ALPS Mountaineering Cascade 5200
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $149
Owned for several years. It is very comfortable and can carry a lot of weight. Stitching tore on first use.
- Good design
- Top lid doubles as lumbar pack.
- Built-in rain cover
- Weak stitching
- Rain cover is too small to cover pack when completely full.
- Lack of external tie points
Honestly, about the only thing I have bad to say about this pack is that the stitching tore loose on one pocket the first time I used it. It could have just been my pack though.
I really love the pack. I carried 65lbs in it up into the mountains for a one week back country trip. It was very comfortable and rode very well. I had to scale some pretty steep terrain in uncharted territory where balance was critical and this pack did not disappoint.
You can cinch it up tight so that it is like a part of your body and it is still comfortable. I also loved that the top lid bag doubles as a lumbar pack. I used it as kind of a day hiking pack for short jaunts away from my base camp. If I knew for certain that the problem with the stitching was just my pack, I would buy it again.
Design: top/front loading internal
Size: 5200 ci
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 45 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 9"
Price Paid: $81
I purchased the Cascade last year when my son moved up to Boy Scouts. I have been extremely happy with this backpack. I am able to carry all of the things necessary for the trips (4 now) and the side pockets make it very easy to access the smaller items. The padding and fit is comfortable on the hikes. The integrated rain cover has been handy two different times. That is one thing I would have forgotten the 1st time. One of the best things is that if your son is in Boy Scouts you get 40'sh % off everything from them.
Price Paid: $119
Picked up the 4200 for my wife and the 5200 for myself. After a couple multi-day hikes, we can honestly say that these are some of the most comfortable packs we have tried to date.
The 5200 carried 45 lbs. with ease. Good padding on the shoulder straps and easy to adjust to fit. The hip belt pads were wide and road well even after 5 plus miles. About the only complaint was the lack of attachment points on the bottom of the pack.
Overall for the price it's a great pack.
Price Paid: $99
I have used this pack for several years. It has plenty of room and is fairly comfortable. It rides well.
The only real issue I have with it is that my back sweats more than it has with my last several packs.
Number of Pockets: 4
Max. Load Carried: 60 Lbs.
Height of Owner: 5' 11"
Price Paid: $90
This pack has a lot of room, and I like the side and front pockets. The top of the pack doubles as a fanny pack and works well. I also like the internal hydration bladder area. Pack is fairly easy to adjust, and holds allot of gear.
The reason that I give this only 3 stars is that the hip belt is terrible. It has very rigid edges that dig into your sides. I took this pack to Philmont Scout Camp last summer, and because of the poor design of the hip belt, it was not comfortable. To be fair to Alps, another adult had the same pack and found no issues. He is larger than me and has some extra padding around the middle.
This is a good pack for scouting, just a poor performer for extended (4-8 miles a day) hiking. I contacted Alps to see if they had updated the design, but alas, they have not. Too bad, with a decent hip belt, this could be a great pack.
Size: 5000 cu. inches
Number of Pockets: 6 total
Max. Load Carried: 35-40 lbs
Height of Owner: 6ft 1in.
Price Paid: $52
I purchased this pack under the ALPS Pro Tester Program and saved 60% off cost (it sells for $149.99) and this weekend I finally got to test it on the Archers Fork Trail in hilly southeast Ohio. All I can say is this pack REALLY impressed me! It's far more comfortable than my REI Morning Star 75, thanks to the generous padding on the hipbelt and shoulder straps, twice as thick as my REI pack! There are three main pockets, a map pocket on the "lid" of the pack and two mesh water bottle pockets, which I found to be a little on the "smallish" side--nonetheless my bottles never fell out, inspite of how rough the trail was.
All I can say this pack is HUGE, at 5000 cu.inches. It held all my gear with room to spare. The fabric is very durable, being ripstop polyester with an "honeycombed" design. I really like the forest green color, it blends in with the trees! The fit of this pack is very good and easy to adjust. ALPS designed the Cascade with plenty of "air mesh" padding on the back that helped keep my back cool and a good PE framesheet which kept the items in my pack from bulging through and poking me.
What impressed me most about the ALPS Cascade is how comfortable this pack is, even after hours on the trail. My shoulders were not nearly as sore as with my other packs.
My advice: get this pack! It compares well with the other more well known brands. You will not be disappointed!
Design: top loading - zippered lower access - integrated rain cover - top/fanny pack - internal divider - top compression strap
Size: 5000 cu
Number of Pockets: 5 +2 water
Max. Load Carried: 58lbs
Height of Owner: 5'10"
Price Paid: $150
This is a well made, internal frame pack by Alps Mountaineering. Seams are tacked and #10 zippers on the lower access. I do monthly, forest trail hiking (4-10mi). This pack stays with my weight shifting and is comfortable with >50lbs. Solid belt and shoulder straps fit snug and no shifting. I have used Eureka, 6000cu and 4600cu. Both were too spongy belts and the load went to the shoulders.
The Cascade is a roomy pack at 5000cu, but the side/front pockets let me get at what I need on the trail w/o digging into the bag. This is a better multi-day pack, also comes in 4000cu for a 35lbs range. (I use another great Alps 3800cu for 1/2 day overnights.)
Lots of space for carabiners and straps for stuff. A great pack for a good price from a great company, Alps Mountaineering. I'm glad I kept looking for this pack.
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