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Fast, light, durable pack for weekend backcountry trips.

When you find yourself strapping your sleeping bag, cook pot, and tent poles onto the outside of your daypack, it's time to invest in the Arc'teryx Men's Altra 50 Backpack. This pack provides enough gear space for one, two, or three nights of quiet bliss in the backcountry, and the C² suspension system helps keep weight to a minimum while boosting comfort and support.

  • C² (composite construction) system's minimized construction lamination decreases pack weight and makes the pack sit close to the body, which minimizes load movement and backward pull and increases energy conservation
  • Ergonomically shaped shoulder straps feature 500D nylon with silicone-treated PU fabric for durability and protection, a Hypercell foam for stability and comfort, and SpacerMesh lining for airflow
  • Twin 6005 T-6 extruded aluminum M-bar stays are rigid and lightweight to provide structural support
  • Back panel consists of HD 80 foam for support and structure and burly double-weave fabric offers strength and durability
  • Altra 50L is available in short, regular, and tall
  • Two vertical-zippered access points offer easy access to your gear
  • Extendable top lid and extension collar enable you to carry larger loads for three nights in the backcountry or for just a weekend
  • Body fabric consists of 210D nylon ripstop fabric coated with silicone to shed moisture and provide durability and tear-resistance
  • 500D nylon silicone-treated PU fabric in high-wear areas supplies extreme durability and resists dirt, snow, and water pick-up
  • Extension collar features 100D nylon mini ripstop fabric that has incredible tear resistance and a silicone coating that sheds moisture
  • Hydration compatible (bladder not included) with a hydration sleeve external access point for convenience
  • Wingman pockets make it easy to grab your camera or headlamp one-handed
  • Double-chamber top lid organizes your gear
  • Large front kangaroo pocket stashes frequently used items while an internal security pocket holds your keys, phone, or wallet
  • Dual P'ax ice tool carry system enables one-handed access to your tools

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Here's what others have to say...


Nice pack!

  • Gender:Male
  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

I think this bag has gotten a raw deal in reviews. Could the suspension be better? Sure. Is it designed to carry a heavy load for miles down a trail? Not really. It's built to be a light weight pack. There's a niche for this and its not for people who want to shlep a heavy load or for those requiring a plush suspension. For what it is and what it's designed to do, I think it does the job very well. The Altra 50 just supported my month long trip to Peru and, at the end of it all, I was left with very little to complain about.

I packed "relatively" light and only really utilized the bottom two thirds or so of the bag. The top portion was taken up by a f-stop internal camera unit (size: small pro) loaded with my DSLR, lenses, and a complete GoPro system with active gimbal mount. Even had room for a few souvenirs. I kept the weight under fifty pounds (initially just under forty pounds but weight increased as the trip progressed). When loaded down with extra water and the bulk of my souvenirs, I could tell the hipbelt was sagging a bit. That transferred more weight to my shoulders but it wasn't uncomfortable torture by any means. The straps and hipbelt are comfortable but thin enough to wrap around the pack and create a profile small enough to fit sideways in the overhead of larger aircraft (IF you haven't put much in the kangaroo pocket on the front). It won't fit in the smaller regional jets.

I found the 50 to be very liveable. I would have liked the full access front zip like the 65 but the side zips made it easy to gain access to stuff at the bottom of the pack. The zippers on the top lid open from the top, so you don't have things falling out when you open them up. I really like having zippered wing pockets rather than elastic water bottle holders. You can easily access the pockets while wearing the pack. I could still stuff a water bottle inside but they're great for quick access items that would otherwise fall out or be exposed; beanie, snacks, even a light fleece pullover. The kangaroo pocket on the front was perfectly sized for a shell jacket, pair of trekking poles, and a small tripod. Access is easy from the top or the front zip. The pack was not treated gingerly and held up well. No rips, tears, abrasions, or split seams to report. I never once worried about durability. I didn't use the water reservoir pocket but it's nicely configured with access from outside the bag.

If you pack for fast and light, this is a nice bag. If you're a heavy packer, you will want a more supportive suspension. Would I buy it again? Definitely. Here it is, a little filthy from dirt in the desert of Southern Peru but still going strong!

By the way, the photo shown of the back of the pack in the description above is the back of an Altra 65. The suspension on the 50 is more simplistic. No shoulder strap adjustment and no pivoting hipbelt.

Nice pack!

Can this work as carry-on and fit in the overhead cargo on plane?


Depending on the airline you're flying with you'll have a different bag restrictions. Here are a few major air lines and their respective carry on size limitations compared to this pack:

(All in inches)

Delta Air Lines 22 x 14 x 9

Southwest Airlines 24 x 16 x 10

American Airlines 22 x 14 x 9

Unfortunately this pack will be too big for those dimensions.

The length will be too big.

Shoot me an email anytime you have questions!

Jared D.

Expert Gearhead



Disappointed as well

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

The pack itself is made of high quality materials, and the pack body is very well done. The usual from Arc'teryx.

Conversely and unfortunately, the suspension isn't worthy of a pack that can be extended to 58L in the Large. The hipbelt supports no weight, so expect to carry all of your load on the shoulders.

An upgrade to the suspension and this pack would be a real winner for lightweight packers on weeklong trips.

i completely agree-I used one of these and it was not really builit for heavy loads but fast packing. So, I went to ebay and found a Bora 50 near new. Love my bora-cant really beat the suspension of the waistbelt of the bora. I wish they would take the bora waistbelt and put it on an pivot like the altra.


Massively disappointed

  • Gender:Male
  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

I had such incredible high hopes for this pack. But it appears that in a rare misstep, the arcteryx folks have lost the plot on packs in this size range.

The pack itself is clean, well thought out and lightweight. The suspension, if you can even call it that, is a joke. The hipbelt doesn't even deserve the name, it is so incredibly thin and flimsy. Zero weight transfer. I know arcteryx is all about elite atheletes who apparently like pain and carrying 58 Liters of gear (full expanded size of this pack in a Tall) all on their shoulders, but that kind of elitism is getting a bit rampant up at arc HQ.

From the company who once understood that competent suspensions are part of 50-55L packs, this is a dismal failure. The new Gregory Contour 50, the Deuter 50 ACT, those are packs that can comfortably carry 35, 40, even 45 pounds ON YOUR HIPS. You know.. where the weight should be.

This pack... gets returned. I give it two stars because aside from the laughable suspension, the pack design is quite good.

A lot of newer packs skimp on the suspension which is the most important part of a pack if you want to carry 40 lbs more than one mile. I am guessing that the strategy is to incorporate a lot of bells and whistles like extra zippers, external pockets, sleek profiles, fancy ice axe carrying systems, extendable and removable hoods .. etc .. the fancy features attract buyers and the lite suspension keeps the weight, bulk, and cost down. Manufacturers are also thinking that most weekend warriors seldom go more than one mile away from the car and they work 50 weeks a year and have the $$$ to afford fancy packs.