Gear Review: Lowe Alpine Appalachian 75-95L XL
Lowe Alpine TFX Appalachian 75-95L XL:
The Appalachian is a big, two-section pack. I have the slightly older version, which has a highly variable, extendable back length, large cushioned pads in the appropriate places, and a large floating lid. Top and bottom compression straps, (the top ones fasten using a buckle), afford the ability to secure your load and lash essentials to the outside of your pack, whilst the zippered lower section allows both access to the inside of your pack, and the option to partition it where necessary.
The Appalachian has large, bellows-type side pockets, easily capable of taking a 1L Nalgene and some smaller essentials, whilst the internal and external lid pockets, (the latter can be reached when pack is on your back), will both take lunch, an OS map, some gloves, a balaclava, a compass, and several, smaller electrical items. It has a built-in rain cover and the front elastics are ideal for carrying gaiters or your waterproofs for impending showers, whilst easily-accessible, stretchy wand pockets on either side stand by to take your water, or poles, tripod etc…
The Appalachian is a robust pack having taken much abuse over time, including receiving an inevitable battering on the Indian air and rail systems, coming away with very few blemishes, if any that are noticeable. And whilst it is comfortable, a major problem for myself however, is that being such a large pack the hipbelt is accordingly large, and with me being a slight fellow around the hips, when fully loaded, the pack tends to slide down a little too easily, even when fully tightened. This isn’t due to the belt coming loose, but more because it is just ever so slightly too big for me.
n.b. When carrying large loads it is very important to have a comfortable and properly fitted pack, for this reason I intend to sell the Appalachian due to the aforemntioned problem. As I already use the Haglofs Matrix 40, (see below), I have purchased the Lex 80 from Swedish brand Haglöfs, (who are apparently owned by Asics since 2010). A review will follow when I get the chance to use it and hopefully it will recapitulate the build quality and function in the other Haglöfs products I own.
The Appalachian is a good, strong, large pack with a good back system, though not quite the best fit for skinny individuals and perhaps bettered in some ways by the newer version.