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Lowe Vector Catalog

From the late 1970s until the early 1990s, Lowe Alpine Systems offered a military line of packs called Vector. I owned a Woodland LCS-85 pack which is similar to the LCS-84 seen here, but I had also used an OD LOCO at 3ID LRS. LOCOs are rarely found with the rappelling harness as those were used long after the packs were discarded. These are pages from their catalog from the mid-80s.

“In 1978 in response to their experience in the U.S. Special Forces, Greg and Mike Lowe began designing to the needs of the U.S. Army and Marines as well as search and rescue organizations. Today, based on wide ranging input from outdoorsmen, hunters, rescue groups, SWAT teams and the military, Vector has become the leader in backpack design and innovation.”

17 Responses to “Lowe Vector Catalog”

  1. Strike-Hold says:

    Wow, there’s a blast from the past! 🙂

    I remember seeing the LCS-84 system when it came out and thinking it was pretty rad. A bunch us were very keen to those picked up and issued by the 82nd – in fact, I’m pretty sure I remember one of my buddies writing a long recommendation to that effect.

    Of course we never got them. Had to use ALICE gear and rucksacks only because nothing else was approved or jump-certified.

    Whatever happened to this company?

    • mupp says:

      Lowe Alpine are still going, they supply the Irish defence forces with Bergans/patrol packs etc…

      • Eddie says:

        Much more than that. they also designed packs that are commercially used by the British army and the rucksacks for the Royal Netherlands army. Very popular nowadays.

      • Strike-Hold says:

        Thanks – I know they’re still active on the civilian side, I didn’t know if they’re still active on the military side. Thanks again.

    • corsair says:

      Lowe Alpine is owned by the same company who own’s Rab. Since that purchase, they’ve pulled back most of their North American business, particular with the market dominance of Osprey, the emergence of Dueter and ready availability of TNF, REI & Gregory. Their Triple Point Ceramic waterproof shells were the heat at the time, then cam along inexpensive 2.5-layer constructed shells and that just cut the legs out from under high-priced shell technology not named Gore-Tex.

  2. DSM says:

    I do believe these were the genesis of the CFP-90 ruck and the LBV/ELBV I was issued. The little day pack off the CFP-90 was the only part of the whole ruck that was worth a damn.

    • Kirk says:

      The problems with the CFP-90 and everything else from about that time frame stemmed from the folks at contracting going with the low bidders on all the work; I had a CFP-90 manufactured down in St. George, Utah by whoever got the contract, and that thing set beside one of the actual prototypes from Lowe…? Well, let’s just be polite, and say that the Lowe product was a thing of beauty and precision manufacture. The one from the general-issue contract? An abomination; half of the seams failed on that thing the first time I took it out, and it cost me a fortune to have it repaired and reinforced. Everything on it had been “value-engineered” to death, and even the pack cloth wasn’t as good as the Lowe product.

      Lowe did some excellent design work, but the necessary translation to mass-production? Horrible things happened.

      • DSM says:

        Exactly what I was implying. They took a well thought out and quality item and hired someone to make an issued turd for a couple bucks. I blew out three CFP90s in as many years and let’s not wax poetic that I was a front line trooper either, just an ordinary AF security troop carrying his gear to and fro work, deployments, occasional field exercises and the infrequent foot movement. The internal frame parts were the softest aluminum I’d ever seen and the bolts would strip out of them. Seams would burst all over. Not ideal at all. I kept an ALICE in ready reserve just in case.

        Now, the two exceptions are the very first CFP90s were actually decent rucks. They used a heavier weight pack cloth, I’d say a 1000d compared to the later, lighter material that always blew out. I’ve still got one of the original day packs that’s over 20yrs old now that’s been from here to there many times and is still holding up very well. The other is its padded waist belt. If you integrated that thing onto your LBV you had a thing of pure comfort and joy. It was ALICE clip compatible and unless you needed the eyelets of the issued pistol belt to lash something down you’d never miss it.

  3. redbeard says:

    I was issued the Vector. It was a bad idea from the start and we all knew it. While not terribly uncomfortable to wear, it was heavy and over-optioned. It kind of seemed like a ALICE with a mountaineering bag shape.

  4. Brando says:

    We had an awesome Lowe ruck in 1/10SF back in the early 90s – I think it was the CF90. It could almost fit a case of Maisel’s-Weisse.

  5. TexasKrypteia says:

    I was issued a CF90. Used it for a few mountain ops, but mainly stuck with the mountain Alice ruck. I did “acquire” a second Vector that I cannibalized for my custom H Harness.

  6. Keld says:

    I bought the Vector Salient and the Samson rucks. Best rucks I have ever used.

  7. Kevin says:

    I love the history of the industry that you find on this page…kinda makes me miss the gear guru page. I would really enjoy seeing more legacy catalog segments like this!

  8. Mike says:

    I had a civilian Lowe pack in the mid-80s. Almost as large as the LCS-84, with the “Torso-Trac” suspension system. I like the pack, and it was sturdy (even survived a mountain goat chewing most of the way through one of the shoulder straps in Glacier National Park). But the Torso-Trac sucked. You couldn’t screw the tightening screws tight enough to keep it from slipping under a heavy load (fortunately for me I’m tall, and needed it almost at the top of the slide anyway). And after several years, the plastic became brittle and shattered, making the pack useless and unrepairable. I threw it away after that. Great pack otherwise, and it’s not a coincidence that they stopped using that suspension system shortly after this catalog was printed.