Arc’teryx Aerios 30

$190, 30L/1,831 c.i., 2 lbs. (men’s regular)

Sizes: men’s and women’s regular and tall

Even in the context of how much continued, impressive innovation has occurred in the category of hiking daypacks in recent years, the Arc’teryx Aerios 30 raises the bar for versatility and sheer ingenuity. Marrying the best elements of traditional daypacks and running vests, this comfortable sack marries a reasonable weight with bountiful capacity, a smart feature set, and top-shelf durability. It also has one flaw, though not one that constitutes a dealbreaker.

I loaded the Aerios 30 with 15 to 17 pounds of water, food, layers, and a camera for dayhikes of up to 11 miles with 5,000 cumulative vertical feet of up and down in my local foothills and found it carried very comfortably. Credit the light but impressively supportive framesheet, which resists barreling and maintains its shape with loads that would bend some lightweight daypacks, plus the fixed (non-adjustable), wide, padded shoulder straps and hipbelt. The curved hipbelt wraps around the hips more like a larger and heavier backpack—but without the bulky feeling of a large pack.

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Arc’teryx Aerios 30 harness.
” data-image-caption=”Arc’teryx Aerios 30 harness.
” data-medium-file=”″ data-large-file=”″ width=”900″ height=”600″ src=”″ alt=”Arc’teryx Aerios 30 harness.” class=”wp-image-47837″ srcset=” 1024w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />Arc’teryx Aerios 30 harness.

Like a running vest, the Aerios’s shoulder straps sport two stretchy sternum cords (rather than one non-dynamic sternum strap) that can be repositioned through any of five small loops. Each sternum cord hooks into one of five loops on the opposite strap. The design improves the pack’s stability, especially when moving quickly or in rugged terrain.

One major shortcoming: Both sternum straps easily slip and loosen on their own. It appears the camming mechanism inside each is so tiny that it seems to not create much friction, a problem probably compounded by the bungee-like stretch in the sternum straps and the natural bouncing that occurs when hiking. Tightening the cord reduces slipping
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