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EDIT: Naja 50 + 10 Initial Report (Cora)

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  • Todd
    Good job on the intial report! Please see my comments below. -Todd ____________________________________ High Sierra Sport Company (HSSC) Naja 50 + 10 Backpack
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 30, 2003
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      Good job on the intial report! Please see my comments below.


      High Sierra Sport Company (HSSC) Naja 50 + 10 Backpack
      Initial Report

      Reviewer Information
      · Name: Cora Hussey
      · Age: 23
      · Gender: Female
      · Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
      · Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)

      ** COMMENT: Maybe add torso length since that would be pertinent to
      the report

      · Email address: cahhmc "at" yahoo "dot" com
      · Web page: http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~chussey
      · City, State, Country: Los Angeles, CA, USA
      · Date: August 27, 2003
      Backpacking Background: I began backpacking seven years ago. I enjoy
      weekend and longer trips to the Sierras and the nearby Angeles and
      San Bernardino Forests, but I also travel to Washington, Colorado,
      and elsewhere. I love backpacking in spring and winter snow more than
      anything (especially on skis) but I am also very happy scrambling off-
      trail in the Sierras or glacier-hiking in the Cascades. My enjoyment
      of backpacking also provides a basis for my additional pursuits in
      climbing and mountaineering.

      Basic Product Information
      · Year of Manufacture: 2003
      · URL: http://www.highsierrasport.com/
      · Listed weight: 5.5 lb (2.5 kg)
      · Weight as delivered: Unknown (too heavy for my postal scale)

      ** COMMENT: Try your local post office or elsewhere to get weight

      · Listed capacity:
      o "50 + 10" L (60 L / 3600 cu in)
      o Also listed (probably in error) on tags as 2630 cu in (44 L)

      Preliminary Information
      · Date of arrival: August 11, 2003
      · Contents of package (contents were complete):
      o Pack (with rain cover)
      o Tags on pack, including information from the website
      o Catalog and a very nice letter offering support, thanks, and
      more assistance
      · Condition upon arrival: Excellent

      Product Description
      + General:
      The Naja is a bells-and-whistles pack with a metal suspension, tons
      of padding, tons of pockets, and adequate space for me to pack for a
      few nights of adventure. The Naja has a main compartment, and a
      bottom compartment. The two compartments are separated by a piece of
      fabric which can be zipped out of the way to combine them. The top
      compartment is closed via two drawstrings (one for smaller loads, and
      one up the compartment collar for larger loads), and the bottom
      compartment is opened via a thick zipper

      ** COMMENT: maybe separate this last sentance into 2 sentences

      The suspension is composed of a hip belt and an upper padded area
      which connects to the straps. The upper padded area (which I will
      refer to as the shoulder harness) rests against two flat metal bars,

      ** EDIT: 'aluminum stays' is probably more accurate

      and it slides along the bars to adjust to the length of the torso of
      the wearer. The shoulder harness is then kept down in position by
      tightening two straps under the padding. Here is a picture of when
      the padding is lifted up to

      ** COMMENT: Might read better as 'Here is a picture of the pack with
      the padding lifted to'

      expose the adjusting bars and straps (the right strap is loose, and
      the left strap is tight):

      Here is another picture with the padding as it is normally, covering
      the bars and straps. This should also illustrate that there is an
      upper shoulder harness, and a lower hip belt, and that they are
      separate (perhaps reword). The green arrow marks the edge of the foam
      I lifted in the picture above:

      The Naja also comes with a yellow rain cover that has both a cinch
      cord to tighten it to the pack while wearing the pack, and a zipper
      that fully closes the cover around the pack like a duffel bag. The

