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July 2020 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Packs

Lowe Alpine AirZone Trek 35:45

Photo: Matthew Cattin

Price:

$379.95

Our Rating:

At a glance
Pluses:
Very comfortable, resilient and water-resistant
Minuses:
Heavy and expensive

1600g / 45-litres

Features: This pack is made out of 210D ripstop nylon with a water-resistant DWR treatment. It features comfortable FormKnit technology which suspends the pack from the back to provide ventilation. A sturdy foam lumbar pad provides lower back support. Front and side mesh pockets and a roomy lid offer packing options. Dedicated attachments hold walking poles and an ice axe. It also includes a water reservoir compartment and an extendable lid.

Fit: e simple Velcro length-adjuster, which can be accessed via the front U-zip. The shoulder straps and harness all sit where they should, and are easy to adjust and tweak.

Comfort: This is a very comfortable pack. The FormKnit suspension fits snuggly against the back, providing ventilation and padding, and the lumbar support – though firm – felt comfortable all day. The harness was secure and never came close to bruising or rubbing.

In use: At 1600g, it’s a heavy pack for its capacity, but it feels sturdy and should stand up well to wear.

The front U-zip provides easy access to the interior. A zippable inner divider allows users to create a separate compartment for sleeping gear, but it can’t be zipped off altogether if unwanted. Likewise, the lid is attached to the pack by a nylon ribbon, which I would be tempted to cut so I could use the pack without the lid.

The front mesh pocket adds decent volume, and two side sleeves are large enough to securely hold water bottles. The rain cover – stored in a pocket at the base of the pack – performed well and the straps and harness were quick-drying.

Though well-built, its bells and whistles verge on excessive and add – in my view – unnecessary weight. And don’t be fooled by the 35:45 capacity – whether it carries 35l or 45l, you’re carrying a 45l pack. You can’t leave 10l of your pack behind, as you can using a pack with a detachable lid.

Value: It’s priced at the high end of similar capacity packs, but it feels built to last.

Verdict: A comfortable – but heavy – pack suitable for overnight or multi-day trips.

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