For anyone looking for an adventure, a backpack is one of the most essential accessories. It needs to be comfortable enough to be worn all day and provide enough room to fit all the necessary equipment, whether it’s a one-day hike or a multi-day trip.
I have never owned a backpack with a capacity greater than 30L, as I found bigger backpacks cumbersome. The Lowe Alpine Cholatse 55 backpack surprised me with its versatility. Despite being labeled a 55L backpack, it can easily be packed down and used as a carry-on bag. The easy-to-load top compartment also helps maximize the capacity of the bag, making it possible to fit all the necessary items needed for a multi-day trip.
There is a separate compartment at the bottom of the bag, which can be used for easy access to specific items, or can be opened to have one big bag for bigger items. Moreover, the locations of the zippers on the bag were thought so that almost any item can be reached without having to empty the bag; a must for any organized – or unorganized – traveller. Two smaller compartments, one easy to reach and one hidden, are also located on the top of the bag for smaller items such as electronics, passports or snacks.
Besides the well-thought compartments, the Cholatse 55 also has a number of technical features to make the backpack comfortable and practical. The adjustable back length allows for custom fitting of the bag to ensure maximum comfort. The backpack is compatible with any hydration system up to 3L, such as Platypus.
For those rainy days spent outside, you will be happy to hear that the Cholatse 55 features an integrated raincover, ensuring that the change of clothe you thought to pack remains dry.
There are plenty of adjustable straps on the sides and at the bottom of the bag to attach a tent, sleeping mat and sleeping bag if needed. The shoulder and hip straps are all padded and breathable, which is ideal for warmer weather and when doing physical activity. Two small pockets on the hip straps can easily fit any tool, map or bear spray you might need quick access to.
Despite being on the bigger side of backpacks, I would definitely recommend this backpack for any multi-day trip, even on two wheels. It possesses all the important features found in more biking oriented backpacks: rigid back support, back ventilation, hip support, hydration system compatible, easy to reach pockets. You can easily fit your helmet in the bottom compartment when you are going for that 3 hour climb, and there is still plenty of room for the extra shammy, shirt and shorts. And once you’ve enjoyed those few beers you’ve brought along to celebrate reaching the summit, tighten the straps and the bag will stick to your back: you’re all set for that insane descent you’ve worked so hard for.
Features That I liked
– Integrated raincover.
– Hydration system compatible.
– Big enough to fit anything.
– Numerous pockets to access/sort items.
– Adjustable back length.