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377 of 383 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2010
Verified Purchase
I've had numerous backpacks over the years, and this one is the best one I've ever owned. Yes, it's large. Yes, there are tons of pockets and organization. The previous reviews have listed them in detail.... what I'd like to emphasize is the extreme comfort! A couple of days ago, I ran abt a quarter of a mile in the rain with this bag, a 13" macbook (b/c there are adjustable straps on the inside of the compartment to make the bag fit the laptop instead of the other way around! Serious SCORE!), a notebook/binder, 2 super heavy college text books and various small items. Not only was I able to run, I was able to do so comfortably! It cinches down easily. The padding on the back ROCKS! The lumbar portion makes it fit easily to the contour of your back, and the suspension straps give when they need to without pulling on your shoulders and neck. The only thing I didn't love is the waist strap, but it tucks away easily behind the lumbar padding; honestly, I don't even remember it's there anymore. This bag has taken a beating over the past year, and it still looks beautiful! I'd like another colour, but I can't really justify the expense b/c this one is going to last a loooooooong time.
A seriously satisfied customer who is finally hooked on a backpack and may never feel the need to hunt for another,

**Update** After another year of constant use, the bag still looks great! No visible signs of wear or tear either. It's holding up much better than other expensive packs I've tried.
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249 of 252 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
Verified Purchase
I purchased this backpack for extensive general everyday and weekend use (aka my "man purse"). I carry my gym clothes and other miscellaneous gear to and from work every day - which involves daily repetitive usage of the zippers and pockets. I also use it for travelling and weekend trips, sometimes with large (heavy) loads - and can be VERY tough on a backpack in general. In the past I owned a North Face (Recon) pack - which at almost 6 years old was dated in design though not falling apart.

This pack seems on par with the quality of the North Face pack, as far as materials go - and at less than half the price. The design is PERFECT for travelling (with three *separate* large compartments, as well as lots of cool little stash spots). Perfect, nay -IDEAL- for organization on a 3-day+ trip. The feel of the pack is solid, and very well made. The zippers, a crucial fail point on cheap packs, are thick-toothed and burly! The laptop pouch is great, and easy to access in line at aiport security via it's own special zipper right above the straps. It is also WELL padded, including the bottom (where it rightly has the thickest padding) The carrying handle on top is a dream - padded and comfortable. I often carry my pack using that handle, so it's nice to see it becoming standard on many packs these days.

I initially wondered why the water bottle pouches (2) did not have cinch straps at the top like North Face does - but in actual usage I actually prefer them like this. I tend to use the side pockets for quick-access storage, and these flush-mount pouches are superior to the loose, floppy North Face design. They are deep as well, so they hold tall bottles WAY better, as well as a bunch of random stuff when I want to quickly dump things somewhere when on the go.

The very top small storage pouch is awesome and PERFECTLY designed - when I go to lunch I can dip right in for my wallet and keys without having to dig around or even move the bag at all - brilliant. Perfect for "ready access" items. The front "organizer" pouch has a killer little Velcro "phone pocket" in it (this is better for storing smallish items like lip balm, coins and extra batteries rather than a phone) - the rest of the organizer area is pretty "meh" like most organizers in backpacks. Things tend to just get thrown into that front pocket. I find the side (water bottle) pouches better to drop a phone into (it's easier to hear it ring too).

The shoulder straps are the best I have ever used on a daypack. The High Sierra "integrated suspension system" WORKS (I was very doubtful). This thing feels like a dream on the back. Also, a really cool feature is that the bottom straps have stopper clips on them to prevent that annoying "run through" where a strap comes out of the fastener and hangs free. How is this the first pack I have ever seen this on?? These stopper clips also have super handy "pullin' holes" where you can tighten them with one finger, another incredibly innovative design that took me by surprise.

High Sierra has hit a home run with this pack as far as I am concerned, and obviously I am very anal about my backpack performance and specs (it literally goes EVERYWHERE I go, in all conditions, with all types of loads). I appreciated the very detailed reviews of various packs when I started looking for a new one, so I hope others of like mind find this of interest!

Side note: Several reviewers expressed concern over "that extra fabric covering the two main zippers". These are rain flaps which help prevent water intrusion through the zipper. I guess only `backpack idiot savants' like me know that. Yes they can get in the way sometimes, but you'll be very glad it's there during a downpour - they make a big difference.

I paid 39.00 (with free Prime shipping 2-day delivery - black/black model) - and boy does this seem like one hell of a deal!

UPDATE: I have discovered that the laptop pouch also doubles as an amazing beer cooler. I can easily fit 3 bottles (more possibly) in there, along with my gel icepack. It's essentially *AS GOOD* as any softsided cooler, and found it kept my drinks cold and safe all night. Sweet!!

