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For multi-day trips or light-packing weeklong hauls into the backcountry.

Save energy and keep your trek into the backcountry light with the Arc'teryx Men's Altra 65 Backpack. Ideal for multi-day or weeklong backpacking adventures, the Altra expands and compresses to the size you need while also providing the comfort, support, and stability you require when you're slogging up a scree-covered rock field or a steep trail to high-mountain lakes.

  • 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
  • Load Transfer Disc naturally moves with your body while distributing the pack's load weight to your hips for improved comfort
  • GridLock shoulder straps adjust for both height and width
  • 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, burly double-weave fabric offers strength and durability, and the back panel sits away from your back to boost ventilation
  • Altra 65L is available in regular and tall and works as a fast-and-light pack for multi-day trips in the backcountry
  • U-shaped zipper offers easy access to your gear
  • Extendable top lid and extension collar enable you to carry larger loads
  • 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

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Arc'teryx Altra 65 Backpack - Men's - 3965-4148cu in

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Best corporate pack

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

What a great backpack. The price is a bit much, but once you get your hands on the bag and especially when you load it up I can see the difference. I got this pack to carry my stuff more comfortably and to also haul a few things for others as well. The ergonomics of the pack are amazing. Just lifting the pack from the handle (never the harness!) is ergonomically better than I've seen. It goes on without the shoulder straps all twisted and jumbled. Also, all the straps are handy to reach and the pack is very adjustable. I really think the lid is amazing. So simple yet such an improvement. The workmanship, materials and layout of this pack are just wonderful. I cannot access the zippered wingman pockets with the pack on, but that doesn't matter to me for I use a hydration bladder. The pockets are great though. The hydration pocket is large enough to accommodate my 3 liter bladder and a flat style 750ml bottle of whatever. I really love that I can have this pack quite overloaded, but I don't look like the the Beverly Hillbillies. Everything gets into the pack and is concealed. The compression straps are EXTREMELY effective as well. Some designs improvements for me would be: ditch the zipper as I have only used it to see if it is practical and it's not for me, the draw cord on the "snow collar" isn't sewn in at the top so when I'm overloaded I have to manually move the draw cord up to the top of the collar before cinching it down. That's about it really. I am sending the pack back because over 65lbs and it starts getting pretty uncomfortable. It's a bit surprising to me for I have no problem getting that kind of wt into the 65 yet the suspension is the same for the 65-85. So, I must go with another pack (Kifaru) that is meant to carry heavy loads better. Even the rep at Kifaru almost had me sold on the Altra. If I could only get my weight down it would be great! If you stay under 55 lbs the pack is wonderful. Over that and you may want to look elsewhere. Great pack!

What kind of grease are you supposed to use for the load transfer disc? Mine didn't come with any grease.

Best Answer Responded on

Here's what Arc' says:

Special AC2 lubricant may be obtained from most Arc'teryx retailers. If AC2 lubricant is not available, contact our Warranty Department

Alternately, you can use plumber's silicone grease as a back-up, available at most hardware stores or scuba dive shops.

Do not use oil based lubricants such as WD40, as it will cause the Discs to seize and degrade the urethane components."

... and I hope that helps!

I would just call them and they will send you a little tube of lube!

Responded on

Davis is spot on.

Here's a link to the "Contact Us" form:

You can contact them and ask for a free sample of the lube.

If my back length is 19.5", would it be better to go with the short/reg or the reg/tall? The size chart has the short going up to 20" and the Tall starting at 19". Is it just a coin flip, or would there be a benefit to being on one end or the other end of the scale?

Best Answer Responded on


The deciding factor for me would be the desired pack capacity, because you could go with either since you're right on the cusp- the Regular is 3965 - 4453 cu in, while the Tall is 4148 - 4575 cu in-- do you want/need the extra 183 cubic inches?

Feel free to give me a call if you need anything else- I can be reached at 1-800-409-4502 ext 4456, or

5 5

First Arcteryx pack

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Okay so first off, I cannot say anything about how this holds up over time because I have not yet had the chance to get out for a long hike with it. I will just comment on the build and general features for now and will follow up with comments after using it over a few days time.

Color: Like David Thiel mentions, the color is not the copper look in the picture, but it is more of a brick red. Now I hate red personally but I really actually like the look on this. The build quality seems to be extremely good. I don't see any areas where any stitching is loose or even any uncut strings or so forth like I find with a lot of other products. I guess one would pretty much expect excellent quality given the price though.

Features I personally love: The large external zippered compartment on the center of the back is absolutely awesome! It is large enough to accommodate a variety of items. I tried my tent poles, camera tripod, rain jacket and a few other things and find it makes a really great universal stow-away pocket to keep odd sized items out of the way. The two side pockets are really big as well. The right amount of room where you can easily insert a 32oz. bottle without fighting with the pack. However, I will say that the accessibility (at least for me) is not really all that easy to reach around and easily get to. Not a huge deal really, but I think if the side pockets were gapped a few inches more towards the front and they would be really easy to access. Some people might have a longer reach obviously, so might not affect everyone. I did find one of the side pockets is a great area to put my headlamp and fire kit. My Jetboil Flash also fits nicely inside as well as a GSI Halulite Microdualist kit.

