Lowe Alpine: The Dream of Brothers Greg and Jeff Lowe
In 1967, many things were changing in the United States. The younger generation was advocating for changes, and the climbing and mountaineering movement was no stranger to the revolution that was brewing.
One of the most revolutionary mountaineers at the time was starting to stand out: Jeff Lowe. Forerunner and pioneer of the clean and alpine style, he would soon amaze the world with his more than 1,000 first ascents in the Rockies, Alaska, Alps, Himalayas, and other mountain ranges around the world, all of them faithful to his ethical way of conserving the mountain and wildlife.
A few of his climbs, such as the South of Ama Dablam which he soloed, (the third solo in the history of the mountain) have not been repeated. While others, such as Metanoia, in the North of the Eiger, it took 25 years for Huber, Schaeli and Siegrist to climb it in 2017, and it is still considered one of the most committed routes in the world of mountaineering.
His brother Greg Lowe, also Jeff's rope partner, joined the backpack venture with his brother from their hometown of Ogden, Utah. Part of their time was spent trying to solve the problems that backpacks gave them and the rest of the climbers which included being uncomfortable, heavy, not very ergonomic, and making climbing ever the more difficult.
Soon after, he created the Expedition Pack, which was designed for climbing and had a flexible internal frame, sternum strap and side compression straps. With that, Lowe Alpine was born and modern mountain backpacks became what we know them as today. This certainly was a revolutionary breakthrough.
The success was immediate and Outside Magazine included it in their list of "The Most Influential Gear of All Time". It was a very important advancement that will be understood by those who have tried some of the backpacks used until then, and that led to the development of the fast and alpine style promoted by Jeff Lowe.
Thanks to Jeff and Greg, the brand became one of the most prestigious manufacturers in the world. Packs included attack backpacks, mountaineering, climbing, hiking, skiing, expedition backpacks, travel bags, and fanny packs. All were made with extreme quality and loaded with innovations that -as can be seen with the Expedition Pack- open a path that most have followed since then.
They laid the foundations for what would become a modern backpack for climbing and mountaineering with the Expedition Pack. They were also the first to create a range of backpacks for women, adapted to the female anatomy, and the first to create a state-of-the-art ventilation system with the AirZone, which remains in full force ten years later. These packs are probably the most comfortable in the world and have the best cushioning systems for high-load backpacks like the Aixon, and many other novelties.
Fifty years later, Lowe Alpine, the brand of the Lowe brothers remains one of the world's leaders in backpacks for the mountains and the outdoors.