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Arc'teryx Altra 75

rated 4.0 of 5 stars

The Altra 75 has been discontinued. It was replaced by the Arc'teryx Bora AR 63.

photo: Arc'teryx Altra 75 expedition pack (70l+)

The Arc'teryx Altra is a good pack, the swivel belt helps adjust all weight, the pack literally moves with me! When I put 50 lbs in it, as long as I have properly distributed the weight it feels like I have 30 lbs due to the swivel belt.

I would recommend the Altra to experienced backpackers. It is very pricey. If you are looking for the perfect pack for your next month-long trip, check this pack out!


  • Waist belt
  • Quality of material
  • Full body zipper
  • Great strapping system


  • Zippers are not all waterproof
  • Doesn't feel like it is actually made to fit 75 liters
  • Swivel belt is located in center and with 50+ lbs can put you off balance.

OK, first of all this is my first "high quality backpack." Before I used cheaper stuff, and while it worked, after a 200-mile hike I was wanting something good. I went to an outfitting store and I must confess, I was looking at Osprey brand packs. A sales associate came by and when I said about what I like doing, want in a pack, and plan to do in the future, she told me to check out the Altra. It was love at first sight.

I put it on, felt the nice swivel as I moved my hips, and knew this might be for me. We put about 30 lbs in the pack for me to test it, and I went around the stairs and a course; I was sold.

The con was the price of the pack, but I realized that while the Osprey brand packs were about $100 cheaper, the swivel belt was worth it. After a lot of looking into the pack and other reviews, I returned and bought the pack.

I have only put 150-200 miles on it so far (I got it in January of 2014) but it has been a perfect time. At first I had problems, I had to get used to distributing the weight just right with the pack, otherwise it would be a hassle, but after practice I found the perfect point for me.

I took the Altra on a six-day backpacking trip along the OHT in Arkansas for my spring break and this proved to be the best test of the pack. It worked smoothly and I had almost no complaints (I will touch this point in a bit).

OK, so I have told my experience with the pack, now down to the details. As I have said before, the swivel belt is amazing. My pack has the headrest area, so I can properly lean my head back and look up without hitting my head against the pack! This was amazing because I love looking around while adventuring.

This pack has one large main pouch, and an extra pouch outside of the main part of the pack, and a large "brain" which has two uppers pockets and a pocket on the underside of the "brain" there is an abundance of compression lines and other pulleys, allowing you to adjust the pack to how you like it.

As for hydration bladders, instead of the traditional pouch down the middle, the Altra has its pouch for your hydration sack on the inside on the right flap of your pack. This is quite nice because you don't have to worry about putting all the weight from other gear on it, but a bit of a pain for those of us who like to have the hydration hose on our left side (a very minor complaint). There is a bottom flap to fit your tent or sleeping bag on, and two side pockets for your water bottles.

Now be wary when you buy your pack. There was a malfunction with the buckles and some of the Altras do NOT have the Arc'teryx brand buckle on when you buy them. This was my case and the buckle on the pack was very annoying and had to be constantly readjusted. But I called Arc'teryx about this and they told me I had a malfunction, and they sent me the right buckle free of charge and the staff was very kind.

The pack is water resistant, so if you are just having light rain I wouldn't worry, but anything serious and I get the pack cover out. The problem is that you have all theses zippers on the pack, which are great, but they are not waterproof so the water will seep in.

I love my Altra and think it is the perfect pack for me (but am always open to try new stuff). I would recommend you look at your needs and wants, look at the pros and the cons, try the pack out, and see if this pack is right for you.

* December 7, 2018 * update 4 years later- after putting about 2000 miles on this pack

After extensive use of the pack my opinions have changed drastically. The weight balance of the pack is not good for loads beyond 45-50 lbs, I have been on steep ridges which require interesting body movements, and the weight can shift suddenly; this has resulted in me almost falling off severe drop off that would result in death. The hip belt has the ability to be taken off for transportation, but after some use will randomly pop off, which is annoying. At this stage there are much better and cheaper packs on the market now.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $437 (including tax)

Lived out of it for a year. Comfortable and extremely durable. Access is excellent.


