User Review: Arc'teryx Arrakis 50
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $400
A unique offering. Excellent waterproof qualities. Exceptional adjustability and the load transfer disc really is an incredible concept.
- Quality construction
- Made in Canada
- Unknown long term durability
- Useless load-lifters
I finally pulled the trigger on this bag after lusting for over a year. I have not been let down!
First off. Most all Arc'teryx products are now produced overseas. This is one of the few exceptions. Their flagship packs continue to be made in Canada. This may not matter to some but it was a plus for me.
The quality of this pack is absolutely top notch! The bonding points seem bomb-proof. Time will tell (had this pack a bit over a year) but the technology looks to be sound. All zippers are waterproof but this bag is not submersible.
The ACT fabric is wonderfully tough. It is white on the inside which is really nice for seeing inside. It holds its shape as it is pretty stiff which can make the pack a bit awkward if underpacked because of the absence of compression but not an issue of function. Just leave the sleeping bag uncompressed to take up extra volume as needed. This is a very adjustable suspension system. The peg and slot system for the shoulder straps is quick and easy to use and unique in that it allows for width adjustment.
On that note, this pack will probably not fit you if you have a huge upper body. (I have the tall size) If you're built like a linebacker, the straps are going to dig in to your neck. Spend the time to bend the stays to fit your back. It will make all the difference but do this AFTER you get the shoulder straps set. The hip-belt is just wonderful. Zero complaints. Doesn't slide down or shift one bit and is not over padded or bulky. Overall this is a wonderfully comfortable pack!
This is a simple bag with a few exceptions. Essentially it is a roll top drybag but with a full length side zip as well as a kangaroo pocket (which is a lot bigger than I initially thought) and top pocket. It also has a long, skinny pocket designed for an avalanche probe. (fits my machete perfectly!) I find this is plenty of organization for me. If you're used to a pack with tons of zippers and pockets it will take some getting used to.
The hydration pocket looks to be sized for a 3L bladder but it is a tight squeeze and a major pain to get it in. On each side and the back there are cinch straps which can be adjusted and removed as desired. This is a great feature! Allows all types of tools and oversize items to be SECURELY strapped on. Also has a zippered hydration port.
The load-transfer disk is awesome! It lets you move much more freely that a conventional pack. I was initially concerned about grit and sand getting in between the disks and grinding away at the plastic but after a years use including camping on the beach, it seems the tolerances are so tight that nothing really gets in there. The only draw back to this idea comes when loads climb past 40lbs. You start to feel all the weight transfer into the disk and not the belt as a whole. This degrades comfort quite a large amount. The pack will take it but your back will suffer. Also of note: your back will sweat under the belt and pads!
I use this for general backpacking. Usually shorter trips due to the size and my non-minimalist style :) Mountains to beaches, I take this baby anywhere!
Overall this is a fantastic pack. Amazing comfort under 40lbs. Top notch build quality. Utterly waterproof. Top it off with good looks and its hard to go wrong. It is pricey and never goes on sale but a deal comes up every now and then. I say jump on it. One of the few packs that lives up to the hype.