Granite Gear Crown 3 versus Granite Gear Blaze

Posted by Mark Richardson on Aug 02, 2022

Granite Gear's Crown3 and Blaze multi-award winning backpacking rucksacks have been a staple for long distance backpackers for years, steadily refined to the near perfect trail masters that they are today they combine a comfortable carry, durability, low weight and a host of backpacker friendly features. At first glance the two packs are quite similar, so we thought we'd spell out the key differences in this article.

The key difference between the packs is the maximum load they are designed to carry, in the case of the Crown3 this is 15kg (35lbs), compared with 22kg (50lbs) for the Blaze. In order to achieve this capability the Blaze requires a better HARNESS SYSTEM, which it has. There is an optional frame stiffener for the Crown3 which adds about 3.5Kg to the max load capacity which may be an option if loads are generally below 15kg but occassionally may go above this figure.


The Crown3 Harness System has a stiffened back panel to transfer the weight to the hip belt.

The Crown3 Harness System has an adjustable hip belt girth and fixed back length (a range of sizes are available).

The Crown3 Harness System has padded hip belt & shoulder straps and a padded back with channels for ventilation.

The Blaze Harness System has a stiffer back panel which transfers the weight to the hips and keeps heavier loads more stable.

The Blaze harness System has an adjustable hip belt girth and adjustable back length for a precise fit.

The Blaze Harness System has better padding on the hip belt and shoulder straps versus the Crown3.


The overall weight of the Crown 3 (Regular) with its lid is 1254grams.

The overall weight of the Crown 3 (Regular) with the lid removed is 1156grams.

The overall weight of the Blaze (Regular) with its lid is 1470grams.

The overall weight of the Blaze (Regular) with its lid removed is 1386grams.


Feature-wise the Crown3 and Blaze are remarkably similar, both have the backpacker friendly features you would like to have, they are well designed and easy to use. Having said this we did notice the Blaze hip belt pockets have been set 'off' the hip belt itself making them more practical when packed with gear. On the crown the pockets are sewn into the hip belt which means the contents can be squashed if they are full and the hip belt is tightened fully.


The difference between these two packs is all in the HARNESS SYSTEM and there is a material difference between the two. We think the maximum loads are realistic figures and therefore if you are trying to choose between these two packs you should think about the maximum loads you intend to carry. Lightweight and ultralight backpackers are unlikely to stray to far above the 15kg load weight of the Crown3 except perhaps if they have some winter backpacking in mind, therefore the Crown3 should be on most people's list as its up to 230grams lighter than the Blaze.


However, if you struggle to find a comfortable pack for your backpacking trips then you may consider the Blaze even if your load is likely to be lower than 15kg as you will appreciate the stiffer back panel transferring the weight more effectively and the thicker padding on the hip belt and shoulder straps. Of course if you are going to regularly carry 18kg and over, then the Blaze is the best choice out of these two.

Mark Richardson

Mark was the founder of Ultralight Outdoor Gear back in 2006 and has completed long distance backpacking routes in some of the remotest parts of the world. His favourite hikes have been Torres del Paine (full circuit), the John Muir trail and the Markha Valley trail (Ladakh, India). Although semi-retired Mark has not lost any enthusiasm for minimalist backpacking and is tackling Scotland’s Munros choosing multi-day backpacking routes over the more usual guide book excursions.

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The Blaze and the Crown have long been the key backpacking rucksacks in Granite Gear's range, their features are very similar so we explain the differences here so that you can make an informed choice.