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Arc'teryx - Axios 25

posted May 7, 2013, 1:43 PM by GoOut Project   [ updated Jan 23, 2014, 4:17 AM ]

Ultra-light backpacks are usually "minimalistic". That's because when aiming at reducing weight, you have to get rid of all the superfluous (as for instance, bulky breathable meshes on the back, extra pockets and compartments, compression straps, zippers, etc.), and many times this compromises comfort and functionality.

However, fortunately, there are a few exceptions. The Arc'teryx Axios 25 is certainly one of those. This light backpack, weighting less than 700g, doesn't really sacrifice anything. A miracle? Maybe. 

Since it represents a quite unique example in the panorama of outdoor backpacks, Go Out Project could not miss the chance to test it.


The Axios is a concentrate of all the most advanced and performing materials developed by Arc'teryx. There are, in fact, more than 12 different fabrics/materials on this backpack, each designed to address a specific task. 

To simplify the description, let's just say that the backpack is essentially composed of 3 main materials (all proprietary of Arc'teryx): 
            • the Invista HT 100-denier ripstop, used on the most exposed areas and those that are more subject to wear 
            • the Invista HT 50-denier, non-ripstop version, on the side panels and the top
            • a combination of a breathable mesh, with a unique three-dimensional structure, and a perforated foam, on the back
The whole body come with a durable polyurethane coating on the inside of the fabric that makes it waterproof.

There are 8 pockets to organize everything you need: a small pocket with a clip for the keys, a large compartment for larger items, a very large outside pocket (Kangaroo pocket), an internal one for the wallet, two small pockets made of stretch material on the waist belt, and two bottle holders on the sides.

Performances on the field

The first feeling you get when putting the Axios on your shoulders is that of an exceptional lightness and comfort. We tested the Axios in quite extreme situations, such as trail running, and even in these conditions it's always resulted very comfortable. Thanks to the side compression straps, even if not fully loaded, the backpack has always maintained a good shape, without hampering movements and balance.

The front opening of the main compartment always allows quick and easy access to the content inside. 

Shoulder straps and waist belt are shaped to perfection. They are padded on the most critical spots, highly ergonomic, and highly breathable. They are made of a foam material, which is very light and that has relatively large pores to guarantee sufficient ventilation where it is more needed. 

The semi-rigid structure of the back pad guarantees good breathability and doesn't stick to your back even when you sweat a lot. 

During the test, we also appreciated some less-essential accessories: for example, the stowing pockets for the waist-belt, which we found practical when wearing a climbing harness, and the small pockets on the waist-belt made of stretchable fabric, which we found often useful to store small items. Also the four compression straps are very useful to reduce the volume of the backpack when not fully loaded and to fix extra load on the sides (for example, telescopic poles, tent poles, etc.). 

In the main compartment there is a practical pocket where you can place your favorite hydration system. The aperture for the tube of the hydration system is, unfortunately, poorly protected against rain. In case of heavy rain, a few times we noticed that the backpack got partially wet on the inside. The water passed exactly through the little aperture... too bad! 

All the zippers always operated smoothly and quickly, even when the backpack was fully loaded. 

Resistance to tearing and abrasion is not optimal: the fabric is not the most tenacious existing, but considering the low weight it can still be considered acceptable.


If you are looking for a functional and versatile lightweight backpack for different outdoor activities, the Axios is certainly one of the best options available out there. A really unique backpack at a reasonable price ... that most of the time you won't even notice on your shoulders!

Possible Alternatives
  • Haglofs L.I.M Susa 20
  • Black Diamond Nitro Pack

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh-back panel, shoulder- and waist-straps
  • Ergonomic
  • Low tear and abrasion resistance
  • Limited water-resitance