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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Lowe Alpine Beartooth 45 Pack > Owner Review by Elizabeth DavisLOWE ALPINE BEARTOOTH 45 PACK
by ELIZABETH DAVIS
July 6, 2008
Name: Elizabeth Davis
Height: 5 ft 4 in ( 1.63 m)
Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)
Email address: elizrd AT gmail DOT com
City, State, Country: Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Backpacking Background: I have been backpacking occasionally since I was about eleven. During the last two years I have been hiking and backpacking every chance I get. I hike about twice a month, and more on holidays. I usually go on short backpacking trips of about two/three days and I enjoy wet, rugged conditions. I’d like to stay out longer in the future. My pack is usually fairly lightweight. Most of my trips are in the Southern Appalachians where temperatures range from 80 F (27 C) to 0 F (-18 C).
Manufacturer: Lowe Alpine
Year of Manufacture: 2000/2001?
Manufacturer’s Website: www.lowealpine.com
Measured Weight: 4.5 lbs (2 kg)
note on weight: the new model on the website claims to be 3 lb 13 oz (1.73 kg). Since mine is an older model, I can’t prove or disprove this claim.
Product Description: The Beartooth 45 is a 45 L (2750 cu in) backpacking pack featuring Lowe Alpine’s Air Cooled back system and Torso Fit system. My pack is a pleasant shade of green. It is a standard top loading pack with side pockets and a sleeping bag compartment. It has adjustable shoulder straps, a sternum strap, a padded waistbelt, water bottle pockets, and internal and an external lid pocket, a drawcord main bag closure, compression straps, and various loops whose purposes I have yet to figure out.
I have used this pack about 25 times over the last six years. The trips have all been for three days (two nights) or less, but the weather conditions and weight I carried on each trip have varied drastically. I have used this pack in 90 F (50 C) heat in the Big South Fork located in middle Tennessee. I have also used this pack in 0 F (-18C) temperatures in Pisgah National Forest, and the Great Smoky Mountains. I have carried up to 50 lb (23 kg) in this pack for family camping trips. Despite the weight and overstuffing the pack has withstood wear and tear quite well. There are no tears in the fabric and only one buckle has broken after six years of use. I contacted the manufacturer about the buckle and they were very friendly and prompt. They sent me an order form and instructions for repair from a company in Colorado. The repair would have been very inexpensive (only about $3.00), but I didn’t want to pay shipping for my pack to Colorado. Currently, I am resorting to duct tape. Otherwise, the zippers, buckles, draw cord, and fabric are in great condition. This pack is not remotely waterproof; it is made of nylon packcloth so I cover it in the rain. One minor complaint I have about this pack is that it has no sleeping pad straps (or loops in a helpful location for attaching straps) on the lower outside of the sleeping bag compartment. This means that extra items have to be attached to the top of the pack, which can be awkward.
Specific features of the pack include:
Sleeping bag compartment: The compartment is small, but works well. I usually unzip the divider to gain extra space in the pack.
Side Pockets: The side pockets are surprisingly expansive - I can usually fit two 2 L water bottles in each one.
Water Bottle pockets: These are rather annoying and small. They are on the outside of the side pockets, and are made of a non-stretchy material. Unless I use a very small water bottle it is impossible to use them. Sometimes when I put a water bottle in them it falls out anyway because they are only about 4 in (10 cm) tall.
Top Compartment: The top compartment is excellent, except for the fact that it is sewn onto the main compartment. This means that I don’t have the ability to extend the straps and attach extra things under the lid, or to do that clever fanny pack conversion seen in so many packs.
Zippers: I like the zippers. They have a helpful sticky texture for grip, and are orange so that I can find them easily.
Waistbelt: The waistbelt is incredibly comfortable, even though it is not heavily padded. It has about half an inch (about 1 cm) of padding. It rides well on the hips.
Torso Fit System: The torso fit system works pretty well to adjust for backs 16 in (41 cm) to 21 in (53 cm). I have never had problems with it slipping out of adjustment. I have a fairly long back for my height (19.5 in / 50 cm), and it fits me well. The adjustment is easy to use and color coded so I didn’t need an instruction manual or a degree in engineering to figure it out. The adjustment system employs buckles hold webbing straps in place. By tightening or releasing the webbing, and shoving the shoulder straps around a bit, I can vary the back length.
Air Vent System: Instead of a solid lumbar pad type back padding, the pack has two squishy mesh pads which ride on either side of the spine. In between the pads is a vented mesh area which theoretically provides air circulation. This works fairly well, considering that I’m usually hauling it up a hill and sweating a lot, but it doesn’t really stop my shirt from sticking to my back. Compared to packs I have used which had solid lumbar pads, this pack has more air circulation.
THINGS I LIKE:
Comfortable shoulder straps, hip belt, and Air Zone vent
THINGS I DON”T LIKE
Water bottle pockets are not very big
Top pocket is sewn onto the body of the bag
No sleeping pad straps/loops
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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Lowe Alpine Beartooth 45 Pack > Owner Review by Elizabeth Davis
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