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Offering all the advantages of a great day bag with few drawbacks, the Arc’teryx Index 15 Backpack is an excellent choice for hikers and adventurers of all kinds. It’s made by a trusted brand using quality materials, and offers durability despite its lightweight design.
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Specs and Stats
As its name suggests, the Arc’teryx Index 15 Backpack has a capacity of 15L, which makes it just right as a hiking backpack for day hikes. The pack is made of N100mr-HT ripstop nylon and 200-Denier Polyester. Weighing just 8 oz, the material is thin but tough. It would be a stretch to call it waterproof, but it’s definitely water-resistant enough to keep your stuff dry in a light drizzle.
I like the simple and well thought-out design of the pockets on the Index 15. It has a spacious top-loading main zippered compartment, along with a separate internal compartment that can accommodate a hydration bladder or small laptop. Multiple exterior loops make it easy to bungee-cord extra gear to the outside if you need to.
Pros of the Arc’teryx Index 15
- It’s lightweight. At just 8 oz, the Arc’teryx is a backpack that definitely won’t weigh you down. It’s great for anyone who prefers to pack light.
- It’s adaptable. While the Arc’teryx Index 15 is an ideal size for hikers to use as a day pack, it’s versatile enough for a wide range of uses. This is a solid gym bag, commute bag or carry on bag.
- It packs small. This backpack stows away in its own zippered pocket, and you can easily pack it inside another backpack or suitcase. For backpackers, it makes a good summit pack or “slack pack.”
Cons of the Arc’teryx Index 15
- It fits a little small. The overall dimensions of the Arc’teryx, and especially the straps, can feel a little constricting if you’re a big guy. It’s great if you have a trimmer build (and also a perfect youth or woman’s pack) but definitely not designed for those of us who shop at the big-and-tall store.
- It doesn’t handle heavy loads well. The Index 15 does not have a frame or any padding. It’s comfortable for light loads, but can hurt your back if you over-pack it.
- It’s not for longer adventures. You could potentially use this pack for overnight trips if you’re willing to strap things to the outside of it (i.e. a sleeping bag and pad). But it’s really not designed for anything longer than a day trip.
Arc’teryx Index 15: Final Thoughts
The Arc’teryx is an excellent backpack for everyday use. It’s a trusty companion on day hikes, and equally suited to the urban adventurer. While its small size might make it less than ideal for some, it’s a well-made backpack with a simple design that has enough capacity for day hiking essentials: lunch, a water bottle, an extra layer of clothing and a few gear necessities.