Gregory Denali 100 Review – a Mountaineer’s Dream Backpack

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The Gregory Denali 100 is unlike any other backpacking backpack produced before or since. From the wisdom of careful research and field testing, this pack was born. It is versatile, durable, and massive, making it worthy of a review. This article will explore some of its downsides such as price as well as its upsides including its size and sturdiness. Afterwards, you will have a clear overview of this backpack and all it has to offer.

The Details

Product Specs

Dimensions: 4.33 x 13.39 x 34.65 inches
Volume: 100 L
Available colors: black
Weight: 6.05 lbs
Fabric: 210D Nylon, 420D High Density Nylon
Price: $399.95

Pros:

This backpack comes with a number of great benefits. First off, the greatest asset it boasts is its size. It has plenty of room to store your gear and belongings. Compared to other packs, it is the second largest pack available on the market; the only other ones being 105 L packs. With this pack, you can carry up to eighty pounds, more if you can pack it even tighter. It is a monster of a pack.

Further, there are a lot of easy to access pockets. The hip belt offers zipped pockets to store snacks, compass, or anything else that might need immediately if required. On the front of the pack, you can find a vertical zipper to store items for effortless access.

The backbone of the pack is made of two aluminum stays. They serve to keep the pack’s back flat even if it is overstuffed, proving a sturdy frame. On top of that, the shoulder straps, back area, and waist belt are heavily padded, offering plenty of support. For long treks, this is extremely important.

Additionally, this pack is quite versatile. There are many pockets, zippers, and attachments that can store a variety of items. This pack first came out in 2014, so you can rest assured knowing that it was well-thought-out. Compared to most other packs out there, that is incredible. More than any other pack, it went through extensive research, testing, and customer input. It is designed for glaciers, snow, and mountains. You can do almost anything with this pack.

Cons:

The biggest downside by far is its price. While it is expensive, this backpack is worthwhile for those who need a big backpack for mountaineering and summitting high alpines. It further makes up for the hefty price through its durability and versatility. Overall though when it comes to the price, this pack is not for those on a budget.

Additionally, it can be quite heavy, but only to begin with. After some time, you will get used to its weight. The weight is to be expected with a pack of this size. It can be quite daunting to swing a 100 L pack onto your back initially, but you will get acquainted to it with time.

Online Ratings and Other’s Thoughts:

At most online stores such as Amazon, it is rated over a 4.5, at a minimum of 4 for some other stores. In the online realm, it is still fairly new, but the reviews have been nothing but praise worthy for this backpack.

My Experience with the Denali 100

Before traveling to Kenya and South Africa over Summer 2017, I bought this backpack used at an REI Garage sale, specifically for the trip. While there, it was absolutely wonderful. I put all my clothes, presents for family, and toiletries in this pack. It worked to perfection with no issues.

However, I wish I had bought it new. It was fine used, but I think it would have been even better had it been brand new. Despite some minor wear and tear, the backpack worked to perfection. It stored my gear well and fit well on my back. To be perfectly honest, it was nearly new to me.

When I initially got it though, I wish I had gotten a rain cover to go along with it. On a car ride to Impala Ranch from Nairobi, it was raining outside about midway through the journey, so my clothes and belongings got wet. If you do get this, I definitely recommend a rain guard on top of it to protect your gear.

The Recommendation

By far the biggest downside to this pack is its hefty price. The pack is not for those with shallow pockets. However, it more than makes up for it in versatility, durability, and enormity. If you go on expeditions or want a hefty pack, then this pack is for you. Overall, I would give it a 9/10.

If you think I missed anything or have a question about the pack, please feel free to comment on this post and I will get back as soon as I can.

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22 Comments on “Gregory Denali 100 Review – a Mountaineer’s Dream Backpack”

  1. Well a little expensive, but I have a nephew that I know would be interested in this wonderful backpack, he hikes all the time here in Colorado. How is this pack in the winter elements? I did see about the rain guard, but just wondering about the sheer cold.

    1. While the pack is expensive, it is built for a lifetime. The pack is specifically designed for long mountaineering expeditions. It can withstand the cold and almost all that you can throw at it. In fact, it was named after Mt. Denali in Alaska. Thank you for asking your question and I hope you make it a great day!

  2. Keep up the great work Alex! Another high quality post! This backpack looks to have everything you need, you could probably carry your house in that bag it’s so big and durable.

    The cost would probably be the only thing for me but if it offers quality and I’m in need of some reliability I think I’d be willing to purchase one!

    Thanks Alex!

  3. Great review! The last backpack that I bought was on a not-so-sturdy frame that made it a puzzle to get on if I was wearing a jacket! It was smallish and seemed designed to look good in a store window. It is nice that they are making them more wearer-friendly. And thank you for the tip on the rain cover…I have grabbed my packs out of the back of a pickup and it was covered in muck and dirt from truck bed!

    1. Oh wow Irma! That sounds very rough for a backpack. This backpack is very different though. It was well designed and planned out. For many packs, it is important to have a rain cover like you said. Otherwise it can be quite muddy and wet. Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

  4. Hi Alex,

    Thank you for sharing such crucial information with us about the needs of such adventurous trips!

    Way back in the day, a group of us went deep into the Catskills Mountains to a valley called Echo Lake, for a Holiday every Jan. for a week. It was Brutally cold, the temperature dropped to the depths of 20 below Zero. For the weak of heart, it was more of a survival challenge than a vacation. Until I just read your blog, I had forgotten how alive I felt when I went on those trips.

    Thank you!

    In July I broke my Thoracic spine, in between my shoulder blades, then I also broke my Fibular (ankle) 2 weeks later. I have healed beautifully, and I am already back to hiking and life.

    I will now think and prepare for my next adventure thanks to your blog,

    Gloria Darni

    1. Ouch! I am sorry to hear about your Thoracic spine. That sounds painful, but is great to hear that you are back on your feet. Not too many people can boast that.

      The Catskills Mountains sound like a great place to backpack. From what you said, it must have been challenging, but also rewarding. I am, to be honest, inexperienced with camping in the cold, but I plan to try it out at some point. I applaud you for pushing yourself to that level. Thank you for sharing Gloria and I hope you make it a great day!

  5. Great review. The backpack sounds and looks awesome. The price is daunting but if you use it a lot I believe it will be worth it. Good suggestion on the waterproofing. A must have for sure if you are a die-hard back packer and on the trail often.
    Very informative article, Great review on the back pack. Awesome website.

    1. The backpack is a masterpiece. Its biggest drawback, though, is the price, but it makes up for it with durability, size, and flexibility. If you plan to do a lot of backpacking, then this is a perfect fit. I appreciate the compliment on my website. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Deborah and I hope you make it a great day!

  6. My husband and I go camping and hiking often. My backpack never has enough room for all the things I need, so I normally end up carry two backpacks. Even though the cost is little expensive, I think it’s probably good quality backpack that can last for several years. My husband and I will be looking more into this. Thank you for the review.

    1. It is wonderful to hear that you hike and camp with your husband on a regular basis. That must really bring you two together. I am sorry to hear that you have to carry two backpacks. It sounds inconvenient. This backpack, while it is expensive, is very high quality. Thank you for sharing Hong and I hope you make it a great day!

  7. I love hiking, and a good pack can make all the difference in the world on your hiking experience. I always go with the saying you get what you pay for and for the quality and benefits this pack is showing it is worth it. I’ve had bags in the past I got for cheap and they didn’t last long, were uncomfortable, and/or did not deliver on the benefits. Thanks for this review, this pack is awesome!!!

    1. You are right Bruce. The proper pack makes all the difference for your hiking experience. What you choose in a pack is the result you get on the trail. If you get a poor pack, then it will reflect in your hike. This pack, while expensive, is a quality backpack. I appreciate your thoughts on this article Bruce. Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

  8. How much did you pay for the used pack? What was it about the used pack that made you recommend getting a new one? Although I am not a hiker, I loved your information and feel I learned a lot about Denali packs. Who knows, maybe I’ll get one for long trips with the kids. Thank you.

    1. Anna, I got my used pack at REI for $149.95. I recommend getting a new one because I think it would be even better if it was new. As a college student, I do not have a lot of money, so I chose to get it used.

      It is nice to hear you enjoyed the information despite not being a hiker. Just remember though, you do not have to go on long hikes to be a hiker. Sometimes a short neighborhood walk is plenty. Otherwise, thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

  9. Hey Alex,
    Great review! The durability, aluminum frame, and many pockets (especially those hip belt pockets for things you need to get at quickly and easily) are enticing qualities, but as a dedicated Osprey user I was curious what might separate the Denali from their Xenith (105L storage and weighs in at 5.69 lbs). Also, how do you think Gregory’s customer support and warranty compare to Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee (not my word choice, although it is pretty solid)?

    Looking forward to hearing more about the gear you use and the places you use it!

    1. Jason, I appreciate your question and valid points. When it comes to paying for something expensive, it is important to be thorough and know everything. Gregory guarantees against any defects for as long as you own it, but does not cover damage due to improper use or care.

      You are right that Osprey does have a very solid guarantee in comparison to that of Gregory. Both, though, are near identical when it comes to customer service. I will do a review of Osprey in the coming future. Thank you for sharing and I hope you have a wonderful day.

  10. I understand that quality is important, but money is important to some extent. Is there a good pack out there for those who are more budget minded, but still want okay quality?!

    1. You are right Bruce. This is an expensive pack. If you are looking for something less expensive and high quality, the Teton Sports Scout 3400 is an excellent option to consider. In fact, I did a review of it. Thank you for sharing and I hope you have a great day.

    1. You are right William, cheap things are not worth the money. This pack is a long term investment. Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

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