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FR: High Sierra Sport Company Titan 65 Backpack - Kerri larkin

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  • Kerri Larkin
    Hi James, Please find following the text for my FR. The HTML version can be found here, or at http://tinyurl.com/b6gxkl3 Thanks in advance for the edits. Kind
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 20, 2012
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      Hi James,

      Please find following the text for my FR. The HTML version can be found here, or at http://tinyurl.com/b6gxkl3

      Thanks in advance for the edits.

      Kind Regards,

      Kerri

      My initial use was an overnight camp at Platypus Flat, north-west of Dorrigo, New South Wales. This is a magical spot by a fast flowing river with a couple of still pools where platypus live (sorry, they are too hard to get pictures of with a standard point-and-shoot camera!). Temperatures varied from highs in the low 20's C ( around 70 F) during the day to 0 C (32 F) overnight. This was a cold camp! Terrain was quite steep in places and covered with sub-tropical rainforest. Recent heavy rains had caused a lot of ground damage, and the campsite remained constantly wet from both rain and dew. My pack weight was 16 kg (35 lb). Photo above.

      Next, I used the Titan on a two day, one night walk through the Boambee State Forest in northern New South Wales. This trip was a bit warmer with temps in the mid to high 20's C (around 82 F) during the day to an overnight low of 10 C (50 F). This was a eucalypt forest which was quite damp after a heavy dew overnight, but dried during the days. My pack weight was 12 kg (26 lb).

      Finally, I've just returned from a twenty day trip (both car-based and hiking) to Kangaroo Island, which is a forty minute ferry ride south of Cape Jervis in South Australia. We encountered a mix of terrain and vegetation from open grassy camps to sheltered heath scrubs (no trees for the hammock!) to tall eucalyptus forest. Temperatures varied from highs of 28 C (82 F) to lows around the 7 C (44 F) mark. We encountered showers on one day and gale force winds on another, but otherwise the weather was fine to overcast for the entire trip. While there are a few low hills on the island, terrain is comparatively flat. I walked between 6 km (3.7 mi) and 15 km (9 mi) each day for eight of the twenty days, for a total of 70 km (43 mi), which is a long distance for me. The other twelve days were used for travel and car-based camping. My pack weight was 18 kg (40 lb) initially and down to 12 kg (26 lb) by the end of the eight days.

      Remarkable Rocks
      The Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island, South Australia


      PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

      During this phase of testing, I've certainly not babied the Titan - it's been thrown in the back of the car, hung from trees, left laying on damp ground, and lugged around on my back. I've used it as a backpack, a suitcase, and a seat. So far, the Titan has laughed at everything I've thrown at it and while there are a few things I've had difficulty with, over all, this is a very easy pack to love.

      One of the things I love most is the side handles - these are just great for schlepping the pack short distances between camping sites and the vehicle, and for manipulating the pack in the trunk of the vehicle. They have given no sign of tearing away from the pack and appear to be at the correct point to balance the pack when loaded the way I do.

      Murray Camp
      Once on, the Titan has become a different beast; some days it's very comfortable and other days I just can't seem to get it adjusted for comfort. As I stated in my Initial Report, this is a much bigger pack than I'm used to wearing, which may contribute to my lack of comfort at times. Although the shoulder straps seemed comfortable initially, I've since found them hard to wear as the padding seems to go too far along the strap and ends up rubbing my shoulder and arm. Also, the cinch buckle for the shoulder strap appears to end up in my armpit some days. I haven't yet figured why this is so on some days and not others. I also believe both of these problems are most likely related to my ample size rather than any flaw in design of the pack. I've tried adjusting the "Ergo Fit" harness to shorten the torso length, but it has only minimally helped with the shoulder strap situation. I use the shoulder strap pouch for my monocular - it fits nicely and is easy to access - but I could see it working well for a GPS or small radio.

      The chest strap mounting points make it very easy to slide the strap up or down, so it's easy to adjust when I notice it rubbing.

