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Staff Review: The Lowe Alpine Airzone Trek 45:55l

Words by Taunton Leisure

on 29/09/2020 14:30:44

Bag and Caius Cropped

Staff Review: Lowe Alpine AirZone Trek 45:55

Follow Caius from the Exeter Shop as he takes on one of Lowe Alpine’s most popular packs and gives us his thoughts.


For Big Days and Long Weekends

All a rucksack needs to do is get you and the things you need to the places you love to be. Whether it’s just a Cliff bar and some coffee, food and water for the whole family or all the gear you need for a week on the hill. The best bags do this unremarkably, bringing together simplicity of design and ease of use into a product that you can almost forget about (depending on how light you have packed).

The new series of AirZone packs from Lowe Alpine have been designed to meet these requirements in a variety of sizes. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the AirZone Trek 45:55 to test for the past few months. It’s been out and about with me all across our patch, from long days climbing and bouldering, a charge along the coast path and some overnight stays on Dartmoor.

Here are my thoughts…

Me and me mum

Our man Caius, in his natural habitat, backpack on!

Fit

This pack comes in two sizes, Small/Medium and Medium/Large. Back length doesn’t necessarily correlate with height so it’s important to try a pack on and make sure you get the best fit. The back system slides up and down so small adjustments can be made to get a perfect fit. Taking the time to do this makes a huge difference to the comfort of a rucksack and we’re more than happy to adjust the fit of rucksacks in store. The lumbar region and hip belt are padded with Lowe Alpine’s one piece FormKnit material, this works really well to distribute the weight evenly across your hips without rubbing. The shoulder straps are well padded whilst still feeling slim, they don’t pinch or rub while you moving around as some chunkier straps can. I’ve found the bags sits really comfortably, packed light or heavy it feels really secure and unrestrictive.

Airzone exterior  Airzone exterior with zip open  Airzone exterior with ME

The pack features a full opening, allowing you the ability to access the bottom of the bag without unpacking everything.

Features

The big feature on these bags is the AirZone back system, this is designed to minimise the contact area between your back and the padding of the bag, increasing air circulation and decreasing sweaty back related misery. This is achieved by arching the back panel of the rucksack inwards and stretching panels of FormKnit material between the top and bottom of the rucksacks frame. This works really well, spreading the load across your hips and securing it to your shoulders whilst keeping you cool and comfortable. I’ve taken this out fully loaded during some of the warm weather recently and have been really impressed with how the AirZone system performs, it’s definitely increased my enjoyment of some long summer walks.

The Trek 45:55 is well kitted out with features to keep you organised. Hip belt pockets are ideal for on the go snacks, cameras and compasses. The option of internal compartmentalisation is really useful on multiday trips, separating your sleep kit and dry clothes from the rest of your gear is essential. This works particularly well with this pack as it has great zipped access to the main compartment. The extra 10L of volume comes from an expandable section at the top of the main compartment, this gives you the room needed for a multiday trek.

Airzone Hip strap with stuffing

The pack features many hideaways for all varieties of kit and snacks.

Use and Abuse

This has been my go to bag for a few months and I’m really impressed with how it’s held up. The materials feel really sturdy while the bag still comes in on the light side for a rigid framed rucksack. I got everything I need for a one night camp inside the bag without using the expanding top and will be taking it for some longer forays into the hills this autumn. It’s been perfect for a day pack as well, certainly on the big side but the compression straps work well to secure smaller loads. It’s been a reliable picnic carrier for evening expeditions and a day spent dragging my mother along a (very hot) section of the coast path.

Overall I think it offers fantastic comfort and versatility for a bag around the 50 litre mark. Perfect for big days and long weekends.

Airzone With Dartmoor map     Airzone extrerior ith rain cover

Of course, the pack comes with an integrated rain cover, perfect for ensuring dry gear.

Men's lowe link

Womens Lowe link


camping 

This review was written by Caius from the Exeter Shop. Caius can be found out and about walking, camping and climbing.

He is particularly fond of evening sessions at Bonehill rocks or a refreshing dip in one of Dartmoor’s wild swimming spots.

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