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BACKPACKER PHOTOS

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High Peaks Alpamayo 55 Backpack

The Alpamayo 55 is a solid performer at a competitive price.
Photos and text by Joel Nyquist.
  • For $120 you get a simple, top loading pack ideally suited to light (30 pounds or less) weekend loads. I tested this pack on a winter climb of 14,225-foot Mount Quandary in CO, through Snoqualmie Pass in WA's Cascades, and over and around Sugarloaf in VA.
  • The backpanel is a shaped, plastic framesheet with twin, bendable aluminum stays. Support and padding proved adequate--just barely--when I hauled 45 pounds of ski/hut gear. Six padded sections along your spine channel air; they were moderately effective.
  • Although the fixed suspension is designed for average torsos I was told the pack would fit my 21.5-inch torso because of 2 adjustable load-lifter attachment points. But as I added weight, the load-lifters were ineffective & the pack hung off my shoulders.
  • Pocket-wise, there's a standard detachable top lid, a large shove-it pocket on the front (able to handle my puffy jacket), and twin bellows side pockets, which are just right for keeping snacks, gloves, or a shell handy.
  • The comfy hipbelt foam is firm & dense and it's precurved for a solid, consistent connection with your hips. The padding is rather short & didn't extend far enough forward on my 32-inch hips. There's a single energy bar-sized, right-hand hipbelt pocket.
  • The ski loops are rugged thanks to an impenetrable plastic casing. I always found a use for them--lashing snowshoes, or holding a tent roll in conjunction with the quick-release compression straps. The front bungee came in handy to stash my shell.
  • Bottom line: The Alpamayo is a fine entry-level pack for weekend warriors who typically carry loads of 30 pounds or less. The packbag is versatile enough for a hut trip or angling weekend, but the suspension is tailored for torsos in the 17-20-inch range.
  • <b>THE SPECS</b><br> *$120<br> *3 lbs. 15 oz.<br> *55 liters/ 3,350 cubic inches<br> * one size, fits 17" to 20" torsos<br> *highpeakusa.org<br>Courtesy Photo
For $120 you get a simple, top loading pack ideally suited to light (30 pounds or less) weekend loads. I tested this pack on a winter climb of 14,225-foot Mount Quandary in CO, through Snoqualmie Pass in WA's Cascades, and over and around Sugarloaf in VA.
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For $120 you get a simple, top loading pack ideally suited to light (30 pounds or less) weekend loads. I tested this pack on a winter climb of 14,225-foot Mount Quandary in CO, through Snoqualmie Pass in WA's Cascades, and over and around Sugarloaf in VA.

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1

The pack is adjustable. There is a velcro sheet that the shoulder straps are attached to. With a little time you can have it dialed in. I bought one a a mid sized packs for over night and except for the lack of lumbar padding (I would want more than is there) the pack is a solid performer.
— Maebus


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