Lowe Alpine Aeon 22 & ND20 Review | Travel & Adventure Backpack (Women’s & Regular Fit)

Lowe Alpine Aeon 22 & ND20 Review | Travel & Adventure Backpack (Women’s & Regular Fit)

– Hey it’s Rebecca from Pack Hacker here and in this review, we’re going to be taking
a look at the Lowe Alpine Aeon 22 and the ND20 backpacks. Here at Pack Hacker, we
do reviews on travel gear and backpacks like this all the time, so if you’re new here,
consider subscribing. Over the past three months
we’ve been testing these bags in Spain and Portugal, so
let’s jump into the review. The Lowe Alpine Aeon 22 is the regular fit and the ND20 is the women’s version. Both of these bags are almost identical apart from a few differences –
such as the ND20 is smaller, and the harness system
is slightly different, but we’ll get more into those details later on in the review. But for now just to make
it a bit more simple – we are going to refer
to them both as Aeon. There’s no denying that
the Lowe Alpine Aeon has an outdoorsy look, but considering that this
bag is made primarily for the multi-activity,
outdoor enthusiast, this comes as no surprise. And while this pack certainly
didn’t look out of place exploring cities like Porto
and Lisbon in Portugal, it did look more at home
up the mountains of Spain. We tend to prefer more streamlined and minimalistic urban packs, but we do like the aesthetic of the Aeon. We asked our Instagram audience to see what they thought about
the look of the pack, and just under half said they liked it; not the best result. Here at Pack Hacker we do
polls like this all the time, so if you’d like to
partake in the next one, make sure you’re following us
at Pack Hacker on Instagram. The Aeon 22 is available in four colors; Anthracite, Auburn, Azure, and Graystone, while the ND20 comes in
Anthracite, Lagoon, and Ruby Wine. The color options are vast and varied so at least one of these
should cater to your taste. We’re also really big
fans of how Lowe Alpine have branded the outside of this pack. There is a Lowe Alpine logo
on the lid and shoulder strap, and the model name on the
front which is quite handy as there are a few bags
in their Aeon range. Finally there’s a Lowe Alpine logo molded into the plastic
of the zipper pulls on both of the external pockets. It’s pretty cool and we’re digging the creative brand in here. Moving on to the materials. The Aeon is made out of 210D nylon. But oh no, this isn’t any old nylon – this is made with Lowe
Alpine’s tri-shield coating on it too, a high-performance silicone PU binding that increases weather resistance, abrasion resistance, and
tear strength by 200%. That’s some pretty awesome stuff! And rounded up, all
the buckles are Woojin, and all the zips are YKK #5. Both are quality brands that make tried and tested gear. They work well and
should continue to do so in the future too. As we mentioned before, the Lowe Alpine Aeon 22 is a regular fit and the ND20 is the women’s version. It’s so great to see such a big brand creating women-specific travel gear. And Lowe Alpine sum up their history of making women’s fit
backpacks wonderfully on their website by saying, “Greg Lowe created the
first ever women’s fit packs in the 1970’s; he named them the ND range. In creating these packs
we started a movement in the backpacking world to acknowledge that women are hikers, mountaineers, and climbers, and they
deserve to have the kit that fits. Since then, we’ve been
continually developing our women’s packs to ensure
that they perfectly accommodate the physiological and anatomical demands of the female backpacker. We’ve got 40 years of
industry leading research and an exhaustive program of
field testing under our belts. This is culminated in a range
of women-specific backpacks that are unparalleled in terms of quality, design, and comfort.” Other than the capacity of the ND20 being two liters smaller, it differs to the
Aeon 22 in four key areas: that’s the back-length, the hip belt, the shoulder straps, and
the load distribution. The back-length of the
ND20 is slightly shorter because women tend to have
shorter torsos than men, which also makes the
ND20 an excellent option for teenagers. The hip belt and shoulder
straps are also shorter and a slightly different
shape to accommodate a women’s body. And finally
the load distribution is altered so the ND20 carries its weight near the bottom of the pack, which is achieved by making
the ND20 slightly shorter, wider, and deeper than
the regular fit version. The Lowe Alpine Aeon has a lot of things going on externally, but we have to talk about
the harness system first because so far, this
has been one of the most comfortable packs to carry to date. The Flexion shoulder straps are ultra-thin and we were skeptical
about how comfortable shoulder straps this thin would be, but they are incredible. While it certainly helps that
this is only day-pack size, Lowe Alpine has definitely
put some thought into making these things comfortable. And the ultra-thin straps also contribute when you’re putting the Aeon inside the larger one-bag travel pack, as the
thinner straps mean this bag will take up less room. Just by looking at the
air-contour back panel, you can see that there’s some
pretty serious stuff going on. This back panel is
incredibly well ventilated, body-hugging, and supportive, and we were very impressed with how well it performed in testing. Amazingly, the shoulder
straps and back panel are even height-adjustable so that you can tailor the
fit precisely to your body. And within this sleeve there’s also room for a water bladder if
you’d like to throw one in, with a small buckled
loop to secure the hose. Moving onto the hip belt
