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High Sierra Sport Company NAJA 70+10 Backpack

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  • James Triplett
    Hey Team! I had full intentions of uploading a version of this report to the test folder before I sent this today... but alas, it didn t happen. I have the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2003
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      Hey Team! I had full intentions of uploading a version of this report to the test folder before I sent this today... but alas, it didn't happen. I have the html file created but need to do some more photo editing before I upload. The text should be pretty much as depicted below.

      Looking forward to edits and comments. I should get the photo version posted tomorrow, and will send a note when I have done so.

      Warm regards,

      James T.

      Initial Test Report:
      High Sierra Sport Company
      NAJA 70+10
      Personal Biographical Information
      Name: James E. Triplett
      Age: 43
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 2" (188 cm)
      Weight: 195 lb (88.5 kg)
      Email address: jetriple@...
      City, state: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
      Date: October 26, 2003
      Backpacking Background:
      I grew up car camping all through my childhood. As the son of two teachers, we camped in order to be able to afford a vacation, always in the summer, and usually we headed north from the Midwest to find cooler climates. That instilled in my love for the outdoors, which spurred me into backpacking, and eventually motivated me to continuously hike the lower 1/3 of the Appalachian Trail. Currently, I spend many weekends backpacking and camping each year, and am out on a daily basis on shorter hikes. I camp with the Scouts, my family, and solo. I try and take at least one one-week backpacking trip each year in addition to the several one to three-night trips.
      My style can best be described as three-season and lightweight. I have ventured out in the winter, but I'm a total novice when it comes to snow camping. I love gadgets, and may have more than one of any item in my gear closet to select from prior to any trip. I prefer a tent (with a floor) over a tarp, but have not yet tried hammocking.

      Manufacturer information:
      Manufacturer: High Sierra Sport Company
      URL: http://www.highsierrasport.com
      Found under High Sierra: Internal Frame Packs -or- by searching for "Naja"

      Product information:
      Model: Naja 70+10
      Model No.: 5961
      Year of Manufacture: 2003
      MSRP: $135 US (Although the "approximate retail" is stated as $90 US.)

      Dimensions: 28.5 x 14.5 x 9 inches (72.4 x 36.8 x 22.9 cm)
      Volume: 4,820 cubic inches (79 liters)
      Torso length: 14 to 18 inches (35.6 to 45.7 cm)
      Frame size: Adjusts 18 to 20 inches (45.7 to 50.8 cm)
      Listed Weight: 6 lb (2.72 kg)
      Actual weight: 5 lb 15 oz (2.69 kg)
      Weighed on a US postal scale

      Materials: 1000-denier Duralite, 600-denier Duralite, Diamond Ripstop, Mini-Ripstop

      Color: Cinder, Biscuit, Hot Sauce, Black
      All Naja packs at the time of this review are available in three color combinations, according to the High Sierra website:
      1) Cypress, Seafoam, Evergreen, Black
      2) Cinder, Biscuit, Hot Sauce, Black
      3) Dive, Ash, Navy, Black
      Additional Product information:
      From the High Sierra website:
      q 70-liter top-load main compartment with gusseted drawstring closure under the lid
      q 10-liter drop-bottom compartment
      q Adjustable top lid with neoprene sport flap
      q Multiple compression straps secure gear
      q Hydration water tube port (reservoir not included)
      q Lashing hardware holds ice ax/hiking poles
      q Elastic shock cord on front holds a shovel or other accessories
      q Vapel Mesh Airflow padded back wicks moisture
      q Vapel Mesh Airflow padded shoulder harness with adjustable load-lifters
      q Vapel Mesh Airflow adjustable padded waist belt helps secure the pack
      q Adjustable sternum strap stabilizes the pack
      q Dual-side mesh water bottle pockets
      q Full-zip rain cover in bottom zippered pocket allows pack to be checked at airport



      Upon Arrival:

      The Naja 70+10 was a replacement test item for the 50+10, which was simply not long enough for taller testers. The 70+10 was graciously provided once it was deemed that the 50+10 was not testable by the majority of those chosen for the 50+10 test. The 70+10 is 2 inches (5.1 cm) longer that the 50+10.
      The Naja 70+10 is one decked out backpack. There is no end to the straps, buckles, zippers, pouches, and shock-cords. It even has a self-contained rain cover. At six pounds (2.72 kg) though, it is a rather hefty pack. It appears to have been designed for comfort, function, and extra features, without much consideration for weight. The colors and styling are pleasing.

      Initial Inspection:

      Trying the pack on for the first time, I thought that this pack would be too small even though it was indeed longer than the 50+10 I had initially received. I loaded the pack up with some light items and tried it again. It was slightly better. I then loaded it with about 25 pounds (11 kg) of gear and found that to be better yet. Still - the shoulder straps slope down over my shoulders rather than straight back to the pack. It should be noted that High Sierra Sport Company said that even the smaller Naja would fit testers, such as myself, with a 21" (53 cm) torso length. However, nothing in the HSSC literature, on the web or in print, says that it will fit anyone with a torso longer than 18" (46 cm). I have taken several short jaunts with the Naja 70+10 and decided to continue my testing, as despite what appears to be a slightly undersized harness, at least so far the pack seems to be comfortable.
      Storage Features:

      The main compartment of the pack, the 70-liter (18.5 gallon) portion, is a simple cavity without any pockets or other amenities. The only features found in this area are the hydration sleeve, which is large enough to hold my 3-liter (100 oz) bladder, and the two hydration tube exit slots above each shoulder strap. The top of the compartment has some thin nylon fabric which extends beyond the main cavity by about 7.5 inches (19 cm). At the top of this sleeve is a drawstring with a cord-lock and a plastic fob with the HSSC logo molded in. At the base of this sleeve, is another equally equipped drawstring, which actually allows the closure of the main pack should the extension not be needed.

