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Contour IV Pack
Gear Review

Contour IV Pack


Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: Contour IV Pack

Manufacturer: Lowe Alpine

Your Opinion: 
 - 6 Votes


Page By: dsnell

Created/Edited: Aug 5, 2003 / Aug 5, 2003

Object ID: 773

Hits: 9581 


The Contour IV is Lowe's tried and true load bearing pack. The pack is a top loader, but it has a double zipper panel for the sleeping bag compartment (near the bottom of the pack) that can be used to load stuff from at the bottom. Includes a lid with a zipper pocket and a zippered outer compartment. The pack has two wand pockets and two ice axe loops. Click here for more product specs from Lowe.


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dsnellUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

I bought an earlier version of this pack back in 1992 and have used it on all sorts of adventures since then. The pack has lugged gear for me on numerous mountains, backpacking trips, rock climbing outings, and even a three-week trip to Europe. The pack is extremely durable and can stand up to tremendous abuse. I still use it today.

While the pack carries moderate loads very well (20-30lbs), I feel the shoulder straps cutting into me when I overload it (40+lbs), especially after a few hours.

Since 1992, however, Lowe has completely redesigned the pack and has added a more sophisticated suspension. I would be curious to see how the pack handles heavy loads since these changes.
Posted Aug 5, 2003 11:02 pm

Matt KUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

I purchased this backpack as a closeout model in 1999 for only $150. It is an overall fantastic backpack. I find that it carried loads very well, with minimal comfort problems.

Large loads (44+ lbs.) disappear into this cavernous pack and if properly loaded, do not sway. The pack is great for winter backpacking or anytime you need tons of gear.

Small loads are compressed better than average. I do use a different pack when carrying less than 40 lbs, because this backpack does weigh quite a bit (6+ lbs.) When carrying smaller loads I use an Osprey Aether 60.

The construction is bomb-proof, I have abused this backpack and it doesn't show much wear and tear at all.

Advantages: large size, great construction, very large sleeping bag compartment, comfortable, can find good deals on closeouts as they update it fairly often, not too many bells and whistles

Disadvantages: large size lets you bring too much stuff, hard to reach water bottle pockets when you are wearing it, quite heavy by todays standards, no true h20 pocket although you can put a bladder in the top pocket (I am sure newer models have adjusted for hydration bladders since many people use them today)
Posted Dec 4, 2003 7:30 pm

neodayUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

I have a 1998 version of the pack and the only visible dammage was from going through baggage claim at Denver Airport. Great pack. Has hauled everything from 60lb winter trips and gear to a woman off longs peak (check out the longs peak page for a picture). I will not be getting another expedition pack until this one dies. Mine could use more pockets, but it looks like the newer ones have them. Not too fancy, no bells/whistles, just a great pack. Make sure the aluminum stays are fitted to your back and that you adjust them after every heavy cary trip. You will be much happier
Posted Aug 23, 2004 4:10 pm

bustinminsUntitled Review

Voted 3/5

Lowe Contour IV 1996 model. Many upgrades to the suspension have occured since I got mine so take that into account when reading this review. This was my first internal frame backpack and the reason I chose this one is mainly due to price. I don't have a very well define hip structure and this pack continuously slid down my body. The hip belt was pretty rigid. The pack itself, no complaints. Very durable and stuffable. I put the 500 c/u side pockets on it to enable it to carry my water bottles and fuel external to the food. Over all, the pack served me well and broke me into the sport. If you have the money - I'd recommend the Arc' Teryx Bora series for your next purchase. The weight and stuffable capacity is about the same but the COMFORT is much better. Overall, if you can't afford anything but this pack - you're going to be happy with it. They have made lots of improvements in the suspension and thus my rants and raves are probably for naught.
Posted Feb 26, 2005 8:27 am

Erik BeelerUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

My first real hauler. I used this pack for years and it was durable and worth the purchase price. I can't give it four stars because this pack does not have a top suspension system or a great hip belt. In fact it was the hip belt on this pack that sent me looking for another pack to replace it. i started hauling heavier loads up in RMNP for camping and then some trad climbing the next day. Pack loads near 65 lbs would leave burises on my hips because I had to pull the belt soooo tight to keep it from sliding down and transfering the load to my shoulders.

All in all a good purchase and for lighter loads should be good for most of you.
Posted Oct 3, 2005 3:36 pm

phoxtrotContour 4

Voted 4/5

I purchased an older version of this pack in the 90's and it remains to be one of my favorite backpacks. It has a huge capacity, easy to access sleeping bag compartment, and has been very comfortable with heavy loads. +/- 60 lbs. It fits my 6'3" 220 lb frame very well. In my experience, packs to fit larger men have not been easy to come by.
Posted Oct 6, 2008 5:23 pm

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