Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 tested | The ultimate backpacking rucksack?

Somewhat of a safe bet, the Yacuri 65 is a practical and comfortable gear-hauler that is equally at home on far-flung trekking trips, alpine hut-to-hut hikes, or long-distance walks.

from Lowe Alpine
RRP  £192.76
Hiker wearing Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 with LFTO star rating

by Matt Jones |
Updated on

Lowe Alpine founder Greg Lowe was a genuine pioneer in rucksack design. He developed the first internally framed rucksack and came up with the idea of ergonomically contoured shoulder straps. Both are innovations that are now common in backpacking rucksacks.

Lowe was also one of the first industry bosses to launch packs designed exclusively for women. He called this the ‘ND’ range, after Nanda Devi – a Hindu goddess and the second-highest mountain in the Indian Himalayas after Kangchenjunga. The brand still uses this abbreviation today.

The Yacuri trekking pack is a good example. It comes in 38, 48, 55 and 65-litre volumes, with women’s specific ‘ND’ equivalents in each of those sizes. Making use of Lowe’s other firsts, the Yacuri packs employs a rigid perimeter frame made from chunky 6mm aluminium alloy tubing, plus a cushioned, supportive harness. In conjunction with the padded, wraparound hipbelt and adjustable back panel, it makes for an extremely comfortable pack that carries well, while balancing airflow and load stability.

Hiker wearing Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65LFTO
Price: £205 (RRP £240)

www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Pros

  • Very comfortable (three sizes available, incl. women's fit)
  • Stable and well-suited for technical treks
  • Well thought-out pocket arrangement

Cons

  • Reasonably weighty
  • Not the best back ventilation
  • Features
    5.0
  • Construction
    5.0
  • Comfort
    4.5
  • Performance
    5.0
  • Value
    3.5
  • Sustainability
    4.0
Weight1.96kg (reg), 1.99kg (L-XL), 1.93kg (women’s/narrow fit ND)
Volumes38L, 48L, 55L, 65L
Materials330D Striped Dobby (49% recycled) and 500D nylon w/ Hydroshield Coating
SizesRegular (48-53cm), L-XL (53-58cm), ND (43-48cm)

Design and features

Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 lid
©LFTO

Fully featured and solidly built, the Yacuri 65 is a robust and functional pack. The perimeter frame is extremely sturdy, while the design ticks all the boxes as a classic trekking pack. It has a roomy main body with a zippered lower compartment, separated by a toggled internal divider. Up top, there’s a double buckle floating lid that covers a drawcord top closure, with top compression strap. You also get a U-shaped front zip for easy access to the main body, ensuring easy rummaging.

Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 attachments and buckles
©LFTO

The pack is hydration compatible and comes with a pull-out raincover. It also has plenty of on-board stowage. This includes TipGripper attachment points and an upper bungee cord for trekking poles, a profusion of pockets, with additional webbing straps on both sides of the pack and the base, plus plenty of optional external lashing points for securing extra kit.

When it comes to materials, it’s built from 330D striped dobby fabric, with 500D nylon used for the base. These are tough and durable, making this a good pack for hard use. Both are also coated with Rab’s Hydroshield finish, a durable water repellent treatment.

Harness and back system

Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 back system
©LFTO

The Yacuri is certainly a capable load-lugger, made with carrying comfort in mind. The men’s version comes in two back lengths, designed to fit torsos from 19-21” and 21-23” inches, while the women’s ‘ND’ should fit back lengths from 17-19”. In addition, all the packs feature an adjustable back system for a fine-tuned fit.

The entire upper back panel and integrated shoulder straps detach with Velcro so you can slide them up and down as required. It’s very easy to adjust, though it’s a shame there are no size markings on the pack itself to indicate different back lengths.

The lower back system consists of a wraparound hipbelt with a contoured, cushioned full contact lumbar pad. The hipbelt is very well padded but also includes cutouts for a bit of ventilation, overlaid with airy mesh fabric. Adjustment is via a forward pull hipbelt that is very secure, though not the neatest design – it leaves a long webbing tail that tends to flap around if not tucked away.

