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IR-High Sierra Summit 45 Pack-Cheryl McMurray

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  • Cheryl Mcmurray
    Here s my IR for the High Sierra Summit 45 Pack. The URL is at: http://tinyurl.com/2d6v4t3 Thanks, Cheryl M HIGH SIERRA SUMMIT 45 PACK TEST SERIES BY CHERYL
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2010
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      Here's my IR for the High Sierra Summit 45 Pack. The URL is at: http://tinyurl.com/2d6v4t3

      Cheryl M


      INITIAL REPORT May 31, 2010


      Name: Cheryl McMurray
      Age: 51
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
      Weight: 145 lb (66.6 kg)
      Torso Length: 18.5 in (47 cm)
      Email Address: cherylmcmurray2ATgmailDOTcom
      City, State, Country: Garden Grove, California, U.S.


      I've been backpacking and hiking for four years, mostly on weekends year around. Overnight trips are usually long weekend trips in the Eastern Sierras with 32 lb to 40 lb (15 kg to 18 kg) loads depending on the season. One class two rock climb with a day pack is common. Day hikes are 10-15 mi (16 km to 24 km) in the San Gabriel Mountains with loads of 15 lb to 20 lb (7 kg to 9 kg). I'm a tent style camper and have experienced snow, sub-freezing temperatures, winds (once was gale force), light rain, but mostly fair weather.



      Manufacturer: High Sierra Sport Company
      Manufacturer Website: www.highsierrasport.com
      Year of Manufacture: 2010
      List Weight: 4.6 lb (2 kg)
      Actual Weight: 3 lb 9 oz (1.6 kg)
      Listed Capacity: 2750 in^3 (45 l)
      Size: Universal fit - torso range 15 in to 19 in (38 cm to 48 cm)
      Color: Pomodoro/ Ash Wavy Stripes/ Black
      Available colors: Amazon Green/ Tungsten/Black, Black
      MSRP $160 US
      Warrranty: Limited lifetime


      The High Sierra Summit 45 pack is a top loading overnight or weekend pack loaded with features that add convenience and versatility. It's made of a combination of materials that include Grid-Weave Duralite, Mini-Weave Duralite, and Duraweave on the bottom of the pack, all having a very sturdy feel to them. It is a universal fit that has a single adjustable aluminum frame bar that can be removed and contoured to fit the shape of the back. The shoulder straps along with the hip belt are padded and constructed with Vapel mesh Airflow.

      Backpack as it came with tags
      Back View
      Backpack as it came with tags
      Back view (notice GPS in media pocket


      When the pack arrived and I pulled it out of the box my first impression was that the pack did not have any frame support. It was folded slightly in the box which helped aid my misconception but after closer inspection I did indeed see that it has a single aluminum bar frame that slides in a pocket running down the inside center of the pack. I was a little concerned how much support it would actually give me as I'm used to support stays on each side, joined together or a solid frame sheet. I also noticed how sturdy the material felt to the touch. The color is a nice red and gray with the red color not appearing to bright. Although it is what I would consider a smaller volume pack for backpacking, it does come with a sleeping bag compartment at the bottom. The website states that it is feature-rich and I would have to agree with that. I'll discuss the features and my impressions of them in the next section. The manufacturer also states that this pack is lightweight but the stated weight is 4.6 lb (2 kg) for a pack that only has a volume of 2750 in^3 (45 l) and I personally would not consider that lightweight. When I did actually weigh the pack, it came in at 3 lb 9 oz (1.6 kg) which I would then consider borderline lightweight.

      The pack came with 3 tags attached. The first one was the pack information tag that included all of the features and specifications of the pack, a limited lifetime warranty tag and a tag that stated that a portion of the product proceeds go to support the U.S. Snowboarding team.



      The pack has a top loading main compartment with two gusseted drawstring closures. It looks like this feature will enable the pack to accomodate varying load sizes. The adjustable top lid has a large zippered (with zipper pulls) pocket for snacks and small items and can be removed when not needed. Under the top lid is a sewn on label that lists 12 survival essentials. A nice feature, given the smaller volume of this pack, is the sleeping bag compartment which has a divider that keeps the area separate from the main compartment but can be unzipped to make the pack one large compartment. There is a pocket on the front of the pack that zips all the way down the middle, however, there is no stretch at all to the material and may be limited in storage capacity when the pack is full. I really like the two side mesh pockets which are definitely deep enough to securely hold a 33 oz (1 l) water bottle. They have included what they call a media pocket that is attached on the left shoulder strap for cell phone, etc and is large enough for my GPS which I always carry. It is removeable with two hook & loop attachments. The hydration pocket extends all the way down the inside of the pack and is large enough to easily side my 100 oz reservoir into it. There are dual exit ports near the top of the shoulder strap areas and a elastic loop on the side of each shoulder strap to slide the hose through, keeping it stationary and out of the way. This is another nice feature I have not seen before.

