Outdoors Magic: Solidly built with enough capacity to carry most of what you need, stays comfortably planted on the move and leaves your back free to breathe.
Outdoors Tragic: Lacks internal compartments and pockets, no facility to carry a water bottle, though it's possible to improvise.
Outdoors Grabbit? Solidly built, but light bum-bag that's comfortable and stays in place on the move. We'd have liked an internal phone and sundries pocket for neatness and there's no bottle option, though you can improvise with cunning. Plenty of stowage space and we like the mesh
side-pockets for easy access on the move.
Padded wicking back section / single main zipped compartment / two zipped mesh side-pockets / retainer loops for excess belt webbing / key-clip in main compartment / reflective front bungee storage/compression system / hanging loop.
Full review below
Lightflite 5 - In Depth
At just 163 grammes, the Lowe Alpine Lightflite 5 is impressively light, but also solidly put together with just enough belt and lumbar padding to stay comfortable and some neat, practical touches.
There's a single, solid, main zipped-compartment along with two mesh zipped side-pockets plus an adjustable bungee cord storage come compression system on the back. Nothing radical or fancy, but it's all solidly done with well thought-out touches like webbing loops to secure the belt webbing ends and stop them from flapping as you move.
As with other lumbar packs, the idea is to carry weight low down so it's more stable, but also to leave your back free to breathe rather than covering it with a back system, which makes particular sense in warmer conditions.
Lightflite 5 - Performance
With around five litres of storage space, the Lightflite is just about right for longer trail runs when you might want to carry, say, a lightweight shell, hat and gloves and maybe some bars and gels.
The back and side of the belt are lightly and 'just-rightly' padded and we found the shape and fit meant it sat neatly and comfortably and could be snugged up enough to keep it confidently in place on the move either running or, occasionally, on the bike.
The mesh side pockets are easy to reach, with the zips sensibly opening backwards with a pull forward to close, which is the most natural way of doing things, and mean you can get hold of bars or gels as you go. An open-top pocket is easier still, but also less secure. You pays your money etc.
The two things we missed were some sort of internal pocket for a phone or small items - a sleeve next to the back would be ideal - and a water bottle carrier, though we got round this by cramming a soft bottle into one of the side-pockets.
If you want a Lowe bum-bag with a dedicated bottle option, check out the Lightflite Hydro as an alternative.
We can't fault the Lightflite 5 for carrying comfort and stability. Despite the lack of any stretch in the belt, we found it was comfortable and stayed in place on the move with no distracting, flapping belt webbing ends.
It has just about the right capacity for medium to long trail runs too provided you stay lightweight and the bungee cord gives overloading potential, though we rarely needed it. Nice to be able to access stuff in the side-pockets too.
It doesn't have a bottle holster, though as above, you can improvise and our only real gripe was the lack of some internal pockets for phone, wallet or an emergency tenner. Other than that, it's a nicely made, light and effective carrying companion that's hard to fault.