Lezyne's Great Divide pack is their largest pack offering. A very generous 24 liter cargo capacity and a pretty standard 3 liter drinking bladder makes this suitable for camping. Add in 5 external pockets and one big basement pocket and you have a ton of easily assessable storage areas from the outside.
Externally, this pack has lots of storage. Start with a water resistant, soft material scratch free zipper pocket for your electronics, such as music devices, with an earphone cable port. This is the go-to pocket for easy access zipper storage.
Next you have two mesh pockets on the hip strap. These can be accessed while wearing the pack, so are perfect for items you might use a lot.
Large side pockets on either side of the pack are great for small items.
For odds and ends there is the outer pocket on the back of it all. It is made of a stretchy fabric that allows you to cram and stuff items in a hurry yet still hold them safe. It closes with a single buckle.
That sits on the second largest compartment which fully zips out. This compartment has the most features of the bag (see below).
Finally the main compartment is roomy enough for a 3 liter bladder and lots of stuff.
A great feature is the ventilated storage under the pack Wet, smelly or dirty items can go here and not contaminate your other stuff. It also works great for clean items.
|I love the zipper pulls.|
The zipper pulls are simple string coated in rubber. Light weight and no rattle.
Two main compartments. This one features tons of pocket space for your little items, it is even labeled with pictures of the things that go in the pocket so you don't have to dig to see whats in there.
The hydration bladder compartment is lined with reflective material called Temp Shield to keep temps constant.
Any bladder will fit in, I tried out a different brand with no problems. There is a little velcro hang tab to hold the bladder and keep it from sliding to the bottom. The hydration tube exits center so can be used on either side.
The ventilated back is a nice touch. Large soft pads feel nice on the back, but allow room for air to circulate and reduce sweating.
Shoulder straps are a nice size and slightly padded. The shoulder strap circles the neck so there are no pressure points. Compression straps help adjust the load from the pack.
A hip belt and a sternum strap help keep the bag secure and the sternum strap even has a built in whistle in the buckle.
Hard to see but there is a secret compartment on the very bottom of the pack. To me it's another place to put something you need to find fast so I like it.
The back plate is removable. Why not, right? It can be washed, not used, or replaced with other items.
Having a separate zipper compartment for the back plate means more storage. I found it a great place to store flat items like maps, spare cables and my stove wind guard.
The back plate has two thin aluminum strips that can be bent to custom form to your back.
Having a rigid structure means the pack will stay in place when you are in the riding position.
|similar sized items can replace the back plate|
You don't have to use the back plate.
Above is the back plate removed. An epiphany occurred. Replace the back plate with something that is needed for camping. You lose your ventilation and custom formed pad, but you gain storage space and trade off a little weight.
I had two ideas. The first, to the left, is to use a closed cell foam pad, cut to fit, to slide in the compartment. These pads are great for sitting on the cold ground at your campsite.
The other idea is to store your air mattress in the space. I have a Big Agnus Air Core pad that is just big enough folded to take up a lot of pack space, but is needed for camping. It's small enough to fit in the back pad space. and it is not really taking up that much space.
The air mattress valve can stick out the zipper compartment instead of sticking you in the back.
There are two compression straps on either side of the bag. The upper ones can pull duty to hold a full face helmet by running the straps through the face plate or a regular helmet by running the straps through vent holes or any way you see fit.
As tested, I ran the stock bladder. It has several nice features, one being the velcro flap that hides and secures the tubing to keep it from kinking inside the pack.
The bladder closes using a zip-lock top which opens wide enough to get your hand in for easy cleaning.
The tube is threaded on so it is easy to remove for cleaning, and there is no chance it will pull off as the tube seems to be well attached to the threaded part. The tube exits on the side of the bladder, which is nice as the tube needs to run up the side where there is more room.
The Great Divide pack is big enough to be used for camping yet small enough to be used for a day ride.
This is a great pack, but there is always room for improvements. I would love to have a few webbing straps in the event I run out of space inside and need to strap things to the outside.
I'm torn whether I want a fully mesh lower compartment or not. Full mesh means you really can dry out or air out items, but also means dirt and water can get in while riding or when you put the pack on the ground. I guess Lezyne made a compromise here by putting the mesh only on the sides.
The outer pocket is a lycra type fabric, and lycra over time deteriorates while the nylon in the bag should last forever. The stretchy fabric is nice for cramming, but I would rather have something that will last. Time will tell if this fabric will do the job.
The bite valve is one I have seen on other products. Although you can turn it 90 degrees to shut it off mine still leaked. It got worse during my camping trip, so bad that I had to resort to kinking the tube twice to shut off the water flow. This is probably a defective bite valve more than a bad design, but I typically switch my favorite bite valve over anyway, so I am not concerned about this one.
Bottom line: WOW! This is my favorite pack, although not as roomy as my 30 liter pack, or as minimalist as my training pack, it is the nicest and has the best features. This is an all day/ multi-day pack for the outdoors person that needs to carry a lot of gear, but does not want a bulky cumbersome pack.
More photos below:
The electronics zipper pocket sits right on top of the pack with a waterproof zipper. It ingeniously exits into the main compartment (not directly out the pack) then out that main compartment to ensure no water drips into the electronic compartment.
The outside pocket holds lots of things you can get to quick.
Ample of storage room in the middle pocket. Easy access to items specific for bikes. The pockets all have pictures of the items you are likely to use it for.
The main pocket is deep and holds most of your gear.
Side mesh pockets on the hip straps are great for holding items that you can get your hands on wearing the pack, and is a free way to add more storage space.
I stored my little flashlight in one and found I could use the light through the mesh without unzipping or removing it.
This is the lower compartment which adds a good amount of extra storage. When not in use it just wrinkles up on itself and flattens out.
The vented sides allow items to air out.
View from beneath.
Another pocket: this one is within the lower pocket from above. What this is for is your choice. It will make a good secrete compartment, but mostly the more pockets there are the easier it is to find things, as long as you can remember which pocket your items are in.
The Lezyne bladder is a standard 3 liter/ 100 oz.
The hose screws onto the bladder so no chance it will ever pop off.
A velcro flap keep the hose from kinking or wandering around,
and the opening is big enough to get your hand in for cleaning.
It uses a ziplock style closure system.