Appalachian 75 Liter Backpack From High Sierra

You already know what it is from the title, so I’ll cut right to the specifics. The Appalachian is a 75 liter top-loader. Its main compartment has a drawstring closure and an adjustable top lid. It’s made of High Sierra‘s exclusive Nylon Mini-Diamond Ripstop combined with their Mini-Weave Duralite, which provides for a much stronger and durable product. These lightweight fabrics also provide increased stain and water resistance. Its frame is made with dual contoured aluminum frame bars. The back has a molded panel with Airflow channels. I found this to work very effectively, especially in the 95 degree heat!

High Sierra Appalachian 75 liter backpack
High Sierra Appalachian 75 liter backpack

When reviewing a product, I always try to make note of first impressions. For this pack, what stuck out to me the most were pockets and compression straps – plenty of them! For someone who camps as often as I do, these are features that had piqued my attention from the start. I loved the front access to the main compartment. I‘m always having to dig from the top down, but that access made it very convenient for me to grab what I needed quickly. There are many pockets and straps on this pack to keep your gear organized, and I was impressed by the accessibility of the stretchy and zippered side pockets and front pocket. There are also compression straps on the side and bottom to secure your gear. Also on the bottom of the pack is a drop bottom sleeping bag compartment with a divider. As a test, I had packed my High Sierra Avalanche  -15 degree bag, and with a little persuasion, was able to fit it in. Granted, it is a very thick bag, but packing my zero degree bag was much easier.

The waist belt is 6 inches wide and provides very good cushioning that allows the pack to sit comfortably in the small of my back and distributes the weight very well to my hips. It is made with Vapel mesh Airflow and high density foam padding. I found it very, very comfortable. The shoulder straps are adjustable  to fit various heights. The pads for the shoulder strap are non-slip, which helps to disperse weight more evenly over your shoulders. That’s a feature that got thoroughly tested, and it passed with flying colors. I found the media pocket on the left shoulder strap, which is also removable, was perfect for a GPS unit, or phone. For longer outings, there are also a couple of Hâ‚‚O slits (one on each side) and a pocket designed to fit a 2 liter water bladder. On the inside of the pack, there is a clasp hook that will hold the bladder securely and the right position. In summary, I was able to pack my sleeping bag inside the appropriate area, my self-inflating pad fit very securely underneath the pack, and the compression straps were very effective and placed in the right locations to make the load as small as possible.

My first night with this pack, it rained on us very heavily. When I realized that it was about to rain, I quickly pulled out the attached rain fly designed to fit around the pack like your fitted sheets fit snuggly around your mattress. I was able to change into dry clothes the next day, while some others in my group were laying theirs out to dry!

Overall , my impression of this pack is very positive, and with it currently selling for just a little over $100, it’s a great value. If anyone asked me about it, I‘d be quick to praise the High Sierra Appalachian back pack. They certainly got this one right and it makes me eager to get back out there to the trails! Happy camping!

– John

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