      ** EDIT: rain fly would be two words, I think of a fly as for a tent
      though, maybe 'pack cover'? It's up to you.

      also has a small clear plastic name tag that the owner can fill out
      for use when traveling.
      + Dimensions:
      The tags on the Naja state that the dimensions are 26.5" x 12" x
      8.25" (67 x 30 x 21 cm), and I found it too difficult to measure
      these accurately to confirm them. However, they seem to be in the
      right ballpark. For example, my 13" x 8" (33 x 20 cm) sleeping bag
      can be squashed in the bottom, and my 75 cm (29.5") ice axe is
      slightly longer than the pack is tall. I can also offer some
      dimensions regarding fit. My measured torso length (7th vertebra to
      top of sacrum) is 19.5" (50 cm). The Naja webpage and tags claim that
      it fits torsos sized 12" - 16" (30 - 41 cm). I found the frame to be
      just large enough to fit me in a standard fashion, where two-thirds
      of the hip belt width was below the pelvic flare, and the sternum
      strap at mid-sternum or below. However, I personally like having the
      hip belt 70-100% above my pelvic flare, and so I have 4" (10 cm) of
      extra adjustment space on the frame. Here is a picture showing the
      length of the Naja when spread out (empty) to my 75 cm (29.5") ice
      axe, which is one of the longest things I commonly put on my pack:

      + More Details:
      The top lid is secured down with two straps with buckles. There is a
      mesh pocket under the top lid, and the main top lid pocket is lined
      with soft microfleece. The top lid is not removable, but it is
      adjustable to accomodate

      **EDIT: spelling - accommodate

      larger or smaller loads.

      The front straps designed to hold poles and/or an axe (see Personal
      Observations below)

      **EDIT: add a couple commas here - "The front straps, designed to
      hold poles and/or an axe, "

      consist of a rubberized loop on the bottom front of the pack, and a
      clip-type attachment on the top front of the pack. There is one
      rubberized loop and one top clip on each side, for two poles or two
      axes. The top clips can be tightened and are two plastic pieces which
      hook onto each other and which are given tension by an elastic band.

      **EDIT: awkward, maybe reword this last sentance to get rid of
      the "and are", maybe something like "The top clips consist of two
      pieces of plastic which hook onto each other and can be tightened
      through the use of an elastic band."

      There is an opening on each side of the pack for a hydration tube to
      exit, and there are velcro

      **EDIT: change to hook and loop fastener, unless you know it is the
      velcro brand, in which case it should be capitalized "Velcro"

      attachments for the tube on the front of either shoulder strap. There
      is also an internal pocket for a bladder which fits my 96 oz (3 L)
      One of the items I found most interesting is the placement of the
      load lifters. Even when the shoulder harness is tightened all the way
      down (at its smallest, where the load lifters will rise the furthest
      from the straps), the load lifters do not rise at the standard 45
      degree angle above the horizontal. In fact, they even point downward!
      Here is a picture to illustrate:

      One can see that angle A is not really within the 50-150 degree angle
      that usually separates straps from load lifters. Time will tell
      whether this change in design is effective.
      The sternum strap can slide up and down with 3 in (8 cm) of freedom.
      There are straps that go from the lower mid section of the pack frame
      forward to the waistbelt,

      **EDIT: waist belt should be two words

      and these allow the wearer to pull the middle of the suspension
      closer. There is also a plastic D-ring on the bottom of the left hip
      pad, and an elastic loop on the bottom of the right hip pad, which
      intrigued me, but for neither of which I can think of a use .

      **COMMENT: maybe change this last part to - "but can't think of a use
      for either"

      The fabric on the colored portions of the body is Duralite with small
      ripstop grids. The fabric on the black portions of the body is
      rougher Duralite, of a more ballistic style construction.
      + What I Expected:
      The Naja was very much what I expected from the photos I had
      researched beforehand. The HSSC website description and the tags
      attached to the Naja itself have a few inaccuracies, however. These
      include claiming that it has bungee cords on the front (it does not,
      rather, it has webbing and clips) and that it is 2630 cu in, which
      goes against the 50 + 10 L measurement. (60 L is 3600 cu in, and 2630
      cu in is 44 L). Despite the greater accuracy of the images, however,
      I was also suprised

      **EDIT: spelling: surprised

      to find out how squat the pack is. The images did not really give me
      a sense of how wide the pack is around the middle, and how short the
      pack is in height. These are not big issues, however, and overall I
      was simply amazed at the number of wonderful pockets, pulls, straps,
      and other details which are really nifty and which they did not

      Testing Plan
      Trip Details:
      I plan to test the Naja on approximately 5-8 trips over the six month
      period. These trips will include technical daydrips,

