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December 2021 Issue
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Lowe Alpine Cholatse



Our Rating:

Best for comfort

At a glance
Plusses: Very light for its class, extremely comfortable, good size for overnighters and short trips.
Minuses: Susceptible to water ingress through zip, could be more durable.

1850g (M-L), 1900g (L-XL) / 52-57 litres

Features: The nylon main sac has both top drawcord and front zipped entry, stretch side pockets and a larger front stretch stash pocket. There are zippered external pockets on the lid and the main sac. Ice axe and walking pole attachments are included, along with compression straps. The hip belt has small food/accessory pockets. There’s a pack cover. 

Fit: The pack comes in two main adjustable harness lengths. It’s quick and easy to fine-tune its back length thanks to a Velcro shoulder yoke that slides on aluminium stays. These form the bulk of the pack’s support. 

Comfort: It’s immediately comfortable and sat easily on my back for weekend-length trips. The shoulder straps are anatomically designed and quite broad, which suited my bony shoulders. The lumbar is plush and integrates smoothly into a wide and supportive hip belt. The assembly is covered with breathable fabric that overlays a combination of closed and open cell foam for a good balance between comfort and airflow. 

In use: Being able to throw on a pack you have not used before and wear it all day over rough tracks and rugged untracked tops is a good test of comfort and stability. I was immediately impressed. I also appreciated the pockets on the waist belt, which kept snacks and sunblock handy. 

The zip entry for the main sac lets the pack down a little for rugged trips, at least from a New Zealand perspective. While zips increase versatility and convenience, they can let in water and be a point of weakness. I would have preferred to see this zip be water-resistant, or better weather sealed. But if you also use the pack for travel and general trips away, it’s very useful. The pack comes with a rain cover, but these are poor substitutes for a pack liner as they can catch on bush or blow away in strong winds. 

Value: Although well featured, it’s high priced for its class. 

Verdict: Versatile and comfortable, but could be more weatherproof.