Gregory Targhee 32 pack


Spoiler alert: everything I have to say about the individual features of the Targhee 32 is quite positive, so I’m just going to quickly run through them:

  • Stowable mesh helmet holder

Yep, it works great.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Gregory Targhee 32 for Blister Gear Review.
Jonathan Ellsworth in the Gregory Targhee 32, Canterbury club fields, NZ.

The only thing to say is that if you’re using the helmet holder then it’ll get in the way of the diagonal ski carry, but that doesn’t matter to me at all, because…

  • A-frame and stowable diagonal ski carry straps

The Targhee 32’s A-frame ski carry is fantastic. I have typically been a diagonal-ski-carry type of guy, but the A-frame works so well on this pack—and given that I always do bring a helmet along when I’m touring and make use of the helmet holder (if you’ve got a helmet in the helmet holder, you can’t use the diagonal ski carry), I’ve found no reason to resort to the diagonal ski carry.

The widest skis I’ve had on this pack so far are 118 mm wide at the waist and 134 mm wide at the tail, and they’ve fit just fine. If anybody wants me to try some wider skis on this pack, let me know.

  • Perimeter-wire-reinforced VertFlex suspension

It seems rather simple, but it works extremely well, and it’s one of the reasons that the A-frame works so well. If I’m in a hurry and I’m not doing any significant rock climbing / scrambling, I won’t even bother to lash my ski tips together, and will instead just “H” frame my skis. The pack holds its shape and the skis stay put; they aren’t banging into the back of my legs.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Gregory Targhee 32 for Blister Gear Review.
Jonathan Ellsworth in the Gregory Targhee 32, Canterbury club fields, NZ.
  • Dual stowable aluminum toggle ice axe retainers

I haven’t carried ice axes on this pack, but the retainers are easily stowable and disappear, and they appear to be solid. If anyone has experience with these, please leave a comment below.

  • Stowable vertical snowboard / snowshoe carry straps

No experience with these, but let us know if you’re wondering about the snowboard carry and we’ll report back.

  • Full-length back panel main compartment access

Works beautifully. Great zippers that are indeed very glove-friendly, and it’s a roomy compartment that easily stores a size Large midlayer and size Large shell, plus, gloves, food, whatever.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Gregory Targhee 32 for Blister Gear Review.
Gregory Targhee 32 front view

About the only thing I can’t comment on is how well it would handle a big camera & camera bag, but I guess my answer would be, “probably as well as any ~32 liter pack would.”

I’ve also sometimes thrown my avy equipment in the main compartment, and the main compartment easily holds a Black Diamond Deploy 7 shovel blade and handle, and a BD probe. Lots of room here, yet the pack has never felt overly bulky to me.

This is an important point, actually. I keep describing this pack as “roomy,” which points to the fact that not all ~32 liter packs are created equal. Depending on the layout, some pack make it easy and some packs make it impossible to actually access all of the real estate. With the Targhee 32, I feel like I can fill every inch of the space. I.e., it’s all useable space. “Roomy.”

  • Dedicated avalanche safety pocket

Yep, works great, and easily holds the equipment stated above.

One note: there is a fairly wide hole (a quarter easily fits through it) on the bottom right side of this pocket to allow snow / water to escape, so don’t get too lazy and start throwing your chapstick, change, spare batteries, etc. in this pocket.

  • Oversized top accessory and goggle pocket

Yep, plenty of room for a pair of goggles, energy bars, gloves, a thin beanie, and a baseball hat (for the skin up), and whatever else.

  • Internal security pocket

It’s in the “oversized top accessory & goggle pocket, and it’s where I put my keys and / or wallet and phone

  • Tubular gear loop, ice clipper slots and zippered accessory pocket on hipbelt

I haven’t used these much, but they’re there, and they aren’t in your way when you’re not using them. The only thing I notice about the hipbelt is that it’s comfortable, easy to adjust, and it stays in place when you do adjust it. Once again, I’d give it an A.

  • Hydration sleeve with insulated shoulder harness hose cover

Works great, it’s relatively easy to access and use, and it’s been relatively easy to run the bite valve & hose of my Platypus Big Zip LP 1.5 liter / 50 oz water bladder through the Targhee 32’s hydration sleeve. (And you could store a much larger water bladder in this pack, at least 3 liters.

