Gregory Tempo 5 Review
With a long standing heritage of making great packs, Gregory decided it’s time to take its pack knowledge and enter the running scene. While there are a number of running pack makers out there, Gregory has every right to be in this space as they have a great understanding of how a pack should and can fit on a persons back during activity. Starting in Spring 2013, Gregory will be introducing 6 new running specific hydration systems from handhelds to packs that go on your waist to packs that go on your back.
For this review, I’ll be speaking about my experience with the packs that sit on your back, in specific the Gregory Tempo 5. The Tempo 5 comes in two sizes, small/medium and medium/large. The internal pack capacity is 305 cubic inches, or 5 liters for both sizes which is enough room for most 2-4 hour runs. While Gregory calls its category trail running, it really can fit in the general running category in my mind. I imagine they call it trail because they are an outdoorsy company but hydration is very similar whether you are out on the trails or pounding the pavement.
The Gregory Tempo 5 hydration pack includes a 2-liter hydrapak reservoir which is generally big enough for most people and conditions for at least a couple of hours. The reservoir has a separate compartment which sits close to the back. This allows the water to be more stabilized and keeps it from swashing around while running. In the reservoir, there is a notch at the top that allows to you to hook the top of your reservoir to the top of the pack which keeps the liquid from sitting like a ball on the bottom. One downside to this latch is that if you go from side to side too much, the latch can pull the top of your reservoir off which happened to me once and I didn’t notice until I lost all my water and my back and shorts were soaked. Like I said, this only happened to me once, but it is something to keep an eye on. There is also a small compression pull tab that is integrated into the pack and you can tighten it when you start to get low on liquid so you can keep the pack nice and tight.
While in some running packs, if you have a full reservoir it pushes into other compartments and takes up most of the room. Not so in the Gregory Tempo 5. This pack still has plenty of room for a rain jacket, plenty of food and nutritional, and other small items. Included on the inside of the main compartment is a waterproof zippered pocket to store valuables like a wallet and cell phone. There are also 2 pockets on each shoulder strap that sit about chest level. These pockets are best used for gels, energy bars, phones, or other items of similar size. Note, they are not be enough for regular sized water bottles. On the shoulder strap pockets, there is also a pocket underneath that is zippered, great for stashing a house or car key. There are also two pockets on the sides of the pack that are big enough for water bottles if you want additional hydration storage. The side pockets have small compression straps attached so you can cinch them down so you don’t end up loosing a water bottle.
I tested out the M/L size as I am 6’0 tall and 175lbs and the pack fit me very well. I’ve found the Gregory Tempo 5 to be very comfortable on runs up to 4 hours which is the longest I have run with the pack so far. Since the Tempo 5 has a decent amount of room, I think it could also work out well for a day hike for those who don’t carry a lot with them.
Overall, I have been very happy with the performance of the Gregory Tempo 5 running pack with exception to the one time where the hydration reservoir came undone. If you do have any hesitation in the reservoir coming undone, I would double checking on the return policy before you make a purchase, but most outdoor shops and brands are very good about taking back products for reasonable issues.