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Reviewed by 1 customer
Displaying review 1
Comments about Arc'teryx Altra 65 Pack:
This is a great pack. It's not perfect. But I don't know that the perfect pack exists. I was comparing this to the Osprey Aether. After trying them both on, the Osprey felt like some bizarre physical therapy contraption. The Altra is amazingly comfortable. It's an upgrade from my trusty Dana Design Arcflex Terraplane Overkill, which, as it's name suggests, is overkill. My Terraplane is 110+L and I barely noticed the significant downgrade in capacity with the Altra. I did however notice the significant weight difference. The Altra is very light, yet very functional.
I was hesitant about getting this pack, though, because of the swivelling hip belt. It seems gimmicky, but it's actually a great feature. I found it most useful when making steep descents. My hips and knees were not taking the full impact of the load when stepping down as the weight was shifting to the other, stable side of my body. There are two drawbacks to the swivel, though: 1) It's noisy. It makes a swish-swish sound as the fabric rubs. But this only occurred when I was climbing or descending. On flats it's quiet. 2) When making sharp turns, I found the swivel threw my balance off. The load on my back continued in one direction when I was trying to go the other. It didn't take long to adjust to this, but is something to take into consideration.
There are three awesome design elements to this pack: 1) the big, main pocket zipper. I can access anything in the pack without unpacking the whole thing. 2) There are just enough straps and buckles to tweak it to my body. And nothing more. No extraneous clutter. 3) The large external, vertically zippered pocket is very spacious and easy to access.
There are two major design flaws: 1) the bladder pocket is on the side, which, as I've read elsewhere, and experienced, causes the weight of the pack to shift as you drain the bladder. But, it's location also makes it very accessible. So... there's no winning. 2) The top-loader pockets are awkward. The hidden pocket under the top-loader is oriented upside down so that when you have the top-loader flipped open and you pull the zipper everything in the pocket spills out. The two pockets on top of the top-loader could use a flap or something to keep things in. With the current design, it's all too easy for things to fall out.
This review is after one outing with the pack. Time will tell if it holds up well. So far it's great. Also, it looks so good you could wear it at the office.
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