Mile High Mountaineering Salute 34 ReviewMarch 21, 2014
- Excellent initial quality
- Superb carry—accepts big weight with no complaint
- Rainfly included
- Generally tough and overbuilt
- Fairly expensive
- Overbuilt and on the heavy side for a daypack
The Salute 34 is a burly little rig that’s just right for done-in-a-day adventurers who carry heavy but still need all of their gear immediately available. It’s heavy and pricey, but very sturdy, and well-suited for the hyper-organized.
If it came in black, we’d swear this pack was built in some sub-basement of MI-6…it’s packed with clever little features that any secret agent is sure to appreciate (though ours was missing the knockout gas and retractable garrote).
The Salute’s suspension system could support a pack twice this size. A fixed harness limits adjustability, but the padding and ventilation were top-notch.
Plush carry-comfort and a plethora of nifty stowage options don’t come for free: 56 ounces is chunky for a bag this size.
I filled the Salute with dense, heavy gear and water to about 30 lbs and could have carried more—if I had the space. If this bag could expand vertically (even awkwardly) to accommodate bulkier loads, its capacity would be matchless in this category.
The organization and access in this pack are unparalleled. The Salute 34 is an alchemical combination of organizability (a word that may or may not appear in Webster’s, but should) and clean design. It sports nine extra pockets and stow-away external gear attachments, but maintains a svelte look.
The Snake-Loader zipper gets all the attention, but it’s the thoughtfulness and creativity with which MHM crafted this pack’s more common features that really stand out over time. Precision-cut hypalon pull-tabs and drain-holes; a reinforced top-side grab handle; smart use of stretch and ripstop fabrics on the kangaroo pocket; and an integrated, lightweight rainfly were all details that I appreciated more every time I took this pack out.
With its high price tag, the Salute is probably only a good value for users who will settle for nothing less than the best when it comes to access and attention to detail.