User Review: ALPS Mountaineering Cascade 5200
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!