Among my arsenal of backpacks, the High Peak Adrenaline definitely has the largest capacity – approximately 6,000 cubic inches. This is a pack worthy of European touring. It’s got everything a traveling outdoorsperson needs: durability, comfort and flexibility.
High Peak is a brand that is somewhat off the radar. It took some extensive online research just to find its website: http://www.highpeakusa.org. Interestingly enough, the site address doesn’t appear on any marketing materials. High Peak’s Google indexing is more in favor of its retailers – such as Amazon.com and Overstock.com. There is a reason for this. Several of the company’s backpacks are competitively priced. Although I never mention prices in my reviews (because they change so frequently), the Adrenaline 75+10 was priced at $100 to $190, depending on the retailer. The Adrenaline is a solid choice for the budget conscious.
It’s the quality I was more concerned about. Quality and reliability. The High Peak brand doesn’t seem to ride the waves of gimmicks and “patent pending” specialties. It’s just straight-forward outdoors products: sleeping bags, tents, packs, etc. Like my old professor in college used to say, “It’s like kissing your sister, no thrills.” High Peak’s products aren’t boring or ill-conceived. It’s simply a brand helping introduce people to the outdoors. The company is targeting a very specific audience. And it’s an audience that has money and time to spend.
The real test is if it could last as long as my Gregory Mountain Product backpack (the Ritter model), which is roughly 17 years old. Can High Peak stand up to the high profile competition? There’s plenty to choose from on the market (and quite a few specialty features); for the price, High Peak has most of them beat.
The Adrenaline’s molded foam backing, called the MicroGlide adjustable harness system, has five settings: XL, L, M, S, XS. These correspond to how the harness and straps sit on the back. In my case, XL was the best setting and helped align the waist strap appropriately without placing discomfort on my spine.
Nonetheless, the Adrenaline requires smart packing. Because the Adrenaline is a large pack, proper weight distribution is essential. It’s imperative that you pack the more heavy items closer to your back and lighter items stuffed around the heavier stuff. This will keep the weight centered near your body. Otherwise, the pack will be lopsided and place excessive stress on the shoulders and spine.
I used the Adrenaline during a few short hikes throughout the summer, deliberately over-packing to see how it performed on the trails. On the positive side, the design closely fit to my body – somewhat conforming to my shape. The pack is lean and reasonably lightweight – made with materials best suited for rugged summer hiking excursions.
For the winter, I’ll use the Adrenaline for some snowshoeing hikes to test its effectiveness in the cold. Although not manufactured for the cold weather, it has some basic features that would work well with snowshoeing: ice axe holder and rain cover (providing some waterproofing as an outer shell). We’ll see how it goes. I have high hopes, especially for my reasons to own a large capacity pack for my travels on the snow.
- Close-fitting design hugs and conforms to the wearer’s body, greatly reducing drag
- Patented MicroGlide adjustment buckle ensures a comfortable and easy fit
- Two top lid pockets
- Extendable top lid
- Detachable hood
- EVA foam shoulder straps
- Adjustable chest belt
- Detachable hip belt
- Safety daisy chain
- Front panel access
- Two compartments
- Main compartment offers divider and two zippers
- Two side compression straps
For more information on the Adrenaline 75+10, click here.