High Sierra Backpacks

Anybody use High Sierra backpacks? I found some at an army navy store. Just wanted to know if they were worth buying.


Don’t use but
when I worked as a buyer the rep showed them to me a number of times. The price seemed decent and the quality seemed average. We always had better deals from other companies though, so I never put them in our stores.

Haven’t heard of High Sierra being any good. What are you going to use your pack for? Will it be just for hiking? Do you plan to ski with it? Size is important. Packs can be both too big or too small. A quality pack will have several points of adjustment for different body types. I favor Lowe packs myself. They were the first to locus on improving harness systems. I forget the capacity of mine but I know it’s a little over 3,000 cu/in. That’s big enough for over nighters but to small for extented hikes.

Don’t go cheap on a pack. You’ll end up being sorry. Avoid getting too many bells and whistles attached. I wouldn’t waste money on one that has a pouch for bladder hydrations systems. A water bottle at your waist is handier.

thanks for the info
everything you said was very helpful. I don’t do mcuh hiking now, but I am planning to do a lot over the summer. most trips won’t be more than one night, so a small pack is ok. Thanks again!


Used some of their gear
an advanced gym bag and a city pack. Thoughtfuly designed and decently executed. great value. Not top performance but what I’ve seen is adequate. Top performance backpacks cost $$$.

You Are Kidding…Right?
“I wouldn’t waste money on one that has a pouch for bladder hydrations systems. A water bottle at your waist is handier”.

Handier then a bite valve positioned inches from your mouth? If you want to hydrate frequently, as advised by trekking experts, a source of water that you can get to easily and quickly is best. Clearly, a hydration system beats the old water bottle on the hip, hands down!

Good time to look
There should be some pretty good packs on season end clearance about now. Talk to someone knowledgeable at an outdoor store and go for comfort and value. I still use a nalgene bottle in a bag that I caribener to the bottom of my pack strap. For over night take an extra bottle and a filter. The extra one obviously for more water, but also nice to put hot water in and tuck in the bottom of the sleeping bag if it’s chilly. If I need a hydration bag instead of stopping for a drink and the view I’m going at it too hard. Different strokes…


I’m Not Kidding
In my opinion bladder bags aren’t worth the money. I like to set my pack down and walk around a bit while taking a break. Having a water bottle to sip on is better than having to go to your pack for a drink. Same is true on a kayak. Grabbing a bottle and stretching one’s legs makes long paddles more enjoyable. Then there’s the pleasure of squeezing water on one’s face when hot. For that matter a water bottle comes in handy if you need to clean a wound.

If memory serves me
the bladders got started for bikers who didn’t want to stop peddling or take hands off to get a drink. In this application the bags seem to be the way to go. Not to hijack the thread, most hiking packs have been installing the capability for both bladders, AND NOW, headphone cord holes for i-pods. Geeesh!


Just fine
I am fairly certain that my external frame dack is a High Sierra, or it is High Adventure, but I have seen both brands none the less. they are great when you are nt a professional mountain climber. I think when the price is right, just go for it, and buy what ever gear looks like it will last. If you are just startign to do more, then your needs may change in a year or three. I have a nice canoe bag, a really good daypack (that I use on weekend adventures), an external frame and another external that I made (on an old army A.L.I.C.E. frame). It is not excessive, even though I don’t get out camping as much as I would like. It keeps me centered and I am always able to properly prepare for my next adventure.

On that hi-jacking note, I have wanted a pouch for my yak, but I like both…I think the bladder would be sooooooooo handy, but i still have my old bottles everywhere. I mean really a bladder doesn’t have to take up too much space if it is just there for some convenience…like while paddling, then have a bottle for hiking or to strech to.


Weight ,collapsibility convenience
ability to use hands free, beter tendancy to stay hydrated. Nah not for me!

Bladder or bottle?
Personally I like to carry both. The bladder is easy to drink from but gives no warning of running out. When it does switch to the bottle and look for a source.

I use the Nalgene bottles for other things too, like for keeping pancake mix, fish batter and even the contents of my first aid kit. Crush proof and water tight!

Use this resouce
Go to Backpackinglight.com and use their objective and non manufactureer reviews of light backpacks.

No nonsense real advice, many good options companies big and small

They are “OK” starter packs… great price mid, range quality. As for bladder bags, I love them… On Long hikes say anything over 20 miles, you don’t want ANYTING swinging around attached to your pack, yeah for the DAY hiker that’s fine, but after a while you start to notice the little thinks like that. Also My sweet water, water filter will plug directly into my Bite valve, I don’t even have to un pack it to refill it. Bladder packs also conform to your body better. A simple test is go pick up a 50lb bag of dog food, hold it at Arms length, and now hold it close into your body, which is easier. Unless you pack your water bottles in the optimum place IN your pack you are subjecting your self to the same principle.

However that said Bottles ARE easier to clean!!! And I would not recommend putting anything in a bladder bag other then water…

I hike many many miles. Many years back I could just drink from a mountain stream. Now I’d never do that. I’ve found that keeping a water bottle in a pouch to work better for me. When fighting fire and working like a dog. My water bottles never got in the way or swung freely.

Bladder bags were first designed for climbers. I bought one of the first packs designed to carry one. It also was outfitted with pouches for water bottles. The bottle came with the pack. A bladder would cost extra.

Carrying water higher on your back isn’t the proper way to pack. Keep the heavy stuff low. Having water in a pouch on your belt is better for your back than high up on a pack.

You pack it low and run the hose up and clip it to your Shoulder harness… You also want it as close to your centerline as possible. Backpacker has some great packing tips… Matter of fact I love the new Regional format…

Think “pac light” the only features

– Last Updated: Nov-10-05 10:06 AM EST –

I want on my packs are very basic...a bag big enough to haul exactily what I need and a decent harness system and under 3lbs...I cut off lables, hoops, ladders..web pocket for carrying water bladder, ok..hydration sys. = unwanted weight...platapus (?) blatters are the bomb..pay whatever it takes to get a good light weight down sleeping bag that packs small..

Nix The Down
Can’t agree on the down bag. Not these days. I realize living in Alaska has special needs and there down bags might be one of them. For most people a light affordable synthetic summer bag is all they’ll need. I have one the would fit on a fanny pack.

Yeah…I guess for most people

– Last Updated: Nov-11-05 9:15 AM EST –

ewe may be right...April 04 I went down to Aridzona to get away from a bitter Winter here and got stuck at 8500 ft. on Bear Mountain in blizzard contitions in a light affordable synthetic summer bag and about froze my cahones off..

Don’t Underestimate
At 8,500’ you find winter is quite cool up there. That’s why I live at 3,000’ here. I know how miserable Havasu can be in the summer.

For those who are curious. Air cools at a rate of 4F per thousand foot elevation gain.