I think another fabulous feature is the double-zippered compartments on the top of the pack. Just that extra bit of foresight that Arc'teryx had to recognize the need for organization in a pack is nice. The padding and unique swivel hip connection is crazy cool and comfortable. This pack made me a fan!

5 5

Glad I purchased this pack!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I spent a lot of time researching about getting a new pack. I know arcteryx gear is great but not a lot reviews out there. The wife and I were heading away on a life journey. 14 months away from home. I needed a pack that was durable, but also multi purpose. Great for hiking but also for travel.
I am so glad I settled on the altra pack. One for the wife, a 62, and a 65 for me.
It's an incredibly well thought out pack. So many places to store stuff. Very comfortable with the waist belt design. Yes it might sqeak. But as long as you lube the swivel belt occasionally, no problems.
So far we are 6 weeks into the trip. But so glad we got these packs.
Sorry backcountry. I bought them somewhere else. But wanted to share the info for interested people.

Can someone give me the approximate dimension...

Can someone give me the approximate dimension of the pack moderately full? Just curious how much larger it is, since I've never used anything bigger than a 45L. Thanks

Responded on

Hey Danp,

Sorry I don't have the exact dimensions, but this vid from Arx will give you a general idea of the size of this pack when loaded.

Responded on

I'll try to stuff mine and measure it, but I won't be able to do that til Wednesday.

I can tell you that it's a surprisingly svelt pack, even for the volume. It uses its space very well. Carries like a smaller pack.

Responded on

Here you go. These are approximate but give you an idea. Had this pack to normal capacity (65 liters) ... with the kangaroo pocket packed with rain gear. The pack was not completely turgid, but full.

When viewing the back with the hip belt facing away from me:

33 inches high
14 inches wide across the main body
19 inches wide across the wingmen
14 inches deep

I hope that helps.

My guess is this thing will stretch up to 1.5 inches in each of those dimensions... except height, where it could rise like another 6-8 inches if needed.

This pack is GREAT. Hope you buy and enjoy it. It's crazy expensive, but it's cheaper than a Ferrari or an extra-marital affair!

Responded on

David, thanks so much for taking the time to measure!! I went ahead and ordered and should be here tomorrow. I am hoping I can condense for lesser loads and fill it full for longer times out. At that price, something universal is expected..

Responded on

Happy to help. You got lucky: I was doing a gear demo to some new boy scouts today.

I find it's a very versatile pack. I use mine for 2 mile "expeditions" with 10 year olds, then turn around and use it for 15 mile-per-day through hikes with my friends on the AT.

Love this pack. It WILL squeak on you, so do carry the grease if that sort of thing drives you nuts... but that's it's only fault. Other than that I honestly can't imagine anything better and I've used a lot of packs in my life.

Responded on

Ha! Not a very big deal but I'll be sure to carry grease/tri-flo. Happy to hear it meets its expectations. I am going to be buying Arcteryx jacket if I am happy with this. Something for all-year any suggestions?

5 5

Worth the extra weight

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I upgraded to this pack from a similar sized Osprey that always ended up hurting my hips when loaded down. I tend to stress over extra pounds, so it was a tough choice. Part of my problem is that when I hike with my family, I get the brunt of the bear keg, heavier tent, extra food, stove, etc. I used the A'T pack for the first time last week, and it was much more comfortable than the Atmos. So much that I often didn't realize how much I was carrying.

Great pack, very comfortable, hallmark A'T quality. Worth the money... You get what you pay for.

What's the the difference between the tall...

What's the the difference between the tall and short?

Best Answer Responded on

Back Length.
Short has a back length of 16.5 - 20in (42 - 51cm)
Tall is: 19 - 22.5in (48 - 57cm)

Responded on

You get slightly more volume with the tall too I think... like 3L.

with the arcteryx altra 65, since it's not...

with the arcteryx altra 65, since it's not waterproof an i'm new to camping is their a means to waterproof the pack?

Best Answer Responded on

It's often more effective to waterproof what's inside the pack by means of ziploc bags, etc.

Stil.... Arc'teryx makes a pack cover specifically for this pack. It's a little heavy and it's a little expensive, but it fits perfectly and will keep everything dry.

Ice Axe Pockets (again)

Ice Axe Pockets (again)

Here's another view of the ice axe pockets at the base of the pack. (in the photo, look for the very sharp VERTICAL line between sun and shade on the lower flap of the pack... It's DEAD CENTER in the photo. That's the pocket...)

