User Review: High Sierra Sentinel 65
Source: received it as a personal gift
This is a pretty simple internal frame pack that has a couple of nice features. It's not as comfortable as other more expensive packs with better suspension systems; however, it gets the job done.
- Durable Fabrics
- Zippered Sleeping Bag Compartment/Partition
- Large Exterior Pocket
- Floating Lid
- Hydration System Compatible
- Poor back panel ventilation
- Poor fit
This is a simple internal frame pack (2 aluminum stays) that has some good features; however, the fit of the pack and the poor back panel ventilation are significant drawbacks.
This pack has an adjustable shoulder straps that can be moved up and down by using a series of loops and a Velcro strap. However, about 2/3 of the range of this adjustable shoulder strap system is useless. I'm 5'9'' with a torso fit range of about 17''-18'' and I have the shoulder straps adjusted almost as far up as they can go in order to get the proper fit.
I cannot foresee anyone using lower end of this adjustable range unless they have a really small torso fit range. Even if someone were short enough to use the lower end of this adjustable range, they probably would not be able to get the waist belt to fit comfortably. I have a 30'' waist and when the waist belt is properly tightened the waist belt pads touch. This means that the belt caries the pack's load pretty well; however, someone with even a slightly smaller waist will probably have to tighten the belt to the point where the belt's pads overlap, causing an uncomfortable fit.
In addition to being very long, the waist belt is also very wide. Again, this means that the belt carries the pack's load very well; however, because the belt is so wide and it wraps the whole way around my waist and it digs into my stomach and underneath my rib cage when climbing steep inclines.
The back panel of this pack leaves a lot to be desired. It is a molded foam back panel that is rather stiff and has insufficient ventilation. This stiffness of the back panel keeps items inside the pack from creating uncomfortable lumps against the back. However, this back panel sits flat on the back, trapping a lot of moisture. The ventilation channels on the back panel are too small and too few to handle this kind of moisture buildup, causing the pack to be somewhat uncomfortable, especially on summer trips.
Despite these issues, the pack still fairly comfortable in all but the warmest conditions. I've carried 20-40 lbs. in this pack without any issues in how the load is distributed. The pack does have a squeaking problem that occurs even when it is only lightly loaded, but this is only an annoyance and not a major problem.
One of the nice features about this pack is that it is highly adjustable and versatile. It has one main compartment that has a zippered partition towards the bottom that can be closed of to create a separate sleeping bag compartment in the pack. This main compartment can be accessed through the top or through the a zippered opening towards the bottom of the pack. When the partition is unzipped the main compartment is large enough to accommodate most normal sized closed cell foam mattress with room for additional gear.
On the outside of the pack there is one zippered pocket large enough to carry medium sized items, such as maps, snacks, or gloves. Behind this zippered pocket is a large compressible pocket that is ideal for holding a rain jacket or items such as a ground cloth or camp shoes that you might not want to place inside the main compartment of the pack. The pack has a floating lid that can allow the main compartment of the pack to add about 5-10 liters to its capacity when expanded.
On each side of the pack there are two compression straps that provide sufficient compression for the pack's main compartment and that can be used to attach a sleeping mat to the side of the pack. The bottom of the pack has gear loops and there are two sets of daisy chains that run up both sides of the pack.
As an added bonus the pack also comes with its own cover that can be stored in a small compartment on the bottom of the bag.
This pack has held up pretty well after 3 years of use. It has only needed one minor repair on lid's zipper after the stitching connecting the zipper to the fabric tore (probably because I overfilled the lid's compartment). Other than this one minor issue, the pack is very durable. It has a very thick and burly fabric that I expect will hold up for quite some time.
While this pack has its draw backs, it is still a decent pack those who are budget conscious and looking for a reliable and sturdy pack.