Lowe Alpine Contour IV 90+15

Reviews

0

Great price, tough pack. I bought new an older model…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $65 for a discontinued version

Summary

Great price, tough pack.

Pros

  • Huge size
  • Price
  • Durability

Cons

  • Huge size
  • No external pockets
  • Not enough compression straps

I bought new an older model of this same pack, suspension is the same as is the main sack.

I am a big guy and long waisted to boot. I wanted a big pack when I got back into backpacking and this is the one I bought new (I picked up a second at Goodwill for less than $4).

The suspension is well designed, the waist belt is wide and comfortable, it rides about as well as any pack this size could.

But...this is more pack than I need and more pack than almost anyone else needs in the 48 states. Even without the extension sleeve, it is a massive 90 liters in size. (I used to have bulky if not heavy gear.)

As a result of the size, weekend loads do not handle well. This may be a function of the very limited number and type of compression straps. Any load smaller than huge is not readily compressible to a size that is readily carried. Loads of say 25 lbs. clump up in a lump at the bottom of the pack that does not carry well. It seems to be the fault of the lack of compression straps.

In my model the straps compress the load very little. They are short and at the sides of the pack only. In comparison, my Kelty 75 and my Deuter 75 are equipped with straps that can readily compress even a day pack load to a readily carried load.

This winter I plan to equip the monster with a couple of more straps crossing the entire pack. I also needs one or more straps on the bottom to tighten the load to my back. Once done, the only other issue is the lack of external pockets and where these days do you find a pack that has them?

Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, David. It sounds like you found some good deals on this pack. If it remains too big for you, do you think you'd buy a smaller version from Lowe Alpine?


2 days ago
David Williams

"Welcome to Trailspace, David. It sounds like you found some good deals on this pack. If it remains too big for you, do you think you'd buy a smaller version from Lowe Alpine?"



It would depend on the price. Quality is good, but clearly not in the league of Deuter and Kelty. Those are truly bomb-proof packs.



The Lowe suspension is decent it is a simplified version of the more expensive packs; having said that, I have never carried a smaller Lowe. They do have a dedicated following (The Complete Walker last edition gives brief praise) and do not get me wrong. It is a quality item and a great buy in the $85 to $150 range. Is it worth $300? No. But there is clearly a place for this and similar packs.



Note well, I have never even held a $500 Gregory, so my views are perhaps canted. After I add one or two other compression straps, this may be my go-to pack if I find time to do 100 miles of the LT.



PS I could not figure out a way to respond to your question with your note quoted.


22 hours ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for taking the time to answer that, David. It sounds like you've got a good system at a great price. Enjoy the pack this winter! I hope you'll keep us posted on how it works out for you. (FYI, you can't quote in a comment, so you didn't miss anything.)


6 hours ago
0

Outstanding pack at a great value. Would absolutely…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Don't remember exactly. Around $150

Summary

Outstanding pack at a great value. Would absolutely buy another, if mine ever fails that is.

Pros

  • Everything

Cons

  • Nothing

I purchased this pack in the year 2000 from Campmor. It has literally traveled the world with me, from New Zealand to Scandinavia, Southeast Asia, and ultimately to Alaska.

I have done everything from 12-day backpack trips to epic moose and caribou hunts. I have packed out two moose and two caribou with this pack. The internal frame sustained a load of nearly 175 pounds over several miles (possibly more).

I'm 6'3" 195 pounds and have used and abused this pack and pushed it to its limit in every way shape and form. 16 years later it is still as reliable as ever.

The only problem is that the zipper separating the bottom compartment broke and the closure strings have frayed a bit, all to be expected with normal wear and tear. Fortunately for me I never kept the compartment separate anyway so it doesn't matter.

Despite what others have experienced, I find that the wider lower base of the pack is great for keeping center of gravity slightly lower and better distributing the weight of the pack across my longer body. Just have to pack it right.

I hand wash it occasionally in the bathtub with a little laundry detergent and hang dry and it stays clean and smelling fresh (even after being covered in blood).

Seriously, a great pack at a great value. Would absolutely buy another, if mine ever fails that is. 

Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Travis! Thanks for sharing your review of your excellent pack. Do you have any pictures of your pack you could show off in your review?


3 months ago
0

Great pack, absolutely huge. I attached some external…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: Internal
Size: 5500+900
Max. Load Carried: 75lbs
Height of Owner: 5'8"
Price Paid: $150

Great pack, absolutely huge. I attached some external pockets and can load it down. I have to carry medical gear on campouts with the Boy Scouts and even fully loaded this is not that "heavy" a pack.

