Yes the Baltoro Pro is a massive 95L backpack, a serious gear hauler! But if you’re going to buckle down and suffer packing all that crap around you might as well take a comfortable pack! In truth it wasn’t that many years ago that I got rid of all my larger packs and vowed that if I couldn’t do the trip with a 55L bag I wasn’t interested. Now, after dozens of trips where I’ve skimped on food, clothing and campsite luxuries just to make everything fit in a small pack I’ve decided it’s time to suffer more on the approach and less at camp. In other words, I’ve gone back to big packs and so have been testing a few out including the newest addition to Gregory’s Baltoro line: the Baltoro 95 Pro.
- Weight: 3.0Kg (as tested)
- Volume: 95L
- Max Carry: 34Kg (75lbs!!)
- Style: Top loader with removable/extendable top lid
- Chassis: Response Pro
- Size: Medium (also avail. in L and S)
- Color: Black/Red
- Access points: Front panel, top & bottom
- Body Material: 210D CryptoRip Nylon & 420D HD Nylon
- Base Material: 630D Nylon with EVA foam padding
- Includes a rain cover in its own pocket
Cavernous and designed to carry loads up to 75 Lbs this comfortable pack is well featured and organized. While it’s slightly heavier than some other packs in the same size category it’s also built to last with durable fabrics and zippers and a robust suspension system.
Pros: Carries heavy loads exceptionally well, comfortable, nicely featured and organized, huge rear access
Cons: Limited adjustability in the suspension system height (make sure it fits before you buy)
Ideal for: As it can carry heavy loads comfortably and securely this pack is perfect for long treks, portering, hauling gear and or cameras into remote crags or any trip that requires hauling large and heavy loads. It would also serve traveling backpackers very well. If you need something a little more technical the Denali might be the ticket.
Now I’ve only had the Baltoro 95 Pro for a couple of months now and took it out on three different trips. Due to this short review period I can’t comment much on durability as it’s going to take a lot more sweaty days to get this pack to show any signs of wear. However, I got more than enough miles on the trail to get a really good feel for how it performs.
As you can expect, the Baltoro 95 is well adorned with compartments and other organizational features and I’m going to try to cover them all.
- Two independent compartments on the top.
- Security pocket on the underside.
Main Compartment – Interior:
- A small day pack secured in-place with 2 tabs that doubles as the hydration sleeve (in conjunction with a small clip that’s designed to hold the top of a hydration bag)
- A small removable flap separates the “sleeping bag” compartment from the main compartment.
Main Compartment – Exterior:
- A kangaroo pocket accessed through a central vertical zipper (the rain cover is stowed in a sub-compartment within this pocket)
- On each side of the pack there’s a tall skinny pocket with a vertical zipper
- A stow-able water bottle pocket is situated on the right side behind the waist belt (I found it a bit finicky to get a standard 1L Nalgene into the pocket but smaller bottles were fine)
- A flexible mesh pocket is on the left opposite the water bottle pocket
- Dual removable straps run along the underside for foam sleeping pads
- Two weatherproof hip belt pockets, one on each side (great for a small camera or snacks the zippered opening is a bit too small for a large phone like the iPhone 6s Plus)
- Dual mountaineering axe retention straps/clips
- Dual compression straps along each side of the pack
So what’s missing? The only additional item I could have used is a helmet bra.
I really like the large access points provided on the Baltoro 95, a requirement on such a large pack really.
- The main access is of course the large top opening, as with any top-loading backpack. It features the standard draw-cord closures as well as a compression strap to help jam it all in.
- The next access point is located at the kangaroo pocket on the back. A large horseshoe shaped zipper follows around the outside edge of the pocket and allows access to the interior of the main compartment. The only thing I didn’t like about this access is that I would inadvertently open it at times when all I really wanted to do was access inside of the kangaroo pocket, at least when I first started using it.
- The last access is at the bottom of the pack and opens into the sleeping bag compartment. As the divider between the main and sleeping bag compartments is removable, and not all that useful in my opinion, it basically provides access to the bottom of the main compartment.
Chassis / Suspension System:
Unlike its smaller siblings, the Baltoro 65, 75 & 85, the Baltoro Pro 95 utilizes the upgraded Response Pro chassis and suspension system, likely where the Pro in the pack name came from. This upgrade allows for the heavier loads the pack is designed to handle. It features a fixed link between the hip belt and back panel, larger diameter aluminum tubing in the wishbone frame and an upgraded non-pivoting Response Pro 3D AIR hip belt and a full length internal frame sheet.
- The Baltoro Pro 95 comes in the standard 3 sizes (S, M & L) and each size can be adjusted at the shoulders by one increment. I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t more adjustability in the suspension system but all it really means is that it’s important to get the pack sized properly before purchase.
- Lumbar adjustment comes in the form of a small pad that can be installed or removed from a pouch between the frame and padded back panel. I personally found it more comfortable without this extra pad.
- The shoulder straps and the hip belt are heavily padded with multi-density EVA foam and of course have all the standard adjustments. This padding makes them quite comfortable even under heavy loads.
In general I found that the Response Pro chassis made this very large pack carry comfortably and securely. It moved with me over technical trail sections so I wasn’t worried bending over and grabbing chains or bushes, leaning over on steep steps, etc.
How I Tested the Pack:
The Baltoro 95 Pro was first tested in the Coast Mountain range of BC on two 7-day mountaineering trips in a variety of weather conditions (very hot to getting snowed on). I then took it into the Bugaboos area of BC on a rock climbing trip stuffed with ropes, climbing gear and food.
A review sample was provided for testing but of course this did not influence my review in any way. Bugaboos photo was taken by Bonsta.