UKC

Lowe Alpine Misfit 27 Pack Review

So far this year we've reviewed the other two packs in the Lowe Alpine Rock Range - the Rogue 48 and the Outcast 44. The Misfit 27 represents the third and final pack in the range. It is also the smallest, so has something of a point of different to the other two, which are primarily focussed at the trad and sport climber. The Misfit best serves the need of the boulderer, both indoors and out, but like the others it can do more than initially meets the eye.

The Lowe Alpine Misfit is perfect for bouldering or solo circuits, where you don't need to carry too much kit  © UKC Gear
The Lowe Alpine Misfit is perfect for bouldering or solo circuits, where you don't need to carry too much kit
© UKC Gear

Functionality

While the Misfit is primarily aimed at boulderers it could also be used as a minimalist sport climbing pack, as there's just enough room for a harness, quickdraws, boots and chalk. That said, at 27L it's not a big pack, so you'd want a separate rope bag. If it's space you're after then look to its larger (and closest) cousin, the Outcast 44. When it comes to spec, and to a certain extent features, the two share a lot in common: the Misfit, in spite of its small size, has a proper back system, bombproof materials and a handful of well thought out features.

Fit and Comfort

Much like the other packs in the Rock Range, the Misfit features a proper back system, with an internal sprung steel frame that, say Lowe Alpine, helps transfer the load onto the hip belt. On the one hand this could appear like overkill for such a small pack, but on the other it does mean that it carries well regardless of what you've got in it. As such, you can stuff either a couple of items in knowing that they won't form a bump into your lower back, or you can fill it full and go heavy, knowing that either way, it'll carry well.

Were there to be a downside it is that this ultimately has a knock-on effect on the weight - more on that below.

Capacity

At 27L the memo for the Misfit is very much for shorter days where you need less gear (hence being perfect for bouldering).

The pack features a single, chunky zip running around its outside, with a hinge at its base. Because this hinge is a lot shorter than on the Outcast (which features its hinge along the side) it does make the pack a little more difficult to close. This issue is further compounded by the fact that its two compartments (more about these later) are a lot shallower due to a lack of size, which is something to be aware of. If it feels too small, which for me it did on longer days, then check out the Outcast.

On the whole it potentially feels a little small for 27 litres, but I think this could be down to the issues outlined above, so may or may not be the case in reality.

Weight and Build Quality

The Misfit comes in at 1kg, which given its size is realistically at the heavier end of the spectrum; however, if you've read the reviews for the rest of the range this shouldn't come as a surprise, since they're not designed to be lightweight - they're designed to be comfortable and durable (and the Misfit succeeds in both). Given that all the features cross over from the Outcast 44 and Rogue 48 - two packs we've thoroughly put through their paces over the summer - it's fair to say that the Misfit is going to last. Yes the weight probably makes it unappealing as a multi-pitch pack, but that isn't what it's been designed for - hence isn't something I would consider a downside.

It's a bit of a stretch, but it does fit a Nalgene  © UKC Gear
It's a bit of a stretch, but it does fit a Nalgene
© UKC Gear

Features

The Misfit, much like the Outcast, features two separate compartments. The outer compartment has twin zip access and a mesh lining, making it ideal for items such as rock boots, chalk bags and other bits and bobs. The inner compartment is probably best for your lunch and/or any spare clothing you might have.

On the outside there are two side pockets, one constructed of mesh which can, with a bit of a squeeze, fit a litre bottle, and the other which is designed with clipstick in mind. As a result, it is constructed of a more durable material, so you can stuff it in and out without worrying about the material around it being damaged. This is an elegant solution to a problem which no other brand seems to have identified, but does occur in practise.

When it comes to storage there's two pockets. The larger one on the top is perfect for guidebooks, phones and other bits and bobs. The smaller, security pocket is located on the inside of the pack and that is ideal for safe storage of your keys.

Whilst volume adjustment hasn't been a big problem, mostly because the pack only has a limited amount of volume anyway, there are volume adjusting side straps.

Summary

The Misfit hasn't really been my favourite pack in the Lowe Alpine Rock Range, but that could be a little unfair on it given the strength of both the Outcast 44 and the Rogue 48. A potential influencing factor is that the smaller hinge makes it a little trickier to pack, which - given that it's a pack - isn't ideal, but there's plenty of positives - it's bombproof, built to last and is uncluttered in its design.

Lowe Alpine say:

The Misfit 27 is a fast and versatile crag bag, full of features designed to make it easy to get moving at the cliff, climbing gym or boulder crag. Featuring the TriFlex carry system, an internal spring steel frame helps transfer the weight to the lumbar and hip belt, for a supportive carry.

The Misfit 27 has a wide front-opening for quick and easy access to your gear. With a top carry handle, zipped guidebook pocket and a stretch mesh side pocket, our 27-litre crag bag features a unique reinforced external pocket, specially designed to stash a clip-stick. With an internal security pocket, internal mesh dividers and a gear loop for quickdraws, the Misfit 27 climbing backpack is the go-to solution for a stripped back bouldering session or a day climb.

  • Volume: 27 litres
  • Weight: 1kg
  • Back System:TRIFLEX™
  • Dimensions: 53 x 31 x 23cm
  • Internal mesh divider
  • Easy to use zip sliders with cord pullers
  • Spring steel frame
  • Sternum strap with whistle
  • Removable waist belt
  • Moulded back panel
  • SOS panel
  • Key clip
  • Internal HDPE stiffener
  • Internal gear loop
  • Internal security pocket
  • Climbing / day pack
  • Zipped panel loader
  • Upper side compression straps with retainers
  • Top carry handle
  • External zipped guide book pocket
  • External clip-stick pocket
  • Stretch mesh side pocket

For more info see rab.equipment



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