Choosing a Best Buy from this selection of packs has been difficult as they all have good points and there are no really duff ones. However this pack, the largest in the Nanon series, is, I think, the best compromise between features, weight, comfort and cost. It’s not the lightest pack tested but it is quite light. Nor is it the most fully featured but it’s not minimalist either and has all the features most people are likely to need. It’s made from Dyneema, which is a very light but also very tough fabric, and so should prove durable. As well as using this fabric Lowe Alpine’s designers have gone for thinner webbing and smaller buckles than are standard to help cut weight rather than omitting features altogether. The back system is adjustable and there are three sizes so it should fi t most people. The hipbelt supports 15kg comfortably and is designed to adapt to the shape of your hips. The open mesh backband allows some air fl ow to reduce sweat retention on your back. There are eight pockets for organising gear and these are well-designed. The lid pocket has a long curved zip so access is easy, the front pouch is big enough to stuff a wet tent in, the front zipped pocket can hold light items like hat and gloves, and the stretch side pockets easily swallow litre-size water bottles. My only minor criticisms are that items can’t be taken out and put back in the side pockets while wearing the pack (at least I can’t do it) and the hipbelt pockets could be a little bigger. The lower zipped access to the main compartment is perhaps the only unnecessary feature, though it can be useful for items that aren’t stored inside a pack liner such as waterproofs so you can get them out without having to open the top of the pack in the rain.
CAPACITY: 50 litres + 10-litre extension CLOSURE: two Velcro straps RECOMMENDED MAX.LOAD: 15kg MATERIALS: Dyneema/stretch mesh CLOSURES: detachable lid with 2 buckles, lower side zip COMPARTMENTS: 1 BACK: adjustable, internal frame, mesh back SIZES: 1 women's, standard men's, XL men's HIPBELT: padded, stiff ened POCKETS: 1 external lid, 1 internal lid, front stretch pouch, front zipped, 2 side stretch, 2 hipbelt, internal hydration FEATURES: side compression straps, twin ice axe/trekking pole loops STATED WEIGHT: 1360g (std) TGO WEIGHT: 1380g (std) VOLUME-TO-WEIGHT RATIO: 18/500 PRICE: Ј135 WEBSITE: www.lowealpine.com