Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $375
Have had a Cascade pack for some time now and have been on many trips. Yes, it's strong and tough but there are a view problems: 1) it's too heavy 2) the front pocket is difficult to get at while the pack is loaded up. I'm looking to buy a more lightweight pack aroung 2.40g. Sure the material won't be as good as the Cascade, but it will be half the weight and so what if it has to be replaced after 5 years of hard use. That will be a lot less weight you will be carrying around.
- Tough well made
- Too heavy
- Front pocket difficult to access when pack loaded up
I'm looking to buy a more lightweight pack aroung 2.40g. Sure the material won't be as good as the Cascade, but it will be half the weight and so what if it has to be replaced after 5 years of hard use. That will be a lot less weight you will be carrying around.
Size: 80 litres +
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 35 KG approx
Height of Owner: 5' 10"
Price Paid: $530 (NZ)
Even though part of the harness disintegrated on me during a recent Tasmanian trip, I must say that this pack is one tremendous product. My mentioning of this failure is more as a surprise than as a negative comment (although I didn't see it at the time with two days of walking yet to come). Six years of hard use, canyoning, rock climbing, bushwalking, etc caused this unexpected collapse. Thankfully, this damage was replaced under warranty speedily by my local Macpac distributor.
Except for this problem, my pack has been problem free since its receipt. The base has been chewed up a little by dragging, but that is explicable, and the damage has been no more than a minor problem. The outer fabric is a canvas variant, so it's more waterproof uncovered than any nylon, cordura, or polyester rival. After using a canvas pack, and the Macpac is distinctive type of coated canvas, you will never revert to a "plastic fantastic" again. Besides waterproofness, the "Cascade" has a generous interior divided into two compartments (one for your tent and sleeping bag). The pocket space is large and flexible, a pair of 1.5 litre Sigg bottles can be stored in the external main pocket, whilst a convenient map pocket is in the upper lid. All pockets are compactable and water tight (as far as any pack's can be). The zippers are rugged. The harness is somewhat spartan around the hips, but load carrying is fine (I routinely carry up to 50% of my body weight in the Macpac).
All in all a top pack, heartily recommended.
Size: 80 litres (approx)
Number of Pockets: 3 external, 1 internal
Max. Load Carried: 35 kgs (ie c. 82 pounds)
Height of Owner: 172 cm (ie 5ft 10 in)
Price Paid: $415 (Australian)
Macpac don't make anything other than world class gear. The Cascade is a great pack, made of canvas it maintains its shape very well, as well as being very waterproof. The pack has a very useful height adjustment bar, good back padding, and well protected pockets. It also has a sealable bottom compartment which is useful for putting tents away so that they can be extracted without unloading all the contents. There is a cordura bottom which can show signs of wearing after a lot of canyoning, pack hauling. I've used mine for five years in conditions from blinding heat to blizzards, canyoning and climbing, it is without doubt well nigh indestructible. Only two gripes, it uses a proprietary buckle that most stores do not stock and there could be a little more padding around the shoulder or hip straps. ANY MACPAC PACK IS A GREAT BUY. For American users, I haven't seen any US made gear even close to as tough as a Macpac (sorry). By the way, Macpac is made in NZ so there isn't any Third World standards used.
Design: Toploader with bottom zip into sleeping bag compartment
Max. Load Carried: 30kg
Height of Owner: 5'10"
Price Paid: AUD430
I bought my pack in 1993 and it stood up well to ten years of being dragged round the world on aircraft and climbing trips to various parts of Asia. It needed two minor stitching repairs (haul loop and shoulder strap) and I finally started wearing through the base. Macpac fixed all of this under warranty, even the last which was clearly just down to ten years of abuse.
Pros: incredibly rugged, Aztec material much nicer than nylon, great customer service.
Cons: aluminium stays don't retain shape over the long haul (too soft, but this is common with most packs), bottom zipper a bit stiff.
Number of Pockets: 3 +2
Max. Load Carried: 25kg
Height of Owner: 5'11"
Price Paid: $490-$500NZ
I am afraid I am a little biased over Macpac gear, but being as objective as I can, the Cascade is one rugged workhorse. I've had it for two years, in snow, on rock, sand. The side compression straps allow you to pull that load in real tight and secure. Good harness, and I have finished some long days after a slog through bush or snow and my back has still been in one piece. Macpac, you have done it again. Mind you, nearly all my gear is Macpac.
Design: Twin compartment internal frame large volume tramping(hiking)
Number of Pockets: 3 outer
Max. Load Carried: 34kg
Height of Owner: 175cm
Price Paid: NZ $459
Built like a brick shithouse. Has sleeping bag compartment, lid security pocket, ice axe attachment point, adjustable Dynamic (old version) or Quantum (current) harness. Fabric polyester/canvas (AzTec) and Cordura. 2.6kg. Waist belt and internal aluminium stays removable. Has been in production since early 1980s, several growth versions (lower volume and women's included). Got mine in 1987, taken it all over NZ and around world. Had some of the harness repaired, but with Quantum harness is recommended buying.
Size: 8.5 Liters
Number of Pockets: 3+2
Max. Load Carried: 85 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'1"
Price Paid: $300 US (I think)
It is strong and well padded -- very comfortable even with a heavy load. I simply reaffirm the other reviews here.
Where to Buy
The Macpac Cascade is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
Or you may want to check for a dealer list or direct sales on the Macpac website.
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