The Gregory Jade 53 backpack is a joy to pack and organise kit thanks to a range of different sized compartments and pockets. Access to the main compartment is excellent with both a top opening and large U-shaped front zip. The only issue might be the limited volume because 53l is at the lower end of the capacity for the packs on test.

Fiona Russell’s verdict

I recommend you try before you buy to ensure it properly fits your back and torso.
  • Eco features
  • Pockets
  • Access
  • Back System
  • Weight
  • Space
  • Instability
Quick specs
Price: £210
Weight: 1860g
Capacity: 53 litres  
Materials: 40% recycled 400D Polyester Ripstop nylon, 420D nylon base, 40% post-consumer recycled 135D polyester lining, EVA foam, multi-density foam
Closure: detachable lid, drawcord closure
Back: tensioned mesh, alloy steel perimeter frame
Hipbelt: flexible, cushioned hipbelt
Pockets: hydration sleeve, 2 zipped lid pockets, 2 stretch mesh side pockets, rear stash pocket, 2 zipped hipbelt  pockets
Features: 3.5in of length adjustment, full access U-zip, zipped lower compartment with removable divider,  double layered base, side compression straps, rain cover, PFC-Free DWR, ice axe/trekking pole loop, Bluesign approved buckles
Sizes: XS/S, S/M
Women’s/Men’s Version: no

The fabric is robust and also, pleasingly, made from partly recycled materials. In fact, there are plenty of eco-friendly details such as the part-recycled lining fabric, PFC-free DWR (durable water repellent) and Bluesign-approved buckles.

The pack (I have the S/M) fits nicely in the length and I found the velcro adjustable back system easy to use. Comfort was initially good thanks to the tensioned mesh back system and the hipbelt and shoulder straps that are generously wide and padded, too.

Further plus points include the large and solid buckles, easy to grip and use zippers, the large hipbelt pockets and general feeling that the components are made to last.

However, there is a downside to the Gregory Jade 53 because when fully loaded it felt rather wobbly and top heavy on my back. I did my best to adjust the straps to pull the Jade 53 towards me but  the shoulder straps were too wide across by chest and I could not achieve a comfortably stable load. It might be that the XS/S would fit me better in terms of width, but that would mean the torso length is too limited.

I recommend you try before you buy to ensure it properly fits your back and torso.

Another minor negative is the rear stash pocket that is limited in terms of use because it only has a small element of stretch.

Written and tested by Fiona Russell

Fiona is 5ft 8in and a slim build. She has tested the packs on trails and hills when filled with enough kit for a couple of days of walking and an overnight wild camp. The packs were weighed on digital scales.