Lowe Alpine Cholatse 52:57 /Cholatse ND 50:55
The most durable backpack of 2021
Hard on your gear? Challenge accepted. We threw everything we could at the Cholatse (the ND is the women’s version), but its reinforced stitching, minimalist profile, and 420-denier and 210-denier Robic ripstop nylon resisted both butt-slides through steep Colorado scree and bushwhacking in Alaskan scrub. “I put it through the wringer over six days of thrashing off-trail in Denali National Park, and it still looks brand-new,” reports one tester. The Cholatse’s suspension dealt with the rough terrain just as handily: An ergonomically curved, heart-shape aluminum frame transfers weight directly to the lumbar area via a form-fitting hipbelt. “The pack was stable and didn’t swing, which was important when I was scrambling up a 40-degree chute on all fours,” said one Colorado tester, who lugged 30 pounds over the Continental Divide. One ding: While we found the shoulder straps wide and padded, the minimally cushioned hipbelt chafed on one bony-hipped tester.
m’s M/L and L/XL, w’s S/M and M/L