For anyone looking to backpack through Europe over the summer or just heading out on a big adventure that requires lots of public transport, the new Lowe Alpine Kulu packs are for you. Designed with a unique hipbelt system that secures safely to the side of the pack, you can create a compact piece of luggage to safely check on the airplane or stow in an overhead bin on the train.
The Kulu pack is your standard multi-day backpack but combined with a set of travel specific features to ease the stress of transit. The unique Travel FlipBelt technology allows you to stash the hipbelt during travel. Combined with the raincover/travel cover, the pack can be converted into a standard piece of haul luggage while protecting all components of the pack.
To operate the Travel FlipBelt, start by pivoting each arm of the hipbelt so it aligns with each side of the pack. Then connect the arms to the side of the pack using the buckles hidden beneath the side carry handles. This transforms the backpack into a travel-friendly shape, making it easier to check in when flying or throw in an overhead rack on the train.
Other Kulu backpack features include an aerated back panel to help with air flow as you traipse around town looking for a hotel. The back length is fully adjustable so you can dial in the fit for comfortable load carry. A large zippered front panel allows easy access to all your gear in the main compartment, with a lower entry to access your sleeping bag or to stow wet gear beneath the zip out divider.
The floating, removable lid includes a zippered pocket with key clip, while two large, stretch mesh side pockets are the perfect place to store water bottles or a rain jacket for easy access.
The Kulu packs weigh just under 4 pounds, so not your lightest, but they are made from a burly and durable 210-denier water-resistant fabric that will see you through tons of adventures. The pack is hydration compatible if that’s your thing.
The Lowe Alpine Kulu comes in two sizes for both men and women: 75:65 and 65:55 for men, 70:60 and 60:50 for women — retail price is $240-$260. The capacity differential is with and without the lid. Expect to see the backpacks dropping near the end of the summer — sadly a little late for this summer’s adventures but you can always prepare early for 2018.