Recently I have received a Lowe Alpine Aeon 35ltr bag and have been putting it through its paces with a few day in the Cairngorms and thought I would share my views on it.
The Aeon is Lowe Alpines latest offering for a lightweight, technical daypack. Although light weight, just 0.94kg, the bag has been designed to be versatile and take whatever you throw at it including climbing, hiking, running or even the daily commute.
The Aeon comes in a variety of sizes including 18, 22, 27 and 35ltr in a standard fit and women specific fit (prefixed with ND) of 16, 20, 25 and 33ltr. For this test I was using a 35ltr as I was hoping to play in the snow (alas a thaw cycle hit).
The first thing I noticed when putting the bag on is just how light and comfortable the bag is, the air- contoured back system and Flexion™ strap system gives an ultra thin system that contours well and spreads the load better than nearly any bag I have tried while cutting down on the heavy padding involved in more traditional systems. The straps are easy to adjust while wearing the pack but seem secure.
As with the back system, the hip belt is comfortable and easy to adjust to and contains a pocket on each side, these are fairly small but easily fit a pair of fleece gloves, snacks and the ever present GoPro, although I think they could do with being a tad larger.
In general the pack was extremely comfortable after multiple long days in the hills with no noticeable pressure points and an effective ventilation system. So big thumbs up so far!
The largest size, 35ltrs, is a great size for all your winter walking gear but maybe a touch too small for a mountaineering day with the extra safety equipment, but that may be me carrying too much stuff, who knows.
In addition to the hip pockets the pack has an external hood pocket, internal hood pocket and external body “stash” pocket. The hood pockets are a good size for those quick grab items with good zips. The stash pocket is an extremely light weight stretch material designed to conveniently hold guide books and such although I am sure others will like this feature, I am unsure that its actually needed.
The bag uses a combo of the MultiLock™ and TipGripper™ to secure walking poles on either side of the body of the bag which works well, holding securely and easy to access even in large gloves. This system also acts to secure ice axes with a loop system; although it holds them securely and is easy to access, I personally don’t like how this leaves the pick pointing nearly directly backwards, I would prefer to see a system on the back instead of the stash pocket.
The internal is a single compartment for ease of organisation with a easy to use and secure draw cord closure that was no problem even with my thickest cloves on.
The compression system comprises of a buckle and webbing system at two locations on each side and works as you would expect, simple but effective.
The hydration system allows a bladder to slip comfortably between the pack body and the back system, although I have yet to use this, the system looks to allow good access for those that top up the water while on the hills but also means there is fewer holes in the pack body and less fiddling around to get the hose in position
I think this is one of the best packs of its size that I have tried. Light, extremely comfortable and well designed. The hip pockets could be a touch bigger and the ice axe attachments could be better but all in all its a great pack that will probably become a mainstay for big days in the hills or light weight camping trips.