      **EDIT: spelling - day trips (2 words)

      shorter overnights, and at least one trip longer than four days. My
      testing purposes include:
      · Use for general backpacking
      · Use as a ski and snow backpack
      · Use for "weekend warrior" style overnights
      · Use as an agile backpack for moving on uneven and technical
      Locations will probably include the Sierras (Yosemite, Sequoia, and
      King's Canyon National Parks, along with Inyo National Forest),
      Joshua Tree National Park, Angeles and San Bernardino National
      Forests, and the Santa Monica Mountain National Parks.
      Weather will probably include wind, rain, snow, and temperatures
      ranging from 90 F (50 C) to well below freezing. The trips will
      probably include abrasive, wet, and sunlit conditions. Elevations
      will average between 8,000-10,000 ft (2,400-3,000 m) with a standard
      deviation of 3,000 ft (900 m), and the trips would be mostly in
      mountainous terrain.
      Test Plan Details:
      Over the next six months, I intend to test the following attributes
      of the Naja:
      · All advertised aspects, including pole and shovel
      attachments, the rain fly, and the Vapel suspension.
      · Comfort, flexibility, fit, breathability, stability and
      adjustability of the suspension over varying terrain, packing styles,
      and content weights.
      · Water, sun, and abrasion resistance in harsh conditions and
      over time
      · Trade-offs such as weight, durability, ease of use, overall
      pack layout and packing efficiency, and general gear organization
      options versus well-tailored packing tools.
      · Any needed maintenance or upkeep throughout the testing

      **EDIT: use periods consistently in the bulleted list above

      Initial Tests and Personal Observations
      + Concerns:
      · The ice axe loops:
      The loops on bottom and latches on top fit my ice axe well, but the
      pack is too short for safe ice axe strapping in those locations. The
      loops on the bottom require that the point be placed downward, and
      the head be on top, with no way to secure the head. Mountaineering
      ice axes are 60 cm (24") or longer, and the pack, when completely
      full, is only 67 cm (26.5"). My axe is 75 cm (29.5"), which means
      that the head of the axe floats at least 3 inches above the pack, and
      that is when the pack is completely stuffed. This means the axe can
      catch on trees, rocks, and eventually work its way upward and into a
      hazardous situation. It is usually considered unsafe to let your axe
      be able to slide up or down enough to fall out (unless in a temporary
      situation). Thus, I will not test the axe loops with an axe since I
      consider them unsafe to use.
      · The Rain Cover:
      After a quick test of holding the included rain cover under the
      faucet, I determined that the fabric was not waterproof and that
      water leaked through it. This frustrated me, since I use rain covers
      to protect my pack from the rain when it must be put outside the tarp
      or tent I am sleeping in. Thus, I will probably use a separate cover
      when I need a waterproof cover, since this leaky cover does not fulfil

      **EDIT: spelling - fulfill

      my requirements.

      + Confidences:
      · The Ski Strapping System:

      **EDIT: spelling - Usually

      Usually, manufacturers just don't understand.

      **COMMENT: incomplete sentance?

      They somehow think that skiers want to put their skis in side
      pockets, and have them tower above their heads. I guess they never
      carry skis. HSSC, on the other hand, understands. They provide nice
      and wide slots on either side of the pack to slide skis in and attach
      them together up top. I slid my skis into the slots, attached them
      together properly, and danced around inside my apartment so much that
      while swinging around and having fun I nearly took my ceiling fan
      · The Pockets:
      This pack is loaded with them. Need a pocket on the front panel? Its

      **EDIT: contraction for "it has" is "it's"

      got one - mesh, with a velcro

      **EDIT: same velcro comment as above

      closure. How about water bottle pockets? Yep, its

      **EDIT: it's

      got them too - a mesh one on each side. Bladder pocket? Sure, big
      enough for my largest bladder. Rain cover pocket? Of course. The Naja
      even has zippered and bellowed pockets on the outside of the wide ski
      straps. I am very excited about the number of pockets available and
      their placments.

      **EDIT: spelling - placement

      · More than I expected from looking at the website:
      Always a plus. The website did not even begin to convey how detailed
      and engineered the Naja really is. From the pockets to the fabric to
      the strap placement, I was constantly thinking "Hey, the designers
      must have thought this one through". I hope that this report and my
      future reports can give a better sense of the depth of design in the
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