Osprey sent me an Archeon pack. 30L is the most useful size I feel, so this is a bag I will be using a fair amount. The 30L is small enough to chuck a few bits in for a day out, and big enough to load up if need be for a full day hiking with food and spare clothing etc. I’m excited to see how this bag performs. I have a 10 year old Osprey Stratus 36L that I have used and used, despite its creaking it is a great versatile bag. The Archeon will hopefully replace it as my go to bag
At £200 this is not cheap-infant it’s expensive. Really expensive.
According to Osprey “The Archeon 30 Men’s embodies the principles of essentialism and environmentalism for hiking and backpacking. Recycled fabrics, metal componentry and a comfortable backsystem combine to produce a pack built for life in the outdoors.“
So lets look at its minimalist styling. A zipped hood pocket-both internal and external, sternum and chest straps, water bottle holders on the side, little ‘slip’ pockets on the waist harness. There is a rain cover included for £200, so that’s good. Osprey are almost harking back to the ….70’s with the design and their branding. Recently several brands have been introducing retro styling-such as Rab with their classic down jacket, I feel this is almost doing that-whilst keeping things contemporary.
The bag weighs a little more than I would of thought-but reliability and durability go hand in hand for weight-That said on some of my outings I have weighed every item. This is something that if you’re doing a multi layer is imperative. If you haven’t done it yet-do it! Weight aside the bag looks good. Mine is in a rather drab navy colour and the rain cover is simply black. Osprey perhaps are being subtle with their colourings after years and years of very bright bags and even brighter colours. None the less this is a good thing. Understated, it doesn’t need to shout!
Osprey talk about the bag being an environmental ecological statement in pack design. Using less and less plastic. Indeed the only plastic used in the Archeon is the sternum and waste buckle (The frame of the bag also seems to be plastic).
Ive taken this bag on a few walks now and I have created a video that you can see on my youtube channel. I really like the bag, the best part is, without a doubt, the big double sided zip that allows access to the pack instantly. No fiddling/unclipping, simply unzip and you’re in. The zip has a storm flap too, so hopefully weather resistant.
Whilst out hiking the shoulder straps are easily adjustable, as well as the sternum and waist straps. I often end up crawling through undergrowth and in the past with other less streamlined packs brambles and branches seem to poke and hold the pack and thwart my progress. Due to the Archeon’s close fitting lid, and single tensioned strap it was easy to duck under and around trees and other obstacles. My back stayed dry, and although its not Ospreys’ fancy AG back system, the mesh was good. It felt durable and cushioned.
£200 , I reiterate, is an awful lot of money to spend on a day pack. This bag is, without doubt, a competing durable beast that will last you 20 years. The zips are big and of a quality that will stand the test of time.
The little details are pretty fantastic-such as on the metal zip pulls there is an opera logo stamped. Their attention to detail is good.
Well, will it replace my trusty Stratos (Granted the link is to the newer version I’ve not tested…yet.) Yes. The easy access makes it a win, I love the simplicity, I love the fact when its windy there aren’t straps flapping around all over the place. My only reservation is the water bottle holder….Is there a way that it can be accessible while walking? However, there is Osprey’s very brilliant bladder system.Personally I really really like it-but I don’t always want to fill the bladder up.
Good job Osprey, another fantastic pack with a nod to the environment. Keep it up!!