'Effective ventilation, all-round comfortable, confident performance and Lowe Alpine's legendary build quality make this an ideal all-round hiking pack particularly in warmer conditions'
Outdoors Magic: Cool, comfortable back system, serious build quality, no-nonsense design, pockets, pole-holders and more.
Outdoors Tragic: Nothing much.
Outdoors Grabbit? When it comes to all-round hiking and walking competence, the AirZone 30 is hard to beat. Big air gaps and open areas give decent ventilation and adaptive fit straps and belt both work well to give a stable, comfortable carry. No problems with build quality and theHike 30 is one of the few packs we've used with zipped side pockets in addition to the currently modish stash ones. Huge belt pockets are fantastic for stowing anything from snacks and phones to compact cameras. No gimmicks or overly clever touches, just a solid, no-nonsense, entirely trustworthy performer.
Hill and mountain walking daypack with vented back system / AirZone tensioned mesh / Adaptive Fit harness / padded hip-belt with pockets / compression straps / zipped side pockets / side and front stash pockets / sternum strap with whistle / hydration compatible / TPU walking pole holders / ice-axe loop / key-clip / rain cover in base.
Full Review Below
Lowe Alpine AirZone Hike 30 | Performance
Lowe Alpine's AirZone system has evolved gradually into its current incarnation and it's one of the best out there. The cut-away suspended mesh back panel with a big central hole maximises air-flow to your back and it really works well.
A curved internal board keeps things under control and Lowe Alpine's proved AdaptiveFit harness lives up to its name by adapting to different shoulder widths and shapes. It's not quite as slick as Osprey's latest Stratos harness, but it does a good all-round job with just enough padding to cope with walking loads.
The whole pack has a feel of understated quality without trying to be ostentatiously clever. There are excellent and substantial hip-belt pockets, a pair of lid ones, front and side stretch mesh stash pockets and even handy, low-profile side pockets that might not look 'pro', but have their uses.
You also get Lowe Alpine's own TPU (plastic) trekking pole tip holders - ace to use - a zip-away rain cover in the base and two lid-pockets. And of course, there's a hydration sleeve though with just a single tube outlet on the righthand side.
As an all-day, all-round walking companion it's reassuringly competent in a pleasingly reserved, unassuming way - comfortable, stable and well made, it just gets on with it.
Lowe Alpine AirZone Hike 30 | Verdict
Lowe Alpine's AirZone packs don't really do fireworks, more super competent, understated, no-nonsense performance. The AirZone system itself is one of the best of its kind available and has been seriously refined over the years into a cool and comfortable customer.
Meanwhile the rest of the pack is hard to fault with a combination of sturdy build quality and no-nonsense, practical features. There's plenty of carrying capacity and enough pockets to stash stuff away easily and touches like the pole holders work well too.
We particularly like the big belt-pockets that'll hold, say, a compact camera without drama. And while the AirZoneHike may not have cutting edge alpine looks, it still exudes a clean, understated sense of purpose.