User Review: Hi-Tec Odyssey 65
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: <$100
The Hi-Tec Odyssey 65 is a very good workhorse backpack. If you're thinking about getting into backpacking but aren't sure you want to fork out a lot of money for the ultra-lite, this backpack is a good place to start.
- Full featured
- Well-made, sturdy
- Not particularly light
I bought my HiTec Odyssey in 2005 when a friend invited me to hike Mt. Whitney. I didn't have a lot of time or money to choose so I headed to the local Big 5 and picked this one out. I didn't know much about what I needed, but as I've taken up backpacking again, I've learned to take advantage of the features.
As far as features, let me start at the top.
The pack features a removable waist day pack that acts as the main compartment cover. I dropped the main pack at Trail Camp and used this as I climbed to Trail Crest in the snow. It has two main pockets with room for a few hours of food and plenty of adjustability.
The main compartment features a triple drawstring with two at the top and one at the bottom to separate it from the lower compartment. It had plenty of room for a couple days of clothes and a bear container/food.
An added bonus is the hydration bladder sleeve and openings. This makes drinking on the first part of your hike very convenient. I've recently added a steripen and Nalgene bottles to my equipment so refilling once I make camp is easy.
The backpack also has three outer pockets--two on the side, and one in the middle. I put my emergency stuff in the middle so I can get at it quickly. I put new WAG bags and small food items in the others.
There are plenty of straps to hang stuff and adjust the size of the main compartment. I find myself using the lower straps to hang my 1-liter nalgenes plus stabilize my hiking sticks and tent poles on the sides. I hung my crampons the copious loops found on the main body. I hung my used WAG backs on the same loops.
The lower compartment hast just enough room to fit my down sleeping bag, although I could open the lower drawstring and make one huge compartment. I could then store my air mattress inside and use it to stabilize the whole volume. This pack offers so many options.
The backpack features some very tough cordura on its bottom to resist tears and scuffs. More straps are located there for my tent or air mattress. Another added bonus is bottom pocket holds the pack's rain cover.
Lastly, the pack features an ice-ax loop and clamp.
As far a adjustibility, the pack has a waist strap and two shoulder straps. I find if I tighten the waist very tight, I can take most of the pressure off of my shoulders. The waist system is very padded and comfortable.
The pack features an adjustible harness system so you can customize it for long or short bodies. It uses velcro and takes only a couple of minutes to adjust.
The straps have plenty of length--maybe too much for my 5-11''/150lbs frame. I've toyed with cutting most of the length off, but my wife (who is a little larger than me) might use this pack so I just stuff them out of the way.
I can't stress enough how well built this unit is. I haven't had any issues with zippers, tears, or seams. The only problem I've encountered is that the elastic on the ice-ax clamp has lost its stretchiness.
My kids are old enough to hike with me so I will probably hand this down to my 14-year old girl for her first backpacking trip so I can upgrade to something lighter. Otherwise, the HiTec Odyssey is a keeper.