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Sturdily built and generously padded, the Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 Backpack is a burly, heavy-duty pack meant to go with you long distances over rough trails. While it’s certainly one of the pricier packs in its class, it also offers tough-to-beat comfort and stability.
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Specs and Stats
The Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 Backpack has a capacity of 63L, which makes it ideal for three- to five-day backpacking trips, or possibly even longer. It’s well-padded and has great suspension, which allows you to carry heavy loads comfortably. The pack weighs 5 lb. 3 oz. It’s a top-loading pack with a simple, streamlined design that has few extra compartments or loops for storage. It does have a side zip for accessing gear deep inside the main compartment.
The majority of the pack is made of 420-Denier (D) nylon. However, the sensitive areas such as the bottom of the pack are reinforced with even more heavy-duty 630D Nylon. It also uses waterproof fabric in areas most likely to be exposed to moisture.
The biggest selling points of this backpack are the uniquely designed shoulder straps and hip belt. The hip belt uses what Arc’teryc calls its “RotoGlide” system. It’s mounted on a track and is designed to move from side-to-side as well as glide up and down. This allows it to match the movements of your body as you hike.
Pros of the Arc’teryx Bora AR 63
- Quality construction. When you put on the Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 Backpack, it’s immediately clear that it’s made of quality materials. The nylon is highly resistant to tears and abrasions, and the reinforced seams should provide many years of reliable use.
- Highly adjustable. The backpack is designed so you can dial in your perfect fit in a way that few packs can match. The “GridLock” system allows you to adjust the straps not only up and down to match your torso length, but also side to side for width.
- Comfort and support. This pack gets high marks for comfort. In addition to its well-designed suspension and unique hip belt design, it has some of the best padding on the market. The padding on the shoulder straps and hip belt is thick and form-fitting, with a texture more like a memory foam mattress than your typical backpack padding.
- Weatherproof. Although the Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 does not come with a rain cover, it has waterproof fabric in areas that are most often exposed to rain and snow, particularly the top and front of the pack.
Cons of the Arc’teryx Bora AR 63
- On the heavy side. Weighing in at a little over over 5 pounds, this pack is certainly not made for ultralight backpackers. That’s largely a result of the pack’s ample padding. While that might be an issue for some, it’s also a big part of what makes this pack so comfortable, even when fully loaded.
- High price tag. While this pack is a sturdy and well-built pack that should be expected to last many years, it’s also worth acknowledging that it isn’t cheap.
- Hip belt takes getting used to. The hip belt of this pack is designed to “glide” with your body as it moves on the trail. But it can take getting used to, and may feel awkward or unstable at first. Some users have also reported that the hip belt can lock into place under a heavy load, rendering ineffective.
Arc’teryx Bora AR 63: Final Thoughts
The Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 is a premium pack meant to carry heavy loads over long distances, and do so comfortably. It’s well-made and has tough fabric and hard-wearing construction that should make it last many seasons on the trail. The Bora AR 63 is best suited for backpacking trips from three days up to a week.
Richard CorriganRichard Corrigan has been writing about outdoor adventures, gear and travel for more than 10 years. His work has been featured by USA Today, 10Best.com, Next Luxury, and Gone Outdoors. He lives in Upstate New York, and If he isn't at his writing desk, you can probably find him out in the woods somewhere.
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