Tests & reviews

Arc'teryx - Altra 65 - Trekking backpack tested

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4,0
(from 1 Reviews)
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This is what other customers say:
Question from STUART | ILKESTON
03.11.2015
Can I order an SR with a medium hip belt.

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This is what customers from around the world say:
| Koenigstein im Taunus

New standard - buy it

This backpack deserves much longer review.
I did 4 days alpine trek in October 2015 with cca 20kg with.

Very important:
This pack costs a lot of money but is not expensive - worth every euro.
It is havier then many light packs of same volume, but is light actually. Take some Granit Gear or Boreas pack and then ensure it is fully featured like Altra and that it can carry comfortably what Altra can. Then you get to similar weight and those packs are not so light anymore.

This is new standard for trekking. 
Pivoting hip belt completely makes sense. Weight feels lighter then it actually is.
Before Altra, I did GR20 in 13 days with Gregory Baltoro 65, while friend had Altra 65. I was suffering with Baltoro due to over pronounced lumbar support (I've sent suggestions for improvement to Gregory after the trip and I see they improved lumbar support (removable pad)in new version).
One day we switched packs and Altra felt much lighter and easy flowing with the body.
Arcteryx in general is alien technology and is out in its own league. In my view this is new standard.
The way shoulder straps adjustment connects to pack body - right way to do it.
Pack material - robust
Kangaroo pocket - awsome (on/off layers go in there)
Side zip pockets - great! Sigg 0,75 in one, thermos 0,5l in other + some beef jerky/trailmix in each. However, inside material is not main pack body material, but thinner linning material. I dont like that. Not worth saving few grams.
Pivoting hipbelt - mine has a bit of shorter range on one side and was bit annoying.  Have to still test that... Otherwise is great. If done properly, pivoting hip belt should replace non pivoting as a standard, unless pack is made really well like old school Berghaus cyclops (i.e. Atlas) for example.
Hipbelt padding/size/design - excellent.
Even C2 back panel construction which they advertise makes a lot of sense. One can see they went to make top notch product.
U zip: it is useful, although I use it mainly for unpacking in the evening (i.e to grab tent first). I was really sceptical about that and that was preventing me to buy it for some time. U zip and pivoting belt may seem as 2 fail points, which if any  of fails in the field you are screwed. But, both are done well and seems to be justified risk to take for comfort.
Waterproof/non waterproof Uzip dilemma: BD Mercury 65 vs Altra. Altra just worked nicer when I was deciding which to buy. In the field proved nice and smooth. Anyhow I use waterproof stuffsacks.
Externall water bladder slot - very nice and convenient. Camelback 3l fits.
Buckles, straps: sturdy, right width.
Bottom pannel covering zip: apart from protecting zip, I dont know what to think of it. I fitted Ice axe there.
Main pack bag design: slim in depth, so good for keeping weight closer to back.  It does not protrude much out of back, as some other packs, BD Mercury for example.

What I would change, missed:
- no  internal lid pocket. I use it and think this should be added.
- shoulder top cinch straps dont have regulation of starting pull point. Pull point is where they are sewn in to shoulder strap.
- lid. 2 pockets may be pro or con. Not essential. I am still working on how I see them, but if you organise your packing well could be advantage. Lid could be more covering over the pack top (i.e. BD Mercury has much better lid design in my view in that aspect (not top pocket related).

Overal,  Acteryx Altra is well designed, sturdy, no-nonsense-and-everything-you-need simple top notch pack.

I hope it become new standard and industry changer.
We live in 21st century and deserve advanced and progressive products.

  • Advantages
    Good carry system
    Comfortable to carry
    Easy to load
    Price/performance

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