ALP by Alpine Designs followed the Alp Sport label, but predicated Alpine Designs in the company’s lineage. I’d estimate this bag to date from the mid to late 60s possibly into the early 70s. The Bag is constructed of nylon and down fill. Unlike many other bags of the latter era this is not a “Mummy Bag”. There’s no built-in hood, though there is a draw string around the top to seal in heat. The draw would be held closed by the leather tabs. This suggests the bag predates innovations such as the cord lock and the popularity of the mummy bag. The bag also has ties at the top to hold the bag when rolled, so it doesn’t come with a stuff sack. It could however be transported in that manner for safer keeping.
Early external frame pack boards were made from wood or solid metal, then came the aluminum. The innovators at Alpine Designs saw a new progression in this pack made of a PVC plastic frame. It’s definitely one of the most unique external frame packs I’ve encountered, and probably for good reason. The use of plastics instead of aluminum seems to save no weight at all (if not adding some). It’s also hard to imagine this plastic could withstand the stresses, shock and temperatures of an aluminum frame. Still this pack has survived rather well with no cracks and all plastic hardware intact.
Regardless of materials, this pack is very well constructed with plenty of details that make it Alpine Designs. Leather zip assist tabs, integrated pack handle on the frame, and innovative lace loops to secure the top hatch to name a few. This pack also features very thinly padded shoulder and waist straps. It has no lashing squares but does have two pair of D rings on the underside.
Pack make-up includes:
1 top entry main compartment
1 front entry second main compartment
2 top entry side canister pockets
2 front entry secondary side canister pockets
1 small front entry compartment on the outside of the secondary main compartment.