lowe alpine backpack back panel

Lowe Alpine: New-Generation Backpacks For 2016

Lowe Alpine pioneered internal-frame backpacks a generation ago. Today, the company continues to push design, including a 2016 line focused on fit, comfort, and breathability on your back.

lowe alpine backpack back panel

We got a first look at the company’s 2016 pack line this month. Here are a few callout points to know and a handful of features you’ll want to check out.


Look at the back panel and hip belt on the AirZone Hike pack and you’ll see massive oblong holes. Lowe Alpine created this system to increase airflow as well as decrease weight and material used. The cut-outs are so large you can stick a hand through.

Lowe Alpine AirZone back panel
AirZone Hike 30

‘Blow-Through’ Back Panel

On the AirZone Hike pack, a plane of tensioned mesh grants breathability to the back panel, shoulder straps, and hip belt. It’s so airy you can literally put your lips to the harness strap and blow air through for a test.

Mesh Over Foam

Three packs in the line (the Manaslu, Cholatse, and Eclipse models) have a back panel of mesh over molded foam. “A lot of users still prefer the feel of a traditional internal-frame pack,” the company states. “By using the molded foam/mesh combo, we were able to provide that feel while increasing breathability.”

lowe alpine red backpack
Back panel of the Cholatse 55 backpack

Custom Fit

True backpacking packs have adjustability. For its 2016 line, Lowe Alpine includes internal ratchet systems for an adjustable torso area, a rotating hipbelt, as well as the requisite buckles, clips, and sternum straps that move laterally for optimum placement on the chest.

different lowe alpine packs
From left to right: Manaslu 55:65, AirZone Hike 30, Eclipse 25


Though they possess a streamlined look, the packs hide features like lash points, extendable lids, pole-tip grippers, ice axe loops, rain covers, water bottle pockets, stretchy stash panels, hip-belt pockets, a whistle (built into a buckle), LED light loop, hydration pouches, and access zippers for getting gear stashed lower in the pack.

lowe alpine 2016 backpack

SOS Panel

Printed in the pack lid is an instruction sheet for worst case scenarios. It includes info for hikers in trouble to flag helicopters with hand gestures and communicate distress signals with a whistle or a flashlight. International phone numbers for emergency services are included as well.

SOS panel on backpack
SOS Panel integrated into all new Lowe Alpine packs

Hip Pockets

Grab your energy bars, lip balm, compass, and other small accessories without slowing down. Big hip-belt pockets on these packs offer quick access, and they can fit a surprising amount of small supplies.

Full Range

The entire line includes 36 models ranging from 18 – 100 liters in capacity. Pricing starts at $45. Check out the Lowe Alpine 2016 backpacks here. Happy hiking!

– This post was sponsored by Lowe Alpine. See the company’s range of packs here.