We often discuss jackets or fabrics on our site, where we review, compare and learn more about the origins, purpose and use of these garments.
Having a good time outdoors is not solely dependent on where you are going or with whom. Weather plays a big role in how things will go and being well prepared is a must when out in nature.
Those who spend a good deal of their free time in the woods, mountains or hiking trails will tell you that quality clothing and gear are essential. You never know how the weather may change, especially during autumn and spring months, when it’s sunshine one minute and the next it’s heavy rainfall.
For this reason, jackets and other garments that are made to protect you against the elements, while also keeping you cool and dry on the inside are really important.
Clothes, however, are not the only thing you must consider for travel or any outdoor adventure. Backpacks are also very important.
While surely you can get away with a backpack that won’t withstand the elements or one that will last for years, having one of high quality is a really smart investment.
Name brands make great backpacks, namely Arc’teryx or The North Face, but there are in fact backpack-specific brands on the market, which specialize in designing different packs, rucksacks and all types of bags.
Today we will look at two of those brands, Osprey and Gregory.
Just a few days ago we looked at Osprey vs. Deuter and today we will do another comparison.
Let’s get started!
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A short history of the brand
Osprey is an American brand which holds the reputation for making exceptional and highly functional backpacks. It was established in 1974 by Mike Pfotenhauer, in California.
The brand has several milestones in its long history, which do not solely include the launch of their innovative designs and products, but also that of different technologies that have made their bags perform so well and be so practical.
While most backpacks will work for both men and women, having ones that are specialized for a particular gender’s requirements is a nice touch. Osprey launched its first women-only design in 1993, the Isis backpack, which would pave the way for the brand’s future women’s designs.
A technology that bears mentioning is their custom molding hipbelt technology, developed to create hipbelts that would fit perfectly around the hips and thus make carrying heavier loads easier and more comfortable.
You can find out more about Osprey’s achievements and designs over here.
Materials and Manufacture
Backpacks in general are made from Nylon or Polyester, as these are two of the most durable fabrics. Osprey relies primarily on Nylon and uses different thicknesses and performance levels to aid in the manufacturing of the brand’s numerous designs.
To further enhance the performance of their backpacks, Osprey has also developed technologies, as we mentioned previously, which are primarily aimed at making the backpack more comfortable and functional.
Some of these technologies are also developed to help make the backpacks more breathable, so as not to become a nuisance to the wearer.
Regarding manufacture, Osprey aims to create a product that is long lasting and high quality. This is not done to solely satisfy customers and make their experience more enjoyable, but to also help the environment.
We have often discussed brands that are environmentally conscious, and Osprey is one of them as well.
By making a product that won’t require re-manufacturing in a short time and won’t break down after the second use, they lessen the burden on nature by reducing the use of manufacturing processes and chemicals.
Along the same lines, they also make use of recycled materials for some of their designs, which further helps reduce the impact on the environment.
As we usually do in these comparison reviews, we will now take a look at a popular product by Osprey. (Below we will also see a Gregory’s product.)
Osprey Packs Talon 22 Men’s Hiking Backpack
Talon 22 is the design of choice for this comparison. This is a men’s hiking backpack, which comes with dual-zippered access to the main compartment.
To keep hikers safe and comfortable, it comes with a hydration sleeve on the outside so you can carry water easily. Aside from this, there is a trekking pole attachment as well, to help you carry them more practically and to also provide easy access.
It has a mesh back, which helps with ventilation and reduces risk of sweating from carrying the backpack. There are two hipbelt pockets in which you can store small belongings for quick access, and there is a LidLock helmet attachment as well.
Osprey is not a brand that can be easily afforded by everyone, but when you look at the quality and longevity of the products they design, it’s easy to understand why they come at such a high price and why they are so beloved at the same time.
On average, their backpacks go for around $150 and above, with some designs costing more than $200 if you are looking for ergonomic and high performance designs.
Are these backpacks worth the price?
There is a reason why Osprey is such a popular brand among avid outdoor enthusiasts despite the cost, and that is because the quality of their backpacks most definitely justifies the price.
A short history of the brand
Gregory was established just 3 years after Osprey, in 1977 in San Diego, California.
Its founder, Wayne Gregory, was a man of creativity and innovation as his history with designing backpacks goes all the way back to his adolescence years.
He went through years of designing and working for other brands during the time he was developing his skills and expanding the knowledge required to run a business as successful as Gregory Mountain Products.
The brand is renowned for packs that are highly functional and fit very comfortably.
This goes right along with their philosophy that “a pack should be worn, not carried”, motivating the brand’s designers and artisans to create backpacks that carry heavy loads comfortably and that make the experience of wearing them a great one.
Their backpacks are made with cutting-edge technology and are also renowned for being streamlined and adapted for different body types.
Materials and Manufacture
Another brand that makes great efforts to reduce environmental impact, as true nature lovers are wont to do, Gregory relies on high quality materials and manufacture to increase the lifespan of their products and their overall performance.
They rely on Nylon for their backpacks and ensure that everything is well-stitched and well-made after the product is finished.
The brand offers lifetime Guarantee Repair Service and have also put in place a DIY Repairable Service, both means of extending the life and use of your packs without having to throw them away.
Their supply chain is closely monitored to ensure not only the quality and safety of the raw materials, but also the adequate conditions of workplace for supplier employees, pursuant to the code of labor.
Their designs are quite interesting as they are not just made to be functional on their own, but to cater to specific activities, such as ice or rock climbing, backpacking, etc.
Namely, their Deva backpack for women and Baltoro for men are two of the brand’s best and most beloved designs.
Lastly, they have also revamped the packing and shipping process to expend less fuel for their packages and use less cardboard.
Gregory Mountain Products Jade 38 Women’s Hiking Backpack
We mentioned two of the brand’s best designs, but for today we have picked a women’s backpack, Jade 38.
This is a design made for long hikes and heavy loads. It is a dynamic backpack that adapts to the movements of your body as you move and comes with a mesh back panel that helps to ventilate and wick moisture away at the same time.
This is a highly functional design, with a sternum strap cut specifically for women, which also includes a safety whistle and hydration clip. On the topic of hydration, this backpack features a Hydration Sleeve, too.
It has several outer pockets and zipper-access main compartment that closes with a buckled top for added protection and safety.
Gregory is a pricier brand than Osprey, especially when it comes to their highly functional designs, which cost over $300 on average.
Their other designs go for about $150-$200, depending on the design and performance level.
Are these backpacks worth their price?
If online reviews and happy customers of the brand are to be taken as an indication, Gregory makes some of the best backpacks on the market.
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Read also: 7 Swedish Backpack Brands: Our Favorites
3. Which One Is Better?
To cut to the chase, they are both great backpack brands.
Is any of the two better than the other?
Yes, depending on the type of backpack you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend.
Overall, Osprey has more affordable options and its travel backpacks are some of the best designs you will find when it comes to practicality and comfort.
On the other hand, Gregory makes impeccable backpacks that you would be hard pressed to complain about. For large designs made to carry heavy loads and to take with you on long hikes, this is the brand to go for, in our opinion.
All in all, go for the design that catches your eye and meets your requirements, regardless of which one of these two brands made it. Odds are you won’t be disappointed in either.