Here is the text for my LTR of the High Peak Alpinismo Trango 65 pack. You will find the HTML in the test folder at http://tinyurl.com/3tgb2ea
Thanks in advance for any edits, comments, and/or suggestions.
3 day solo trip to climb Mt Adams (Washington)
3 day group trip to climb Mt Adams (Washington)
I have played with the various strap adjustments, but have been having trouble getting this pack to fit the way I like it. As mentioned previously, the hip belt is very long and I have found it necessary to tighten it to its smallest possible size and I am still having trouble getting it right. I have found that most of the weight hangs from my hips from the upper part of the hip belt while the lower part seems to do very little, besides maybe help to stabilize the pack.
I found it necessary to adjust the torso adjustment to the XL position in order to get the weight of the pack off my shoulders, but I still am having trouble getting the balance of the pack correct. No matter what I do I just can't seem to get the weigh centered on the hip belt like I prefer. However, after a few adjustments I was able to get the pack balanced a little better so I am was not experiencing the back pain that I mentioned in my previous report. In addition, since adjusting the torso length I have had difficulty with the pack digging uncomfortably into my upper back, between my shoulder blades.
The pack seems to be durable. With one exception, I can find little to no indication of wear on the pack. The exception is the result of some rather over aggressive glissading on my part. On my last trip to Mt Adams there was still so much snow that we were able to find places to glissade most of the way back down to the trailhead, and aside from some ice, the conditions were rather good for glissading. I believe it was the ice combined with excessive speed that caused the damage to the pack. On two glissades, upon reaching the bottom I detected a scent that reminded me of burning plastic or rubber, and on one of then I hit a section with ice on both sides of the glissade chute hard enough to bruise my hip. Upon returning home I found one of the stretch side pockets of the pack (the one I had a aluminum water bottle in) shows signs of abrasions and looks like it might actually be slightly melted, that could explain the burning rubber/plastic smell. I cannot fault the pack for this, as it is clearly beyond what the material should be expected to endure (not to mention my hips, it took 2 days for the bruises to fade).
While in the above I have pointed out some things about the pack that I am less than pleased with, I also feel it necessary to mention that on my second trip to Adams I was debating on if I would use the High Peak, or another pack of similar size that I really love due to its comfort. While my other pack might be more comfortable to wear, the High Peak pack is close to 1lb (0.45kg) lighter, since this trip involved hauling my entire backpack halfway up the side of a mountain, the lighter weight was the deciding factor and after the trip I believe it was a good choice.
At the conclusion of this test I have mixed feelings about this pack. I really like its light weight. However, the difficulty in getting it to fit comfortably and the length of the hip belt will limit my use of it, especially if I continue to lose weight. Upon first examining the pack I was thinking that its variable torso length could make it a versatile pack that I could use myself, or loan out for use by my wife, kids, or friends, but the long hip belt severely limits who could use it. Therefore, in regards to ongoing use after the completion of this test I expect I will only use it when the weight savings overrides the other factors, e.g. climbing.