ALPS Brand has been around since 1993 and launched ALPS OutdoorZ in 2007. The 20 plus years of experience in the field has catapulted ALPS OutdoorZ as a brand to be reckoned with in the hunting industry. They desire to give hunters in the field what they want; something that is practical, durable and user friendly, all without breaking the bank. The ALPS Commander Lite pack is no exception.
The first thing I noticed with this pack was the smaller profile and fairly lightweight design for a frame pack. With the shoulder harness fully adjustable to a torso range of 17” to 23”, I thought right away, this is a pack I could see myself getting used to in a hurry.
I quickly found it very easy and user friendly adjusting to my torso, with very little effort. Once in the settings I preferred, I noticed right away how comfy the padded waist belt and shoulder strap system were. The mesh back band fits nicely away from your back giving you proper ventilation, even when carry heavy loads. When in the field, I found my lower back even hitting the cool breezes and getting a chance to air out a little. The waist belt is also accommodating for those wanting to securely carry a hand gun.
The Commander’s lashing panels feature full length zippers with interior mesh pockets, to store any items you need to get you through those grueling pack-outs, with all that meat on your back. They are also large enough to carry my 40 oz thermos without any issues, if wanting to use it for water. The lower lashing system secures meat for those long hauls very well. In place of meat for this time of year, I used it to haul in 60-80 lbs. of feed with zero issues and still managed to be very comfortable in some very rough country. I could see this still being quite comfortable with 100 lbs. on your back.
ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Lite has definitely impressed me with its comfort, ease of adjustability and how well the smaller profile can handle the heavy loads. With 80 lbs. on my back, for a 3-mile hike-in at 10,000 ft elevation with tight quarters of small aspen trees everywhere, this great pack proved to hold its own in every category.
My name is Dan Kidder, I am Managing Editor of Sportsman's News Magazine. I am a former Marine who served with the Fleet Anti Terrorism Security Team Company during Operation Desert Storm. Prior to moving to Utah, I served as communications director for Georgia Congressman Mac Collins in his Washington, DC office. I am the President and CEO of On Target Defensive Training, offering firearms and unarmed combat courses to civilians and law enforcement. My students have included federal agents of the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, Border Patrol, ICE, local and state law enforcement, national celebrities, and the general public. My beat at Sportsman's News includes tactical firearms, personal protection, survival, first aid, camping, and hiking.