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Revised: OWNER REVIEW Arcteryx Bora 80 Pack Braeden Kepner-Kraus

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  • braedenkk
    Arcteryx Bora 80 Pack (2008) Owner Review March 24, 2008 Name: Braeden Kepner-Kraus Age: 20 Gender: Male Height: 6 0 /1.83m Weight: 165 lbs./75 kg. Email
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 25, 2008
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      Arcteryx Bora 80 Pack (2008)
      Owner Review
      March 24, 2008
      Name: Braeden Kepner-Kraus
      Age: 20
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 0"/1.83m
      Weight: 165 lbs./75 kg.
      Email address: BKepner at Princeton dot edu
      City, State, Country: Princeton, NJ, USA (Originally Cleveland, OH)
      Backpacking Background: I have been backpacking in various forms since
      I was 13 years old. I backpack mostly in the Northeast, Midwest, and
      Canada, where wet and cold weather is the rule. Winter is my favorite
      season for backpacking, and I consider myself a midweight backpacker.
      I also enjoy survival camping, and take 2-3 trips each year where my
      partner and I bring only clothing and rudimentary tools.

      Product Information:
      Manufacturer: Arcteryx
      Model: Bora 80L
      Color: Gray (also available in Blue)
      Frame Size Received: Tall
      Hip Belt Size Received: Medium
      Capacity: 84L/4882 cu. in. (tall size)
      Fabrics used: 420D ripstorm, 630D superpack nylon reinforcements,
      Hypalon trim
      Listed weight: 7.0 lbs./3.18 kg. (Tall)
      Measured weight: 7.0 lbs./3.18 kg.
      Comfortable Loading Range: 40-75 lbs./18.14-34 kg.
      Year of Manufacture: 2008
      URL: www.arcteryx.com
      MSRP: $375 USD

      Product description:
      The Arcteryx Bora 80 is a full-featured hiking/mountaineering
      pack that can carry everything from thru-hiking to moderate expedition
      loads. The pack is equipped with all the standard fare – zip-close
      partition for the sleeping bag compartment, full length side-access
      zipper to the main compartment, a cavernous kangaroo pocket and much
      more. The lid can be detached and used as a lumbar pack with ample
      room for water bottle, emergency first aid kit, food, and any other
      extras that are desired.
      The main compartment is made from a pale yellow colored fabric that
      provides high contrast to help locate objects even in bad light, and
      this fabric also serves as the backing for the kangaroo pocket. The
      kangaroo pocket is spacious, and has the ability to zip completely
      open down its center. This pocket can be compressed to the pack with a
      clip draw cord that also serves as a vertical compression strap. There
      are six external compression straps as well as daisy chains and ice
      axe holders on each side, and the two straps meant to secure a
      sleeping pad can also function to compress gear in the sleeping bag
      compartment. All externally exposed zippers are waterproof and the
      fabric is coated with a strong DWR.
      The back panel of the pack is thermoformed HDPE and two 6061 aluminum
      stays in a V shape. The hip belt and shoulder straps are both
      interchangeable for customized fit. There is firm lumbar support and a
      ridged foam back panel for ventilation.

