Lowe Alpine goes lightweight

It can be hard for longtime backpackers to break away from a feature-rich pack and move into the lightweight category. But with its new packs, Lowe Alpine can help ease the way. The company’s Zepton and Nanon packs are designed for anyone trying to make that exact transition — they are marketed as packs for people who want to go lightweight but don’t want to break the bank.

Lowe Alpine Zepton.jpg

Lowe Alpine men’s Zepton pack

Both packs use Dyneema — a very light, very strong fabric — to create packs that weigh less than 3 pounds when empty. That is considered to be lightweight by most adventurers.

The Zepton, designed for people that want to go most minimal, features a lithe hip belt, 10-millimeter-wide straps, stretch side pockets, an internal lid pocket, trekking pole tip grabbers to secure your poles, a hydration sleeve, and a ventilating harness.

The Nanon was made for backpackers who prefer a lightweight build balanced with more features. It has all the add-ons that the Zepton does plus there is an expandable lid, hip belt pockets, a front storage pocket, and an adjustable torso system. It weighs a few ounces more than the Zepton.

The company cites the exact weight of each pack as follows: Men’s Zepton, 2 pounds 9 ounces; Women’s Zepton, 2 pounds 7 ounces; Men’s Nanon, 3 pounds 1 ounce; Women’s Nanon, 2 pounds 12 ounces.

Capacity is adjustable with the Nanon — from 4,000 to 4,600 cubic inches — and fixed at 4,000 cubic inches with the Zepton. Both are made to carry about between 20 to 35 pounds, the company cites.

Lowe Alpine Nanon.jpg

Lowe Alpine women’s Nanon ND 50:60 pack

The Nanon will come in blue, lime green and burnt orange for men and purple or green for women. The Zepton will come in blue and burnt orange for men and purple or emerald (tealish-aqua) for women. Both will be available in February. The Nanon will cost $220, the Zepton, $180. www.lowealpine-usa.com

—Ryan Dionne

Posted by Pilgrim - 09/11/2009 07:47 AM

Not sure how this article qualifies as a “review,” without any qualitative analysis, but it’s an interesting news item. The hipbelts here look a little weak – do they transfer weight well? 4,000 c.i. is a lot of space to keep under 25 pounds. I went to Lowe’s website, and here’s what information they had: “Your search – Zepton – did not match any documents.”

Posted by Lowe Alpine USA - 09/11/2009 09:40 AM

Thanks Pilgrim for the comments and interest. The article looks like it was intended to serve as a news item rather than an actual in-field test review. The packs were recently launched at a large trade show. However, it won’t be until early 2010 before you’ll find them on the retail shelves and late 2009 when they’ll be found on our site. Regarding your volume to weight comment, in the mid-section of the article you’ll see that “Both are made to carry about between 20 to 35 pounds.” Hope that helps. For more info, please feel free to contact lowecs@lowealpine.com.

Posted by richard - 09/15/2009 09:56 AM

Compare Nanon w Deuter Act Zero 60+10 before buying. Deuter has more volume, similar features, comfortably carries 40-45 lbs AND is $50 cheaper!

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