All too often we see products that are marketed as ‘ultralight’, where performance and functionality have unfortunately gone out the window. It’s easy to strip back weight, the hard part is making sure the product still does its job.
Fortunately, with the Ascent Superlight, Lowe Alpine have managed to strike the balance perfectly. In fact, they’ve nailed it.
580g for a 30-litre backpack is stupendously light, but don’t expect the Ascent Superlight to be made of some flimsy fabric that will tear on the first rogue branch. It’s actually made from a ripstop nylon that has a dependable 100 denier rating, and there’s also an abrasion and water resistant PU coating on the top for extra peace of mind.
“Don’t expect Lowe Alpine to have gone for ultra lightness at the expense of technical features…"
Don’t expect Lowe Alpine to have gone for ultra lightness at the expense of technical features either. The Ascent Superlight boasts a well-configured suspended harness that allows full body movement, plus there’s a tensioned rope holder, an internal bladder sleeve and a comfortable chest strap and hipbelt that both feature glove-friendly buckles.
One of the things we really like is the ingenious HeadLocker system that’s used to hold a pair ice axes. It utilises two simple bars which locate through the carabiner hole in the head of each axe, then there are strategically positioned lightweight TPU reinforcements to protect the fabric in areas where the axes might snag.
One of the main ways they’ve reduced weight is by shunning a structured back-system in favour of a double-thickness foam pad. This offers a decent amount of comfort and it will protect your back from any sharp-angled kit in the pack, and it can also be removed, folded out and used as a sit mat.
As you’ve probably already guessed, it’s a pack designed first and foremost for alpinists and mountaineers who take a fast and light approach, but that’s not to say that it wouldn’t suit some simple day hiking. In fact, it wouldn’t look out of place on a morning commute either.
One final thing to mention is that the Ascent Superlight not only managed to pick up a UK Outdoor Industry Award in the backpack category this year (2017), but it went on to land overall product of the year as well.
Lowe Alpine Ascent Superlight Backpack