Lowe Alpine AirZone 45
I purchased this pack for my daughter for summer hiking…
Design: Internal frame pack
Number of Pockets: 5
Max. Load Carried: 30 lbs.
Height of Owner: 6' 1"
Price Paid: $90
I purchased this pack for my daughter for summer hiking but have somewhat taken it over for mountain biking. My thoughts for purchasing this bag for my daughter, who is 13, are that this bag will grow with her as most of the straps are drawn in to about their max.
I decided to use it for biking to replace my Lowe Alpine fanny pack for my commutes to work and weekend mountain biking. I have been pleased with the bag for the most part other than a few criticisms. Here we go.
Positives: The pack is light weight and has many nice features. It has 2 large mesh pockets on the sides that can hold any number of things from bottles to light clothing, very nice. The top lid has a relatively large pocket and a zippered pocket on the bottom of the lid. There is also a vertical zipper that enters a pocket on the back of the pack. There are also a bladder pocket inside, a emergency whistle in the sternum buckle, and a rain cover in a pocket a the bottom of the pack.
The suspension is a molded frame sheet with a trampoline mesh that rests on your back with 2 kidney pads that contact your lumbar. The hip belt has large openings that fit over your pelvic bones and ventilate your waste. This system works well at venting your back. When I finish riding and remove my shirt there is sweat where the shoulder straps, the lumbar pad and waste belt make contact. The main portion of my back is relatively dry and comfortable. The pack rides well and transfers weight nicely to the hips and shoulders and seems very stable.
Cons: The first thing was the end of one of the zipper pulls came of on my daughters first trip with the pack. It was an easy fix when I figured out how the tab came apart but it’s not the first pull tab from Lowe that I’ve heard of coming apart. They need a redesign. This was the only structural problem.
Subjectively, I find the lid a bit narrow with only one central buckle to secure it. It dosen’t wrap over the sides of the bag well especially if the pack isn’t completely full. The vertical zipper on the back is for a pocket that is very limited at best. If it were billowed or had a stretch panel it would be much more useful. The last item is that,as it is an adult pack, it is a bit short in torso length for myself at 6’ 1”.
Overall this is a very good pack that seems to be well built and does all it is intended to do. It’s comfortable, stable, versatile, light weight, and carries a decent size load for its size. I would not hesitate to recommend this pack.