The North Face Alteo 50 Pack - 2012 Closeout Specs
The North Face Alteo 50 Pack - 2012 Closeout
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The North Face Alteo 50 Pack - 2012 Closeoutis rated5.0out of5by3.
Rated5out of5bynsmfromGreat beginner packThis was my first time backpacking, and this pack is great. No complications, has a hydration bladder pocket, plenty of places to hook stuff on, large lid pocket (with inner zipper pocket).
The capability to open it from the front makes it very easy to access stuff at the bottom of the pack without having to unpack or mess up items at the top.
The ventilation at the back is excellent. I sweat a lot and this keeps most of my shirt dry, except for a patch near the hips, which makes the hike very comfortable.
Date published: 2013-03-04
Rated5out of5byWhammyfromStellar PackI'll just go ahead and echo what Medic Nate has already said. I basically agree with his review 100%. It's very lightweight but you could go lighter and the suspension system is amazingly cool.
What I wanted to add is that the front zipper is much more useful than it appears. Before purchasing the bag, I determined that the front zipper went down the right side of the pack. When I got it, I thought it was a waste of weight since I it barely opens. It took me months to figure out that there's a second zipper adjacent to it running along the top. When both are opened, a glorious flap appears giving quite useful access to the main compartment and the mesh pocket on the inside of said flap. I would say you *could* pack the bag completely front the front, but you definitely wouldn't. It's very useful for quick access to key items placed near the opening.
Other pack designs have similar access, but I appreciate this more minimal, 2-side design since it saves an unnecessary 3rd zipper.
I too, only carry inside the pack, but have tried lashing items to the bottom straps. It's easy and secure enough. Unfortunately, the rain cover fits very snug and does not accommodate anything outside the pack. (Of course it rains the one time I had gear lashed on!)
I'd also like to note that the rain cover is bright red. If you look closely at the pictures you may see a little red tag with an umbrella symbol over the left pocket. It comes in said pocket and is that exact color. I consider the bright color a pro, but you may not. If you don't like the red and/or you lash stuff to the pack, it's simple enough to find a different cover.
Another pro or con may be the bag's reflective elements. At night, with any light, it's a UFO hovering down the trail. Again, looking at the picture, you may see a gray, 2 inch wide strip in between the top pole straps. It's like those reflective anklets joggers wear, and there are plenty of them. Again, for me it's a pro, I like to been seen in more dangerous conditions.
The pockets are an awesome size, and quality stretch material makes them extremely versatile. The only downside I've found is there's no fast way to secure a Nalgene wide-mouth. The elastic pull cords just aren't long enough. I went ahead and added my own shock cord and solved the problem completely for $1. Consequently, I discovered that the cord ends are made of three tiny, fragile pieces so I don't recommend messing with them too much, at least not on the trail when you can lose or break them.
I find the fastex buckles on the pack to be a little strange. I see no reason for TNF to go pioneering a two prong design instead of sticking with convention. Normally, there's a middle prong to help index them as you're clipping in. With TNF's design, it's easy to miss half the buckle. (This was barely worth mentioning.)
My only remotely significant complaint is the construction of the hip belt mesh pocket zippers. They've got a quiet design, which is nice, but that means fabric between the zipper teeth and the pull itself. It's prone to being hard to zip when it's dirty. I like one handed operation in a zipper, and it's not always easy on these. The zippers don't jam per se, they just resist.
I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but you've read enough. If this bag is in your size and price range, buy it already.
Date published: 2013-01-31
Rated5out of5byMedic NatefromFantastic PackThe North Face Alteo 50 has to be my favorite pack of all time. I tend to travel with fairly light gear. Not ultralight, but the closest you can get without tripling the cost of your setup. This pack can fit everything I need for a week trip (if I pack carefully).
The frame is solid, the fit is great, and it sits perfectly on the hips with little impingement on the shoulders / trapezius. I've only worn a dozen or so packs in my life, but this is definitely the most comfortable after a long day of trekking around. The range of motion lost when wearing this pack is very low as well. I wouldn't take it up a face or anything, but it does leave you pretty free.
The ventilation on the pack is fantastic as well. It's good to get a breeze through there when hiking around in the heat. Even in temperate climates, the breeze is pretty nice. If you trek in areas that are below freezing, I imagine it would be less of a positive.
I store my sleeping bag and tent inside the main compartment, not strapped to the bottom. So if you were curious, that is possible with some effort and the right gear.
Overall I couldn't be happier, the aesthetics of the 2012 model is infinitely superior to the new 2013 in my opinion. The pack is excellent. No real complaints so far.
Date published: 2013-01-19
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The North Face Alteo 50 Pack - 2012 Closeout Customer Reviews