bora 80

10:48 p.m. on February 3, 2009 (EST)
10 reviewer rep
193 forum posts

So I am looking into getting The Bora 80 pack by Arcteryx. I was looking at their site and they suggest that if you are in between pack sizes to go with the smaller size. A small size pack runs from 16 to 19 inches and the regular runs from 18 to 21 inches. My torso is 18.5 inches. I do however have a larger gerth(38" waist). Does anyone have any advice on which size I shoud get and do you know if the hipbelt sizes are different for the different pack sizes. Thanks in advance for any help!

5:20 a.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
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37 forum posts


Get the size for your back, which is medium, it looks to me*. The hip belts are interchangeable and you can get a larger one. (You might have to special order it if you wanted the larger belt). With your waist size, you may find that the hip belt straps cut in a bit once they get past the foam padding on the front. With a 34 waist (probably now closer to 36!) and a slightly longer back, using a medium, I found that the webbing straps were slightly uncomfortable across my belly after a big meal and wearing layers, for the reason stated. While it doesn't bother me, I could envision the belt sizing at the limits being more uncomfortable than the shoulder strap/back length sizing at their limits.

On the other hand, you might lose some weight once you start carrying a pack that size ;-) because it really does take about 7 days' gear to fill it, with some room left over.

All of that only matters if you cannot find anywhere to try one on, of course. When you get the pack, don't bother trying to make the alu staves conform to your back until you have the shoulder straps and hip belt, all the tensioners etc, sorted out. Then wait and see before trying to bend the staves, if it still isn't comfortable enough.

I have had my Bora 80 for about ten years, so you might want to verify any of the above with Arcteryx. Good luck and enjoy it: it's a great pack.


*they say to go with the smaller size on their website, I know, but with your overall size, it might not work out - for instance, you might have larger shoulder and neck muscles, rib cage, and so on. Also, did you have someone else measure your spine/hip crest to make sure? Check it again and email them, perhaps.

7:30 a.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
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193 forum posts

Thanks Jon,

I have been thinking about getting one for a while now after seeing my buddy's 95. actually I was pretty much sold after rhat.

The wait is something I am already working on. Believe it or not in october I had a size 42 waist and it was getting hard to enjoy myself hiking.

I did measure My spine/hip crest. I also di d send a messsage to them.

Thanks again for the help

1:29 p.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
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210 forum posts

I believe the larger REI's have replacement hip belts and shoulder straps, so you should be able to interchange them at the store.

Otherwise, order them online and you can always return it & swap it out.

I am told that the new-generation Boras are not as comfortable as the originals. I have a Bora 95 that is going on 6 years old, loaned it to a friend who ended up buying a brand new Bora 80, and he swears my pack is much more comfortable than his....

4:27 p.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
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119 forum posts

Even packs require some break in time.

9:18 p.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
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1,403 forum posts

I agree with travelnate; I have an older Bora 95 which is infinately more comfortable than the 80. It has to do with a more effecient load transfer design to the hipbelt.

I'm selling my Bora 95, actually, in a thread in the classifieds. I had a Naos 70 fitted to me and fell in love, so I'm trying to work my way towards one of those. My Bora 95 is a medium; my torso is 19" and the medium is perfect.

9:42 p.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
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193 forum posts

Thanks pillowthread I saw your pack there but I think its going to be bigger than what I need. I actually got in touch with Arc'teryx and they actuall sugessted going with the mid size for me as well. I will keep the pack in mind.

1:23 a.m. on February 5, 2009 (EST)
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1,902 forum posts

I know other people here love them, but have you actually tried one on? I had two of them. Got one off eBay that was too big for me and then another one I used once and then sold both of them. Very well made, but- very heavy, not very comfortable. It has a very stiff waistband that didn't fit me well at all. If you are big and have some extra pounds on you, it might be fine. I don't.

If you want a big pack, I'd look at Granite Gear or maybe the Kelty Cloud ($800 though) at half the weight.

I now have a Kelty that is a cousin of the Cloud. Very lightweight, pretty comfortable, no longer made though. Got a deal on it used.

4:27 a.m. on February 6, 2009 (EST)
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210 forum posts

I'm not big, i'm "fluffy" as one of our station managers calls me :-)


This discussions is anecdotal evidence of why we need this board: you get insight some 19 year old at the sports store will never tell you.


I have friends who rave and swear by Osprey, I don't care for them - just as I love my Bora 95, and I have friends who, as Tom D stated, said its way too heavy for them.


One warning about the Bora - its a lil TALL and can be a nuissance. And there's also plenty of room for rocks to be put in your bag too! So keep an eye on it!

3:26 p.m. on February 6, 2009 (EST)
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1,902 forum posts

Btw, I'm not saying it's a bad pack. I'm just saying it's not the pack for me. And yeah, I notice that too-it is tall. But it was the waistband that really bothered me. I solved my problem for winter camping by pulling a sled with almost nothing in my pack.

I carried a big pack with snowshoes on one short trip and it was just too much for me to handle.

Remember-big packs tend to get filled up "because, why not, I have the space." Bad idea.

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