High Peak hasn’t become the biggest name in outdoor equipment throughout Europe by following the pack. With innovative products, solid manufacturing, and good old fashioned know-how, they are setting their sights on becoming world champions of backpacking and camping equipment. So when they offered us the Trango 65 backpack for review, we jumped at the chance.
In the past, multi-day backpacks were large, cumbersome, and heavy. With the Trango 65, High Peak has challenged that tradition with a design that attempts to be flexible, spacious, and comfortable while keeping the weight to a minimum. There are two major compartments that make up the bulk of the 65-liter capacity: the bottom portion – which can be accessed either by going through the top opening, or by using the external zipper port – and the larger upper portion, divided by a drawstring closure that allows you to combine or separate the two. The rest of the storage space is in the pocket on the lid, which should hold most of the small items that need to be accessed in a hurry (like a small first aid kit, maps, and whatnot). While we managed to fit a 2 liter Geigerrig hydration engine in the internal hydration pocket, and run both lines through the port over the right shoulder, a second port would be a welcome addition. Of course, there are pockets on either side, should you decide to forgo a hydration pack.
The outer shell is made from double ripstop nylon which has been treated to resist abrasion and to keep some (but not all) moisture out. Using the straps on the outside of the backpack, the interior can be expanded or compressed to fit the size of your gear. To keep the weight (and price) down, High Peak did take out some of the bells and whistles that they include with their other models. Well, except for the whistle on the sternum buckle, that’s still there. And the ice axe loops. But they’ve cut down on the number of dividers and pockets.
First impressions are always important, and the first thing you’re likely to notice is that the Trango is a good looking backpack. The color scheme is nice and the design is an attractively simple one. After picking it up, you’ll also notice that for a 65-liter backpack, it’s extremely light at 3.6 pounds. That’s probably less than the sleeping bag you’ll be hauling around in it. When it comes to actually putting the Trango on, it is going to take a little while to adjust everything to fit just right. With the amount of available adjustment offered by their Vario Harness system, most everyone should be able to feel comfortable carrying a substantial amount of weight. The hip and shoulder straps are nicely padded, and mesh backing provides a bit of cooling. One potential issue for the smallest of backpackers is that the belt will probably only go as small as about 30-32”. When we didn’t need to pack it to the rafters, tightening the exterior straps kept all of the gear inside from getting tossed around. We found that the lack of extra pockets actually made it easier to pack and find everything that we needed, but it did look a little messier inside than if there were a few extra storage compartments. Overall, this ultra-lightweight hiking backpack should help you comfortably carry a lot of gear as far as you need to. And can you really put a price on comfort? Turns out you can: the Trango 65 from High Peak sells for about $120.00.
If you are looking for something a bit smaller, or a backpack that has more pockets, check out the High Peak website. They have a massive selection, and everything we have seen from them so far has been of the highest quality.