Also, I have to re-state this, the little "stash pouch" (on top) for ready-access stuff like keys and wallet, is perhaps the best single innovation I have ever seen on a pack. NO MORE digging around in other pockets for my keys & such! At concerts, it has proven to be a godsend when I am slightly inebriated. Not to mention at work when I need to grab my keys and run, I don't even need to move my pack.

***UPDATE - TEN MONTHS LATER***
The pack still looks brand new! It has been to two multi-day camping music festivals, a week in New Orleans on foot, several day hikes, 7 concerts, MANY weekend trips, MANY beach trips, and DAILY use back and forth to my office (where it is often used to courier my Amazon purchases home). If there is a known punishment that humans can inflict upon a helpless backpack, verily - I have delivered it unto this High Sierra!

Is the fabric made of a futuristic, impenetrable teflon-adamantium fibre? Are the zippers forged from molten eagle talons? Was the design itself created by a 13-year-old boy with Asperger's living in the Ukraine and enhanced with gamma rays? I DON'T KNOW!!

But it is one hell of a pack!
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454 of 482 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2008
Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this bag. I got the Charcoal/Chipotle/Black one and it's pretty nice. It has lots of pockets, which could border on too many for some users. I sometimes forget which of the pockets hold my stuff. The zippers are nice, and just big enough to grasp and pull easily.

Besides all the compartments, there are lots of smaller pockets. The very first compartment can hold all your knickknacks. It has pen/pencil holders, zippered pockets, non-zippered pockets, "velcroed" pockets...you get the idea.

The second compartment has a mini pocket up top designed for an mp3 player. Above that pocket is even a port to push a headphone jack so you can listen to your tunes as you walk.

There is a tiny soft-lined pocket at the very top that I normally use to store things like my camera, phone and mp3 player i.e. things I don't want scratched. That's one of the things I like most about the bag.

The 2nd, 3rd and 4th compartments are great for books with lots of room. However the fourth compartment held a surprise laptop pocket complete with a strap and buckle. I didn't have a laptop at the time I bought this, but now that I own one, I'm really happy it's there.

The straps are nice and wide also, making it easier to carry around on your back.

The ONLY thing I do not like about this backpack is that "Vapel mesh" that they added to the back. That thing has caused trauma to my polos and t-shirts you would not believe. Every polo and T-shirt I wear with this has caused the fabric to twill BADLY. I've never had clothes damaged by a backpack like this has. And for this reason, and this reason alone, I wish I never bought this bag. No one else has mentioned this problem, so it may well be only me.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2013
Verified Purchase
I want to write a small review (or at least I want to) about my experience using the Swerve. Note: Sorry if I don't express clearly with my english, I'll do my best.

First, I was searching for a "very good" backpack, and cheap. My SwissGear messenger bag was not that good when I travel with laptop plus accesories and some notebooks, I always ended with shoulder pain. So I decided to return to "backpacks", which I have not used since high school.

There were two backpacks which I was thinking over: the High Sierra Swerve and the Access . I count the Loop also, but because the price, features and the needs I had, I decided to go with the Swerve. I think Access is good, but because I live in Baja California, Mexico, there is no need to buy it for the rain cover because there are like 7-12 raining days in all the years, plus the design... I didn't like too much, looked to big IMO.

And I was not wrong: the Swerve has satisfied all my needs. One day I put inside my laptop plus accesories (mouse, charger, moused pad), 4 german books (less than 200 pages each), 1 notebook, a brand new Uniden telephone that I bought in WalMart, my camera, my ipod + charger and some papers inside of folders, and well, they all fit inside and there is plenty of space free. No more shoulder/back pain, looks like the suspension system from the Swerve works.

I would have liked to have this backpack during my college studies.

I would give it 4.5 stars.

