User Review: Arc'teryx Bora 95
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $165
Had it for nearly 10 years. It's a brute trooper. For carrying 10 days' worth of stuff, nothing tops it.
- Convenient access to everything
- Not a wasted or weird pocket anywhere
- Large profile makes nimble navigation in brush a problem
- A bit heavy base weight
- Back fits well, but sweats due to limited ventilation
- Waist strap pouches would be nice to have
Cf. my Osprey Atmos 65 review on this site. This pack has made it on difficult trails in the White Mtns admirably, but it's really way more pack than I need for 2-3 days. But when it comes to anything longer, it's a dominant monster. I have my entire Burning Man resources in it easily (except, of course, for gallons and gallons of water), and walk with it comfortably.
All straps, pouches, zippers are straight-forward, well-planned, and obvious as to their purpose and uses. I underscore this, because—while I love my Osprey Atmos 65 for a shorter hike—this thing is straight-forward, non-confusing, and nothing is wasted. The Osprey had a few things (inner pocket with zipper at top but no bottom to it ... for example ... or an utterly stupid claim "hydration" pouch that requires a lock-picker and bulldozer to get into and out of) that made me scratch my head and go "— nothing like that in the Arc'teryx design.
As to structure, the Arc-teryx is very nicely back-conformed which works well for big loads. At 6', 165lbs, it's very comfortable and rides well. It does ride heavy, but then, you're carrying 5-10 days' of stuff ... however, I did not have any real back pains or other trouble from it, it distributed changing loads well and fairly. I keep it in the vestibule of my Marmot Swallow and the side zipper makes for a perfect closet for all that I need without leaving my tent (GREAT for dust storms on the playa!).
The removable, fanny-pack-strapped top compartment is simply sublime. Steve Jobs would have loved that design ... it's simple, perfect, and so adaptable to multiple uses. Multiple kudos to the designer of that little touch.
It is brute strong, and the extra weight you see in the near indestructible fabric, zippers, etc. While I love my new Osprey Atmos 65 for weight, I challenge it to hold up to all the 10 years of hell I put this Arc'teryx through. I knew nothing of the Arc'teryx when I found it at an REI sidewalk sale for under $180 ... wow, did I get a steal.
I like it so much, I actually apologized to it after taking my Osprey out last weekend instead of it for a 3-day outing. When it's more than 3 days worth of stuff, and the conditions and situations are gonna be tough, this is the pack to have.