0

Long the flagship of Lowe Alpine, I picked up this…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: Internal frame
Size: 90 + 15 L
Number of Pockets: 2 side, 1 top
Max. Load Carried: 45
Height of Owner: 6 foot
Price Paid: $159

Long the flagship of Lowe Alpine, I picked up this Contour IV '97 model through REI online cheap -- and I've noticed Campmor has some left even as 1999 approaches. I have a long torso, so the pack's adjustability has been great for me. For the most part, I don't wind up very sore after a trip with this one. The sleeping bag compartment takes a little getting used to. The expandable top and the top lid are nice features -- you can really load this pack down. Hard to beat it for the price -- a REALLY solid pack, especially for under $200. The '98 is the same model, but with built in hydration system (I don't like 'em, so the '97 was a steal for me).

0

I have taken this on one fairly strenuous 10 mile…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Design: Internal
Size: 90 + 15
Number of Pockets: 1 main, 1 top
Max. Load Carried: 45 lb
Height of Owner: 5' 9"
Price Paid: $250

I have taken this on one fairly strenuous 10 mile trip into the Ventana Wilderness. A lot of 17 to 23 degree steepness.

The pack when fitted properly provides you with a nice ride. However after a few miles I noticed that the fit begins to shift and you need to keep tightening up the hip belt. You can do this and cut off your circulation. I never had a backpack do this before. And it's frustrating.

Although I have a small and lightweight sleeping bag, I noticed that the lower compartment is shaped too large at the base. I think this is a design flaw, and instead the lower compartment could be higher and narrower. This makes you look like a fat bottomed woman.

I know what a fine pack should feel like, and this is not one of them. And I think for the price you can find something that offers better value. The quality is fair.

Overall I would put this in the mid range of rankings for a middle of the mountaineering. That way you won't be dissappointed.

0

I got this through Campmor for real cheap. It held…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: Internal
Size: 5500
Number of Pockets: 1 (top)
Max. Load Carried: 50lbs.
Height of Owner: 5'10
Price Paid: $135

I got this through Campmor for real cheap. It held up real well. I think it's a great pack for the money.

0

I tried on North Face Renegade before i bought this…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: Internal
Size: 4500cu+900cu
Number of Pockets: 1 on top
Max. Load Carried: 70 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'11"
Price Paid: $200

I tried on North Face Renegade before i bought this bag. It fit me really well because of the ajustable abs system. The price was what i really liked, i got it through campmor and paid $200 which is a really good deal. It is usually about $250 at REI. I have seen it as cheap as $189 in some catalogs. so shop around. But if you have the money, go buy a Dana Design! Other than that, it is a really good pack for the money.

0

Contrary to what other reviewers here seem to think,…

Rating: rated 2 of 5 stars
Design: internal frame
Size: 90 litres
Number of Pockets: 1
Max. Load Carried: about 120 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'
Price Paid: $350 Canadian

Contrary to what other reviewers here seem to think, I don't like this backpack! If I could afford it, I would sell it ASAP and purchase a better pack. It is however relatively inexpensive compared to other packs of the same size - possibly it's biggest advantage.

Problems I have include -

1. The silly adjustable shoulder strap suspension system jumping off the webbing "rail" under heavy loads - I most recently had this happen carrying a load up into the Bugaboos this summer. It took 2 of us to fix it. In a more serious situation i.e. a steep technical alpine route - you could be hosed!

2. The base of the pack is just too wide. I find gets in the way, especially climbing or when using ski poles.

3. The coating on the interior of the pack cloth (notably in the pockets on the lid) is delaminating.

4. Under heavy loads (i.e. 100+ lbs), which is what I bought the pack to carry, I find the suspension unstable if the load is at all top heavy (i.e you make use of the extension sleeve) (and yes - I know how to pack a backpack!). The pack shifts around on the shoulder straps, unless the top is cranked into your shoulders, then it's uncomfortable.

I may not be the typical user of this pack (often using it to haul large amounts of climbing gear (i.e. 100+ lbs) typically rather than long backpacking trips), but I know I'm not alone in my opinions of this pack. A friend of mine bought the same pack (against my advice) and ended up selling it after a single trip. Just my $0.02.

0

I love this pack. I was helping out with a climbing…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: Internal
Size: 86000
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 70 lbs.
Height of Owner: 6'4"
Price Paid: $235

I love this pack. I was helping out with a climbing school at Devil's lake state park this past summer. I had all the climbing gear needed (or wanted for that matter) for 6 people. Thinking our climb was going to be 'reserved' before we could get to it we broke into running. I never have had a comfortable pack with so much weight that I could run in and not totally kill my self. Also I kind of impressed myself. If you're looking for a pack for a reasonable price. here is where it's at.

Lowe Alpine Contour IV 90+15

Discontinued

The Contour IV 90+15 has been discontinued.

reviewers paid:
$135.00 - $250.00

The Lowe Alpine Contour IV 90+15 is not available from the stores we monitor.

If you're looking for a new expedition pack (4,500+ cu in), check out the best reviewed current models.

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