User Review: High Sierra Appalachian 75
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90
Affordable, high quality, durable, roomy, comfortable pack.
- Not a con, but it is not made to be an ultralight.
Let me start off by saying that I would definitely recommend this backpack. I purchased the pack from Sunnysport.com. They were fast and the price was right at $90. I would recommend Sunnysport.com. I love the fact that it is top loading and front loading. I also like the removable day pack that doubles as the lid or top of the pack. I was able to carry loads over 40 lbs. very comfortably.
I would especially recommend this pack to those who are just getting started in backpacking since it is "Very" user friendly. Having sad that, this pack would be even better for the more experienced backpacker since they would know more about the ins and outs of packing it. The pack is also very versatile for body types since it is very adjustable for differing torso lengths. This pack has over a dozen different torso settings so it will fit most anyone.
I am 6'1" and weigh 230 lbs and I have not hiked in years and I have never owned a hiking backpack, I have used hunting backpacks. Therefore, I spent literally weeks researching backpacks on the internet and at the local small outfitter. I looked at all brands and all price ranges.
I knew that I was not going to go out and spend thousands of dollars to get the lightest tent, sleeping pad, mess kit, etc. So I knew that I needed a larger pack. I will also say that I am not a weight weenie. I am a full time police officer and I have walked around, and run around, for over 21 years with over 30 lbs. of gear being worn daily.
I went to the outfitters and saw how small a 55 and 65 liter bag was so I began to look at 75 liter bags and above. I was eventually impressed with all the positive reviews of the High Sierra Appalachian Trail 75 liter bag. I was even more impressed that I was able to get it with free shipping for only $90 dollars.
I purchased the bag and have used it twice on approx 8 mile hikes with one being an overnight hike. I will say that the the belt issue (being too large for small wasted people) that many speak of could be a problem if your waste is too small. Having said that, my daughter who is an average size 12-year-old and has a waist far smaller than 32 inches. She asked to carry the pack on a hike and I was able to adjust both the back setting and the belt to nearly fit her perfectly.
Some have reviewers have complained about the bag weighing too much. My response to that is, first off it is a 75 liter pack and therefore will weigh more because it is a large pack, secondly the pack is built to last, and lastly it has well padded straps and hip belt which add weight. The straps are also quite long and can be trimmed down to eliminate some extra weight.
I will say that once you get your load strapped down tight with the multiple tightening straps, and you get the pack dialed in for your body, the pack carries heavy loads very comfortably. My pack weight is over 40 lbs.
I have have no complaints with this bag. I love it. I can carry all my equipment and necessities inside the bag. It is also very convenient because it is top and front loading. I would truly recommend this pack to anyone.
03/14/12 Update. I have been on many day hikes using this pack. I have carried loads from 30 to 40 lbs, up to nine miles. I have never had any issues with the straps coming loose. I have not had any troubles with the zippers either.
The more I use this pack, the more I like it. As said above, this pack is better than some that cost several times as much. I just went on a six mile hike today with a 30 lb. pack. I had the pack dialed in and the 30 lbs. carried great on my hips. I would buy High Sierra products again based on this product. (10/01/12- I purchased a High Sierra 30 liter backpack for my daughter's to use. They love it.)
07/25/12 Update. I have now been on two different two night and three day hikes with my High Sierra Appalachian Trail 75 liter pack. Sadly, I am not a wealthy man so I cannot afford to purchase the high priced and low weight items so my pack weight for each trip was 49 lbs. The pack preformed perfectly.
Obviously with 49 lbs, the pack holds a ton of gear. And even at 49 lbs. I had no issues with any straps loosening or buckles breaking, and once I had it dialed in I was good to go. I would venture to say that 49 lb. loads probably is about the limit for plastic buckles, but that is just common sense.
I fit a large Therm-a-Rest self inflating pad 78x25x2.5, my 30 degree Kelty synthetic sleeping bag, large two man Stansport Starlite 2 tent (I highly recommend this tent), full two liter Platypus water pouch, 1 liter Gatoraid, Frogg Toggs rain gear, camp pillow, fuel bottled camp stove, camp shoes, three pairs of extra socks, tent light, first aid kit, camp towels, Sawyer squeezable water purifying kit, mess kit with utensils, food and snacks, collapsible fishing pole and reel, small fishing kit, and a few odds and ends; and the bag preformed perfectly.
I love the ease of access either through the top or through the front of the bag. There are two outside side pockets, a large double pocketed pack lid, and a front pocket to hold the essentials that you might need to get to quickly during your hike. I like the media pouch on the shoulder strap and the mesh pockets on the hip belt.
I have no intentions of looking for any other bag! I will begin to whittle down on what I carry to save weight as 49 lbs. is a lot of weight to carry all day long! Please feel free to ask questions or make any comments. Kevin