Rob Silva wrote a review of Arc'teryx Altra 50 Backpack - Men's - 2867-3233cu in on February 15, 2013
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.