Granite Gear Crown3 60 Review

Granite Gear’s Crown3 60 is the much-anticipated update to the popular Crown2 model released in 2017. The new model retains key features, like good compression straps and deep pockets, while introducing more ways to customize the pack for the type of load you’re carrying. Also new this year is the ability to transform the top lid into a fanny pack or a chest pack.

The Crown3 60 is available in unisex and women’s fit and is priced competitively.

Granite Gear Crown3 60 At-a-Glance

MSRP: $239.95
Volume: 60L
Sizes: Unisex, Women’s Fit
Torso: Short (15-18” torso), Regular (18-21” torso), Long* (21-24” torso)
Hip belt: Unisex: 26-42″ Women’s: 24-40″
Weight (Women’s and Unisex Regular): 2.6 lbs
Load limits: 25 lbs without frame sheet, 35 lbs with frame sheet, 43 lbs with frame sheet and aluminum stay (sold separately)
Material: Robic High-tenacity nylon (100D and 210D) with Barrier DWR

*Long not available in women’s fit

Women’s | Men’s/Unisex

Intended Use

The Granite Gear Crown3 60 pack is designed for multi-day backpacking. The pack can be modified to a sub-two lbs pack for ultralight hikers, or can be reinforced to carry loads up to 45 lbs.

Circumstances of Review

I put my Granite Gear Crown3 60 through the ringer, hiking 250 miles of Te Araroa on New Zealand’s South Island. It got scraped by tree trunks and thorny bushes, splattered with mud, poured on, and treated to the intense UV rays of the southern New Zealand summer. I opted for the women’s fit and a short torso size. 


granite gear crown3 60 on airport seat with lid removed and sitting next to pack

Ready to travel as my carry-on with the top lid converted to a fanny pack.

Adjustable Load Limit: The Crown3 60 can be modified for ultralight, moderate, or heavier loads. For lighter loads, the internal plastic frame sheet can be removed. This will also shave some ounces off the weight of the pack itself. Meanwhile, for extra reinforcement to carry loads heavier than 35 lbs, insert a U-shaped aluminum stay (sold separately). 

Re-Fit Adjustable Hip Belt: The hip belt can be lengthened or shortened via a velcro accordion-fold design at the middle. That way the hip belt pockets can always be positioned towards the front of your hips, and there are shorter webbing straps at the front closure. 

Removable Lid: The lid of the pack can be easily removed, along with the strap clips. Its straps are also long enough that a bear canister can be fit underneath (at the top of the main body of the pack).

The lid is designed to be converted into a lumbar pack by clipping it over the removed hip belt. Alternatively, it can be attached to the shoulder straps and worn across the chest.

Pockets: The Crown3 60 features a stretch mesh front pocket, two large side pockets with cinch closures, and two zippered pockets on the hip belt. 

Comfort & Fit

Overall I found the Crown3 60 to be pretty comfortable. The shoulder straps and hip belt use solid dual-density foam and have a simple design, which I found really comfortable.

The molded foam back panel felt firm and rigid initially, but I soon got used to it. I was skeptical about the ventilation, but the back panel is patterned with channels that help body heat escape. My back would still get sweaty on hotter days, but the fabric on the back panel never wet through. 

Unfortunately, I was at the top limit of the torso size on the short pack and experienced some discomfort when carrying a heavier load. The load lifters were completely horizontal on me, and I had to keep them cinched tight at all times. It would have been nice to have a second upper fixture point for the load lifters. I also couldn’t effectively make use of the second chest strap and ultimately left it at home. 

Granite Gear Crown3 60 Pros

fully removed hipbelt of granite gear crown3 60 with lid attached as lumbar pack, showing velcro refit system

The Re-Fit hip belt can be shortened or lengthened at the midpoint, and can also be used to convert the top lid into a fanny pack.


More than anything else, the adjustable hip belt drew me to this pack. Our bodies shift and change throughout the day, to say nothing of changes that happen over months and years. Having a pack that can comfortably shift with me is important.

