Reviews - Rucksack: Arc'Teryx Naos 55 - Heason Events

Rucksack: Arc'Teryx Naos 55

18th Apr 2008

Arc’Teryx Naos 55

56L / 2.1Kg

Arc’Teryx like to tell everybody that they have revolutionised technologies and fabrics (doesn’t everybody?). Well, their new line of rucksacks is pretty special I have to say. In a nutshell they have done away with much of the seams and stitching and come up with a miraculous glue that sticks buckles and straps to the main body of the sac with unerring fastness. What this means is minimal leakage points and a much drier sac than anybody else has managed to come up with. I remember walking the Snowdon Horseshoe in the pouring rain as a kid and wondering why nobody had invented a moulded plastic rucksack that would keep out the water. Well this is as close to that as I’ve seen to date. It features a roll-top closure similar to a standard dry-bag which means that nothing can get in through the biggest opening. What seams there are, are fully sealed as you’d expect

OK, so we’ve established that it is basically a very well featured dry-bag with shoulder straps and a waist belt, but how does it function as a rucksack. My main gripe is with the waist belt. It’s called a Load Transfer Disc – basically the belt rotates around its attachment point with the rucksack and is fully removable by twisting it 90 degrees. It’s a bit like a bayonet light bulb fitting. What this means is that you can take off the belt when sending it into the overlarge baggage machine at airports, and that you get a strangely comfortable carry when moving heavy loads, but I found that by picking up the sack by the waist belt and a single shoulder strap, the belt was liable to frustratingly twist and pop out. I’ve found with Arc’Teryx packs before that the high density foam waist belt and shoulder straps are a little like sleeping on a hard mattress. They are satisfyingly comfortable to start with, but after a while in the saddle, so to speak, they can become a bit on the firm side. The back system is not adjustable, with one size fitting all. The sack itself is a bit of a strange shape, being narrower at the bottom than it is at the top. I found that this made loading it with bulky stuff quite tricky and resulted in air pockets in the bottom corners more often than not. A little practice overcame this.

What of its features? It weighs a shade over 2Kg which by my book is a fair amount of extra weight to put on your back for a long journey, especially for a medium sized pack. That said, it feels extremely durable. Despite the fact that it is watertight to the extreme it does have a sealable hydration bladder hole and a hanging space inside. There are ample straps on the sides to allow for extra stuff to be carried, and these straps are fastened by means of lightweight plastic clips rather than d pull-buckle, by far the best option in my opinion. There is a handy map pocket on the front side of the pack, and the lid pocket is very roomy. Both have a coloured and waterproof zip which help give the sack a sleek and classy look that unfortunately probably says ‘Steal Me!’, so keep your eyes on it when you’re not wearing it.

In summary this is a great bag to use for short load carrying, especially when there is a risk of getting wet – perfect for cragging, canyoning, skiing etc. It’s sleek and very well conceived on most fronts.


• RollTop closure
• Fully seam sealed
• Hydration bladder pocket
• Laminated map pocket
• Laminated moulded AC2 Fusion Points
• Load Transfer Disc
• Monoframe backpanel
• Pigment dyed WaterTight Zippers
• Radially formed Binary hipbelt
• Radially formed shoulder straps
• Removable WaterTight top lid
• Side access kangaroo pocket
• Six external compression straps
• Waterproof Hydroport
• 3D shaping


• 420ACT fabric
• Spacermesh
• Kydex framesheet
• 6061 aluminum stays


Reviewed by Matt Heason on behalf of planetFear