Gregory Juno 24L Review
Cons: One size only, heavy
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Gregory Juno 24L
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|Pros||Great ventilation, backpack-like comfort, useful pockets and attachments, well built, intuitive use||Large capacity for versatile uses, great back ventilation, adjustable torso, included rain cover||Great features and pockets, easy to use, adjustable torso length||Great access to your gear, big pockets, simple yet versatile||Shockingly lightweight, padded shoulder straps, useful features, packs into own pocket|
|Cons||One size only, heavy||Runs small, heavy, easy to overstuff for average day hike needs||Water bottle pockets are a bit small, front stow pocket is a bit small||Unsupportive hip belt, not the most breathable back panel||No hip belt, small overall size, no back padding - can feel contents|
|Bottom Line||All the comfort and security of a full backpack in a bite-sized daypack||Look no further for one of the most comfortable daypacks in our test group for heavy loads and big days out||This pack can comfortably do-it-all with excellent features, strong durability, and impressive adjustability||A durable, versatile pack that's both easy to use and easy on your wallet||An ultralight solution that doesn't cut out all the comfort and features|
|Rating Categories||Gregory Juno 24L||Gregory Jade 28L||Osprey Tempest 20||REI Co-op Trail 25...||Osprey Ultralight S...|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Specs||Gregory Juno 24L||Gregory Jade 28L||Osprey Tempest 20||REI Co-op Trail 25...||Osprey Ultralight S...|
|Measured Weight||31 oz.||42 oz.||31 oz.||30 oz.||4 oz.|
|Back Construction||VaporSpan ventilated mesh||Crossflow suspension||AirScape backpanel; large spaced horizontal padding bars covered by large-holed mesh||HDPE framesheet||Lightweight nylon|
|Hydration||Internal hydration sleeve||Internal hydration sleeve||External hydration sleeve||Inner hydration sleeve||None|
|Rain Cover||No, but DWR finish||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Outside Carry Options||Lare exterior stretch pocket, 2 stretch side pockets, 2 zippered hip belt pockets, 1 zippered pocket, hiking pole storage, ice axe loop||External stretch pocket, trekking pole holders, ice axe attachement, sunglasses loop and bungee, hip belt pockets, hydration hose clip||Lidlock helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, large stretch front pocket, ice tool loop with bungee tie-off, side pockets, hip belt pockets, sunglasses shoulder stow, bike light loop||Pole fasteners, side mesh pockets with elastic enclosure||Side pocket|
|Materials||210D Honeycomb Cryptorip nylon, 420D reinforced bottom||210D nylon body, 420D nylon bottom||70D x 100D nylon body, accent and bottom 420HD nylon packcloth||Recycled nylon||40D Nylon ripstop|
|Notable Features||Sunglasses stow loops, hydration hose attachment, trekking pole attachment||Adjustable torso length, internal pocket, cinch straps, sunglasses quick-stow||Helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, sunglasses quick-stow, bike light loop, shoulder strap pocket, stowable ice axe loops||Ability to add REI Trail 2 Waistpack for more storage, contoured foam harness, raincover included, bottom is reinforced to be abraison resistant||Packs into its own pocket|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Gregory Juno 24L is a women's daypack made of 210-Denier Honeycomb Cryptorip nylon with a double-thick reinforced bottom. It has a VaporSpan ventilated mesh back panel and dual-wing hip belt with zippered pockets. It comes in just one size, meant for torsos 14 to 19 inches long, which should fit a wide range of ladies.
The Juno is one of the most comfortable daypacks we tested, with features we normally see in full-sized backpacks and a flare that makes it great for all-day wear. The shoulder straps and hip belt are fully lined with soft, flexible mesh against your skin (or shirt). Tapered edges to every strap add another level of comfort to this already flexible yet supportive suspension system. The hip belt wings are as wide as most full backpack hip belts, with large zippered pockets that don't detract from the security of their grip. The back panel of the bag itself is suspended away from the taut mesh that rests against your back, leaving lots of space for airflow between the pack and your back. While several other daypacks have similar-looking systems, this one works exceptionally well. Even wearing a windbreaker and hiking on a warm late May morning in the mountains, our testers didn't get overly sweaty — a ringing endorsement for the usefulness of Gregory's VaporSpan ventilation system.
