User Review: Lowe Alpine Contour Mountain 50
Size: 50 liters
Number of Pockets: 2.5
Max. Load Carried: 20 to 30 lbs
Height of Owner: 5.10
Price Paid: around $100
I bought myself the 50-liter size and got the 40-liter as a gift. Liked them both so much I decided not to return one (kept them both!).
the 50-liter is the perfect ski pack. The reinforced ski slots on the sides make carrying skis (alpine or telemark) easy, secure and hassle-free. Shovel pocket on the outside is very versatile! The pack is the perfect size for ski boots, camelback, food, extra layers of clothes. Then when you get to the top of the hill, take out the ski boots, use the multiple compression straps to squish everything down, and start skiing! It's teardrop shape hugs your body and interferes less with your skiing than any other pack I've tried. It is the perfect Tuckerman's pack!
The 40-liter size is a bit smaller (obviously) and does not have a padded hip belt. I understand that it because it is designed more for ice-climbing -- where a thick padded belt might interfere with your climbing harness. Well I haven't tried that yet, but it sounds logical. But I do use it all the time for day hikes and for hauling climbing gear to the crags. The 50-liter is almost too big for these kinds of things. The 40 is just right!
They are both very good packs. The tear-drop shape is a different strategy than what most companies are doing. It has advantages and disadvantages. I love them both. I would recommend them more for technical kinds of uses rather than pure "trail-walking with a load" though. The lack of a suspension system does hamper them there.