The Lowe Alpine climbing specific specific pack ticks all the boxes for a great, all round climbing pack.
The last time I reviewed a climbing specific pack was the Patagonia Cragsmith 45 , an expensive but well featured pack. We’ve also reviewed the DMM Flight Pack and found that to be a well featured pack. The Lowe Alpine Outcast 44 also makes some space in this market; Lowe Alpine have a great pack pedigree and we’ve featured them in a variety of articles – well made and functional as well as stylish is their trademark and the Outcast 44 is no exception.
The Outcast is part of a new range of climbing specific packs developed by Lowe Alpine for the 2020 season which includes three packs, a rope bag and a chalk bag. The Outcast 44 is the mid sized range that is suitable for a range of climbing activities but is most suited to sport climbing.
The main body is made from tough, 840D fabric with the side panels and pockets made from 420D Nylon. The right hand pocket is made from stretchy and perforated and is plenty big enough for gloves, hats and a buff for the carry in. It also has a great smaller pocket that has been specifically designed to securely hold a clipstick. So it is pretty tough in construction with good, bomproof, materials in high wear places.
The pack opens book style which gives access to the roomy interior compartments. There is a large main compartment which is easily big enough to pack 20+ draws and belay stuff, chalk bag, chalk, harness, helmet, first aid kit, food, flask and a belay jacket. There is also a zipped, mesh compartment that I stashed two pairs of shoes and the included rope tarp – if wanted to pack a rope in the bag it was tricky with a belay jacket but I found that I could stuff most of my belay jacket in the side pocket and secure the rest of it with the side compression strap. That worked fine for most carry’s. You can also secure a rope around the top of the pack and secure the ends with the side compression straps as the pack has a spare travel bag feel to it.
There are also 4 internal gear loops for clipping all manner of kit to – it was great for heading down the climbing wall when I only want to take a harness and gri-gri and I could clip it to an internal loop. It was also useful for clipping a belay device to, in between belaying and climbing at the crag. The internal kit can be further secured with two internal tension straps – similar to a carry on travel pack. The main internal compartment is finished with a large zipped security pocket which is great for stowing phones, wallets and other stuff you want to secure at the crag. It has the international emergency distress signals printed on it as has all Lowe Alpine packs.
In terms of pockets there is a final large zipped external pocket at the top of the Outcast 44. This is great for stashing all the items you’ll need easy access to such as a guidebook, belay gloves, food bars and it has a key clip for safe keeping of your car keys. The Outcast also has a dedicated lipstick pocket that will fit most clipsticks securely. There are also two grab handles: a large on the top of the pack and a smaller one on the side and as I said earlier all your kit can then be stabilised for that long carry to the crag using the compression straps. So the pack is well featured with easy access to all the kit you’ll need to a day out whether that’s a quick walk into Horseshoe Quarry or a longer hike up to Tunnel Walls on a breezy day.
Lowe Alpine packs are always a comfortable carry and the Outcast 44 is no exception. The TriFlex carry system offers a stable and flexible carry. The pack is one size so it’s a good idea to try the Click and Fit Compatible option on the Owe Alpine website. The shoulder straps are well padded with dual density foam and they can be adjusted to your shape using the tension straps and the chest strap (which has an emergency whistle included). The Outcast also has an included hip belt to help ease the load to Ceuse and other one walk ins. Again it’s dual density foam and forward pulling belt to help secure pack to your body. The back panel is stiffened with a moulded back and a spring steel frame which helps make load lugging easier.
In order to make the Outcast 44 travel ready (if you were to use it as your carry on for your trip to Kalymnos for example) it would have been better to make the hip belt removable. This would hake the pack much more travel friendly even if you stowed the hip belt for use when you arrive. Also many walk-ins don’t need a hip belt and it then becomes a little intrusive for that jot from your car to Kilnsey Crag (although that’s getting longer these days).
All in all, however, the Lowe Alpine Outcast 44 is a great climbing pack or indeed any adventure travel escapade. It’s plenty big enough to stuff everything into, has some great features and is super comfortable to wear. The integrated tarp is handy and the voluminous top pocket is great for smashing all your crag essentials. A good pack and recommended.
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Disclaimer – CGR reviewers and writers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising or link to affiliate sales. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene and safety reasons and more often it’s in no fit state to return!