With summer almost here and many hiking trips planned, it felt like the right time to upgrade my 10 year old REI Co-op daypack to a high tech Gregory Juno backpack. Once I find good gear, it is hard for me to part with it, and being an environmentally conscious person, I do my best to wait until gear is almost unusable. At last, it was time to upgrade my day pack! Since I absolutely adore the Gregory brand (you can see how much I LOVE my Gregory Deva 60 backpack), I am trying out the Gregory Juno H20 Backpack. Read on for my review!
Gregory Juno H20 Backpack:
For the last month I’ve been using my new Gregory Juno H20 on all of our family hikes. What I like most about it is the comfort. It is truly breathable (given the nice ventilated suspension system), has ample room to carry all of my supplies (plus my two little boys’ extra clothing, snacks, and water bottles), and includes a super convenient and surprisingly high tech hydration system.
My Favorite Features:
The specific model I am using is the Gregory Women’s Juno H20 30 Liter backpack. This series comes in 24L, 30L, and 36L, and I felt the 30L size would be a good day pack for most hikes, including long day hikes at altitude that require extra layers of clothing and supplies due to uncertain weather conditions. Based on my recent usage, below are my favorite features of the Gregory Juno backpack.
- Ventilated suspension with mesh and alloy frame around the perimeter. This is a huge upgrade from my old daypack, and has kept my back much drier (i.e., a lot less sweaty!) on my recent hikes.
- Women’s specific hipbelt and large zippered pockets. Gregory is well known for their hipbelts, and I love the hipbelt on my Gregory Deva and am falling in love with this one on the Gregory Juno. They are more structured than other brands’ hipbelts, but that’s exactly what you’ll want on long hikes since you want the weight of a backpack to fall on your hips, not your shoulders! A comfortable hip belt means proper pack weight dispersion and a comfortable hike! And yes, large pockets are a must to carry essentials like lip balm, sunblock, and snacks.
- Useful pockets. There is a top zippered pocket with a padded area lined with soft material, ideal for a smartphone. There’s also an interior zippered pocket in the main storage area that has a security pocket with a key clip. Plus, the front section of the pack stretches (for quickly stashing things like a clothing layer, a map, your kid’s extra layers, etc.), and there are 2 large mesh side pockets.
- Trekking pole/ice axe storage. As to be expected (and I really appreciate!), Gregory makes high quality gear for serious hikers. Therefore, they have nice touches like a trekking pole/ice axe storage point with a loop closure. Beginning hikers may not consider this important, but I recommend that almost everyone use trekking poles, and who knows, one day you might read the Hiking Lady website so much that you’ll be inspired to do some snow travel and buy yourself my favorite ice axe, the Black Diamond Raven Pro. 🙂
- Gregory 3D Hydro Reservoir Included: If you don’t already have a hydration bladder, than this is super helpful to have a new one included with the purchase of this Gregory backpack. For those of us who already have hydration bladders, perhaps Gregory will make this an optional Add On in the future to make the price point of the backpack even more affordable. For years I have been using a CamelBak hydration bladder, and I have reviewed many other brands and styles. However, I am quite pleased and surprised at the features of this included bladder. It has an integrated drying hanger, its unique design makes it dry more quickly than my CamelBak bladder, and it has quick disconnect tubing (a must have feature meaning that you don’t have to unthread the tubing from your backpack in order to refill the bladder). I also really like the magnetic clip that snaps on the sternum buckle to keep the bite valve in a convenient spot.
Specs of the Women’s Juno H20:
- Weight: 2.06 pounds/934 grams
- Volume: 30L/1831 cubic inches
- Fit ranges: Fits Torsos 14-19 inches. Fits hips/waists of 27-45 inches
- Reservoir “bladder” capacity: 3 Liters
- Colors: Coral Red, Laguna Blue, or Nightshade Purple (mine is this color)
- Price: $149.95
Have you thought about upgrading your daypack, or perhaps you’re a first time daypack buyer? You should definitely check out the Gregory Juno H20 line-up!