I have a narrow waist and have to cinch most packs to their tightest, ending up with lengths of webbing dangling down and my entire waist being enclosed by foam. On the other end, my friends with wider hips complain about never being able to reach the hip belt pockets on their packs and having the webbing digging into their skin instead of the comfort of foam padding.

The Re-Fit hip belt is designed to be adjusted in the middle of the belt, where it rests behind your back. Because of this, hikers with a wider range of waist sizes can benefit from the full coverage of foam padding around the hips, while also keeping the hip belt pockets to the front of the hips. 

sage green granite gear crown3 60 side view


The pockets on the Crown3 60 are large and well-designed. I appreciated the large, deep side pockets most of all. They can fit two water bottles and can be cinched tight. This meant I could tilt and bend over without worrying that anything would fall out.

However, the cinch cord ends are situated along the back panel and would sometimes irritate me. The pockets have a slight angle to them for quick access to a water bottle while on the move, but I found I simply didn’t have the shoulder flexibility to manage it. Instead I kept my bottle in an accessory pouch on the front of the shoulder strap (sold separately).

The mesh pocket on the front of the pack is also really deep and had a good amount of stretch, as well as a couple compression straps to keep items in place. I easily stuffed my wet tent into that pocket a few times.

The hip belt pockets have a good structure and I was able to open the zippers one-handed. I fit a few snack bars into one pocket and the other one was able to hold my sunglasses, chapstick, and a couple other small items. I didn’t keep my phone in the hip belt pocket, but it fits well enough.


I’m impressed with the durability of the fabrics on the Crown3 60. There were plenty of times where I had to grate against rocks, scrape under logs, or bash through thorny bushes. The mesh never got torn and the fabric only shows minimal abrasion on the side pockets.

Granite Gear Crown3 60 Cons

Water Repellent, Not Waterproof

The Crown3 60 has a DWR treated fabric, which offers decent water repellency. However, dirt and oils will degrade the DWR treatment reducing the water resistance over time. Regularly washing the pack will help maintain the DWR, but that isn’t an easy thing to do on a thru-hike. Moreover, as this wasn’t designed as a waterproof pack, it isn’t seam taped.

I kept my pack lined with a garbage bag to protect the contents from moisture, or you can purchase an ultralight pack cover from Granite Gear. 


Inclusive sizing continues to be a struggle with women’s hiking gear. While the Men’s pack is available in three torso lengths (short, regular, long), the women’s fit is only available in short and regular. The Re-Fit hip belt is definitely a unique approach to more inclusive sizing, but the maximum 40-inch length on the women’s fit still isn’t adequate to accommodate many women’s hips. 


These days, most gear companies integrate sustainability into their philosophy and business practices. In contrast, Granite Gear doesn’t have much transparency surrounding their sustainability initiatives.

This isn’t to say Granite Gear doesn’t have any sustainability initiatives — the brand does partner with some trail and outdoor organizations and plans to phase out PFAS in its DWR coatings starting this fall, for instance — but it’s hard to find meaningful information about these programs, making it tough for the consumer to make truly informed decisions.

Final Thoughts

granite gear crown3 60

The Granite Gear Crown3 60 is a competitively-priced, versatile, mid-weight pack that’s great for long-distance hikers who aren’t quite ready to shave all the grams. It strikes a balance between the feature-heavy backpacks sold in most outdoor stores and the sleek minimalist lightweight packs from smaller brands.

The ability to customize the pack for different anticipated loads is where the Crown3 60 really shines, offering up a one-size fits all design that can be stripped down for ultralight loads or that can be beefed up to accommodate heavier gear.

Shop the Women’s Granite Gear Crown3 60

Shop the Men’s/Unisex Granite Gear Crown3 60

Comparable Backpacks

REI Co-op Flash 55 Women’s | Men’s
MSRP: $199

Gregory Facet 55 / Facet 58
MSRP: $249

Osprey Eja / Exos 58
MSRP: $260

The Granite Gear Crown3 60 was donated for purpose of review

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Comments 1

  • Jingle bells : Mar 14th

    Nice review. Always wondered if they’d ever update. I had a 2 and enjoyed it but eventually moved to a fairly self modified Flash. The adjustability here should make it a winner for many who try it


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