User Review: Arc'teryx Bora 80
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200
Arc'teryx left no stone unturned.
- Great suspension
- Gear loops and straps galore
- Nearly waterproof
- Will outlive me
- Almost too many straps
I picked up a Bora 80 on end of season closeout, and apparently they aren't making them anymore. I feel lucky to get one, but at the same time, it's older technology, hence the phase out to focus on Arc'teryx's newer packs.
Fit: I'm about 5'9.5" 165 lbs, normal build with slightly longer than average legs and shorter torso. I went with the short version of the pack, after measuring my torso. I could have gone with either a short or a regular, decided on the short for a few reasons.
First and most important, the short was on sale, the regular was not. Second, 80 liters is a huge pack. The short is a bit smaller, and I figured I'd be fine with smaller (less weight, less bulk). The fit is good, but not great. Based on my torso measurement, I should have fit in the short with about an inch to go. I have the thing maxed out, it can't go ANY bigger, and it just barely fits me. If I were to grow an inch, I would be out of luck. Good thing I won't.
Comfort: Both good and bad here. Overall, very good. The hip belt is AMAZING. It's huge, thick, ultra supportive, but not overly mushy. Hands down my favorite feature of this pack, especially since a huge part of the weight is riding here. I've looked at newer hip belts on the Altra and other models, and I think that the weight penalty would be worth it to have this hip belt on any pack I own.
The shoulder pads are similar, very nice foam, not mush, very supportive, and thick. You get what you pay for here. I recently did a 10 to 15 mile trip over 2 days, with about 60lbs in the pack (rapelling gear, photo equipment, etc), and it felt like much less. However, after miles with the pack, there is a plastic part of the frame that sits just behind the shoulder straps that digs into my shoulder blades. Hopefully it will get softer over time, and eventually I get used to it, but it's a weird little anomaly.
Overall, amazingly comfortable pack.
Capacity: It's huge. 80 liters. Pretty much big enough for a week or more.
Organization: I really like how it's organized. 3 main areas to put stuff. The very bottom pocket, about the right size for a compressed sleeping back and pillow or some clothes or something. Massive main area, and then the top area, which is pretty big as well. Very few side pockets or places to store small things. I like it like it is, I don't like small pockets that much, they aren't an efficient use of space IMO.
Ride: It's great. 60lbs feels much lighter, the hip belt is fantastic. I'm sore for a few days on my hips after using it, but to be expected, I have bony hips.
Compression: This pack is the king of compression. There are 3 straps on either side for compression. Two across the bottom. A few across the top. Shoulder and hip load lifter straps. Straps errywhere.
Ease of use: Pretty good. Huge pack, very few pockets. Sometimes the straps can be an annoyance, but they are there for a reason, obviously. Bottom zipper compartment can be a pain to get into when there's stuff in the compartment above it.
Features: Not too much out of the ordinary. Good simple backpack.
Durability: Great, no complaints, will last for a good while.
Great backpack, super comfortable, does it all. However, it's heavy. But comfortable.