Gear Review: High Sierra Summit Backpack

Enjoy features galore without emptying your wallet with this light-duty pack.

Best Overall | Most Stable | Best Organization | Best for Winter | Bargain

For light loads (less than 25 pounds), you can’t beat this pack’s features-to-price ratio. “You get it all: sleeping bag access, a shoulder strap accessory pocket, a built-in rain cover, accessible mesh water bottle pockets, and even a gear checklist sewn into the lid,” says Flowers.

And the construction is not cheap. Burly zippers held up to repeated yanking and “the Duralite fabric is tough enough to handle getting dragged around the crag,” says Leak, who used the Summit on several rock climbing trips. “And I like the floating top lid, which made it easy to stash my rope.”

Tradeoff: The suspension left testers sore when they hauled typical weekend loads, because the single aluminum stay didn’t provide enough load transfer, resulting in excess weight on the shoulders and upper back. And there’s no framesheet, so hard gear poked testers in the back. The fixed suspension works best for 16- to 18-inch torsos.

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> Capacity 2,746 cu. in. 

> Sizes One unisex

> Weight 3 lbs. 10 oz. 

> Price $80