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Lowe Alpine Contour Mountain 50

The Contour Mountain 50 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best weekend packs for 2021.


Price Reviewers Paid: $50.00-$130.00


7 reviews
5-star:   6
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Rare teardrop design that allows maximum upper torso movement. Probably not a good pack if your only one, but an xlnt secondary pack.


  • Xlnt design, overall and details.


  • Seams appear weak for 50 litre sz.

Originally a winter day pack, this is my first choice for heavy day trips (prospecting, etc) and short weekend treks. I'm 6'4" and 210 lbs with a long torso (relatively short legs for 6'4") and don't mind that the waistband rides largely above my hip bones.

Due to teardrop shape, the pack has a lower CG than average, and what nixed rucksacks in past (like a rock on your butt). However, in my case (long torso/short legs) the 'lower' CG in is further up my roll center (hips) so more comfy than most guys.

I can carry 40 lbs in this puppy like nothing, but used to monster loads approaching 100 lbs. The body hugging fit is a fairly small profile that allows xlnt upper torso movement, but a 'body hugging' fit that will turn you into a sweat hog by 80F (only a summer issue). Nevertheless, xlnt design, lacking most modern claptrap, yet including rarities.

For this sz, the 'one room' interior is best...simple and lightweight...but unlike a traditional drawstring rucksack, the heavy duty (arc top) zipper is similar a panel front design (more access than drawstring). Adequate waist pad and back pad, likewise shoulder straps and cinches, tho the lack of stays will bug guys wearing the waistband riding more on the hips (could always install an 1/8" plastic backsheet inside).

My only issue is that the seams aren't double sewn, so one has to watch for weak spots (stress at sag points when loaded). After 5 yrs of moderate use, still looks/works great, and when home, this pack sits in my bedroom as my bugout bag (emergency kit).

Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $50

Best pack I have ever owned, period. I have beat the hell out of it the last nine years and even had some repairs made on it so I could keep using it.

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.

Design: rucksack
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've had the Contour Mountain 50 for about 3 years, and liked it so much, I bought a Contour Mtn 40 for snowshoeing (and the Diamond Mountain 30 as a general daypack). I love these packs. The 40 and 50 are no-nonsense, no-bells-and-whistles packs that carry decent-sized loads, have easy access water bottle mesh pockets, and shovel pockets for snowshovels, tevas, a jacket, whatever.

I use the Mtn 50 for overnight summer backpacking when I don't need to carry a tent or a lot of clothes. The pack doesn't look too big; it has a narrow profile, but release the side compression straps and you can shove some serious stuff into that pack. And the zippers are good quality that stand up to years of overstuffing. I've used Mtn 50 for extended eco-vacations as well; and it holds up well to being tossed on top of busses (and off again). And packed carefully (carry your tevas & jacket) and it will fit in airline overhead compartments.

The Mtn 40 is the perfect snowshoeing or other winter sports. It's just big enough to carry my shovel, extra clothes and food, first aid kit, camera bag, without any wasted space or weight. Ski or trekking poles can be easily attached to daisy chains and loops. The only complaint I have about the Mtn 40 is that the waist belt is a wimpy nylon strap (Mtn 50 has a standard backpack hip belt), so you can't pack a ton of weight in the Mtn 40, or you'll be carrying the weight on your back, not your hips.

Overall, though I love these packs and use them all the time. These are great packs even at full price. If you can find them on sale, so much the better!

Design: Internal
Size: 3200 (Mtn 50)
Number of Pockets: 1 + main compartment. Mesh water bottle holders
Max. Load Carried: 40-ish
Height of Owner: 5'8"
Price Paid: $120

I originally bought this pack to use as a summit/cragging pack and for backcountry skiing. I have bad news and good news. First the bad news.

As a summit pack it's okay as long as you do not need to carry much weight. On one trip I carried crampons, harness, rope, helmet, protection, food, water, etc. Since this pack has no internal frame or suspension, it was definitely too much of a load. My shoulders were aching the entire day. The hip belt rides a little too high to rest on my hips, and I am definitely not a tall individual. If you fill up this pack it will most likely be too much of a load.

I definitely like this pack for skiing. I always carry extra clothing, which is usually quite bulky but not that heavy. The shovel flap, wand pockets and reinforced ski slots are quite handy, although leaving the handle on the shovel gets in the way of accessing the pack. I did make a modification by sewing a piece of buckled webbing on the bottom to hold the snow shovel handle in place. I separate the blade and shovel, and place the handle upside down, going through a hole in the bottom of the shovel flap. Also the pack does not interfere with my skiing.

Overall I like this pack a lot, but would pick a different pack if you need to carry a lot of heavy climbing gear. I think the Dana Bomb pack or the Osprey Finesse would be better choices if you need to carry more weight.

Design: rucksack
Size: 3000
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 30 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 10"
Price Paid: $130

excellent "day and half" pack. much less restricting then the walkabout models. good for up to a week of intense hiking.

Design: rucksack
Size: 50 liter
Height of Owner: 195 cm
Price Paid: $125 +/-

I searched for the Contour Mtn. 50 for months before I found it on sale at Sierra Trading Post. I was looking for a good climbing/skiing pack. The other pack I was considering was the North Face Way-Out-of-Bounds, but it was too small. I highly recommend the Mtn. 50, which has enough room for 2 harnesses, 3 pairs of shoes, 10 Quickdraws, chalk, tape, and Clif Bars. You can hook the QDs on the daisy chains and put your rope in the shovel pocket. The two side pockets can hold a Nalgene Bottle and a Crazy Creek Chair. Thumbs up!!!

Design: Ski Mountaineering
Size: 3100
Number of Pockets: 4 (incl shovel pkt.)
Max. Load Carried: 30 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'9"
Price Paid: Retail $129 / $90 at Sierra Trading Post

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