Design for active trail pursuits but perfected suited to most anything else…
Yes, sometimes I do leave my big camera behind, though rare is the day when I have none on me. Certain trail hikes need something fast and light so I began browsing for smaller backpacks to house a point & shoot cam, as well as other accessories and hydration bladder accessible. The Gregory Miwok 12 came proudly to the top of my list and while I thought of it only as a trail pack, it’s proved way more useful.
The Miwok 12 seems to be a perfect size for exactly what I needed: Something I could throw shoulder season gear into and go. It isn’t too small and while not big either, it certainly packs a ton if you want it to. Among the things I’ve crammed into it at once are jackets, food, huge water bottles PLUS a 3 liter hydration bladder, cell phones, cameras, you name it. This thing expands with most whatever you need in the 12 liter range and keeps asking for more.
This versatility means I’m using it for everyday chores, where a larger backpack would just get in the way. It does borderline day pack size but with a bit more convenience.
At that, even when stuffed it didn’t feel wobbly or awkward on my back when filled to the brim, as some soft padded backpacks can do. The fit was extremely comfortable the entire time, whether cycling or hiking/trail running and I would go as far to say that it’s one of the more comfortable packs I own.
The strap are made of a thin and stretchy material but were angled at just the right spot to distribute weight very evenly across my shoulders. Another high point was the soft backing, which provided enough support while flexing to my movement. The vented foam was also highly regarded and kept me mostly sweat free, even on hot summer bike rides.
The other bright point of the Miwok 12 is its hydration bladder holding capabilities. I have a monstrous three liter Platypus Big Zip, which I was worried might not fit. After some coaxing, it slide in just fine though. The pouch wasn’t quite full, so something to keep in mind.
One thing I should mention is other backpacks of similar size irritate me quite a bit with hydration pouches inset. Something about the droplet shape the pouch takes pushes against my back in uncomfortable ways and I have to say, the Miwok is the first that I haven’t had that issue with.
For $85, you get a well built and wonderfully engineered do-everything pack with hidden benefits not advertised outright. I can’t imagine it working better, unless of course you need something bigger. Gregory conveniently has three other sizes in 18L, 24L, and 44L to suit your needs.
Disclosure: Gregory Backpacks sent me this product for review purposes. All opinions are my own and truthful.