Released to mark Lowe Alpine’s 50th anniversary, the Ascent Superlight 30 is an innovation in lightweight alpine day packs.
With a single compartment accessed via a top zip and no compression straps, the design is simple and streamlined. In lieu of a built-in frame, a removable folded mat provides some stiffness and padding. The mat is too small to be of much use, though it makes a handy seat and would provide some insulation during an unplanned night out. Those obsessed with stripping every gram could leave the mat at home, although, at 540g, the pack is already the lightest I’ve used.
The 100D nylon outer is treated with Lowe Alpine’s patented TriShield Superlight coating. It’s waterproof and has held up well to some scrappy scrub-bashing.
The harness is reasonably comfortable – which you’d expect from a pack that only has the capacity to carry up to 15kg. The ‘active’ design allows good movement, which is a key quality desired in a technical mountaineering pack.
The twin ice-axe attachments are simple to use, though they are designed for short technical axes and ice-tools.
Two loops with buckles joining the shoulder straps to the body of the pack provide a tensioning rope holder. A couple of daisy chains down the front provide attachment options for crampons and other gear.
Two zippered pockets at the top of the pack – one accessible from the outside, the other from within – provide stowing options for on-the-go gear.
The Ascent Superlight is at the cutting edge of alpine pack innovation. It’s ultralight and cleverly designed.