      The lower compartment of the pack, the 10-liter (2.6 gallon) portion, is another simple cavity without any pockets or other amenities. The only feature inside this compartment is a zipper which allows the top compartment floor to drop out making the two cavities become one. This zipper is not accessible from the top compartment. Below the lower compartment, just under the hip-belt, is a zippered sleeve, which houses the self-contained rain cover.

      The remaining storage related features are all on the outside of the pack. Starting at the bottom of the pack, there are two denier pouches, which are gusseted onto the hip-belt on each side. Though pleated, these zippered pockets are only about the size deck of playing cards, and in fact it is a struggle to get a deck of playing cards in and out of the pockets.
      On the outside of the lower (10-liter/2.6 gallon) compartment are two cable loops with protective plastic tubing over them, which look to be substantially reinforced where they attach to the pack. Directly above the loops is an elastic shock-cord zigzagging down the main compartment. It appears that a tri-pod would fit nicely here, although it as billed as being able to hold a shovel. I don't carry a shovel backpacking, but I don't believe I would store it here anyway, as the shock-cord is rather lightweight.

      Around to the sides of the pack, even with the zigzag shock-cord, are two mesh 5 x 7 inch (13 x 18 cm) pockets. The top edge of the pockets is elastic. These pockets are a nice size for snacks, a camera, rain gear or a water bottle, but cannot be reached while wearing the pack. Right next to the zigzag shock-cord, on either side, are plastic clamps, which are designed for ice axes or trekking poles, according to the literature.

      At the top of the pack are an adjustable lid with storage inside, and a neoprene sport flap. The lid is adjustable in the fact that disconnecting a Velcro attachment and lengthening the web straps can raise it, as would be necessary when the nylon sleeve at the top of the main compartment is extended. The underside of the lid has a flat mesh storage compartment. Unfortunately, the lid is not detachable. The sport flap is a trampoline type square of neoprene, which is designed to hold a helmet. The web anchors for the sport flap are adjustable, but only have about a 3.5" (8.9 cm) adjustment range.
      There are also two Velcro loops, one on each shoulder strap, which may be used to keep a couple of small items close at hand while wearing the pack.

      Fit Features:

      The Naja 70+10 backpack is unique in that the frame size is adjustable using the Ergo-Fit adjustable shoulder harness system. The shoulder harness has a 10 x 10 inch (25 x 25 cm) pad, which goes against your back and to which the shoulder straps attach. This whole assembly slides up and down on two rails, which are basically non-contoured, non-bendable aluminum stays. A web strap is adjusted to keep the shoulder harness in position. My measurements show that the adjustment range is a little more that 3 inches (7.6 cm), although the literature says 4 inches (10.2 cm). Loading the pack with different weights indicates that there is some stretching possible, which may make the pack tolerable for testers with a 20 to 21 inch (51 to 53 cm) torso.

      The heavily padded hip-belt has two load tensioners on each side. One pair pulls the pack straight in, and the other pulls it down and in at about a 45 degree angle. There are also load-levelers on the shoulder straps, and the sternum strap can move up and down a slight amount.
      The Naja 70+10 has two compression straps on each side, and one down the middle of the pack. Also, on the rear of the pack there are two compression straps, which snug up the lower compartment. Additionally, the lid may be tightened down to further aid in keeping all pack contents snug and stationary.

      Additional Features:

      The Naja 70+10 backpack has a neatly stored rain cover in the bottom of the pack. The cover, once removed, may be tightened using a drawstring so that only the shoulder straps and hip-belt are outside the cover. The cover is large enough to envelop the entire pack even when the pack is expanded to its largest capacity. Another feature of the rain cover is that it has a zipper, and can completely seal the pack, harness and all, so that the pack can be transported without any protruding parts.

      The High Sierra Sport Company Naja 70+10 backpack comes with a small tag with a Boomerang registration number. This is for tracking and returning your pack should it ever become lost. The registration card states that you can receive "free 6-month coverage", but it does not say what happens after that.


      As I stated earlier, this is one decked out pack. The Naja has nearly every feather imaginable for storage and fit adjustment. Even the hydration sleeve has elastic at the top! It appears at this early stage that many of these features will be nice to have and use in the field. The craftsmanship seems to be very good, and the style is likable. The hip-belt and shoulder straps are well padded and comfortable. These are all positive things. On the negative side, the adjustable shoulder harness needs to extend another inch or two. Despite assurances from High Sierra Sport Company, the pack doesn't quite fit. This is a shame since this is a giant pack, and potential buyers could well be large men who wish to carry a large volume of gear. Not only that, but it appears that that extra inch (2.54 cm) could be available as the aluminum rails go well past where the attachment point stops. The only other negative observation at this point is the weight. When tossing this pack around to take pictures and observe all the features, I kept looking in the pack to see what was in it. The answer: Nothing. Even empty the pack feels like it has a sleeping bag in it.

      Test Plan:

      As fall and winter approach, I will use the High Sierra Sport Company Naja 70+10 as my primary pack for all overnight trips. I intend to load the pack with my tent and other camping and hiking food and gear, and take it on medium distance adventures. I will also perform various tests on comfort and adjustability on daily hikes in the area. This time of year should also easily allow for testing the rain-cover as well.
      Respectfully submitted,
      -James T.

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