Lowe Alpine’s packs have always been brilliantly built, but in the last few years it felt a little as if they were playing catch-up with general-purpose daypacks at least, the new Eclipse 35 could be the pack that changes all that though.
Lowe bills the Eclipse series – also available as 25 and 15L versions and women’s-specific ND32, 22 and 14 variants – as ‘multi-function’ packs. The idea is that you can use them for walking, running, biking or even climbing. Or you could just stick your lap-top in it and commute.
The fundamentals remind us a little of the slick Montane pack series. There’s no stiffener or frame in the back system, just a thermoformed foam back pad with venting panels covered with a sheet of wicking mesh. It’s one of the reasons the 35L pack weighs a respectably light 810g on our scales.
It has a colossal zipped opening rather than a conventional lid which runs from the bottom of once side and right over the top so the whole back panel folds down for easy access, but in a neat touch, there’s an ‘alternative lid pocket’ for those of us who miss having one for stashing mobiles and the like in easy reach.
The harness uses Lowe’s adaptive shoulder straps – they narrow at the top to cope with different shoulder widths easily – and again are made of foam with an overlay of that wicking mesh. The hip-belt follows the same cues.
Loaded up with a moderate sort of weight and adjusted to fit using the numerous buckles, the Eclipse nestles really nicely into the small of the back and feels really comfortable.
Not sure how it would cope with a full-on load of climbing hardware, but for most all-round use, we reckon it should carry just fine. Compression straps top and bottom should keep things pulled well in too.