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Backpacker Magazine – June 2010

Gear Review: Lowe Alpine Nanon 50:60 Backpack

This lightweight pack doesn't skimp on support or organizational features.

by: Steve Howe

Lowe Alpine Nanon 50:60 (www.sethhughes.com)
Lowe Alpine Nanon 50:60 (www.sethhughes.com)
Deep, stretchy side pockets keep bottles in. (www.sethhughes.com)
Deep, stretchy side pockets keep bottles in. (www.sethhughes.com)

Capacity 4,000 cu. in./66 liters
Sizes 2 men's, 1 women's; 15 to 23 in.
Weight 3 lbs.
Price $220
Info lowealpine.com

See More Do-It-All Backpacks
[lightest]
Love the idea of a three-pound pack, but hate losing rigid support and organizing features to get there? Thanks to thinner than average webbing and buckles and a packbag made of wispy-thin Dyneema fabric (made of polyethylene fibers with long molecular chains, making it incredibly strong for the weight), the Nanon delivers no-compromise ultralight performance.

The suspension is slightly less substantial than the others here—it’s comprised of a single aluminum center stay and a foam-covered plastic backpanel—but a form-fitting hipbelt helps make it comfortable with loads up to 35 pounds. The pack attaches to the hipbelt only along its bottom edge, which leaves the belt’s top edge free-floating. The result: The hipbelt naturally cants to all hip shapes. After a trip over scrambly trails in Tennessee, one tester praised the superb fit of the belt and the stability of the back-hugging frame. (With loads above 35 pounds, testers reported that weight hung heavy off of their shoulders.)

Bonus: Torso length is simple to adjust; simply fold down the lumbar pad and fine-tune a color-coded webbing buckle. Multiple pockets provide effective organization. Molded plastic loops on the bottom of the packbag grab trekking-pole tips for secure storage. Bummer: The upper compression straps would be more effective if they were longer and had quick-release buckles.



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