Charles is an avid outdoor enthusiast that field tests and reviews the quality and durability of camping, hiking, and backpacking gear.
High Sierra, the Company
High Sierra is a family-owned and operated business that specializes in delivering high-quality bags, luggage, and adventure travel products to its active lifestyle customers. For over 40 years, High Sierra has been an innovator in the adventure travel sector, creating fairly priced, durable, and functional consumer products that continue to lead the market in style and function.
High Sierra Classic 2 Series Summit 45L Internal Frame Backpack Specifications
Dimensions: 27" × 14" × 7.5". Weight: 3.2 pounds. Volume: 45L. Frame: Internal aluminum alloy. Material: Duralite, weather-resistant mini-hex ripstop, waterproof pack cover included. Cost: $56.99-$94.99
Field Test Conditions
I couldn't have asked for better conditions to field test the High Sierra Classic 2 Summit 45L Backpack. The initial field test took place in early-April 2022. The testing location was the New Jersey pine barrens. The temperature range was 70°F during the day to 55°F overnight. The overnight test occurred in mid-April 2022. An 11-mile out and back hike with a fully loaded pack. This was followed up with an overnight camp. These were the parameters of this particular field test.
Disclaimer: (I am not affiliated nor am I sponsored by High Sierra.) I ordered the High Sierra Classic 2 Summit 45L Backpack online at HighSierra.com and waited anxiously for 3-4 days for it to arrive. I was immediately surprised by how light the package was when I picked it up. When I unboxed the pack, I could tell that this was a high-quality backpack for the money. After properly fitting the pack to my body, I found it to be comfortable with the waist pad sitting properly on my hips with the shoulder straps fitting snugly but not too tight. I was easily able to fit my gear, tent, sleeping bag, ground cover, and everything else needed for an overnight camping trip.
The materials used in the construction of the Summit 45L backpack seemed to be of high-quality ripstop. I didn't notice any rips, tears, or loose stitching upon my initial inspection. The zippers and adjustment straps operated smoothly. The 45L volume was adequate with more than enough space to hold everything I needed for an overnight adventure. The pack could have incorporated some pouches on the waist strap, more about that later.
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Weighing in at 3.2 pounds, this pack is certainly not as light as some of the higher-priced lightweight packs on the market but definitely not too far off the average. A comparable 45L pack from Gregory weighs in at 2.8 pounds and retails for $199.99. The extra few ounces of weight can easily be mitigated by reducing the weight of other gear in your bag and ultimately, the heavier bag weight does not outweigh the cost savings this bag provides.
Although this backpack doesn't have adjustable shoulder straps, the pack has many adjustments to fit a wide range of torso sizes. I'm 5'-8" and this pack fits perfectly once adjusted properly. The shoulder and waist padding was soft and held the pack comfortably during my hikes. The included chest strap was ingenious in design and had the ability to slide up and down for proper positioning.
The Summit 45L backpack is constructed of Duralite ripstop material that is water-resistant. The pack comes equipped with a built-in waterproof cover hidden conveniently at the bottom of the pack.
Opinion and Rating
The Summit 45L backpack is waterproof, well constructed, and inexpensive. I found that this pack was rugged, roomy, and comfortable enough for a day worth of hiking loaded with everything needed for an overnight camping trip, tent and poles included. This pack is not too heavy for backpacking or hiking and should definitely be considered if you are looking for an inexpensive backpack for hiking and camping. I do wish that this pack had storage pouches on the waist straps for my cell phone or camera gear. I was able to purchase a decent waistband pouch that straps on from REI. There isn't much to complain about with this backpack. After field-testing this inexpensive offering from High Sierra, I found that it is an overall great pack for the price and the included features. So far, it has held up just fine and I would purchase the High Sierra Classic 2 Series Summit 45L backpack again.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Charles Kikas