The ONLY complain that I found with the Swerve (and a lot of people who bought it) it's the second-main zipper does not work properly. All the zippers work very good, but this zipper in particular get stuck and it is hard to close/open. I do not why, maybe because the length is big. I found solution when use it: the piece of fabric which cover all this zipper, just lift it (to the outside) and the zipper will work smoothly like all the zippers. Maybe the problem is this piece of fabric.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2011
Verified Purchase
I spent a LOT of time searching for the perfect backpack online so it's only fair that I give a very detailed review of the one I finally ended up getting...
-There are two large pockets that can fit things like textbooks and folders.
-The pocket closest to the back is the main pocket, it's the one with the laptop pouch, which fits my 13" macbook just fine (it should also hold pretty much any other laptop as far as I can tell). The main pocket actually has two different zippers- one of them runs along the very top of the backpack (though not all the way down the sides like the other zipper) and is for easy access to the laptop pouch, though it's actually the easier of the two zippers to open, so if I need to grab something that isn't my organic chemistry behemoth of a textbook out of the main pocket, I just use the "laptop" zipper.
-The small pocket at the top of the backpack dangles inside the main pocket. I mainly use it for sunglasses, my phone, and other smaller things that I don't want to get squished.
-The second large pocket holds slightly less that the main pocket, though they are about the same size (And did I mention they're TALL? All my textbooks just sink down into the pockets).
-There's a third pocket that's medium-sized. This is the one that has a pouch within it for an mp3 player along with a little opening thing for headphones. The pocket itself is a little awkwardly-sized (not big enough for a large notebook, but very deep), but it's a good place for holding smaller textbooks, novels, your lunch, etc.
-The front pocket... I'm not even sure how to describe it. There are a ton of little pockets and zippered pouches inside it, along with one largish pocket behind all of the little ones. I use it mainly for my calculator, bus schedule, bike lights, gum, etc. There are little pouches for pencils, something that looks like it's for a cell phone, and a removable key fob (and if you care to know, there happens to be a zippered pouch that is perfect for feminine products).

Other things:
-The zippers for the two main pockets both have that little bit of fabric covering them (For aesthetic purposes? No idea), which makes them slightly more difficult to open, though the two front pocket zippers and the laptop zipper do not have that covering, and are much easier to open.
-There are actually two water bottle pouches, one on each side. There's also a little mesh pouch on the sleeve that you can put your phone in, though it's a bit hard to get your phone in and out of and it definitely would not fit anything larger than a normal cell phone, so no iphones or androids.
-There are straps on each side of the backpack that you can tighten to make the pack look skinnier, which is nice when you're a 5'4" girl and don't want your backpack to dwarf you any more than it already does (it IS a pretty large backpack if you're not extremely tall). The backpack just by itself is slightly heavier than ones I've had before it, but that's not really surprising considering how big it is.
-The padded mesh on the straps and back feel a little coarse, so I'm trying to be careful when I put the backpack on and take it off so it doesn't pill my shirts.
-I got the amazon/ash/black one. I was a little worried that it would be a sort of swamp green, but it's actually a somewhat brighter green than the picture suggests, which I was delighted about. Still completely gender neutral, though, and overall it's a good-looking backpack that will hopefully last me through my never-ending higher education.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2012
After less than 7 months of daily use to work, the stitches started to come off. I only carry a 14 inch laptop, a couple of folders with maybe 10 pages in them, pens and a laptop power cord. This is my second backpack from High Sierra and both had the same problems. I should have learned my lesson on the first one. But no. I'm now shopping for a different brand.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2012
Color Name: Black, Black, BlackVerified Purchase
This thing holds 7 text books, 4 folders, 4 notebooks, my laptop, charger, gaming headset, mouse, 20 pens / pencils 4 highlighter, my cell phone. I have not even used most of the compartments, it is immense. The construction is superior to most backpacks and I am glad I opted for this over a Jansport or similar. Highly recommend this product to university students!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2011
Verified Purchase
As a 40 something returning student, I was having difficulty carrying my books across campus in my stylish tote type computer bag. I tried using an old backpack, and soon realized that the books slamming into my back were no more comfortable. I looked at all of the locally available backpacks and found that the swerve was the most padded, most comfortable backpack out there. I ordered the color I wanted on Amazon, and have been very pleased with my purchase. It is as well made and comfortable as some of the $100 backpacks, and has enough pockets to keep organized. The padded computer compartment is also a useful feature, and saves me from having to use my neoprene sleeve for my laptop. I am a medium sized woman (5'5"), and this backpack fits me quite well, but has enough room to hold books for 3 classes. Great bag!
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64 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2007
This is the 2nd High Sierra back pack that was purchased in our home in 4 months. Upon a recommendation from his younger sister my older child, an 11th grade boy bought the exact same bag. He is not real particular about the color, the number of pockets or the style. The most important thing we looked for was durability and the large space for many books and binders.

Everything works with this bag. I picked 4 other bags at retail stores, some more expensive, some less and one brand name that he didn't want to wear but he wasn't happy with any of those choices.

This is a perfect bag.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2013
Color Name: Black, Black, BlackVerified Purchase
This lasted my teenage son through two school years before it started coming apart. It was dropped, kicked, thrown and had stuff spilled on it and had no issues for two years. The laptop sleeve kept his tablet safe and there is enough room for all his school supplies and a lunch box. I bought the replacement here at a better price than I found in stores.
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