Lowe Alpine's Cerro Torre Trekking Pack | In-Depth Look - Outdoors Magic

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Lowe Alpine’s Cerro Torre Trekking Pack | In-Depth Look

The story behind Lowe Alpine's big pack for big, self-supported excursions into the wild

The first Cerro Torre was launched way back in 1985. A whopper of a pack, it was designed for handling the big loads required for the biggest adventures. Think wandering into the Alaskan wilderness or attempting a solo winter trek along the Cape Wrath Trail through the Scottish Highlands. Fast forward three and a half decades and we have this reborn version, one that’s designed for the same purposes but with modern touches – and plenty of them.

“This latest Cerro Torre encapsulates everything we’ve learnt about backpack design and world-class carry over the generations,” says Jim Evans, Head of Brand at Lowe Alpine. “With over 35 years’ design evolution going into it, this is the best multi-day trekking pack we’ve ever made.”

Here’s how it’s evolved over the years…

So why did Lowe Alpine feel it was time for a relaunch?

“The original Cerro Torre developed by the Lowe brothers was designed because they needed a heavy load carrier to enable them to carry all their equipment deep into the mountains for months at a time and there was nothing on the market that they felt could do this job,” explains Jim. “Three decades later the brief for the Cerro Torre hasn’t changed, but the material and manufacturing techniques available to us now mean we can make that same pack, but make it even lighter and even more comfortable.”

“The last thing you want is to get days into a trek and realise you’ve got an unsupportive or ill-fitting pack.”

This new version in the 80:100 litre capacity is able to carry as much as 25kg – that’s about the same as your average fully grown Siberian Husky – and the weight of the pack itself is just 2.9kg thanks to the cutting edge materials that Lowe Alpine have chosen here.

It’s got all the technical features you’d want from a big trekking pack as well, like its trekking pole attachments, front stash pocket, waterproof cover, numerous compartments and all the other bells and whistles, but it’s clear that the real blood sweat and tears in the design effort here has gone towards the carry system. In fact, their designers claim to have solved a problem that’s existed with virtually all trekking backpacks over the years when it comes to handling heavy loads. This is the extra fatigue that occurs when your body is constantly trying to rebalance itself due to the weight of a pack shifting from side to side with each stride taken.

Lowe Alpine’s solution to this lies in the addition of a stabilising load transfer bar and dual pivoting hip fins which cleverly adapt to the movement of your hips, allowing the pack to work with you, not against you.

The big 80:100 version of the Cerro Torre.
The ND 60:80. This has a lumbar designed with women's backs in mind.

The Cerro Torre doesn’t just come as this mega 80:100 litre pack. You can also get it in a 60:80 version for women and a 65:85 for men, and they all feature the same stabilising load transfer bar, hip fins and VT Flex adjustable back to promote natural, flexible movement.

The fabric they’ve used across the Cerro Torre range is super tough TriSheild combined with an even tougher 500D nylon base. What’s more, you actually get two packs for one here, because the top lid can be inverted and turned into a handy little 10 litre backpack for any short forays from your basecamp or bunkhouse.

“The brief for every Lowe Alpine product is to look at the requirements of the user.”

Lowe Alpine’s designers also had longevity in mind when they designed this pack. In fact, this is now a principal focus for the brand across their entire backpack collection.

“As manufacturers, the most positive environmental impact we can have is to reduce consumer consumption by delivering products that last as longer,” he says. “The brief for every Lowe Alpine product is to look at the requirements of the user, the frequency of product use, what will be carried and where it will be used. From this we then develop a design and testing programme that results in a final product we feel happy lives up to our Keep Moving Guarantee. This guarantee is based around a repair not replace philosophy to reduce consumption and we know very few of our customers ever need to call on it. However when they do, we have repair facilities throughout the world helping to keep our customers moving normally within a few days.”

“This new Cerro Torre has been received really positively and it’s been good timing as we recently launched our Click & Fit scheme,” Jim tells us. “This allows a customer to order one or more packs online and have them delivered into a Click & Fit store for free, where they can get a bespoke fitting experience. When it comes to selecting a large pack like a Cerro Torre, getting the perfect fit is crucial, the last thing you want is to get days into a trek and realise you’ve got an unsupportive or ill-fitting pack.”

The complete Cerro Torre range is currently available on the Lowe Alpine website with the full size 80:100 Cerro Torre priced at £250, the 65:85 and ND60:80 at £240.

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