If you own a backpacking pack, then you know that purchasing one involves getting measured at your local outdoor retail store, trying on a few that match your “spine size”, and then loading it up with sandbags or stuff that the store associate has handy and walking around the store pretending you’re in the wilderness!
High Peak has developed a reasonably priced backpack that has a key feature that parents of growing teenagers and gear rental agencies will both equally like… an adjustable backpack! Yes, the High Peak Everest 50+10 for women and the High Peak Everest 65+10 for men have an internal panel adjustment system so the backpack can fit sizes Small to Extra Large.
I decided to give this pack a try and see if it would be a viable alternative for people looking to save a lot of money (retail price is just $133 vs. $250+ for Gregory packs) and still be comfortable on the trail.
Giving the Everest 50+10 a Whirl
I started by carefully reading the attached instructions… I liked the color pictures and step-by-step directions to help determine my size and how to adjust the pack to make it the appropriate size for the wearer.
It was surprisingly simple. I’m impressed how easy it was to re-size the backpack, and I really like that it can be adjusted in-between sizes… since it is velcro based you can be a large “Small” for example. This is definitely a unique and cool feature.
- Definitely works! The High Peak Everest 50+10 was easily adjustable and I got it to be a nice fit for my petite body. It was equally comfortable for a couple of friends who tried it out in larger size settings.
- Convenient, well-designed features. There are several features on this pack that I really like:
- Head Notch. When I’m backpacking I usually wear my Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero rather than my Dorfman Pacific Trekker hat because the stiff back brim on the trekker hat gets caught up in my backpack. This pack has a curved out area so that the brim of my hat didn’t get caught up in the pack. I also liked being able to move my head freely and not have my pigtails or ponytail caught up in the pack.
- Built in raincover. While I have rarely needed to use my raincover on a backpacking trip, for those of you in wetter climates, this is a great feature. It is neatly stored at the bottom of the pack in a little zippered compartment.
- Top can be converted into a lumbar pack (i.e., Fanny pack!). Definitely convenient, and who cares who’s looking at you on the trail! No need to take along a huge backpack once you’ve set up base camp! And no need to take along a small summit pack… here it is already built in.
- Price is right! The High Peak Everest 50+10 is less than half the cost of most other women’s backpacks on the market. MSRP is $133, and it is on Amazon for $119.
- Weight The Everest 50+10 is heavy! The pack is 5lbs. 10 ounces when empty. Throw in 40 pounds of gear, food, and water, and you’ve got a heavy load!
- Great features, but some could be eliminated to save weight. For example, on many packs there is a simple slit in the fabric so your hydration bladder tube can come out of the pack and be close to your mouth for drinking. The Everest 50+10 has a nice feature…the hole is rubberized. Extra ounces count after hours and days hiking with a full backpack. Additionally, the fanny pack uses a separate waist belt buckle, so this pack has 2 belt buckles. Nice, but it would be really neat if they could combine it into one buckle. And the head notch feature that I really like is made of sturdier material, adding a bit of extra weight.
Overall a great pack for the price, and definitely one that can be shared among family members or friends who are different sizes (and not traveling on the same wilderness adventures!)
Thumbs up from Hiking Lady!