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A Love Affair | My Gregory Kletter Day

by , May 6, 2013


Sometimes it’s not really about functionality…

It’s the usual story… a mechanic drives a Corolla, a builder lives in a shed. For someone that spends my life thinking about better carry, it’s funny that one of my favorite packs is a Kletter Day.


We bought it in Tokyo some years ago. It was pre-kids, when my better-half wanted a simple pack for uni. It worked OK for that, without really shining.


But then we had some kids, started hauling random bits of everything in support of them, and it quickly became a part of our best experiences.


This is a really simple pack. The buckles are a bit sharp, there’s not really any pocketing to speak of, and it won’t help you hunt deer or fly off cliffs, but man has it woven itself into the fabric of our family.


The shape is perfect; tear-dropped for odd loads, sized for a full day out, and clean so it won’t snag when being shoved under a seat.

The fabric is nailed; it’s soft, drapes without drooping, and is almost cotton-like in appearance.

The color is interesting without screaming, and the main zip is big, so it just works.


The build quality is perfect, so it is ageing beautifully (unlike many modern heritage bags). It can have attachments added, but that would kinda wreck the idea of it. And it continues to appear in almost all our family photos, so the emotional connection is only getting stronger.

And that’s about all there is to say about it.

  • Ernzky

    Is Gregory pack MADE in China?, Japan? USA? is it sold in the USA? looks like a Kletter daypack

    • Ando

      have you seen our post http://www.carryology.com/2013/02/15/insights-made-in/

      The Gregory is made in a factory that care and do a good job. That should be enough 🙂

      While I don’t think Gregory USA still sell it, there are retailers that ship to the US. Google will help with that.

      And yep, it’s in that whole vibe of the Kletter day. The Japanese market was one of the first to bring back that whole heritage vibe, which the US and then Kletterwerks recently released back into. So while the original Kletter packs inspired the Japanese versions, which then inspired the new US versions, which then inspired the original crew to get back in with their sons… Haha, it’s all a big loop!

      PS: I think it’s actually made in Philippines, but hopefully after reading our Made In… post that doesn’t actually change anything for you.

  • Dave

    I miss the old Gregory. Was surprised (and happy) to learn Gregory still sells many of their historical bags — just not in the US markets. Take a look at their website but select Japan or other Asian markets, not Gregory USA. Going to Asia this summer and looking to buy one of their classic day and a half bags. I checked in with Gregory recent — no stated plans to make these packs available in US.

    • http://www.carryology.com/ ando

      Thanks Dave. Some good context.

    • IanK


      Saw a LOT of Gregory bags in Japan a few months ago. I’m going again in a few months, and have been there roughly 20 times, so I have definitely had the opportunity to browse over there!

      Actually, I bought myself a Karrimor backpack a few months ago in Japan, and it’s incredible. I wanted a simple, but cool-looking backpack with very few pockets, and an 18-22 litre main compartment. I also didn’t want to look like I was trying to be trendy — no Eastpak, Herschel, or any other Eastpak clones. I could use my existing backpack, but I don’t want my Osprey Raptor 14 cycling pack, which I use Mon-Fri to ride to work, as my weekend bag as well. I love it, but it’s stained and worn out from overuse.

      Then, for curiosity’s sake, I went to the Karrimor website and was appalled by the choices people had in the UK and elsewhere. Just clunky and hideous. I guess they secretly produce awesome bags, and send those directly to Japan.

      • Ando

        Yeah, it’s funny. I used to feel robbed that Japan had different ranges to the rest of the world. But then I realised that the Japanese customer totally deserves better stuff. They research their purchases like crazy, and are willing to pay for quality like no other country.

        For instance, as would would have seen, most of the world’s best fruit gets airfreighted to Japan, because they will pay $500 for a perfect mango. You don’t really see that anywhere else.

        So most consumer brands have Japan specific stuff, often designed and made by different teams, which if they sold these ranges in other countries, about 2 people would buy.

        What I get really excited about is that as web commerce grows, the rest of us are starting to get access to this gear. Starting to froth…

  • Ernzky

    I prefer Made in USA or Japan bags

    • Ando

      Oh, that must suck.

      You end up missing out on lots of the worlds best bags and carry!

  • Dance with the Girl

    Nice post. I think the thing it shows best is how a well-designed piece really does become an extension of your life. I have a strictly utilitarian backpack that–exactly because of its fugly usefulness–has outlasted a half dozen other bags that were more purpose built and purpose bought.

    It’s the one that’s helped me get through everything from exploring the world to schlepping groceries to taking my kid to the park. The only thing it apparently can’t do is grow any easier on the eyes.

    • http://www.carryology.com/ ando

      At least it’s not a Dora the Explorer or Barbie backpack. Now that would suck.

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  • http://marrazo.tumblr.com/ marrazo

    I have a Rust (orange) attachment pocket to this I just put up for sale on eBay, usually only for sale in Japan!


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