      Double Gusset Closure
      33 oz (1 l) waterbottle fits well in mesh side pocket
      12 Survival Essentials under top lid
      Double gusset closure
      33 oz (1 l) bottle fits well in side mesh pocket
      12 Survival Essentials under top lid


      Both the shoulder straps and the hip belt have a thick foam padding with Vapel mesh Airflow that boasts moisture wicking. The hip belt tightens by pulling each side away from the buckle and each side has a clip for securing the excess strap out of the way. The shoulder straps have an adjustable sternum strap that will accomodate a hydration hose but no whistle on the buckle. There is a compression strap that attaches over the top of the main compartment to help stabilize the load along with side compression straps, load lifters, and hip stabilizing straps. There are two straps with side release buckles over the sleeping bag compartment that can hold a tent or foam pad.


      The back panel has a stiff molded foam back with channels to aid in airflow (see photo of back view above) and a single contoured aluminum frame bar that slides in a sleeve at the inside center of the back panel (also inside the hydration sleeve). It can be removed by opening the hook & loop closure at the top and pulling it out. Once it's out, it can be custom molded, by bending it, to accomodate the contour of the back.

      Hydration sleeve, frame sleeve, and key clip
      Frame bar (sleeve open), hydration sleeve and key clip


      There are dual daisy chains (one on each front side) with a removable lashing hook & loop strap on each side for the single ice axe loop on the left side and the dual trekking pole loops on the right side. One of the other unique features of this pack is the tuck-away rain cover that matches the gray color on the pack. It is located inside a pocket under the pack that is opened and closed with hook & loop. At first glance it looks like it takes up a lot of space inside the sleeping bag compartment area as the pocket extends up into that area. It is attached to the pack with a buckle that can be removed. Once pulled over the pack, it can be secured around the pack by pulling a drawcord with a toggle. The pack cover also features a name tag in the center that is very visible.

      Raincover pocket underneath the pack
      Pocket view from inside the sleeping bag compartment
      Raincover over the pack
      Raincover pocket underneath the pack
      Raincover pocket viewed from inside the sleeping bag compartment
      Raincover over the pack


      I first gathered all the gear that I would take on a summer backpacking trip to see if it would all fit, including the bear canister (measuring 9 in (23 cm) in diameter and 8.5 in (22 cm) tall). That was the item I was most concerned about fitting as most of my backpacking trips require one and I've never tried to fit one into a pack this small. The pack actually loaded up fine and I was able to fit everything in it, including the bear canister. The front pocket will only fit narrow items so anything bulky needs to go into the main compartment or side mesh pockets. The only thing I did not put into the pack is the food but could see that I still had some room left and don't think it will be an issue. I did notice that the back padding of the pack was a bit uncomfortable when I tried it on, poking me at the middle of my back, so I decided to try and adjust the frame bar. It took a few attempts but I was able to bend it enough to relieve the pressure in that area, making it a much more comfortable fit.

      Summer backpacking contents minus water filter
      Backpack loaded up including water filter minus food
      Summer lightweight backpacking contents minus water filter and food
      Pack loaded up including water filter

      I went on a short dayhike of 6 mi (10 km) up to Peter's Canyon near the Cleveland National Forest in Southern California with 20 lb (9 kg) of gear and water loaded in the pack. I took a varied route of ups and downs to test the comfort ascending and descending. I am pleased to report that the pack was very comfortable and I never felt any pressure areas in the hip belt, back panel or shoulder straps. It seemed well supported never pulling on my shoulders at all. I did notice that the lid would not compress down enough to snugly fit over the pack but it also did not flop around either. I do plan on using this pack for summit hikes during backpacking trips and will experiment with removing the lid for those outings. I did stow my trekking poles in the dual loops, lashing them to the side of the pack and it worked very well, also a feature I have not seen before.


      This pack is full of nice features, appears to have enough room for lightweight summer backpacking and is surprisingly comfortable so far with a load of 20 lb (9 kg). I think the color is attractive and the pack appears to be well made. I look foward to testing this pack in the next few months and want to thank High Sierra Sport Company for this opportunity.

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