Lowe Alpine Airzone Trek ND35 (2016)

Features

This 35 litre pack’s main compartment is accessible from the bottom and top, zipping open at the base. The internal divider can be zipped out. The big stretchy front pocket is matched with two stretchy side pockets (accessible on the go), two wand pockets and two huge ones in the lid. Compression straps, ice axe and pole attachments are present. 5/5

Fit

The ND in the name stands for ‘narrow dimensions’ and is designed for slim frames. It has a fixed back length, which fitted me perfectly, and padded hipbelt, with venting areas under the pockets. The Airzone sprung back system holds the pack away from your body to allow airflow. The chest strap has four optional placements, so even with very slim shoulders fit is neat and feels secure. 4/5

Comfort

The padded back system holds the weight of the pack away from your torso, encouraging extra airflow and avoiding any discomfort caused by awkward items or overstuffing. It’s stiff, stable and moves with your body, but closer-fitting designs may be better for mountaineering. The shoulder straps are lightly padded, move well and don’t chafe. 4/5

In use

The fitting straps are chunky and easy to adjust on the move while the lower compression straps have quick-release buckles, absent on the upper ones. The raincover packs away on the underside so it doesn’t steal space. It’s the heaviest on test but the fit is so good you barely notice it, and I’d be loath to sacrifice any of this pack’s security and durability. 5/5

Value

The priciest on test but also the toughest. It’ll take a fair amount of rough treatment and has all the features you're likely to need. 4/5

Verdict

A robust product that fits securely and does it all without unnecessary frills or faff. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade. 4.4/5

 

Review by Sarah Ryan
First published in Trail magazine March 2016