Arc’teryx Aerios 45 ($250)

Table of Contents

2 lbs. 6 oz.

Nylon (100D & 210D)

15, 30, 45L

Great feature set for moving quickly.

Limiting capacity and minimalist suspension.

Arc’teryx is our choice for light climbing and ski packs The Aerios is their first foray in the ultralight hiking market. We’re huge fans of the design that is inspired by fastpacking, which blends the functions of a backpacking bag as well as an athletic vest. In the front you’ll find two mesh pockets (great to store soft flasks) as well as pockets that are zippered on the shoulder straps and hip belt, which gives you easy access to essentials. From the back the Aerios comes with all the characteristics of a lightweight pack with a large main compartment that features a the roll-top closure, ample dump pockets, as well as an external bungee as well as a daisy chain. There’s no shortage of competitors however, Arc’teryx’s latest UL pack is very appealing.

We recently tried Aerios 30 in its smaller size Aerios 30 during a series of morning hikes through Patagonia and were amazed by the design that was thoughtful and the high-end finishes. A lot of thru-hikers use fanny packs or other storage options to their set-ups However, the Aerios comes fully-equipped and doesn’t require any further modifications. After testing the advantages of the body-hugging suspension as well as convenience for on-the-go access We found it difficult to switch back to a normal pack. The 45-liter model isn’t ideal for long-distance trips however, fastpackers and weight-counters should have no problem in keeping their loads to an acceptable size. However, those who carry larger loads on non-supported thru-hikes or longer-term missions may require larger capacity models similar to those from the ULA as well as the Gossamer Gear above.