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Historic Range: $182.88-$575.00
Reviewers Paid: $195.00-$246.00
Simply the best all round pack.
- Build quality is bomb-proof
- Good features, minimal clutter
- Attention to detail
- Comfortable carry
- Pack size is adjustable 60L - 94L
- Price, but I got a bargain
- ;-) Pack envy ;-)
I got my Arcteryx Naos 70 pack for $195 on clearance and couldn't believe my luck. I am absolutely in love with this piece of kit.
The build quality is bombproof. Arc'teryx used glue to bond the seams. When they stress-tested it, the AC20 material tore before the seams did. The pack is almost air-proof when properly sealed (I say almost because I love my pack too much to try putting my entire weight on it).
Features I like are:
- the waterproof fabric (essential in my part of the world),
- the two kangaroo pockets on the sides of the pack (one of which has a hole to the outside so that you can drain any wet gear separately),
- the huge detachable lid (into which I can comfortably fit trousers, soft shell fleece and jacket)
- the expandable / contractable pack size. The roll-top will shrink the pack down to about 60l, but can also expand up to 94l.
- the carry with a 15kg / 30 pound load is mega-comfortable (and that was with the pack placing all the weight on my hips before I adjusted the shoulder straps)
The downsides are obvious:
- the Naos is pricey. I would pay full price for it any day of the week. There are a lot of other 'top spec' contenders out there but this pack is the only one I'd pay the full price for.
- associated with the price point is the pack envy you will endure on the trail from disgruntled fellow-hikers.
- the top-loading design is unavoidable given what the pack is built to do, but the detachable lid and kangaroo pockets will easily allow access for any necessary gear / food / clothing while hiking on the trail
I can't say just how much I love this pack and how happy I am with it.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $195
i got this pack insanely cheap! This is a $575 dollar piece of equipment and I got it new with tags on ebay for almost half price.
It's so sleek and well built. The design is immaculate. The first thing I did was pack it with towels and have my friend spray me with a hose for 20 minutes to see if it was indeed fully waterproof. 20 minutes and several confused neighbors later all my towels were still dry. This pack will hold everything you could possibly need.
Design: top loader
Size: 4450 cu. in
Number of Pockets: 4
Max. Load Carried: 55 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 9"
Price Paid: $246
This is a fantastic pack. Expensive, but this is a ten year piece of kit. The reviews for the Naos 55 apply equally to the 70 version. My comments (in no particular order):
- the waterproof construction is flawless. You'll never need to buy another pack cover or dry bag again.
- no bulky side pockets, but a huge amount of space in the lid. Camera, gloves, everything fits in there. There's another pocket on the lowerside of the lid, as well as two flat pockets on the body (one of which has a drainage hole at the bottom for that damp tarp/flysheet). The tall, slim profile of the pack is perfect for me and balances wonderfully - my gut tells me that slimmer builds will like this pack.
- roll-down top allows the pack to be vertically compressed and expanded as required (although the less roll-down you leave, the greater the leakage potential).
- the material used to make the pack has a white backing, which means the entire inside of the pack is very light. I'd never appreciated what a difference this makes when trying to find things. No more poking around with the headlamp for that lost sock at the bottom of a big black pack.
- pivoting hipbelt, via the Load Transfer Disc. The hipbelt rotates around 20 degrees from horizontal in both directions, keeping the pack nicely upright while your hips move alternately up and down. I love pivoting packs, but have always found that the complexity of the engineering eventually lets them down. The Naos though is beautifully simple - a circular disc on the hipbelt which slots into the body of the pack, and two side straps to adjust the amount of twist. A little grease should be all that is required to keep this going for years.
- the hipbelt is also removable. A counter-clockwise twist removes the belt from the pack, making it much less likely to get damaged if checked for a flight. I also found that without the belt, a full pack will fit nicely into a lightweight suit bag, further lessening the risk of rips and broken straps during flights. Re-attaching the hip belt needs some care, as I suspect incorrect attachment followed by usage could lead to serious damage.
- there's only one way in or out of the bag - through the top. No separately accessible sleeping back compartment, no front zipper. If you can't live without these, you won't like this one. Personally I don't miss them.
- not the easiest pack to load and unload, partly for the reason given above, but also because of the rolldown and waterproof design. The rolldown top extends a long way, around another 12 inches from what could be considered the top of the main section of the bag. While this gives some room for expansion, it can also get in the way when you are stuffing things into the pack, especially given that the top of the rolldown is designed to snap closed. Also the waterproof material is slightly rubbery - things do not always slide into the pack easily.
- the axe/gear loops are a little too low - I'd have preferred them a couple of inches high for better support. I usually end up attaching gear to the 3 side straps instead.
- there is no ugly. This is a beautiful pack.