The new version of the Gregory Deva is similar to the old version we tested, in that this pack has it all. Tons of padding, pivoting hip belt design, and loads of space and storage options provide everything you'll need in your next backpacking pack.
Overall, the Deva is an incredibly comfortable backpack. With a women's specific pre-curved harness and hip belt, the backpack carries exceptionally well. Even though the shoulder straps are wide, ladies with narrower shoulders didn't seem to have a problem with them. The back and shoulder straps are well padded, more so than the other backpacks in the review. The Osprey Ariel 65 has a similar amount of padding on the shoulder straps, whereas The North Face Terra 55 has minimal shoulder padding. Regarding the Deva's design details as far as the padding and suspension go, this backpack remains comfortable under heavy pack loads.
In the sea of Sierra granite, we found the Deva to work better carrying larger loads rather than smaller ones.
Unfortunately, all the comfortable padding adds lots of extra weight, which is a downside to the excessive comfort provided by the Deva. On the plus side, the newer model is lighter than the previous version we tested, making it comparable to the Osprey Aura 65.
The Gregory Deva felt pretty heavy on our backs, which is a compromise that has to be made with a pack with as much padding and support as this one.
We noticed the weight behind the Deva
. With that in mind, it handles a heavy pack load with superb stability, and this makes it worth the weight. This backpack feels too heavy to carry with a lighter load, and we wouldn't recommend it for long distance trips or lightweight gear. Due to the weight, we found the Deva to be highly comfortable on shorter distance backpacking trips.
OGL Measured Volume Bottom Line:
Total Volume = 58 L
Main Bag = 42 L
Pockets = 9 L
Lid = 7 L
The new A3 suspension system of the Deva improves its weight distribution and carrying comfort. Both the shoulder straps and hip belt panels pivot independently, allowing for the backpack to remain entirely stable, even when moving over uneven terrain. Similar to the suspension system in the Arc'teryx Bora 61, we think Bora has the best suspension that utilizes the stabilizing waist belt. It operates true to its design and keeps the weight distributed while avoiding sway in the shoulders or hips. Unlike the versatility of our Editors' Choice awarded backpack, the Osprey Aura AG, we do not think the Deva's suspension is ideal for lighter backpacking.
The back panel and the shoulder straps of the Gregory Deva are super padded and comfortable.
Ease of Use
The many straps for tightening on the exterior of this backpack compromise its ease of use. Other than that, we found the pack easy to adjust regarding the shoulder straps and waist belt. The superfluous straps are compression straps on the outside of the pack that complicates the design and were unnecessary. While the extra straps allow for attaching gear to the exterior as well as to compress the backpack, the Deva is plenty spacious without having to utilize exterior straps, and the same compression may be achieved with tie-down points. The Mountain Hardwear Ozonic is a great alternative to the Deva as it, too, offers lots of adjustment without the excessive straps.
Access into all of the compartments is easy, and while hiking, the side pockets, which hold water bottles, are easily accessible as well. As a result of a more substantial weight, the Deva is not versed in a diverse range of backpacking trips, nor is it easy to carry if it is not weighted with enough gear. It doesn't carry light loads comfortably.
With five enclosed compartments, the Deva has great organization options. Aside from the main compartment, it has two medium-sized and two small enclosed pockets. One of these pockets houses the pack's rainfly, which is very bulky and takes up the majority of the space inside the pocket. This is a small concern and doesn't take away from the ample storage that the pack offers. The pack is similar regarding the number of pockets to the Osprey Aura AG and the REI Co-Op Traverse, although the pockets seem larger on the Deva. In fact, the entire pack feels larger. Like the Arc'teryx Bora the Deva has capacity beyond its measured liter size.
The lid of the Deva is large enough to store plenty of small items, but can also be compact an fit close to the body of the pack when empty.
The spacious size and variety of organization options make this backpack ideal for short distances, long-term travel, and/or family backpacking trips where many pockets are ideal for separating lots of equipment. For the woman who prefers to pack more, not less, the Deva is your pick.
The Deva is one of the most expensive packs in our review, but recent changes have made it comparable in price to our award-winning packs. At $300, it is a good value for the woman who wants a lot of space and appreciates luxury in comfort and capacity. It offers space and exceptional stability when packed full.
The Gregory Deva taking in the evening light in Little Yosemite Valley.
Considering the weight and suspension design of the Gregory Deva, shorter distance trips with mid-to heavy-weight pack loads are ideal. With plenty of space to pack everything you could desire on a backpacking trip, the Deva is one of the most luxurious models in our review. If luxury is what you seek and you can endure the weight for shorter distance backpacking, then this contender is beyond compare in both design features and spaciousness.