The Most Influential Gear of All Time: Lowe Alpine Systems Expedition Internal Frame Pack


One of the first Lowe Alpine packs

One of the first Lowe Alpine packs     Photo: Courtesy of Equip UK

Greg Lowe and his uncle decided to try alpine-style ascents of Wyoming’s Tetons in winter as training for bigger peaks. Frameless rucksacks were too small to carry heavy loads, and external frame packs were awkward and unbalanced on technical terrain. So Greg built a frame stiff enough to transfer the load from shoulder straps to a hip belt like an external frame pack, but flexible enough to contour to the body and flex with the hips and torso while climbing. He put the frame inside the pack, adding hip and shoulder stabilizers, a sternum strap, and side compression straps—now all standard backpack features—to stabilize the load and bring it closer to the climber's center of gravity.

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