      One of the things I love/hate about this pack is that all the straps are plenty long. I love this because it means they fit a big person, but hate it because the ends always seem to be tangling or getting in the way. Still, the amount of adjustability means it's so easy to tailor the pack to differing loads and shapes. For one camp, I had my tent in one of the side mesh pockets, with one of the side compression straps used to hold it stable. On the other side I had my lightweight camp stretcher attached. It worked very well, and still gave me enough strap length to compress the pack.

      One of the drawbacks of being rotund is the lack of hips for the hip belt to sit on. Consequently, it's been a bit hard to get the hip belt tight enough to transfer the load to my hips. Again, this is a design flaw in me, not the pack. I found the hip belt straps a little fiddly to adjust on the fly initially, but with practice, they are very simple to adjust. The pockets on the hip belt are close to my hips and are quite handy for snacks and my camera.
      Cape Ottway
      I must confess, I completely forgot about the side access zip on my last two trips and relied solely on the top loading entrance to access the pack with no trouble at all. The mouth of the pack opens wide enough to make loading very easy, while the drawstring gusset adds a fair bit of volume above the lip of the pack, should it be needed. Again, with modern lightweight equipment taking so little space, I've really not truly filled this pack. I've often forgotten the strap across the top of the pack which is used to compress the top of the pack, but it doesn't appear to affect the stability as the top pouch secures with two buckles. I have found the top pouch is a bit floppy when not fully loaded, so I try to keep a jacket or other light gear in it. As this is a double section pouch, I keep my survival and first aid gear in the internal part of the pouch, and my jacket in the outside for easy access.

      There's a plethora of daisy chains and pole straps on the outside of the pack, most of which I still haven't used as I can fit pretty much everything inside the pack. I have used the small hinged zip pocket on the front for my hammock, and for putting my fly sheet in the hinged section. Although that seems to push the pack out quite far I've not noticed any balance problems as they are light. It also keeps the potentially wet bits of gear out of the main pack.

      I've loved having the lower part of the pack segmented to take my sleeping bag. It saves trying to squeeze it in to a stuff sack every day and helps keep the loft in the down. Nice! I have noticed the zip to this compartment seems to catch on the material which covers the zip at times, but so far there appears to have been no damage from this either to the material or the zip.

      KoalaI've also enjoyed the ease of using a hydration bladder with this pack. A slit on each side of the pack for the hose gives me options, but I found bringing the hose out on the side opposite the shoulder strap with the pouch meant less chance of dripping water into my monocular. I also found the "D" rings and elastic loops were pretty much in a perfect position for clipping the bite tube to.

      Probably the least successful part of the pack for me is the "Air Flow" venting system on the harness. While the theory is great - using body movement to act like a bellows and pump cooler air in and sweaty air away - in reality it just didn't work for me. Again, I think that's more to do with my size; perhaps a trim person would not have a back which fills the hollows of the bellows so readily.

      I love the material this pack is made from: I had numerous encounters with spear grass on Kangaroo Island. This stuff is exactly as the name suggests. The seed heads are very sharp and have a barb meaning that if they penetrate something (clothing, socks, skin) they are hard to remove. The best option is to turn the clothing inside out and pull them through, although that doesn't work so well with skin. Although the mesh side pockets and the webbing were susceptible to penetration by this grass, the actual pack material seemed impervious. I got in the habit of laying my pack with the harness up to minimise the chance of getting this nasty grass in my straps.

      SUMMARY

      Overall, this is a very nice pack to use. There are plenty of design features which demonstrate it was designed by hikers rather than marketers, and it has numerous options to tailor it to a specific body size and shape. There are plenty of attachment points for carrying external gear, should that be required, and the access options make it easy to load and unload.

