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Arc'teryx Aerios 45

photo: Arc'teryx Aerios 45 overnight pack (35-49l)

This is an exceptional pack for burly day hikes all the way to four-night warm weather backpacking. It provides excellent functionality combined with superior organization and user-friendliness.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Great pockets
  • Good fit
  • Great organization

Cons

  • Slightly overcomplicated
  • Requires some experience

I purchased this pack specifically for the 11-mile, there-and-back Kalalau Trail, along Kauai’s Na Pali Coast.

It was perfect.

-Note the basic backpack sack combined with the multi-pocketed shoulder straps-

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Shoulder strap pockets and sternum strap design

To prepare for my trip to paradise I used the Aerios on several day hikes, fully weighted, around New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Loaded with three days worth of gear totaling between 40 and 45 lbs, this pack is a champion. The hip belt is simple. If anything, my hip belt could have been slightly smaller. I used a medium, I wear a men’s 33 waist, and at times I was close to maxed out. The shoulder straps were super comfortable and the sternum strap system, though complicated, worked great. The extra wide shoulder straps wrapped my shoulders and chest to provide maximum comfort.

-I packed the pack with under fifty pounds, but kept the hip belt super tight to lower my center of gravity as I hiked the varied terrain of the Kalalau.-

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Side view and water bottle pocket

More about the shoulder straps: many of us hardcore backpackers lean toward one side or the other. Some say, “give me a sack and straps and that’s it;” on the other side they say, “I want a separate pocket for every little thing.” These views at their extremes, and every view in between, have led to more than one interesting campsite discussion.

The Aerios settles these viewpoints in an elegant way. The main compartment is a sack. All my sleeping, sheltering, and dining items fit perfectly within the 45-liter main compartment. The shoulder straps themselves provide small pockets for everything from a Leatherman, a monocular, snack bars, energy gels, and H2O disinfection tablets. Additionally the hip belt has the now standard zip pocket on one side and slide pocket on the other.

4D5D9807-C17C-42EA-B4F8-F4AA6531DFC5.jpg
Leatherman, monocular, snacks, notebooks, and more just in the easy access shoulder strap pockets (note how cranked the hip belt is in this shot)

If this weren’t enough for the multi-pocket-crowd, the water bottle pockets on either side of the main pack are a triumph in themselves. Each is fantastically accessible to even the stiffest, least articulating wrists. I was able to pack a rain jacket and small water filter on one side and a one liter Klean Kanteen, bandana, and sheath knife in the other. All contents were easy to access and securely carried for days at a time.

-Each shoulder strap pocket is perfectly utilized for all those items I want to access easily and often, but without removing my pack to do so. The bungee for my trekking poles was great for multiple stream crossings.-

The daisy chain/bungee attachment points on the front of the Aerios are there for the gear tinkerers that love to personalize every aspect of their pack. But for the streamlined crowd, the bungees and daisy chains can be all but disappeared for a stealthy, clean look that verges on urban sheik. I used the bungees to attach my flip-flops for the Kalalau Trail, but for the grabby, overgrown trails of springtime in the Whites, I’ll remove all that I can to avoid frustrating thorns and vines grabbing the pack as I hike by.

Overall, the Aerios is well worth every penny for that perfectly designed pack that affords users every option, while providing hardcore, bomb proof basic pack construction. At the 45-liter mark, this is a burly day pack or an excellent 3-5 day summer pack. I’m psyched to get out there with my Aerios again soon!

Experience

Extensive backpacking experience all over the world with every kind of pack imaginable.

Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $175

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Specs

Men's
Price MSRP: $250.00
Current Retail: $250.00
Reviewers Paid: $175.00
Weight 1.09kg / 38oz / 45L
Activity Hiking / Trekking
Materials 100d Cordura nylon / 210d Cordura nylon 6,6 w/ 6.5 twisted 200d LCP grid
Women's
Price MSRP: $250.00
Current Retail: $250.00
Weight 1.02kg / 36oz / 45L
Activity Hiking / Trekking
Materials 100d Cordura nylon / 210d Cordura nylon 6,6 w/ 6.5 twisted 200d LCP grid
Product Details from Arc'teryx »

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