Pockets and storage

Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 side pocket
©LFTO

If you like plenty of pockets to stay organised on the trail, you’ll likely love the Yacuri. All the pockets are roomy and practical – we particularly like the two big, zippered pockets on the hipbelt pockets and the additional zippered pockets on each shoulder strap. They’re great for stashing a phone or GPS unit.

Similarly, you can cram loads of gear in the front and side stretch pockets – and the right-hand one has top or side access to enable you to get to your water bottle while wearing the pack. The lid doesn’t skimp on storage either, with two external and one internal zip pocket, the latter with a handy key clip. Meanwhile, the main body is cavernous – especially if you undo that internal divider that separates the bottom compartment. All in all, it’s one of the most practical and capacious packs we’ve tested.​

Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 shoulder strap pocket
©LFTO

Performance and comfort

This is a big, burly pack built for the long haul, and we carried it for multiple miles across the mountains of North Wales in comfort. It’s plush and well-padded, and capable of hauling big loads. Performance-wise, we couldn’t fault it, though at nearly 2kg empty it certainly isn’t the lightest pack around. Given its generous 65-litre capacity, however, that weight is actually not too bad. For the sake of comparison, a rival pack like the Osprey Atmos AG 65 weighs 2.18kg, while the Fjallraven Kajka 65 weighs a hefty 3.15kg. Then again, the Highlander Ben Nevis 65 is just 1.38kg, but feels nowhere near as robust.

Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 gear loop
©LFTO

The dual-density foam back panel and open-weave mesh offers decent airflow, though it isn’t quite as well vented as a fully suspended, trampoline-style back system like the Osprey Atmos. On the other hand, this saves a bit of weight and also adds to overall stability – unlike some packs, the Yacuri never feels like it’s levering away from you. It’s a worthwhile consideration if you need a pack for technical trekking adventures in some of the world’s big ranges.

Sustainability

Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 branding
©LFTO

In 2020, Lowe Alpine (and sister company Rab) were awarded Climate Neutral Company certification by South Pole, which means the company has measured and offset its emissions and committed to ongoing science-based carbon reductions.

Both are also members of the Fair Wear Foundation with 'Leader' status, meaning the it shows 'best practices in complex areas such as living wages and freedom of association'. The company also has a comprehensive repair service and sells spare parts too. This means that you can keep its products in use for a long time, which is a key aspect of sustainability as well.

When it comes to this specific product, the main body fabric of the Yacuri 65 pack is made from 49% recycled fibres.

Price and competition

Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 model branding
©LFTO

Typically, Lowe Alpine packs have always offered good value for money. That's not to say they were cheap, but they have a a solid reputation for high performance at a price that often undercut competitors like Osprey. But prices seem to have jumped recently, in common with much of the outdoor industry.

The Yacuri 65 has a UK RRP of £240, but hang out for a deal or shop around and you'll find it’s widely available for around £200. That’s still towards the upper end of the market, though it’s worth noting that two 65-litre rivals we mentioned earlier – the Osprey Atmos AG 65 and the Fjallraven Kajka 65 – are priced at £300 and £380 respectively.

On the other hand, you could spend a lot less, and if you want to save some cash you could look at 65-litre packs from Kelty, Berghaus and Vango. If you’re really strapped, there are also several offerings from value-orientated brands like Karrimor, Eurohike or Decathlon’s Forclaz range, not to mention the Highlander Ben Nevis 65, which we reviewed alongside this pack. But all those packs are simpler in terms of features and back systems, and you tend to sacrifice build quality too.

Verdict

Hiker wearing Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 with LFTO star rating
©LFTO

The Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 pack is a big, burly beast of a pack that works well for extended adventures at home or abroad – but weight-conscious backpackers will probably want to look elsewhere.

How we tested

NEMO Hornet Elite OSMO 1 Matt Jones for scale
©LFTO

The Lowe Alpine Yacuri 65 rucksack was tested by Matt Jones, a former outdoor magazine editor and now freelance gear reviewer for LFTO and our magazine, Trail.

Matt tested the Yacuri 65 in his backyard of Snowdonia, on overnight and multi-day trips on various sections of the Snowdonia Slate Trail, the North Wales Pilgrims Trail and the Snowdonia Way. In addition to thorough individual field testing, Matt also compared the Yacuri 65 with direct competitor in a head to head group test.

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