User Review: ALPS Mountaineering Cascade 4200
Price Paid: $65
I have the 4200 cu. in. variety and although this is a 5lbs.+ bag, the comfort was well worth the extra weight. The bag is great for 3-4 day getaways if you're an "average" packer. By "average" I mean that I don't care how much my items weigh, but I bring only what is necessary (i.e. backpacker's tent w/ fly as suppose to a tarp or a family cabin).
I really appreciated the two large zippered pockets on the sides of the pack, where my old pack just had more webbing pockets. It was a great place to stash additional gear that I neither wanted buried inside nor exposed in the lower web pockets.
The sleeping bag compartment was roomy enough to swallow my tent, my bag, and fleece blanket, while the internal divider helped to keep the rest of my gear at the right height along my back.
The material felt nicer than my old pack and the bag's quality looked to be nicer than that of my girlfriend's new Kelty. The large #10 zippers were also much appreciated.
Like most bags, the top compartment can be used as a waist-pack. The belt within is wide, so I was able to sling it across my back like a messenger bag, cinch it tight, and monkey around while bringing the essentials along without discomfort.
I have to say, I honestly love this bag. Maybe my last one wasn't a right fit or well past its expiration date, but the Cascade was everything I was hoping for and a little more. Rock on, Alps!