Arc’teryx gear reviews

The Arc'teryx Bora AR 50 backpack in the North Cascades.

Review: Arc’teryx Bora AR Backpacks

Backpack
Arc’teryx Bora AR 50
$320, 50L/3,050 c.i., 4 lbs. 13 oz. (men’s regular)
Sizes: men’s and women’s regular and tall
rei.com

The 9.6 miles and 3,000 vertical feet from Junction Camp to Park Creek Pass in North Cascades National Park seemed endless and relentlessly steep at times, when a friend and I hiked it on the second morning of a five-day, 80-mile backpacking trip in late September. The thunderous waterfalls, views of glaciers and jagged peaks, and golden fall color in the larch trees validated the harshness of that ascent. But for me, that climb and that trip’s long days were softened mostly by the carrying comfort of the new Bora AR 50 backpack—which, not surprisingly, given the brand, deploys some cutting-edge technologies to justify a stout sticker price.

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Review: Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody

Ultralight JacketArc’teryx Atom SL Hoody$229, 9 oz. (men’s medium)Sizes: men’s XS-XXL, women’s XS-XLbackcountry.com Here’s a testament to the versatility of this partly insulated, lightweight wind shell: I’ve probably worn it more than any other layering piece I own over the past several months, for virtually everything I do outdoors, in every season: backpacking in August in Kootenay National Park, in …

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Review: Arc’teryx Zeta LT Rain Jacket

Arc’teryx Zeta LT Jacket
Arc’teryx Zeta LT Jacket

Rain Jacket
Arc’teryx Zeta LT Jacket
$475, 12 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
backcountry.com

Pulling the trigger on buying a high-end piece of outdoor apparel like a rain jacket can be a tough decision, but it really comes down to a very basic question: Why do you need it? Beyond personal issues regarding budget and priorities, and certainly comparing similar products based on performance and price, consider whether you will use the jacket in ways that take advantage of those aspects of the jacket that justify its price. The Zeta LT seemed like a good example to use to demonstrate how to evaluate those questions, so I took it out hiking and backpacking in wet weather from Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains to Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rockies, to contemplate the value of a rain shell. And it more than demonstrated its value.

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Gear Review: Arc’teryx Velaro 24 Daypack

Arc'teryx Velaro 24
Arc’teryx Velaro 24 in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains.

Daypack
Arc’teryx Velaro 24
$175, 24L/1,465 c.i., 1 lb. 10 oz.
One size each in men’s and women’s models
arcteryx.com

I tend to be hard on gear, but especially daypacks, and rain or snow has never struck me as a reason to abort hiking plans. I also like daypacks that are lightweight without compromising on comfort or a basic degree of organization. Given those standards, I was intrigued by the Velaro 24’s nearly watertight and seemingly bulletproof design, and took it out on hikes from a rainy eight-miler with my family in Canada’s Yoho National Park to a 12-hour, roughly 14-mile and 5,000-foot, mostly off-trail dayhike and scramble in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, to see how it would measure up.

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Gear Review: Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX and Acrux FL Hiking Shoes

Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe
Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe

Hiking/Approach Shoes
Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe
$280, 2 lbs. 3 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s (Acrux FL GTX, $230) 5-12
moosejaw.com

Arc’teryx Acrux FL
$200, 1 lb. 14 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s 5-12
moosejaw.com

Is it possible for a shoe to be everything you need in backcountry footwear—and if so, what’s that worth? Those are the questions raised by Arc’teryx’s new Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe and Acrux FL—both very “Arc’teryx” in their shoot-for-the-moon design and price. In pursuit of answers to those questions, I took both out on hikes intended to put the claims about these shoes to the test: ultralight backpacking the very rugged Royal Arch Loop in the Grand Canyon in the Acrux2 FL GTX, and dayhiking 17 miles through New Hampshire’s Northern Presidential Range, and Zion’s steep and scrambly Angels Landing, in the Acrux FL.

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