With a seam-sealed, functionally waterproof roll top closure, the Arc’teryx Arrakis 40 Backpack protects your gear on everything from a backcountry ski tour to a multi-pitch rock climb. A high-density polyethylene foam back panel and aluminum stays give you comfortable support without added weight, and the GridLock adjustable shoulder straps help you dial in your fit. Strap your board, skis, rope, or pad on with the external compression straps, and store your avy gear in the side pocket or internal sleeve.
Backcountry.com was able to get me a replacement pack in time for Mexico (their customer service was excellent, the customer service from Arc'teryx not so much) But am just now getting around to changing this review because as soon as I got back from south of the border an opportunity arose to go to northern Greenland. So having had the opportunity to put it to good use:
The replacement pack is great. Comfortable, bombproof, and elegantly simple.
I wish it was shipped with two more webbing lash on straps. There are six webbing attachment points on the pack (besides the tool loops) but only 4 straps included, for the price of this pack Arc'teryx should toss in enough straps for all attachment points.
Some people may like it, but I think they should get rid of the hydration port. It has a waterproof zipper, but there is still a little hole even when zipped shut, which means this is not a drybag if you are going to be on or crossing water. (I don't like water in the main compartment, and put bottle holsters on the shoulder straps of this bag). However neither rain nor snow is going to get in.
The shoulder straps are comfortable but stiff, they make the pack difficult to shove in the luggage rack of Mexican buses (aforementioned holsters add to this but that is my own fault).
I recommend it. If you are going to buy a pack, get a Gregory (love my Makalu Pro) or an Arc'teryx (despite my frustrations having to return the first one and the negatives [especially the manufacturer trying to increase the margin on this pack by 2 dollars by including 4 lash on straps instead of six]).
I am currently working with backcountry.com and Arc'Teryx to resolve a manufacturing defect. I had read about some others having the same problem before I purchased the pack but figured it was isolated and wouldn't affect me (maybe it is isolated and I am one of the unlucky few).
The Arrakis 40 Blackbird Tall that I received has a defective pivoting load transfer disc. The disc is glued in place rotated relative to true. The result being that I can't rotate the hipbelt right at all without the hipbelt disengaging from the pack. I should be able to lean equally right or left.
I would have expected quality control at Arc'Teryx to check this.
Backcountry.com graciously offered to refund my money and cover return shipping, however I do want the pack and would prefer an exchange but they are now out of stock. I have contacted Arc'Tyrex for a warranty exchange that they are happy to do but shipping is on me. I have contacted them requesting that they pay for the shipping since the pack is brand new with a QC failure on their part and am waiting to hear from them.
Depending on resolution to the problem rating might change.
Flying to the Yucatan on Dec. 16th want to resolve it before then.
Contacted Backcountry.com again as after submitting this review I noticed that they had six size tall in stock. They gave me a shipping label and are sending me another. If the new one is in good shape I will change the rating.
I have used the Arrakis 40 and 65 extensively. Other Arcteryx packs used is a Bora, I was somewhat hesitant at first at changing to the unconventional pack design, but I am so glad I did.
For a full idea of pack size, the 40 is perfect for day trips, and single day snowboard or cross country ski trips, while the 65 is more of an expedition pack, that I have thus far crammed 1 week of supplies and sustinance into.
This pack does not have a side zipper like the larger models, this makes it a TRUE drybag, so for full submersion activites, ie, deep water soloing, kayaking/rafting..etc this is the backpack of choice. The side zip on larger models will not leak during downpours, (tested in the monsoons of southeast asia), it will slow drip in full submersion.
Material is tough, and I mean, REALLY tough. I take very good care of my gear but have never had any inhibitions or worries when tossing this bag around. My Arrakis 65 has been tossed of small cliffs, dragged in the water, left in the snow overnight, for 2 years now, and still looks brand new. Also the material is very easy to clean.
Pack Design, originally my main worry, now I can't imagine having ever used a different pack, while most hiking packs have a stacked design with the pack space becoming narrow at the bottom, the arrakis is slightly wider at the bottom and allows the pack to be organized in such a manner that you can pull items from the bottom without unpacking the bag. This is very convenient.
The pack does not have compression straps, nor could it really, the material wouldn't compress much. The pack design inhibits the flopping around a normal pack would have if underpacked and not compressed. And the "3D" molding design of the pack makes the pack pretty much sit and look the same regardless of what's in it.
The rotating hip waistband is everything arcteryx claims it to be, wonderful. It moves with your body like a latin dancer. From a past of everything in packs from jansport to northface to marmot, it's the comfort that keeps me wearing arcteryx on long hikes.
Straps are sufficient, I only say this because I personally added some more and sometimes tend to strap too much to the outside of my pack. But for the normal person, the 40 accomodates a snowboard or ski's wonderfully along with a mountaineering axe or other small accessories. Or if you climb it's easy to strap a rope to the outside.
Hop on the Arcteryx site for the detailed size charts, everyone I know (including myself) that has followed the chart has been happy with the outcome.
Great pack, you'll love owning one, in any size.
The Arrakis 40 is an ideal 2 - 3 day pack. The straps are the most comfortable and adjustable i've used and the padding is just right. The AC2 material feels like plastic and looks like it will last a lifetime. The pack comes with twin aluminum stays, but i removed them to add a bit of pliancy to the backing. The large kangaroo compartment on the outside of the pack is easily accessible and is used to keep my rain jacket (Alpha SL Hybrid) The fabric is very water resistant and so are the zips. I spent 5 hours in a heavy downpour, but the contents were still bone dry. Even the contents in the top pocket were dry.
The only cons i can think of are, the pivoting belt does squeak, but only after it gets wet. Because the material is so thick, when the top is rolled down, the fabric folds on the side become sharp edges, so you'll need to be careful when taking the bag off.
Fantastic pack. This is my go to pack for ice climbing in the Pacific NW, due to all the crappy wet snow we get. The fabric is super durable. This pack is a little heavy, but carries wonderfully. The pivot hip belt may sound a little gimmicky, but it actually does help on those high steps. The pack really does stay put. This is a pricey pack, but I really do think it will outlast many other packs, due to the thick material. Now... I just have to figure out a better way to attach my ice tools. (it only has one ice axe keeper)... oh, for all you that care... this is MADE IN CANADA.
Just wanted to add this to the review. just finished a trip in japan and the hip suspension disc contraption really worked well while i was snowboarding, as long as the fit of the pack is right and you have the load supported by your hips, it really allows the bag to move with your body and not contort while you're trying to grabs or hard turns.
Wish I could give this pack more then a 5 star rating.
It is the most "fit-for-purpose" pack I own. waterproof, hydration compatible and very solid. Comfortable from the minute you put it on till the end of a long day on the hill.