Lowe Alpine Cholatse 42:47 Backpack | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Lowe Alpine Cholatse 42:47 Backpack | Review

The Cholatse, an old Lowe Alpine favourite, has now been updated for 2021. Here’s what to expect from it…

Why we chose it: Excellent carry comfort, versatile, great feature-set 

Last year Lowe Alpine made it into our Outdoor 100 product guide with the hugely impressive Airzone Pro and the year before their Altus was featured. For 2020/21, they’ve made it in again and with what’s potentially our favourite option from them to date, the Cholatse 42:47.

Who Is The Lowe Alpine Cholatse Backpack For?

Everyone, really. We can see this backpack being used for all kinds of outdoor activities. It’s best application would probably be summer weekend wild camps, but we could also see it as being great for hut-to-hut trekking in the Alps or for multi-day hikes along, say a national trail. There are also aspects of it that make it more than suitable as a daypack for winter mountain use. 

Materials and Design

This is a tough old bag. With it’s high denier ripstop nylon throughout, you don’t need to worry about it ripping on a rogue branch, that’s for sure. Perhaps the only weak point, you could say, is the stretchy mesh side pockets – not that we’ve had any problems here though.

The carry system involves a thermo-moulded back pad, slightly raised mesh, soft foams across the hipbelt and shoulders and a supportive PU sponge lumbar. 

Photo: Chris Johnson

There’s around 6 inches of length variation, giving you the potential for what’s pretty much a custom fit. This is super easy to do adjust as well. All you need to do is pull the pack panel off its velcro pad and you can then slide it along its aluminium rails either up or down. 

The lid will ‘float’ a little bit, giving that extra 5 litres of volume, but it’s not removable. As for access to the main compartment, you can either dive in through the drawcord sealed top, or you can open up the buckles and big U-zip across the front of the pack to have duffle bag-like access, thus saving you having to dig around for items. 


As you can expect from a Lowe Alpine bag, there’s plenty to talk about in regards to features. We’ll start with the pockets, of which there are plenty. You’ve got a large overlid one and an underlid one too. There are stretchy zipped pockets on the hipbelt that are big enough for a smartphone and some snacks and there are those stretchy side mesh ones too. Inside, there’s a pouch for a water bladder and then on the front there’s a big stash pocket which has a long zipped pocket on it that’s the perfect size for an OS map and more. That stash pocket, by the way, is not only big enough for stashing a down jacket, but we even found we could lodge a climbing helmet into it. 

“You can definitely feel quite nimble with this thing on.”

Useful details include tip grippers for trekking poles, an ice axe head locker, a little key clip, an emergency whistle on the sternum, reflective details, daisy chain loops that you could, say, hang your climbing gear on and then stowed at the base you’ve got a waterproof cover.

Then there’s the adjustment options here. With the sliding back panel, harness adjustment and forward pull hipbelt, you can really tweak this to fit perfectly. When you’re working with different volumes, you’ve also got adjustment straps across the bag to help the pack grow or shrink depending on the load you’re carrying. 

By the way, you’ll find this not only in multiple volumes but in different sizes and different fits for men and women. 

Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic 

“I really like the packs Lowe Alpine make, mainly, I think, because I find they always fit me well and feel comfortable. The Cholatse is no exception. I’ve used this for a number of big hikes, including with loads of a day hike and loads for a camp out, and I’ve found it carries really comfortably. Heavy loads really aren’t too much of a problem with it. In fact, on a recent Outdoors Magic shoot that I used this pack for, I had to load this up with a heavy 2kg tripod alongside all my camping kit as well – and it managed just fine. I think a big part of that is the torsional flex you get; it never feels too constraining, even when it’s packed to bursting, and you therefore can still feel quite nimble with this thing on.”

Photo: Chris Johnson

“For me, 42:47 is pretty much the perfect size for most of the long-distance trekking I do. I’d happily use this for anything from, say, a two-day walk along the 50-mile Epynt Way to a week-long yomp along the West Highland Way. I could even see myself using it for even bigger trips. Come winter it’ll be a bit too small to carry my four-season camping gear, but that’s when it’ll turn into my day pack, offering the right kind of size for safety kit, crampons, an ice axe and the extra warm layers.  

“If I’m being picky, I’d say one of the downsides is that getting into the pack using the zip across the front is a little fiddly with all the straps and clips you need to get through. It’s also a little on the heavy side. The carrying comfort of this thing is enough to make me look past that, however.”

Giles Dean, Outdoors Magic staff

“I tested this backpack on a trip to Cornwall hiking the South West Coastal Path – one of the most amazing trails I have been on for a long time with endless beaches and rocky cliffs to explore.

Giles using the Cholatse as a daypack on the South West Coast Path.

“The thing that stands out for me with this bag is its versatility, you can easily pack enough kit for a couple of days out in the hills but if you also want to use it for a day hike it works equally well. It is super comfortable and sits on your back really well and the hip belt fins are beefed-up and provide a really good amount of support.

“Overall, I am really impressed by the Cholatse and can see myself using it for any number of adventures.”

Lowe Alpine Cholatse Backpack


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