At Gearlimits we are – obviously – crazy about outdoor & action sports gear. We’re also curious about the story behind products. Because there always is one. Why do brands produce products in a certain way? How do they determine the choice of materials? How do they feel about durability or safety. That’s what we try to find out in our Inside-Out stories with brands. We feel that being able to tell you about a brand will help you make your choices in what gear to buy, even better. Here’s what we discovered, and experienced with Lowe Alpine, a brand founded by the Lowe Brothers in Colorado, with its headquarters now in Derbyshire. The Inside-Out projects are produced with support from the brands we visit. We still keep an open and critical view and try to find the real and authentic story behind the brand.

“World Class Carry Systems For life on the Move.”

It was the German scientist, author, playwright, poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who said “In der Beschränkung zeigt sich erst der Meister.” Which translates roughly into “In working within limits the master reveals himself” or you might also translate it as “Less is more”, an often used phrase. It expresses the thought that through limiting the breadth of what you do or focussing on a specific area of your craft, you can achieve mastery. And conversely that you can recognize a master by his choice to limit himself.

That thought entered my mind when I spoke with Joe White, Brand Manager of the American-English Backpack specific outdoor brand. Lowe Alpine does not produce anything else than backpacks, or carry systems as they like to call it. And that is not only an academical distinction. It is not only a euphemism for a backpack, put an expression of their focus on the system that allows for the carrying of the packet, namely the hipbelt and harness and shoulder straps.

Two winters ago I was able to use and review their Descent backpack, (a multi-activity pack I used for snowboarding) and was already struck by the very interesting choices they made here, for thinner, denser shoulder straps. And during my visit I saw the next generation of this development in the Aeon backpack.

Part 1:

Our visit to the Lowe Alpine HQ was not only about gear, but about where the brand came from, the first backpack produced by Jeff Lowe and his brothers, and how Lowe focus all its attention on facilitating freedom of movement in any activity you are doing.

 

Part 2:

A day later I joined Brand Ambassador and UK mountaineer Andy Cave on a hike with the Aeon backpack in the nearby Peak District (where Lowe Alpine does a lot of its product testing) and experience the carry and stability of the systems Lowe Alpine produces.

Inside-Out with Lowe Alpine - Part 1

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