Lowe Alpine Aeon 27 Rucksack Review 2018
A brand-new design from Lowe Alpine, the Aeon 27L is a lightweight do-it-all rucksack. Billed as a multiple-activity pack, it combines a revolutionary harness system with a toughened outer fabric and all the fixtures and fittings you’ll need for your equipment.
We gave the pack to Pete from our content team to put it through its paces and let us know how it performed.
Initial thoughts about the rucksack
As soon as I picked the rucksack up I was surprised and impressed at how lightweight it was (0.87 kg). For such an airy pack the construction and fabric felt solid and after a quick few adjustments the pack was sitting comfortably.
Air-Contour Back System
The back system provides excellent ventilation and prevents perspiration build-up by allowing air to circulate between the mesh and foam back panel while its shallow depth keeps the pack close and secure.
This tool takes things back to basics; comprising of an adjustable bungie, ice axe loop and walking pole tip gripper (on each side of the pack) you can store your equipment with minimal fuss.
An incredibly low-profile harness that has had the foam removed to help save weight, spread the load of the pack and mould to the contours of your shoulders, improving comfort.
Used in Lowe Alpine’s expedition and climbing packs, the nylon 6 fabric comes in a ripstop cross-hatch pattern and has a TriShield treatment improving tear resistance by around a factor of 6.
How did it perform?
Being able to adjust the length of the of the bag was something I was not expecting to see in a day pack (I have only ever found that feature in larger multi-day packs) and was useful for my long upper body, helping position the hip belt into the correct spot.
The straps easily folded around my shoulders and collar bones, and the foam back provided ample protection from any solid objects in the bag. Once I adjusted all the straps as well as the sternum and hip belt there was little movement when hiking or cycling.
The main compartment is an upside down trapezoid shape, wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, that along with 2/3 length zips made it easy to view and access items. At the top of the bag there are two smaller zip pockets – one accessible from the outer and one sitting within the main compartment; both ideal for smaller items like keys or a wallet.
On the hip belt there are two useful mesh pockets for snacks, a compass and I was just able to squeeze in my phone.
Along the sides there are two stretchy mesh drinks pockets that I could grab a bottle from without taking off the pack. For longer hikes you can use a hydration pack that sits in between the back panel and the main compartment.
The pack is full of useful features and I especially enjoyed the bottle holders which are great for quick drinks on short hikes/cycles without having to bother with a hydration sleeve.
I don’t normally use walking poles but when I used the Multi-Lock tool they remained securely in place.
I was slightly sceptical about how comfortable the thin straps would be, especially on longer hikes, but they were good at spreading the weight and letting air circulate.
My commute to work is a 35 mins ride, and with a full pack, my back stayed dry while the perforated mesh straps and hipbelt kept things breezy on the front.
The pack designers have cleverly saved weight and enhanced the fit of the pack at the same time by removing excess padding. It is light on your back which is great for when you’re trying to save grams climbing or trail running yet is substantial enough to feel solid and hold everything in place.
The pack's small weight, secure and comfortable harness and multi-tool lock made it great to use for a range of activities. It stayed close to my back while cycling, didn't rub or chafe during a four-hour hike and held my walking poles.
At 27 litres, the pack had plenty of space for any single-day activity and the large stretch mesh pocket on the back was useful to house my shell jacket and mid-layer.
The Trisheild Nylon easily dealt with rainy weather, being thrown in the car boot, grass/mud and tram floors - although the stretch mesh on the back seemed susceptible to getting snagged.
The pack looks great in the all black or red (the model that I tested) with reflective detailing for cycling at night a nice touch. Low-profile straps, the compression system and the snug harness present a neat looking rucksack that moulds to your body.
Pros & Cons
- Performs consistently well across multiple disciplines
- High level of customisation to fit your body
- Excellent ventilation and comfort in such a lightweight pack
- No internal dividers in the main compartment
- A running vest hugs your body better than the rucksack
It certainly lives up to Lowe Alpine’s description as a go anywhere, do anything pack. I used the rucksack as my day-to-day pack, cycling to work, trail running in evenings and hiking at the weekend and it performed admirably in all.
I think the Aeon 27 is a great rucksack for anyone who enjoys multiple outdoor activities and demands an excellent fit in a breathable lightweight package.