Mile High Mountaineering Salute 34 Backpack Review
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Mile High Mountaineering, a newer outdoor company specializing in backpacks for hiking and backpacking has recently come out with a new pack called the Mile High Mountaineering Salute 34. The salute 34 is a 34 liter backpack that is designed for the outdoors person that loves to hike, climb, etc. As a new fairly new company with stiff competition in the outdoor industry, Mile High Mountaineering has a steep climb ahead of them, but one thing that will help them stand out is a unique design and high quality products and they have done just that in the Salute 34 and many of their other products.
Pack designers have been making the same backpack designs for years and years. Typically, there are two designs that have been popular over time. First, the top loader where you load all your gear through the top of the pack. Second, the popular zippered top backpack where there is a zipper that typically zips half way around the top of the backpack. While both of these designs work, and work well for that matter, it is nice to see Mile High Mountaineering come out with a new way to access the inside of your pack. MHM has designed a new way to access the inside of your pack called a snake loader system where the zipper starts from the top of the pack and cris crosses the pack down to the bottom of the pack. This allows for the Mile High Mountaineering Salute 34 inside to open completely making it super easy to access all your gear.
Mile High Mountaineering Salute 34 Features
One of the most important aspects of a backpack when using it for your outdoor adventures is the fit. If you don’t have a pack that fits well, you start to focus more on when you can get your pack off versus enjoying the beautiful scenery around you. To get the pack to move with you, the Mile High Mountaineering Salute 34 backpack has a pivoting hip belt. This is not a feature that’s new to backpacks, but it’s a feature that’s generally on higher end packs. When walking and hiking, your hips move more than you think they do. When you have a hip belt that is glued to your hips and back, the pack can get uncomfortable with extended use. By having independent pivoting hip belts, the Salute 34 does an excellent job at keeping your hips and back comfortable on long trips.
Another feature that addresses comfort and fit in a backpack is the back panel and frame sheet. The salute 34 has a plastic frame sheet and aluminum stays to allow the pack to carry heavier loads with comfort. For padding on your back and shoulders, Mile High Mountaineering uses a perforated foam that I have found to be plenty comfortable up to this point in testing.
For pockets and space in the Mile High Mountaineering Salute 34, there is the main compartment, an outer mesh pocket layer that’s great for items like rain jackets that you want easy access to, a zipped pocket near the top on both the inside and outside of the pack, two side pockets for water bottles and other items you place in the sides, and a pocket on each side of the hip belt for smaller items like phones and gels. The Salute 34 also has plenty of loops on the outside of the pack where you can attach a carabiner. To keep your gear dry, there’s a rain cover that is stored in the bottom of the bag.
I’ve tested out the Mile High Mountaineering Salute 34 in varying conditions including day hikes in the Grand Canyon and day hikes in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I’ve taken heavier loads up to 25 pounds and I’ve also taken minimalist loads of about 5 pounds. All the weather conditions were generally dry and arid with some of them being hot up to 90 F degrees and down to 30 F degrees. The average length of hike consisted of 8-10 miles with some shorter and some longer hikes. During all my hikes, I found the Mile High Mountaineering pack to fit the bill and perform great.
The Mile High Mountaineering Salute 34 is a great option for those looking for a good all around day hiking bag. It’s great for full day adventures, but if you’re looking to do overnight outings, I suggest using a pack that can carry a little more. For more information, please visit www.moosejaw.com/mhmgear.