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October 2017 Issue
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Lowe Alpine celebrates 50th anniversary

This year is the 50th celebration for the Lowe Alpine brand, founded by American brothers Jeff, Greg and Mike Lowe, and available in New Zealand for around 25 years – now with distributor Outfitters.

The brothers were mountain, rock and ice climbers who gained a love of the outdoors from their father, Ralph.

Greg was a designer of some note and in 1967, working in his parents’ garage in Colorado, he designed the first internal-frame backpack with dual aluminium staves. The ‘Expedition Pack’ was designed for climbers and built for heavy loads. It became a blueprint for technical packs, and variations of the internal frame became ubiquitous, being used by pack manufacturers worldwide.

Greg would design a host of outdoor gear, including pitons, camming devices, plastic pack buckles, ergonomically contoured shoulder straps for packs, and a soft sided camera bag – Lowepro.

Other innovations included the APS (Advanced Parallux System) adjustable harness and technology to provide a near-permanent water repellent to the company’s Triple Ceramic fabric.

The Lowe’s are no longer involved with Lowe Alpine: Jeff formed Latok, a clothing company in the late 1970s. Around a decade later, Mike left to pursue gold mining interests and the company was sold with ownership sifting through various interests and is now with Equip Outdoor Technologies.