      Likes:

      * Adjustability of the harness/strap systems means they fit a larger person
      * Internal segment to accommodate a sleeping bag without the need for a stuff sack
      * hydration bladder pouch and ports make this pack a snap to use with a hydration system
      * material on the pack body is resistant to grass spikes
      * multiple external gear attachment options
      * adjustability of the chest strap mounting location
      * strong side handles make it easy to load or unload from a vehicle
      * Integrated rain shield keeps the dew off the pack (I haven't tried it in rain yet)

      Dislikes/Concerns

      * The shoulder straps cut in under my arms (but my torso is very wide)
      * The "Air Flow" back system does not seem to keep my back cooler than any other pack I've used (again, possibly more about my shape than the design)
      * Difficult to obtain a consistent comfortable fit
      * Straps seem to tangle a lot
      * Zipper of the lower pack segment catches on material


      Browns Bay
      Browns Bay, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

      That concludes my Field Report on the High Sierra Titan 65 backpack. My thanks again to High Sierra Sport Company and BackPackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item. Please check back in late January for my Long Term Report.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • jetriple@rockwellcollins.com
      ... Hi Kerri... Thanks so much for your FR on the High Sierra Sport Company Titan 65 Backpack. Such beautiful scenery in your report, and a nicely written
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 21, 2012
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        > Hi James,
        >
        > Please find following the text for my FR. The HTML version can be
        > found here, or at http://tinyurl.com/b6gxkl3
        >
        > Thanks in advance for the edits.
        >
        > Kind Regards,
        >
        > Kerri

        Hi Kerri... Thanks so much for your FR on the High Sierra Sport Company
        Titan 65 Backpack. Such beautiful scenery in your report, and a nicely
        written report too, I might add!

        I only have a few things for you to look at, and then you are good to go.
        When you are satisfied with your report please replace the initial report
        with your combined report, and remember to delete the copy in the test
        folder.

        Thanks again, Kerri! Well done!

        James E. Triplett
        Titan 65 Backpack Monitor

        ++++++++++++++++++++++++
        Temperatures varied from highs in the low 20's C ( around 70 F) during the
        day to 0 C (32 F) overnight.
        [EDIT] Please remove the space before "around" so it says (around 70 F)

        Temperatures varied from highs of 28 C (82 F) to lows around the 7 C (44
        F) mark.
        [Edit] Technically, 7 C is closer to 45 F. (44.6 F)

        I got in the habit of laying my pack with the harness up to minimise the
        chance of getting this nasty grass in my straps.
        [Edit] This may be a local spelling, but the US spelling is "minimize".
        If it is correct for you, then you may leave it as is.

        ++++++++++End+++++++++++





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Kerri Larkin
        Hi James, Thanks for the edits and your diligence with them. Yes, we spell most things with an S instead of a Z . I ve put in a delete request for the file,
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 21, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi James,

          Thanks for the edits and your diligence with them. Yes, we spell most things with an "S" instead of a "Z".
          I've put in a delete request for the file, and will upload ASAP.

          See you in 2 months.

          Kind Regards,

          Kerri


          On 22/11/2012, at 8:13 AM, jetriple@... wrote:

          > > Hi James,
          > >
          > > Please find following the text for my FR. The HTML version can be
          > > found here, or at http://tinyurl.com/b6gxkl3
          > >
          > > Thanks in advance for the edits.
          > >
          > > Kind Regards,
          > >
          > > Kerri
          >
          > Hi Kerri... Thanks so much for your FR on the High Sierra Sport Company Titan 65 Backpack. Such beautiful scenery in your report, and a nicely written report too, I might add!
          >
          > I only have a few things for you to look at, and then you are good to go. When you are satisfied with your report please replace the initial report with your combined report, and remember to delete the copy in the test folder.
          >
          > Thanks again, Kerri! Well done!
          >
          > James E. Triplett
          > Titan 65 Backpack Monitor
          >
          > ++++++++++++++++++++++++
          > Temperatures varied from highs in the low 20's C ( around 70 F) during the day to 0 C (32 F) overnight.
          > [EDIT] Please remove the space before "around" so it says (around 70 F)
          >
          > Temperatures varied from highs of 28 C (82 F) to lows around the 7 C (44 F) mark.
          > [Edit] Technically, 7 C is closer to 45 F. (44.6 F)
          >
          > I got in the habit of laying my pack with the harness up to minimise the chance of getting this nasty grass in my straps.
          > [Edit] This may be a local spelling, but the US spelling is "minimize". If it is correct for you, then you may leave it as is.
          >
          > ++++++++++End+++++++++++
          >
          >
          >



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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