Backpack on a Budget

High Sierra epitomizes backpacking on a budget with its 75-liter (4,600-cubic-inch) pack, which sells for as low as $120. The company, primarily known for its luggage, created the Appalachian 75 for long trips when you need a budget bag. It costs less than half of some similar models.

High Sierra Appalachian 75 front view

Not designed for the minimalist that wants to go ultra light, at 5.8 pounds unloaded, the pack is a little heavy. But the Appalachian 75 isn’t short on features. There’s an internal aluminum frame that can be contoured to your back, a hydration bladder sleeve, and a removable media pocket for an MP3 player, camera, or GPS unit on the shoulder harness.

High Sierra Appalachian 75 back view

The top-loading pack has front access that’s great for grabbing gear, a rain cover that’s stowed in a bottom pocket, and plenty of external pockets, compression straps and other organizational amenities.

The Appalachian is currently available in green and gray, and the company plans on adding a red version in the next couple months.

—Ryan Dionne

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.