420D) 35, 70L Top, front 11 exterior
Mystery Ranch Glacier $350 6 lb. 6.4 oz. Cordura (500D) 71L Top, side 4 exterior
Arc'teryx Bora AR 63 $549 5 lb. 0.1 oz. Nylon (420D & 630D) 50, 63L Top, side 6 exterior
Osprey Atmos AG 65 $270 4 lb. 9 oz. Nylon (100D x 630D) 50, 65L Top 8 exterior

The Competition

Even with the trend toward lighter backpacking gear, there’s a strong market for heavy-hauling, mega-comfortable backpacking packs, and the Baltoro remains one of the best. One of the Baltoro’s long-time rivals is Osprey’s Aether AG 70. Throughout testing, we were impressed with the Osprey’s build quality and creative top lid that converts into a truly functional daypack (unlike the Baltoro’s more limited Sidekick). The Osprey also is the superior ventilator with a generous amount of raised mesh along the backpanel, while still providing solid comfort and support. Where the Baltoro gets the edge is weight—the Aether is 4 ounces heavier but can carry 5 liters less—and we also prefer its freer-moving hipbelt. Both are top-notch packs, and a final decision should come down to which one fits best.

Osprey Aether AG (lookout)
Testing the Osprey Aether AG 70

REI Co-op’s Traverse 70 is another one of our favorite heavy haulers, and we took it along on the same trek in Patagonia. In comparing the two packs, both feature strong suspensions that can carry a 45+ pound load very well, and both come with all the bells and whistles like a main compartment zippered access, generous array of pockets, and an included rain cover. Where the Traverse has the edge is value: at $249, the 70-liter version undercuts the Baltoro 75 by a significant $81 (even the 65-liter Baltoro is $51 more). That said, we think the Baltoro is the more well-rounded and comfortable design, which is why it outranks the Traverse in our backpacking pack round-up.

Another heavy hauler to have on your radar is Mystery Ranch’s Glacier 71L. While not a household name, the brand has already built a solid reputation for carrying comfort. The Glacier is similar in total capacity and price with the Baltoro but differs in a few key areas. For one, the pack uses a super burly 500-denier Cordura fabric throughout that’s built to last but is overkill for most backpacking trips. Along with a sturdy frame and buckles and zippers that prioritize quality over weight, and the Glacier comes in at a very hefty 6 pounds 6.4 ounces. If you’ll be hauling a ton of gear for a winter expedition, you might be able to justify the extra poundage, but most will be far better off with the more versatile Baltoro.Backpacking packs (group photo)

Another pack to consider in the deluxe hauler category is the Arc’teryx Bora AR. What makes this very expensive bag ($549 for the 63-liter model) so impressive is the super tough water-resistant exterior fabric and its pivoting hipbelt. The belt takes some time to adjust to—it rotates freely side to side and up and down, so it can feel imbalanced at first—but it does a great job distributing weight and makes your pack feel lighter as a result. For alpine use or rough off-trail adventures, the Bora may be worth the investment. But for most backpackers, the Baltoro delivers nearly the same level of comfort and durability at a significantly lower price.

Last but not least, the Osprey Atmos AG 65 is our top overall backpacking pack of the year. Right off the bat, the Atmos offers 10 liters less in terms of capacity, although with the streamlined backpacking gear options available in 2020 (small tents, sleeping bags, and pads), 65 liters is enough for many multi-day trips. In addition, the Osprey lacks zippered access to the main compartment, which is a nice feature on the Baltoro. But we appreciate the weight and cost savings: at 4 pounds 9 ounces and $270, the Osprey is lighter and cheaper while managing to be nearly as comfortable as the Baltoro (and a better breather). For a more streamlined alternative without many sacrifices, the Atmos 65 is a great choice. 

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