Trainee British Mountain Guide James Clapham Reviews the Lowe Alpine Attack 45 – 55.
Lowe Alpine have done a great job with this pack. Drawing on their extensive experience and with input from Andy Cave they’ve created a large volume pack that is climber focussed without the excess ‘bells and whistles’ so many brands tend to add on.
The Alpine Attack’s 35-45Lt little brother is designed more with alpine objectives in mind whereas this pack is more suited to winter objectives and expeditions where you’re going to need the volume. The pack is comfortable and sits well just above a harness (quite a feat with a pack this size) without feeling unwieldy. On your back it feels remarkably light (just over 1kg) for a large volume pack and you can get a huge amount inside. I like to have all my kit inside the pack in winter so the large volume helps with this and when climbing you can tuck the lid inside the pack reducing its volume and giving you greater freedom of head movement. Although climbing steep ground with the pack full and helmet on would restrict your head movement slightly (and probably your ability to pull off the deck!). The floating lid can be extended to gain extra space and is nicely sized to take hat, gloves and lunch in the top pocket with a stash pocket inside for securing valuables.
The silicone coasted ripstop fabric is really tough and keeps all but the worst weather out. So far mine has been dragged and scraped up plenty of rough rock and looks pretty much new. The headlocker axe system is secure and simple to use as are the ski attachments. While not a dedicated ski pack this is certainly a pack that can double up for ski mountaineering if needed. One feature I really liked is the use of strong and light aluminium buckles after breaking so many plastic ones over the years.
Overall this is a great pack for load hauling, winter alpine and expedition use. For Alpine routes and for Scottish climbing it might be worth considering the smaller size.
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