Zipper Garage

Zipper Garage

The Altra has zipper garages for the main "u" zipper. Since the pack isn't waterproof, I assume it's to reduce noise.



Here's one more shot showing the "hidden" loops on the pack in use. Check out where the tips of these trekking poles are sitting... that loop is always available (top and bottom, both sides of pack).

Wingman with camera

Wingman with camera

My DSLR fits in here and can be accessed with one hand. For reference it's a Canon t2i (so a consumer body) and in this photo it has a 28-200mm lens on it. I've also used it in this pocket with a chunky Sigma 18-250 superzoom.

I put a tiny amount of foam in the pocket (loose) to wedge the camera in and guard it against something stupid happening to it. Other than that, I am not gingerly with the pack or camera and things have held up quite well.

Responded on

I have a 40 oz Hydroflask. It is about 10.5" high, I wonder if it would fit in these pockets?

Responded on

Hmm... that's a tough question and my religion does not allow me to use hydroflask, so no way for me to check. I CAN tell you that a 32 oz nalgene wide mouth just fits in the pocket. Just. You can close the zipper without any drama, but you definitely need to use both hands.

Responded on

I surmise... if the 40oz hydroflask is any taller than a 32oz nalgene wide-mouth then it would definitely NOT fit in this pocket.

That said, the hydration bladder pocket on this pack is great, so even though I still carry a bottle.... I don't need to access while I hike and instead I just put it inside the pack.

Fully loaded (side view)

Fully loaded (side view)

About 35 pounds of gear in here. Handles like a dream.

The wingman pocket is open because I just took my camera out of it.

Loops and ice axe attachments.

Loops and ice axe attachments.

Hopefully this photo will help some folks. I don't use ice axes or anything like them, but I think this photo shows some of the attachment points.

From the upper left of the image, follow the strap down and to the right. Just AFTER you hit the quick clip, you'll see a loose loop of webbing that is sticking up. This loop is "loose" even when the pack is loaded and the compression straps are taut. A second loop just like this one appears at the top of the pack--and the same two loops are repeated on the other side of the pack.

NOW, look at the bottom of the image and you'll see the bottom compression "flap" that can be used to store a bedroll or whatnot. But if you look on that flap itself you'll see a pocket there: that pocket is sized to receive the head of an ice axe. Again, the same pocket is repeated on the other side.

I hope that helps!

Can you attach ice axes to the pack? I...

Can you attach ice axes to the pack? I see in the video they use the smaller version of this pack with ice axes, is it possible?

Best Answer Responded on


Yes, the big expedition sized Altra packs all use basically that same P'ax system that you saw in the videos. For carrying, you would use both loops at the ends of side compression straps, but for one-hand, what you do is slide the axe or ice tool shaft under just the upper loop, lift a little, then slide the axe head into the sleeve you see the lower comp strap going into at the bottom of the pack. I know it might sound confusing, but it does work. Watch the videos again and scrutinize the Altra's features, you'll see pretty much how it works.

Responded on

Take a look at the image I just posted... I think it might help!

Responded on

Thanks guys. Indeed in the video it does show an ice axe in a smaller Altra and it seem the larger ones have the same attachment points. It's just not the normal attachments that we see on most packs. But then again it is Arcteryx!



Pack it in. Top and back opening make this a breeze to pack and access

5 5

Amazing pack!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

So far it's the best pack I've ever owned. Really comfortable, and it is one of the best made ever. At just barely five pounds it's pretty light for what it is.

I'm sure most folks know about the features offered in this pack, so rather than listing them, I'll offer an opinion on some of the more discussed aspects of this packs design. At just under half a grand, this is one of the more expensive packs on the market. Unless you're thinking of a custom job, this is about as pricey as the high quality backpacks come. In my opinion, it's worth every penny. Time will tell (I've had mine for about a week) obviously, but from everything ranging from weekend trips to hard core thru-hiking, this pack will deliver for years under hard conditions. The craftsmanship is outstanding. Comfort and solid construction are what really appeal most to me when looking at packs and this thing is built from BOMBER nylon, with really tight seams, nice zippers, and strong adjustment straps. All stitching is impeccable. It's not completely waterproof by any official standard, which seems to be a big topic with this pack, but I would never expect any pack to be. Buy a raincover (which you should get with any pack that will see any real use) and you'll be fine. A+ for build quality is what I'm saying here. It does beat out packs by Gregory and Osprey in this category, in that it's slightly better assembled, more usable, and lighter (lighter than the Gregory packs of the similar size, at least)

The biggest con that I heard about this pack was regarding its (ingenious) attachments for the shoulder straps and the load transfer disc in the waistbelt of the pack. I have not had this thing squeak on me yet, which supposedly is a huge problem, in both the waist belt and the shoulders. I would go for it if you're passionate about laying hands on one. This 2013 model really seems to have hashed out the older problems with the previous model. Again, this pack rules the land of backpacking.