Lowe Alpine TFX Cerro Torre 75+20
Max. Load Carried: 35 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'
Price Paid: $143.98
I bought this pack on a whim on Steep and Cheap. I normally would never buy a pack online without trying it on and testing it out at a store first, but the price suckered me into buying it blind.
I must say I am extremely impressed with the pack. I am coming from an external Jansport pack, so almost anything would have been an improvement, but this went beyond. It was the little things that really impressed me. The hiking pole attachments, the water bottle holder and the ability to top load or front load. The biggest thing for me was the included rain cover. On my last hike I was the only one with a rain cover made specifically for my pack and it really does make a big difference.
As for the fit, it took me until the last day to really get the sweet spot with the pack. You definitely need to play with all the settings until you get it right, but when you do, I could barely tell that I even had a pack on. At 160 lbs, 6' tall, I was in the medium range for the back plate.
The only reason this pack is missing the extra star for me is that I wish the top could be used as a belt day pack and the side pockets would be more usable for storage. The side pockets are pretty useless except to hold the rain fly and the mesh water bottle holder that pulls out. Finally there is no storage on the hip belt for the things that you might like quick access to like a camera, map. But the above head compartment does the job, just not as easily. A few extra equipment loops would be nice as well.
I used this pack for a 4 day in Rocky Mountain National Park in every type of weather, snow, rain, hail, etc. I was amazed by the quality. I didn't baby it at all and I can tell this thing will have years of abuse in it. Only bad thing was my ice axe sliced the back foam a little, but it was my fault.
Where to Buy
We found the Lowe Alpine TFX Cerro Torre 75+20 at 1 outdoor retailer: