Lowe Alpine Manaslu 65:75 Review and Scotland Kit List
I uploaded a photo to Instagram of all of my kit laid out ready for testing last night and it seemed to get a bit of attention. @danielgroves suggested that I put together a kit list which is at the bottom of this post. First, I thought I’d write a few words about my experience with the Lowe Alpine Manaslu bag.
How comfortable is the Lowe Alpine Manaslu 65:75?
I packed up with (nearly) all of the kit that I will be taking on my trip to Knoydart in a few weeks and the bag felt great straight away. All together, with water, camera and kit it weighed 17kg but the back system made it feel much more planted than previous bags. It doesn’t move about and sits nicely on my hips. The shoulder straps feel a little night around my lower neck but I am sure that this will break in after a bit of use. It took a bit of fine tuning to get the Axiom back system to the correct length but it feels good now.
Weight and Packing
I originally went to Taunton Leisure to buy the Lowe Alpine Cholatse because it is a bit lighter. My aim was to cut as much weight from the bag as possible because we will be doing some low grade scrambling whilst covering a few miles. I was rightfully advised that the Manaslu would carry the load better with its Axiom back system. The great thing about the Manaslu is the front opening that allows me to pack my camera and tripod inside the bag. This keeps the weight closer to me and makes it more manageable. I was able to fit everything I need for a multi-day trip inside the bag although I’m sure winter trips will certainly fill it right up to the brim.
Obviously as this is the bag’s first outing I can’t say how it is going to hold up with any real certainty. However, I have slowly been converted back to Lowe Alpine because of their build quality. My wife and I use smaller Airzone bags for day trips and mine has been submerged, beaten, dropped, grazed and yet still looks like new. What’s nice about the Manaslu is the ripstop fabric also performs well in terms of water repellency. All of the zips and buckles feel reassuringly solid and the build quality is second to none.
Really the only gripe I have is that my lower back did get a bit sweaty. That’s not strictly the bag’s fault as it was really humid and that’s the trade off I have for getting this over a larger Airzone bag. The support and stability is ultimately more important, especially as I don’t see myself heading off to any hot climates with it.
Knoydart, Scotland Kit List
For all the other gear nears out there, here is what I’m taking.
- Tent: Vango Banshee 200
- Sleeping bag: Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20 (-7°C)
- Roll Mat: Thermarest Neo Air
- Stove: Alpkit Koro
- Pot: Alpkit 600ml Ti
- Headtorch: Petzl Myo
- Purification: Sawyer Water Filter
- Sony Xperia XZ with OS 1:25K maps
- Summit Equipment Bothy/Shelter
- Plus many other bits and pieces like Smidge, ear plugs, fist aid kit, inflatable pillow, spare map, 2x compasses, walking pole, hipflask etc.
I’ll be wearing:
- Jacket: Rab Mountain Dru
- Down jacket: Mountain Equipment Dewline (700 fill)
- Trousers: Montane Terra
- Waterproof trousers: Berghaus Goretex
- Base layer: Rab Long sleeved ultra light thing (to cover up from midges)
- Mid layer: Rohan Treking shirt
- Warm layer: Mountain Equipment Dark Days hoodie (or Rab Quest)
- Gaitors: Rab Latok
- Gloves: Montane Power Stretch
- Boots: Scarpa R-Evo Pro GTX
- Socks: Bridgedale Trekking Socks and liners
I’ll be eating (basically anything 500Cal per 100g or better)
- Firepot dehydrated meals (they’re the best out there)
- Pip & Nut Almond & Coconut Butter Sachets
- Whole Almonds
- Perkier Quinoa bars
- Twiglets (yeast to deter midges)
- Dried Apricots (amazing carbs)
- Trail mix
- High5 Electrolyte Tablets
Camera wise (standard full kit):
- Fuji X-E2 Body
- Samyang 12mm F2 with Hoya PL-CIR
- Fuji XF 35mmF2 R WR
- Fuji XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R
- Tripod: Manfrotto BeFree
- 2x 16gb Sandisk Extreme cards
- 2x Batteries
- Remote shutter
- ND & ND Grad filters