  • Super durable
  • Comfortable
  • Access


  • Quibble: Grabbing water bottle from pocket is difficult

I lived out of this pack for a year in Morocco, South Africa, Turkey, and Indonesia.  In that time I did long distance hiking (carrying lots of food, water, tent gear) in the Drakensberg Range, the Lycian Way in Turkey, and simple backpacking around Bali and Morocco. 

My wife had to get a new backpack after that trip.  I just looked at my Altra and it shows very little wear and is perfectly functional. Amazingly, I bought it second-hand at the REI used gear sale and I'll be using it again on our next trip.

I have to admit, I was skeptical of the practicality and durability of the hip belt disc, but on those days when I was loaded down with tons of food, I was glad I had it. 

Source: bought it used
Price Paid: about $250

Granted, I have only used this pack twice, but it is EXTREMELY comfortable and the accessibility to items is unparalleled. When the pack was first delivered, it had a small tooth broken on the load-transfer disc.

Arc'teryx is the best company I have ever dealt with, concerning a warranty. As soon as I dropped the "Return for Warranty" box, They shipped out the new one. I used it for a 3-day and 5-day A.T. trip, and it was OUTSTANDING. The load transfer disc gave me extreme range of motion. I LOVE THIS PACK.


  • Comfort
  • Easy access to everything
  • innovative design
  • Great warranty/customer service


  • The first one I received was slightly damaged
  • The free moving hip belt takes some getting-used-to
  • Needs to also be in LEAF line, with camo/earth tone colors

I originally ordered this pack, and when I received it had a tooth missing on the female end of the load transfer disc(To tell you the truth, I think I actually broke it). Arc'teryx emailed me a new return label immediately because I lost the original that came with it.  As soon as they had verification that I had dropped the broken one off at FedEx, they shipped the new one, same day.

When I received the new one, I immediately got to work fitting it to me and trying different load outs. It was amazing how many packing options I had. The upside-down U-shaped opening to the main storage compartment is AWESOME. There was not an item in my load out that I could not access withing 15 seconds. The "Smaller {Not Really)" front pocket on the outside of the main compartment is very long and can support a rolled up sleeping mat. I can actually fit my AR-15 in this pocket, and I am currently thinking of ways to pad and support the rifle while in there.

The first trip was very rainy, and I did not yet own a rain cover for the pack. It was exposed to a lot, and was more water resistant than I would have thought. The second trip was picturesque, and we ended up doing a lot more miles than we originally intended. It was terribly comfortable. I was not expected these trips to be as comfortable, because my girlfriend is new to backpacking and I was carrying a lot of stuff for her.

I love Arc'teryx stuff! Yes, it is expensive! But that extra money is going into innovative research, development, and design. Because of this, I have found everything that I have I gotten from them to be extraordinary. I think Arc'teryx should write me a check, because I am their biggest Fan-boy. 

Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: Well under MSRP

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Regular Tall
Price MSRP: $399.00
Historic Range: $279.99-$479.00
Reviewers Paid: $250.00-$437.00
Weight 2.3 kg / 81 oz 2.4 kg / 85 oz
Capacity 75 L / 4577 cu in, extends to 82 L / 5004 cu in 79 L / 4821 cu in, extends to 86 L / 5248 cu in
Materials 100D Invista HT Mini Ripstop™ with Silicone and PU Coatings, 420ACT Fabric, 420D Invista HT Plain Weave, EV®50 Foam, Hypalon™ Trim, Spacermesh™, 210D Ripstorm™ with Silicone and PU Coatings, 840D Stretch Mesh, EV®50 Perforated Foam, 6061 Aluminum Stays, Plastazote® HD80® 100D Invista HT Mini Ripstop™ with Silicone and PU Coatings, 420ACT Fabric, 420D Invista HT Plain Weave, EV®50 Foam, Hypalon™ Trim, Spacermesh™, 210D Ripstorm™ with Silicone and PU Coatings, 840D Stretch Mesh, EV®50 Perforated Foam, 6061 Aluminum Stays, Plastazote® HD80®

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