You are a long way from the truck and a good deal of your survival depends on the gear you are carrying in your pack so it would help to keep your it dry. Right? Or you are carrying sensitive equipment like optics or radios and your job depends on getting the most out of those instruments so you need to keep them clean and serviceable. Right? There are a couple ways to do this. You can use waterproof stuff sacks or a waterproof backpack. If you are the anal retentive obsessive compulsive type, like me, you will often use both.
This post is about the waterproof backpack piece of that solution. Namely the Arcteryx 65 backpack which I learned about from cinematographer Morgan Fallon aka Mo while we were on an AZ Coues Deer hunt with Steve Rinella. Arcteryx makes these uber sturdy packs in three sizes. 40, 50 and 65 liters which translates to roughly 2500, 3000 and 4000 cubic inches to those of us that don’t do metric. To be perfectly clear they refer to them as weather resistant not waterproof. However, the heavy duty dry suit material, fully sealed seams and portage pack design makes it pretty much watertight in my initial testing.
There are other dry bag style packs on the market that have rudimentary shoulder strap and belt sets but they weren’t designed to be true backpacks and they are not made by big name players like Arcteryx. Those are the principal reasons why I picked the Arrakis for this role.
The main compartment is accessed through a dry bag style opening slash closure. Here it is in the rolled down and secured position. These types of arrangements are good for water and dust resistance but its adjustability also accommodates loads of varying sizes.
Here it is unbuckled and fully unrolled. You can see how long the neck is and how much extra room you have to work with if you needed it. Note the attachment points on the side of the pack and the zippered vertical pocket for long items like wands, tent poles, trekking umbrella or smaller tripods.
There are another set of vertical tool attachment points on the front of the pack and a zippered pocket that lays on top of the main compartment. It runs the breadth and about half the length of the pack.
The quality and design of this pack is typical Arcteryx. That means top notch so I expect this pack to hold up, do the job and fill the waterproof slash highly water resistant backpack slot in my system. The only real concern I have is how the Arrakis carries a 65 liter load over rough terrain for long distances. I will let you know how it goes.
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