The Arc’teryx Aerios 15 and 30 backpacks let you pack exceptionally light. What they don’t do is Sherpa all your gear on serious climbs. For that, you’re better off with the Alpha AR 55.
In summary, the Arc’teryx Aerios 15 and 30 blend a lightweight design with a plethora of features. The Aerios 15 has a 20-ounce weight paired 15-liter capacity that’ll keep you light and nimble on anything under 10 miles. The 30-liter capacity and 32-ounce weight of the Aerios 30 is better for spending all day on the trail.
The Aerios 15 is precisely what you want in a daypack. The 15-liter capacity holds all the basic hiking essentials. There’s even a spot for your water bladder.
For hikes that require more gear, the Aerios 30 has you covered. The 30-liter capacity lets you shove in your puffy gloves, emergency shell, beanie, a plethora of RX Bars, water, and a few extra items. All well organized in numerous pockets, gear loops, and front bungee cord system.
Really, both have a great capacity depending on your use. If you prefer to keep it light, go with the Aerios 15. The Aerios 30 is better for those who require more storage or tend to carry items for the just-in-case scenario.
If you’re looking for a bulky pack to haul a brutal load for training, neither is the pack for you. The Aerios 15 and 30 are lightweight packs.
Both of which could go lighter if Arc’teryx ditched the frame. However, the crowd they appear to be aiming at are those who don’t mind a few more ounces for more features and comfort.
Meaning, the lightweight crowd. Not ultralight hikers.
At a mere 20 ounces, the Aerios 15 is the lighter of the two. This is a point in the plus column if you don’t want to be bogged down.
Meanwhile, the Aerios 30 clocks in at 32 ounces. That’s a whole 2 pounds!
Ultralight hikers could go lighter. However, that’s some serious back-saving weight for anyone looking to ditch a bulky pack, especially considering the capacity, comfort, and all the features.
The Aerios 15 is a one size fits all sort of deal. Meaning, there’s no option for a larger size to match a longer torso.
The Aerios 30, on the other hand, comes in regular and XL. Whether or not you need the extended length, it’s nice that Arc’teryx at least gives taller folks the option.
The Aerios 15 and 30 are comfortable daypacks. The padded harness and decently ventilated back panel work well when loaded. That is, as long as you don’t overload.
Hauling too much gear won’t be an issue with the Aerios 15. The 15-liter capacity won’t let it be. However, the waist belt is the same as the Brize 25, which I’m not keen on.
On the flip side, I can see someone easily packing the Aerios 30 to the brim to find the waist belt and chest straps to be on the uncomfortable side.
Speaking of which, what’s up with the double bungee chest straps? I am not a fan.
I think this design would be more annoying to use than a standard chest strap. This is a minus on the comfortability scale for both daypacks.
Take a look at the Arc’teryx daypack finder, and you’ll notice a stealthy color scheme going on with all their packs. The Aerios 15 and 30 are part of the cool pack club with their slate grey, called Pixel, coloration.
What I’m not understanding is who decided on the Glade color for the Aerios 30. Or why they don’t offer this option for the Aerios 15. I’m personally not digging it. But the neon-loving crowd may love its electric pop.
What I appreciate most about the Arc’teryx Aerios 15 and 30 are the marriage of durable, lightweight material and a clever design. All of which increase versatility.
Both are good for scrambling, peak bagging, day hiking, or navigating through an urban jungle.
Beyond that, the Aerios 30 can easily be used for extended day hikes or single backcountry overnighters. You could even test it out on an alpine climb, given all the room for extra gear.
As for the Aerios 15, it’s good for a solid day trek. The frame hugging design paired with the size also makes it a viable option for trail running.
Just keep in mind it won’t leave you as agile as a simple hydration vest.
The one thing I am hesitant about is taking either one bushwhacking or on super technical trails. The bungee cord system, albeit as useful as it is, is more prone to snags.
I also wouldn’t use either on a thru-hike. The Aerios 15 doesn’t have enough space for the average thru-hikers. There are also lighter packs you could go with than the Aerios 30.
The Aerios 15 and 30 come with numerous features and storage options.
You can obsessively pack all your gear and gadgets into a specific spot for easier access. This typically isn’t an option with most ultralight packs.
However, Arc’teryx will make you pay for it. The question is, how much are you willing to pay?
When it comes to the Aerios 30, there are equally sized quality packs at a fraction of the cost. I’d also like to see the Aerios 15 with an improved waist belt.
Both of which could also use a better chest strap.
If you’re looking for a comfortable, lightweight, and feature-filled pack, the Arc’teryx Aerios 15 and 30 may be right for you.
The Aerios 15 is light enough for trail runners and fast hikers alike. Meanwhile, the Aerios 30 offers more room to store cold weather gear while still maintaining a comfortable weight.
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