At a glance
Plusses: Versatile for alpine or below the bushline trips, ventilation, adjustable harness, excellent tool carrying system.
Minusses: Not so good for heavier loads.
Capacity: 35-litres Weight: 940g.
Features: The pack uses Lowe Alpine’s low-bulk adjustable Flexion Harness. It has a mesh and moulded foam back panel and a hipbelt with cut-out mesh-lined pockets for extra ventilation. There is top and side access, a large front mesh pocket, two side stretch mesh pockets and hiking pole and ice axe attachments. The fabrics used are light 100D and 210D nylon.
Fit: The harness length can be easily adjusted to suit different users, so I found it a perfect fit with the shoulder straps sitting nicely to distribute the weight of the pack across my shoulders and the hipbelt cupping my hips.
Comfort: On lightweight day trips, carrying around 5kg, I hardly noticed the pack. It was stable and distributed the weight to all the right places. The minimally-padded hipbelt, perforated shoulder straps and ventilating back panel minimised overheating. But when carrying heavier (9-10kg) loads, I felt the bite of the shoulder straps by trip’s end.
In use: The pack has a low and narrow profile and seems smaller than its 35-litres. But its interior is voluminous – easily enough for a lightweight overnighter to a hut if you pack a compact sleeping bag. It is light enough that I barely noticed it while climbing steep hills on a sweltering day. I could – just – reach drink bottles in the side mesh pockets without taking the pack off and these also held my map securely and within reach. It has a hydration reservoir pocket between the back panel and the pack, which provides additional padding but also results in less airflow. I found the side zippered entry useful when rummaging for items. I hitched my hiking poles to the attachment points either side of the pack – the pole tip gripper is an excellent feature ensuring poles stay firmly in place.
Value: There’s no denying its an expensive pack, but the Flexion harness is worth the price of admission: adjustable, lightweight and with the necessary ventilation to remain comfortable on hot days.
Verdict: This pack suits those who want to carry the essentials – whether for a summit push or a day walk in the bush. Keep the load light and it will perform flawlessly.