  • Winter- and glove-friendly materials and hardware

Totally glove friendly. All the zippers are great, and the straps layout is great—unlike some other packs where you have to undo certain straps just to access the zippers and compartments you’re trying to get to, well, you don’t have to do that with the Gregory.

Downhill Performance

The Targhee 32 is comfortable, stable, and basically invisible—exactly what you want out of a pack when it’s time to ski, right? I can cinch this pack down tight enough that things stay put and I don’t notice it on the descent. Nice.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Gregory Targhee 32 for Blister Gear Review.
Jonathan Ellsworth in the Gregory Targhee 32, Canterbury club fields, NZ.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a comfortable, roomy daypack with well thought out features for ski touring, I can highly recommend the Targhee 32.

6 comments on “Gregory Targhee 32 pack”

  1. Could you post a couple of pics with the pack in the open position so we could see how its packs up and the various compartments ?

  2. Bought the Targhee 45 a few years ago to replace the venerable Arcteryx Borea 45 which finally simply wore out after almost a decade of faithful service. It carried loads well, was bomber and was simply a trustworth workhorse that survived numerous 100 ski touring day seasons without complaint. Can’t say it was refined and polished but it got the job done, no complaints. With it’s demise came the anxiety of new pack selection…after days of research and analysis; the gregory was selected. Living in a remote location, a gamble on online ordering was made. Pack arrived, pack seemed to fit, and after a few outings, the pack made me happy. Very, very happy. I agree with all the positive review comments and highlight the fact that for me, the pack receives the high accolades in the most important department…uphilling or downhilling; it simply…disappears… After over 30 years of back country skiing and numerous ski touring packs, I’ve never had a pack that achieved this remarkable level of comfort and general refinement of all the features. Well done Gregory. Having gushed with the compliments, I do have a few nitpicks…very minor but mentionable. The top lid pocket had an internal fabric liner that seemed to lack expansion into the full volume of available space. So I cut it out. The awesome never need to ski strap tips together A frame ski carry system works well and is used often in early and late season ski tour days…the bottom compression strap is bomber but the top one isn’t designed to carry the brunt of the skis weight nested on the tail side of the heelpeice. No problem for smooth trails and easy terrain, becomes and issue when negotiating convoluted terrain or steep downhills; tails of skis are vulnerable to smashing into rocks and heels of ski boots. As a higher positioned ski is a required attachment arrangement for many of my days of ski carrying, the wear has fatigued the stitching and strained the pack body fabric. As a solution, I use rubber ski straps looped through the bottom bomber compression strap and cinche them tight on skis that are raised to whatever level is desired. Works great. Pack seems to have a bit of a wieght limit in terms of comfortable carrying; loads above 35 pounds seem to overload the frame/hipbelt to the point of some sagging. Not an issue for any regular ski touring day trips but a person carrying rope, ice axes and a full load might feel it. Would have been nice if fabric was waterproof; wet coast pouring rain, wet snow and sleety outings require pack cover. No biggy though, reasonable compromise.

  3. Great into. I’ve just been skiing with the Osprey Kode 32. It seems to carry more than its volume would suggest and I’ve found it quite cumbersome both up and down hill. I’d be ok with that going up hill but the pack is very obvious going down hill.

    I am only ever out on day trips. Some are quite long and I need to carry skins and food and water in addition to regular pack kit. I have found in the past that 25l is more than enough and only bought the Kode 32 because I thought 22 wouldn’t be enough and was assured that the Kode 32 would be inconspicuous while skiing.

    As I said above, this hasn’t been my experience. As well as being a slightly bigger pack than I am used to, the sizing was awkward. The S/M was too small with the chest strap very high on my chest and the only other option is the M/L. I am 5’8″ and it seems odd that I would fit the same size pack as my ski partner how is 6’6″.

    Has anyone else had experience with the Osprey Kode 32 and, in particular, how it compares to other packs. I know that the Kode has been reviewed by Blister before and would really value an update.

  4. I’m in Australia and it’s all but impossible to lay my hands on this pack. One that I am considering is the Arcteryx Quintic 27. Has anyone had any experience with this pack? There are small number of brief reviews on it but Blister is my go-to source.

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