      Field information
      I purchased this pack in early January, and I've taken it on two trips
      so far, one 7-day winter trip in Vermont on Mt. Mansfield, and a 4-day
      backpacking trip on the Chuck Keiper Trail in Central Pennsylvania. I
      ordered the Tall sized pack with the medium hipbelt online, and I was
      able to fit it to myself at home.
      Upon receiving the Bora, I was immediately struck by its neatness. All
      the major straps have sliding clips so that the tails don't hang
      loose, a big help in very thorny or brushy situations. In addition,
      while the pack compresses very well, and the dual daisy chains provide
      ample attachment points, there are no unnecessary straps, which create
      a cleaner look and makes the Bora easier to use.
      I took the trip to Mt. Mansfield with a very good friend from
      high school. He is in Army ROTC, and was in Vermont to attend Mountain
      Warfare School, and we thought it would be an excellent time to get in
      a trip beforehand. We hike hard, usually for approximately 10 hours
      each day not counting meal and rest breaks, and previous packs had
      left my back in painful condition and my hips bruised.
      Mt. Mansfield is the highest mountain in Vermont, with a peak
      elevation of 1339 m (4393 feet). The terrain is extremely rugged. Not
      counting wind-chill, the temperature varied between a high of around
      34 F and a low of around 0 F (1 to -18 C) snow was plentiful.
      Fully loaded, the pack weighed around 55 lbs. (25 kg.) for
      the Vermont trip, and was at about ¾ of absolute maximum space
      capacity. With the compression straps tightened, the pack fit snugly
      against my back and felt well-balanced during climbs. The first day we
      had a 7 mile (11.27 km) hike with approximately 3300 feet (1006 m) of
      total elevation. The thermoform hip belt and shoulder straps had begun
      to mold themselves after about an hour on the trail, and by the end of
      the day had completely molded.
      We brought a ground-cloth/tarp setup with us, and stopped to
      set up camp and cook about 40 minutes before dark. Since all the
      external zippers on the Bora are waterproof, Arcteryx was able to put
      the side zip literally on the outside of the pack, which is much more
      convenient than attempting to place it somewhere semi-internal (i.e.
      inside the front pocket). This turned out to be a great help in
      quickly setting up camp and preparing food.
      The fifth day out, we awoke in the middle of heavy snowfall,
      and by that night it was clear that we would be unable to make an
      effective tarp shelter. We dug snow caves, but I was so exhausted that
      I forgot to cover my pack before going to sleep. Despite this fact, no
      moisture had penetrated the pack fabric by morning, and all of my gear
      stayed dry as a result.
      Despite the elevation and distance covered over the course of
      the week, I experienced no back pain any time during the trip. Over
      the course of the 7-day trip, the pack consistently performed under
      the most adverse conditions.
      The Pennsylvania trip on the Chuck Keiper Trail was significantly
      warmer, with temperatures between 22 and 45 F (-5.5 and 7 C) and
      extremely wet. Over the course of the 4 days there was constant
      precipitation, mostly freezing rain with some light snow showers mixed
      in. The trail was very icy and slippery, but the Bora offers
      remarkable freedom of movement in the hip area by allowing the hip
      belt to pivot semi-independently of the pack body. This was remarkably
      helpful in icy scrambles up and down slopes.

      One of my hiking partners and I during the third day.(Picture)

      On the third day of the trip, the trail made multiple crossings of a
      flooding run. Despite being about 3/4 submerged for a period of
      several seconds, the Bora suffered minimal internal wetness, and in
      fact, nothing in the main compartment was even damp. This is partially
      due to the fact that not just the outer fabric, but all internal
      fabrics are coated with DWR, which also prevented a leaking water
      bladder from soaking the rest of the pack.
      This brings me to my one complaint about the Bora. While it does have
      two very effective water bottle holders, there is no built-in
      compartment for a water bladder, nor is there a hose port (oddly,
      there is a hose clip on the shoulder strap). I ended up putting my
      bladder in the kangaroo pouch, but this is less than ideal both for
      weight distribution and hose reach. This problem is easily solved by
      bringing water bottles, but if you're the kind of person who loves
      their hands-free water, you'll need to get creative.
      There are three things about this pack that have consistently stood
      out to me. First, the comfort and fit of this pack have been great for
      me, even after long hard hikes with a lot of weight. Second, I can't
      overemphasize the water-repellent capabilities of this bag. While I
      wouldn't suggest putting it uncovered in the bottom of a kayak, it
      will keep anything you put in dry, which has been a huge help to my
      camping in the Northeast. Finally, while the pack is packed (no pun
      intended) with features, they reveal themselves naturally, so it's not
      a pack that I've felt unfamiliar with after the first few days. I'm
      sure as time goes on I'll discover various idiosyncrasies, but the
      combination of simplicity and features on the pack is a major plus.
      The lack of a water bladder pouch is disappointing, but that's really
      the only bad thing I can say about the Bora.

      1. Very Comfortable
      2. Very water-repellent
      3. Ease of Use

      1. No water bladder pouch
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