Arc’teryx has made a name for itself as a high-end, super high-quality brand of functional outdoor attire and gear. They have a specific tactical line called Arc’teryx LEAF, which stands for: Statute Enforcement Armed Forces. Arc’teryx is a fairly polarizing brand. It has become somewhat of a status emblem especially among the wealthy in mountain areas, regardless of their mountaineering prowess, and the same can be said for their LEAF line in the tactical arena. Because of the high price tag, and sometimes unskilled people wearing the gear simply for the seem, some have come to associate the brand with people who have more fund than proficiency. I have no strong opinion of Arc’teryx in that consider. My position with brands in general has nothing to do with who wears what label and has everything to do with the utility of the gear.
Since my time in the military has ended there has been a noticeable absence of assaulting in my life, but my are used in assault style knapsacks has remained constant. Whether I am hunting, shooting a match, making a day at the scope, or storing emergency essentials in my vehicle, I have a middle capacity knapsack with me, and usually a different one dedicated to each of these utilizes. Most of my backpacks are very obviously styled for hunting or tactical employ, inducing them stand out anywhere other than the field or the scope. I have been looking for a somewhat low-profile knapsack that provides the same capability( somewhere around 40 L -5 0L ), durability( high abrasion resistance ), and overall functionality( store gear in an organized manner) as my other knapsacks without being overtly tactical or otherwise stand out in polite society.
Enter the Arc’teryx LEAF Assault Pack 45: a light weight, durable, comfortable and logically configured backpack. When first looking at the AAP( Arc’teryx Assault Pack) I noticed a conspicuous absence of PALS webbing. I wasn’t immediately struck with the “tacticalness” of the AAP, which was a big plus. In fact, if I had received the AAP in the “wolf” color option, it would bear practically no resemblance to what is commonly seen as a tactical or hunting backpack.
I took this backpack along on a business trip-up that spanned numerous countries, and through a variety of airports. I never got the help feeling that the AAP did anything other than blend in with the crowd of skiers and other such winter athletics fanatics on their route to and from a snowy vacation, and I was very happy about that.
The AAP is primarily composed of 500 d HT Cordura( r) in a plain weave. I’m sure most readers are closely familiar with Cordura( r) products and likely have numerous pieces of gear attained with the fabric. It is durable, and in 500 d, is reasonably lightweight. The interior of the main pouch is lined on all sides with Velcro( r) for reasons that will be discussed afterward in the review.
As stated previously, I own a number of packs in this volume category. I also own a number of larger and smaller backpacks, but none of them see as much utilize as my 40 L- 50 L backpacks. I find it a good compromise: it’s big enough that I’m able to fit the essentials in addition to a number of niceties, but not so large that I’m tempted to over pack for most outings. If you want to go a more conservative rout, Arc’teryx has a 30 L option as well.
The AAP weighs in at only over 4 pounds with all straps attached and falls right in the middle in terms of weight with mid-size packs I currently have. It would probably be a bit heavy if you aim on employing the AAP as a minimalist backpacking backpack, but it would be just fine if you were going to use it within the realm of its intended use.
Shoulder Straps/ Waist Belt
When I first ensure the narrow shoulder straps and tiny hip pads, I believed the AAP would be very uncomfortable especially if worn with any kind of loading over any extended duration. After a number of range trips, intentionally wearing the pack nearly the entire day, shooting and moving, donning and doffing, I procured the AAP to be remarkably comfy. I was particularly impressed with the hip belt. The minimalist style hip pads, which Arc’teryx calls “hip pods”, are concave pieces of foam that conformed very nicely and boreweight very well.
The features I liked the most about the AAP had to do with organization. It has a small zippered top pocket with a retention lanyard which I use to retain my keys, a main pouch, and 2 side pockets that can accommodate a 3L water bladder. None of these features are super impressive or unique; It’s what is inside the main pouch that sets the AAP apart from the rest of the backpacks I have.
The main pouch double zipper allows access to any locating within the main compartment, and can, when unzipped along its entire track, altogether expose the inside of the main pouch on all sides. This theory could spell disaster if not for the addition of Velcro( r) along almost every square inch of the interior of the main compartment, and no, it’s not for your morale patches. The Velcro( r) allows you to attach any number of Velcro( r) adorned pouches, in nearly any size and shape you like, to the inside of the main compartment, keeping your gear neat and organized, and easy to access at the same time.
I’m sure many readers have had its own experience of trying to locate one small piece of gear and having to dump nearly your entire pack to find it, then repack everything. This is particularly frustrating and even dangerous during periods of inclement weather or at times when velocity of motion is required.
The AAP addresses this common issue extremely well and provides efficiency where efficiency is needed most.
The MSRP for the Arc’teryx Leaf Assault Pack is $499.00. That’s quite a chunk of change for a piece of gear that isn’t magazine fed. I do feel, for my needs anyway, that it’s worth it, which is why I am buying one for myself with my own hard earned money.
If you’re after a mid capacity backpack that is a solid 10 in the categories of fit, comfort, efficiency and organisation, then I would strongly indicate considering the Arc’teryx LEAF Assault Pack. It would be an excellent option for a day pack, get-home-bag, carry-on, and of course, assaulting.
Read more: alloutdoor.com