i will be using this for mainly high heat canyon touring in utah during the summer. can anyone speak to how quickly, and/or, your back heats up with this? is the ventialtion good?
I have used this primarily in cooler, high-altitude climates without complaint. As for the few times I have used it in the desert, I do not recall any discomfort with my back or any notable issues with over-heating or lack of ventilation. I will mention that I have pretty much given it to my husband, as it is a bit larger than I need. (He is happy with it!)
I own this pack. And I used it in the Grand Canyon in July from the north rim on a day hike down and back. It was hot but manageable.
The pad does a reasonable job - but your back will get wet and you will be warm. But so will everyone else you're with.
Dueter has a day hike pack with an interesting design to keep the pack off your pack. I borrowed one once and noticed a difference. They are more expensive. If this is a big trip with lots of long days, you might want to think about upgrading.
For the price though, the Cirque is a great option.
Enjoy your trip.
I use mine to tote groceries on a 3+ mile round trip in the summers in Central Florida. You can follow me by the trail of sweat I drop along the way. We drink lots of water. It is so humid here that I never considered ventilation. You will have to find something that somehow provides space between your back and the backpack to get any ventilation.
I've not used the High Sierra Cirque 30 Backpack (59102) in high heat. I've used it in moderate temps and there is some back sweat accumulation from contact w/ backpack. I've been in Utah canyon country in summer heat and suggest hike in morning and evening - and chill out during mid-day heat. The best backpack I've ever used that keeps your back cool and minimizes sweat is the Osprey AirSpeed suspension / ventilation system. That's what I use for Utah - Arizona backpacking.
Overall, I've been happy with the pack. I can't give you a specific answer on how fast it heats up but it's not awful to wear. I've never really noticed it being a nuisance but you will sweat wearing it as it fits snug. I've never used it in an extreme environment so I can't speak to high heat performance. I do wish it had a few more internal pockets though.