When I was looking for a new day pack, I knew I wanted a bag that I could stuff a lot of crap in. I always take way too much stuff. Several layers to add or shed, a bunch of camera gear, 3-liter bladder, snacks for beyond what I need (when I’m hangry… pfooh! Let’s just say I make sure I’m prepared). I could go on, but I guess you get the idea.
At the same time, I knew I wanted something that would feel light despite the weight I would saddle myself up with. And I knew that looks were important. Having a bag you love just makes the packing process so much more enjoyable!
The Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail 25 ticked all those boxes for me.
Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail 25 – The Stats
Capacity: 25+6 liters
Dimensions: 63 x 34 x 28cm
Back Length: 46cm
Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail 25 – Back Design
A major draw to this backpack was the Airzone back. And after using it through all seasons, it didn’t disappoint. In summer, this airy mesh keeps the pack off my back and I can actually feel a breeze coming through. It does such a great job at keeping you cool and the back sweating to a minimum. By keeping the pack off my back, it also allows me to move more freely, which is always a plus. I just can say enough good things about it.
I’m really stoked about the hip belt too. None of this lightly-paddedness or miniature-sizeness (or worse, when they just give you the strap and nothing else… What are you supposed to do with that?). Just a good solid full-sized hip belt. With all the aforementioned crap in my bag, it can easily end up weighing 6 to 8 kg. Still, since using this pack I haven’t had any problems with sore shoulders or back. Winning!
Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail 25 – Fit
My backpack is the regular (or unisex) back length. You can get a women’s specific size, which is about 5cm shorter in the back and a liter less in volume. I wasn’t aware of that at time of purchase and I can’t say that it is a regret. This one seems to fit me perfectly. I do have the hip belt often as tight as it can go. So if you’re any smaller than me (or have narrow hips), you’re probably better off going for the women’s specific. Just as a reference, I’m 160cm or 5’3″ tall and a size small or UK8-10.
If you need help figuring out which one is right for your back, Lowe Alpine has a helpful guide here.
Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail 25 – Volume
The main compartment is 25 liters, which is pretty spacious. I consider myself a pretty heavy packer and haven’t had a moment that I couldn’t fit all I wanted to take. In fact, I reckon if I stuff a sleeping bag in a drybag of the outside, it could even pull off an overnight walk to a little hut and back. The hood gives you an extra 6 liters, bringing the total to 31 liters.
The mesh side pockets happily fit a liter bottle each. And there’s a large flat but pocket accessed through the zipper on the front. It’s perfect for a map and Field Notes notebook.
The hipbelt has rather spacious pockets on it, which can fit a phone, sunnies, protein bar or other small accessories easily. I find them easy enough to open with one hand and it’s never hard to get stuff out.