Gregory Maya 22 Review
Cons: Minimal padding, loses shape when stuffed
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Gregory Maya 22 is made of durable 210D nylon with a 420D nylon bottom. It is available in one size only with a 17-inch, adjustable torso and weighs 28 ounces.
While this pack is not particularly uncomfortable in any way, it isn't a standout for comfort either. There's minimal padding on the hip belt and only slightly more on the shoulder straps. There is a decent amount of padding on the back, with a mesh covering and cutouts to increase ventilation, but without a rigid internal frame to hold those layers apart, the Maya isn't nearly as breathable as options with a mesh back panel. Also, with no framing, a full load or a reservoir in the hydration sleeve forces the back of the pack to bow inward against you, which is not all that comfortable. If you plan on packing a lot on your day trips, check out the Jade 28, also from Gregory. It has a frame suspension and an open mesh back and is much more comfortable with a heavy load than the Maya.
There are a few great features on this pack that make it reasonably versatile. Most notable are a soft-lined top pocket for fragile cargo, and a dedicated loop and bungee system to attach sunglasses easily to your shoulder strap. It also has a single compression strap on each side and an internal zippered pouch with a key clip to keep you organized while you're out. Importantly, the hip belt pockets are big enough to fit an oversized smartphone inside (we tested the Samsung Galaxy S9+), but only just barely.
This pack is actually on the heavier end of the pack at 28 ounces. Though it's significantly lighter than some of the biggest and beefiest bags we tested, it doesn't have quite as many features and isn't nearly as comfortable as those fully loaded models. Compared to similarly designed models, we think the Maya is actually a little bit heavy for the features, comfort, and versatility it offers.
Ease of Use
The Maya 22 isn't offered in multiple sizes, though it does feature an adjustable torso length. It's one of the few packs with this feature and uses a velcro system slightly narrower than some other Gregory bags we tested. The load-lifting straps on the shoulder straps are mildly effective, as the back of the pack can extend up beyond the shoulder straps, unlike some other packs in this review. But, like many of the packs that we tested, the hip belt is on the small side, and if you wear larger than a size 2 or 4 (as most of us do), you might not get great coverage.
The ripstop 210D nylon used on this pack is a step up from previous versions, which adds a good amount of durability to this bag. Gregory doubled up on the bottom of the pack, with 420D nylon, further adding to the longevity of this pack. All this added fabric thickness only increased the weight of this pack about an ounce heavier than the previous version we tested. There is still a good amount of exposed mesh on the front, back, and sides of this pack though, which can easily get snagged on your adventures.
This pack retails for a slightly above average cost. Though it is a bit less than most of the models with more framing and padding, it's about on par with (or just a touch more than) some of the similar "lightweight" full-featured packs. If you're after a bag that merges light padding and minimal structure with decent comfort and capacity and good versatility, we think the Maya might be your Goldilocks.
While the Gregory Maya 22 didn't win any awards this time around, it's a decent-performing bag that strikes a middle ground of performance. It didn't wow us in any single category, but it does a pretty good job of remaining padded, useful, and durable while being lighter and more agile than much of the competition.
— Cam McKenzie Ring
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