Lowe Alpine Contour IV 90+15 APS
Size: 90 liters plus 15 l. lid
Number of Pockets: 2 or 3
Max. Load Carried: 42 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' - 11 1/2"
Price Paid: $260
I hated this pack for my first two trips with it. I tried for weeks to make it fit but I could not see how the stays could possibly rise above my shoulders enough to get any benefit from the load lift straps. I was pissed. Then REI's local customer service guy patiently explained things to me over the phone and I read Lowe's fitting instructions one more time. The hip belt isn't supposed to ride on one's hips. It's designed so that the crease in the center of the belt rides on one's hip BONES (doh!). This felt weird at first but in a few minutes I was wearing a most comfortable pack. The stays now towered over my shoulders. Adjusting the APS yoke was a snap.
Shortcomings? A few that others have already pointed out.
One word about the carrying capacity of this pack: huge. But it won't tote no 50 kilos, sheesh. For that kind of load you need an external frame pack.
I've got at least two more trips this season so maybe I'll update my review later. Is that allowed?
David bogie, Boise, Idaho
Size: 5000 cu. in.
Number of Pockets: 1 Top
Max. Load Carried: 40 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 8"
Price Paid: $249
I purchased this at REI because the salesman pushed this on me over the Mountainsmith Frostfire. I just did a test hike of Mt. Si to try the pack out. Frankly, I was pretty disappointed.
I would think that any decent suspension on 40 lb would hold up just dandy. It is too mushy! The good folks at REI gave me a refund and my next try will be the Osprey Silhouette. I really wanted to like the Dana Terraplane, but it was too large for my needs and the Dana Glacier's ArcLight suspension didn't seem to be up to snuff either. I'll let you know what I think of the Osprey after my next trip in the Cascades or our Mt. Rainier attempt next month.
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