which we really like and there’s even pockets on either side for you to put those quick
grab items such as your keys. Unfortunately the hip
belt isn’t detachable which can be a pain if it’s not locked in. But it is compact enough to
not get in the way too much. Completing the harness system there are load-lifter
straps to bring the weight of the pack closer to your back, and an adjustable, and
removable sternum strap. And there are fabric loops
on the shoulder strap so you can keep the
load-lifter strap secure too, creating a delightful,
dangle-free experience. On the front of the pack it’s more of a ‘straps everywhere’ experience. First of all, we have the multi-lock tool on either side of the pack. This is made up of an
adjustable cord-loop at the top and then a fabric loop, and circular plastic
attachment point at the bottom. As the name suggests, this is a system where
you can carry a variety of different tools on
the outside of your pack such as icepicks, or walking poles. We didn’t use this too much but it did work as a way to carry our Joby Gorillapod 3K on the outside. Next up there are two compression straps on either side of the pack. These straps are useful
when you’re not carrying so much gear with you,
limiting the space inside for stuff to move around in. But unfortunately, there’s
no strap-keeper system, so these things really
dangle around on the outside. An example of a bag that
manages excess straps well is the EVERGOODS MPL30, and we would’ve loved to have seen a similar system here. Finally, there are two
large water bottle pockets. They’re super stretchy and deep enough to hold nearly any size bottle. We’re big fans of these and Lowe Alpine has nailed this vital component. The Lowe Alpine Aeon has
two external pockets; a large mesh compartment at the front, and a quick-grab pocket at the top. The front mesh pocket is super stretchy and you can cram a surprising
amount of stuff inside; we used it to hold our
earphones and snacks. The top pocket on the lid is more discrete due to the zippered
access being at the back, so we use this for our more valuable, quick-grab items like
passports and wallets. Surprisingly, there is
one more pocket in the lid of this bag. This can be accessed
by unbuckling the front and lifting up the lid, where you’ll find a
discrete zipper underneath. This is a great pocket
and we find ourselves utilizing it more than
we thought we would; there’s even a key chain in
there which is a nice touch. On the bottom of this lid, you will notice an SOS panel too. Considering this bag is made
for those rural environments, this is really nifty. Hopefully you’ll never have to use them, but this shows you what
hand signals to make, emergency phone numbers to dial, and sound signals using
the whistle on the front attached to the sternum strap. Finally, the main compartment
in the Lowe Alpine Aeon is basically a huge
bucket for you to throw all of your travel gear into. We really like the opening of this pack and the drawstring is
efficient and easy to use. There’s plenty of room
to fit a 15-inch laptop with a case on it inside too, and this still leaves enough space for any of other items
you may want to take out with you for the day. Over the last three months, these packs have seen
use in Spain, Portugal, and the U.K. We found this bag to
be incredibly versatile and will work in a multitude
of different environments. And when it comes to durability, the Lowe Alpine Aeon is a well-made pack that’s built to last. All of the components
are strong and sturdy, and the material show no signs of wear and tear as of yet,
apart from a small mark on the front of the gray Aeon 22. They have handled everything
we’ve thrown at them and we’re confident that
they will continue to do so in the future. The Aeon is a real workhorse bag that does its job very well. The quick-grab pockets and
water bottle compartments are great, and the harness system provides one of the most comfortable
carries we’ve tested to date. Moving onto the pros and cons – the Aeon is available in a regular fit and a women’s fit. It’s extremely versatile;
and delivers an impressively comfortable carry even
when you’re carrying a heavier load. Now onto the cons – the straps can dangle on
the outside of this thing. The hip belt isn’t removable and can get in the way when not in use. And its outdoorsy aesthetic
may not please everyone. This outdoorsy pack
will stand out a little in a more urban environment, and it doesn’t have
the cleanest aesthetic, but the benefits of an
impressively comfortable harness system, and multiuse versatility, are nothing to be sniffed at. If you’re looking for a
day pack to fit inside your larger one-bag travel backpack, and need something a bit more substantial than a packable day-pack, then the Lowe Alpine
Aeon is a great choice. Thanks for taking a look at our review of the Lowe Alpine Aeon 22 and the ND20. Leave us a comment and let us know what you think of these packs. And as ever, head over to
packhacker.com/newsletter – sign up to our newsletter
and never miss an update. Thanks for checking this one out. We’ll see you in the next video. A few (stutters). We’ve been, (stutters), no! The Lowe Alpine (laughs).

7 thoughts on “Lowe Alpine Aeon 22 & ND20 Review | Travel & Adventure Backpack (Women’s & Regular Fit)

  1. Before i use opsrey talon 33. Then i buy I lowe alpine aeon 27, i very like this bag. So i grab again aeon 35 and sale osprey talon. Nice review bro.

  2. I have the ND 25 and 33. I LOVE this harness it’s such a comfortable pack. And so lightweight!!

    I prefer the aesthetic of the 16 and 25 (zipper closure) over the top lid version in this pack but they’re such fab packs.

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