Arc'teryx Arrakis 40
I’ve used this pack while hiking and winter mountaineering…
Price Paid: $315
I’ve used this pack while hiking and winter mountaineering for nearly 3 seasons now and find it to be a very solid, comfortable and functional backpack. My size is Tall and thus, its 2,600+ cubic inch volume is suitable for fall, winter and early spring seasonal use when the demand for extras require greater pack volume.
When I first donned the pack, I immediately noticed the comfort provided by Arc'teryx’s Grid-Lock shoulder strap system and the accompanying pivoting lumbar pad hip-belt and Load Transfer Disc. The combination of the pivoting disc and comfortable suspension system immediately reduced stress on my back and the pack felt secured to my back with great comfort.
The lumbar pad hip belt was surprisingly comfortable, and I noticed that my hands and trekking poles were able to be closer to my hips during movement. Also, the Monoframe back-panel fits the shape of my back nicely.
Overall, these features provide a very pleasing feel. I’ve adjusted the Grid-Lock system twice to confirm the best feel and have never had to reposition since. It all works very well and without any noise, ever!
The outer fabric is very durable and takes a good beating. Its water-tight zippers keep items dry inside; however, I’m yet to fully test them in a serious downpour. The 3D shaped pattern works remarkably well and I’m never in want of more space. I can pack this thing right out to its limits.
I must confess that I’ve initially thought about how Arc'teryx should have perhaps added some sort of compression strap system on the outer sides of the pack, but I continue to be amazed at how well the 3D pattern shape works. Whether there is less or more in the pack, there really isn’t a need to cinch.
The roll-top closure is very accessible and enables quick opening and closure; I like this feature very much. The buckles and fasteners are strong and well made; their shape and functionality dictate well thought technology. The front kangaroo pocket is shaped and sized perfectly for my use and I especially like its full-length side access zipper. The top pocket is roomy and the internal pockets are very well thought out.
If you’re into hose and bladder use, as I am from time to time, the internal bladder sleeve, zippered hose cut-out (right side) and hose clip are great features. And, the hose clip will secure even the fattest of insulated hoses you’ll find on the market.
The pack’s external attachment features (lash ladders) work well and can secure just about anything and at different angles, depending on your needs. I first used lash ladders on a pack I purchased in the mid-1970’s and have always found them to be strong and they provide an excellent “lashing platform”.
I especially like the combination dongle/Velcro strap ice axe attachment for securing my axes onto the pack (i.e. a Bulldog axe or full length 80 cm ice axe). They sit at the right angle and are always very well secured.
Overall I rate this pack high and given its great comfort, durability and functionality I plan to use it well into the future.