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For years, Granite Gear has maintained and built its brand as one fit for the backcountry, the battlefield, and the travel world. But now for the first time, Granite Gear is branching into new terrain. They have just released one of the most unique and versatile lines of campus and commuter packs that are tailored toward students! Now in their first year with the line, I’m excited to help spread the word about these new packs and the many features that they offer:

Check out the new promo video, here.

Granite Gear sent over their beefiest campus pack–The Superior–and gave me the mission run the pack through the “meat grinder” first hand in the hectic student lifestyle. Overall, I’ve been very surprised and pleased! The pack has been performing quite well in a variety of situations, including front country hiking and outdoor, lifestyle activities!

Impressions

IMG_5431The Superior is rugged, durable, and totally weather resistant.

Easily my favorite feature thus far is this pack’s ability to beat the elements and keep my technology and gear both safe and dry!  The pack features an awesome water-resistant material, covered zippers, taped zippers, and taurpalite bottom to protect against the elements.

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The technology pockets on this pack are totally bomber.

The pack features two specific areas that are designed to keep technology away from shocks, damage, and moisture–yet still remain easily-accessible at your demand! Featured in the photo above is one of these pockets that is externally-accessible and suspended above the other compartments for easy access to your phone or other valuables. In the photo below, you’ll see some depictions of the laptop pocket that is designed for tablets and laptops of a variety of sizes (around 17″, typically).

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It boasts an incredible capacity and variety of compartments,

Among my favorite compartments to use are the organizer pocket on the pack (pictured above) and the main compartment (pictured below) that features a large-capacity, multi-use storage space for a variety of different gear, books, or binders.

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The Superior has some sweet external features.

Are you a photographer, outdoorsmen, or commuter?  Well, Granite Gear throws in a little bit of everything for your use and enjoyment!  Being the most fully-featured and dynamic pack of the Campus line, the Superior probably has something to suit every basic and intermediate need that you may have for a pack.  One of these features that I’m really excited about is a fixed-strap system on the bottom that allows for the mounting of tripods, foldable chairs, hiking poles, excess clothing, and other miscellaneous items.

IMG_5508I also appreciated the lightweight and low-bulk strap system used on this pack! I love that this system can be stowed and partially removed if you prefer to go without straps on campus or in the front country.

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This pack is sizable and comfortable for a variety of body-types

There are a ton of daypacks out there that claim to use “comfort systems” or snug-fitting designs, but the Superior is one that I can really vouch for!  It includes a full lumbar support system, load-bearing waist belt, suspension system similar to trekking packs, and compression straps to hold the load close to your spine. Granite Gear makes has included backpacking and trekking technology into this daypack in order to help with comfort and the heavy loads that students and commuters may often carry on a daily basis.

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So what’s not to like? 

Although not worthy of significant concern, I could see a few issues with the pack coming up over a prolonged period of use. Specifically, I did have a zipper handle break off by itself, and it may be a repeat occurrence on other zippers. The zippers themselves are strong and fully intact, so the issue is more cosmetic than anything else.  I could also see potential issues with the longevity of the straps and buckles. As a campus pack, Granite Gear has designed this pack to be low-profile, yet still comfortable. With this comes flimsier buckles and thinner straps than I’m used to, even on many daypacks. Finally, the carry handle is very low-profile and simple, but doesn’t seem very usable compared to the pack’s other features.

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Bottom Line

Even after a conversation about minor hesitations, this pack has remained tried and true! As a gear reviewer and product specialist, this is honestly my favorite daypack and student backpack that I have ever used or reviewed to date!  I would recommend the Superior, no questions asked, especially if you are a student that needs a versatile pack for campus life, or a lifestyle outdoorsmen stuck in the city for many of your days.

To dig deeper into the details of the Superior and other campus packs, head on over Granite Gear’s line page and explore the other options.

MSRP: $79.99

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Thanks to Granite Gear for providing the Superior Pack for review.

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