The Altus range from Lowe Alpine is described as a lightweight, all-purpose daypack that can be used anywhere. It also includes features often found in a technical pack.
Although the 32 litre is the smallest in the range, it’s no less capable of handling all kinds of activities. Andy, the web team’s assistant, received the pack and set it up for some hiking and scrambling in Snowdonia.
INITIAL THOUGHTS ON THE RUCKSACK
While packing my rucksack for the day, I noticed a few things in the parking lot. First, the bold red colour. This is a great colour for travelling to remote areas. The second was the strength of the materials used in the construction. This was going to be a sturdy pack, I could tell.
AIR CONTOUR+ BACK SYSTEM
The Air Contour+ back system adjusts to support your load while being breathable and lightweight to keep you comfortable throughout the day.
TIPGRIPPER WALKING POLE AND HEADLOCK ICES AXE ATTACHMENTS
Headlocker’s ice tool attachment system allows you to attach any ice tools to your pack, regardless of their head shape. It also makes it easy to attach ice axes while wearing gloves.
TipGripper walking pole attachments attach to the poles and can be extended to accommodate larger tips. They can both be stored away when they are not in use.
INTERNAL 15MM FRAME
The frame is 15mm long and connects to the fins and lumbar. This transfers the pack’s load into the hips, allowing for efficient and comfortable load-carrying while still allowing for a wide range of movement.
ERGONOMIC PADDED HIPBELT
The pack has a wrap-around belt, which sits comfortably at the hips. Forward pull straps allow the belt to be tightened evenly on both sides. This improves comfort.
WHAT PERFORMED IT?
The 32-litre pack is smaller in size but has all the options to customize the fit to my body. The large Velcro patch under the shoulder straps allows for the adjustment of the pack’s length. This is a rare feature in a pack of this size.
I love the little details, like how the foam is rolled up around the shoulder straps to prevent them from digging into my neck. The belt of the pack is designed to hug the waist and has thick foam padding that cushions everywhere. This adjustability allows the pack to sit close to the back, preventing unwanted movement.
The main compartment is not the only thing included in the pack. Many pockets can be added to the pack, including small mesh pockets on the hip belt, lid pockets, and side pockets. Alternative access to the main compartment can be found by zipping and running the length of the pack. They are easy to find but also easily hidden. This makes the pack look clean and secure. This pack is ideal for mountaineers who want lots of pockets but a pack that offers limited snagging.
It’s a pack that can do it all and has features that suit any sport. The ice axe has ‘T’ clips for walking pole attachments and a pair of walking pole attachments. These can be stored away or tucked away. A loop on an existing compression strap ensures that the tools stay securely in place at the top and bottom.
The smaller bags are often not given a proper harness system to support their weight, but this is the exact opposite. Because of my strength and flexibility, I barely noticed the pack on me.
Lowe Alpine has continued to improve their packs’ breathability, and all Altus models feature their Air Contour+ back system. Although it is a very well-fitted pack that leaves little space around the back for ventilation, I was sceptical about this new system. It hugged my body and allowed air to circulate while also allowing me to be comfortable.
It’s not the lightest pack I have ever carried, but the way the weight is transferred to the hip belt and shoulders more than compensates for it.
It is very hard to find a pack that can be used for all the different activities on the mountain. This pack is one of these packs. This pack is versatile, strong, and reliable. It’s hard to imagine a mountain activity for which this pack wouldn’t be suitable.