After various forays into different types of outdoor gear in recent years, Lowe Alpine have now gone back to just doing what they’ve done so well for so many years – back packs. (They do some travel bags and related accessories too, but we’ll focus on the back packs for now.)
At Facewest we’ve got a select range of their latest offerings, all of which seem to be well thought out and good value for money. Here’s a run down of what’s available this spring/summer.
This is a perfect mountaineering expedition pack made from light weight yet incredibly durable TriShield Grid fabric for excellent tear-resistance and durability over the course of an extended mission. It features everything you’d expect from an Alpine pack, including the Headlocker ice axe attachment and Lowe Alpine’s Web-Catcher system which will hold skis and poles yet weighs in at just 1.7kg – pretty amazing for such a large and well featured pack.
At a maximum capacity of 80 litres it’s a good thing it’s capable of handling loads of 25+kg and has a back system designed to make carrying such loads as painless as possible. This includes a sit mat and there’s the usual under lid rope and crampon strap plus mitt-friendly winter buckles.
If you need a reliable pack for extended mountain adventures the Metanoia has got to be on your short list.
The Alpine Ascent Range comes in 3 sizes. The largest, 40:50 litres, has a removable and extendable lid while the 32 and 25 litre versions have zip openings at the top, saving weight and giving a super clean finish. You can also be assured of getting a good fit from these packs as the two larger sizes are available in 2 back lengths.
The whole range is top loading and perfect for any mountain adventures. Although they’re built with long summer rock days in mind they won’t be out of their depth winter mountaineering either as each is equipped with a double HeadLocker ice axe attachment system, crampon strap, mitt-friendly winter buckles and ice screw carabiner slots.
If you’re looking for a pack for long days rock climbing, alpine climbing or winter mountaineering then one of the Alpine Ascent Range will do you proud.
There’s also the Alpine Ascent Superlight which is a 30 litre super light version of the above packs. It makes its weight gains by having lighter weight fabric which has been specially designed for lightweight packs so that abrasion resistance is not compromised. It also has a lighter weight and fully removable back system. Despite being a light weight design it still includes lashing points to allow gear to be carried on the outside, a double HeadLocker ice axe attachment system with an elasticated top retainer, a top tensioning rope holder and mitt-friendly winter buckles.
This is a proper no frills alpine pack for going fast and light.
Airzone refers to Lowe Alpine’s back system which has been specially designed to keep your back as cool and dry as possible. Obviously a completely dry back is impossible – the pack has to touch you somewhere – but the Airzone system is well thought out and definitely offers more comfort in warm weather over the other back systems. The downside is that the packs have curve to the back which means fitting items inside is not as easy, this curve also means that the centre of gravity is further back, making them less ideal for activities such as climbing and skiing.
However, when it comes to walking, trekking, backpacking and general use the Airzone packs offer a comfortable and stable option.