The only part of this pack's comfort that we don't love is the webbing sections of the hip belt. While totally adequate and functional, this single-thickness strap is a letdown compared to the rest of the bag. Rather than some others with doubled-over straps forming secure, even triangles with the hip belt wings, these single webbing straps are too easy to tighten unevenly, resulting in the belt clip being yanked off to one side. There are no loops or "secret" pockets behind the hip belt pockets, either, that would allow you to tuck away the strap tails. Instead, depending on the size of your waist, the tails dangle limply in the middle, tapping your thighs as you walk. Again, this system isn't uncomfortable; it's just a step down from the level of security the rest of the suspension system brings to the table.
When it comes to pockets, loops, and helpful attachments, the Juno 24L once again shows up admirably. A large main compartment is easily accessed with a double zipper and includes a simple elastic-top hydration pocket with an exit slot under the top handle. The outside has just the right number of pockets to keep you organized without creating a confusing maze of "what pocket did I put that in?". A small zippered pocket on the outside near the top is reinforced with padding to add protection for storing electronics. A stretch mesh pocket offers a solution for that extra layer you no longer need as the day grows warmer. Both hip belt wings have zippered pockets that can accommodate most oversized smartphones. Side stretch pockets easily hold standard 1L Nalgenes.
A loop and hook at the top of the inner hydration pocket provide versatile options for whatever bladder you'd like to use, while a perfectly placed clip on the right shoulder strap secures your drinking hose. The left shoulder strap has a dedicated sunglasses storage loop system that keeps your glasses nearby and un-crushed for quick access whenever you need them after exiting the shady forest. The trekking pole loops and straps are intuitive and easy to use, with an ice axe option as well, in case that's your chosen sport. The sternum strap includes a small whistle, just in case. Really, the only thing the Juno is missing is an integrated rain cover.
At 31 ounces, the Juno 24L is one of the heavier daypacks that we tested in this review. There aren't any extras or removable parts that you could choose to leave at home to lighten your load, either.
However, with its excellent, secure fit, it doesn't feel like a heavy pack. Even fully loaded with its listed maximum capacity of 20 pounds, the way it fits and moves with you helps it adequately distribute weight and feel like a much smaller load than it really is.
Ease of Use
Though we're not the biggest fans of "one size fits most" options, the single size of the Juno does a pretty decent job of accommodating the 14-inch to 19-inch torso lengths it claims. While some models achieve this adjustability by incorporating specialized back panels that can be lengthened or shortened, the Juno relies on its shoulder straps and load lifters to do the trick. Our main tester has a 17.5-inch torso and found this pack very easy to fit to her back, with an easily adjustable sternum strap to finish the job.
This symmetrical bag is easy and simple to pack and unpack, no matter what size and shape your contents are. Tightening straps clip into place over the main compartment opening to reduce stress on the zipper. A dual-direction pair of zipper pulls make it easy to access the largest pocket without stopping from either side of your body. All of the Juno's pockets and features are intuitive and easy to use, offering simple and versatile options for just about every hiker.
Made of 100% nylon, the main body of the Juno is 210-Denier Honeycomb Cryptorip (ripstop) fabric, while the bottom is reinforced as 420-Denier nylon. The whole thing is treated with a DWR coating to help repel water.
We have no complaints or concerns about the durability of this bag. At every point of high wear or possible tension, seams have been reinforced, the fabric is thicker, and/or clips and straps ease high-stress points. Even the mesh pockets are thicker and harder to snag than many other models we tested.
The Gregory Juno 24 isn't the least expensive daypack we tested, but it is one of the most impressive. It may be overkill for some users, but if you're dying for the same level of comfort and security in your daypack that you have in your full backpack, we think the price for this excellent bag is well worth its performance.
The Juno 24L is a daypack that has the support and comfort of a full-size backpack. Its full suspension system easily redistributes weight in ways that make it feel lighter than it really is, while the mesh suspension back panel keeps you drier than others, even on hot summer days. It has superbly functional and easy-to-use pockets and features we love to use and a durable design that's built to last.
— Maggie Nichols
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