Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail 35 (2016)

Features

The price is a major feature here but you’re also getting a great set of practical features, including an Airzone back system that holds the pack away from the body for more airflow. I like the conventional lid with a single buckle that has a good-sized main pocket, and there is a large zipped front panel pocket. A pair of stretch side pockets and a pair of compression straps complete the list. 5/5

Fit

There’s an Airzone Trail 35 for men and an Airzone Trail ND 33 for women, a difference in back length resulting in a capacity difference. There is no back length option or adjustment, but you do get top tensioning straps and the hipbelt fins are perforated with a large opening that also helps them mould to your body. 5/5

Comfort

This is a very comfy back system, with the only niggle being that it is a little heavier than some options. The extra airflow is just one benefit of the back system though, as it is also close-fitting and stable, without restricting movement. There is just enough stiffness to allow you to pack the main compartment in a haphazard way without impacting on comfort. 5/5

In use

Overall, a great sack to use; but there are minor points that mean it doesn’t quite tick all my personal boxes. The two compression straps on each side work well with the stretch pockets, but if the top one had quick-release buckles it would be even more useful. A snow-lock extension on the main compartment would be a nice addition too. But otherwise hard to fault. 4/5

Value

The price is very good for what you’re getting here, and it’s hard to justify paying more unless you really are picky about features. 5/5

Verdict

A superb all-round hillwalking sack that is hard to fault, but lighter sacks with tiny design tweaks may suit even better if you pay more. It won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award. 4.8/5

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2016