The Axios was put straight to work. I loaded my required 6 bricks into the pack and brought them everywhere, which included my (at the time) 30km bicycle commute. I was always aware that I had some very heavy and rough bricks in my new pack. I had wrapped them in packing paper and bubble wrap, then wrapped that entire package with some old t-shirts. I made sure to never drag the bag on the ground and to never set it down to carelessly. Unfortunately though, after only a few weeks I noticed a small hole in the bottom of the pack and immediately contacted Arc'teryx. They responded and mentioned that the Axios is "on the lighter weight side of their lineup. The material is quite durable for what it is, but a hard hit against something hard in the pack or a tight load will probably do this type of damage." A patch job would be on the house if I wanted to return it, or I could pay $40-50 to have the material replaced. Unfortunately the back and forth with Arc'teryx was pretty slow because the gear expert that I had been told to contact was on vacation when I had initially sent out my request. By the time I had enough information to decide if I wanted to send the pack back to them, it was too close to my challenge date. So I conceded it was more of a cosmetic problem than it was a functionality problem and just wrote it off as a battle scar.
|These two holes are only about 5mm wide, and haven't gotten any bigger since I noticed them.|
|The waist belt is comfortable and has stretch pocks to hold small items.|
|The sternum strap is elasticized. I'm not really sure why. I always tend to pull it to the point where it might as well just be a single piece of static webbing.|
During the GoRuck Challenge, the pack performed flawlessly except for two instances that I can't in good conscience fault the designers. I'll mention them just in case any of you decide to use the same pack for your challenge. We were instructed to crab walk with the pack on our fronts for about half a kilometre. I tried to loosen the shoulder straps because the top of the frame was strangling me, but the buckles were filled with wet sand and the webbing was locked and unable to move. With Cadre reminding us that we needed to be moving with a "sense of urgency", taking a minute was out of the question. During normal circumstances, I would have just taken the pack off to wash out the sand, so no points lost in my books for the buckles. As well, I know that the pack was not designed to be worn on the chest, so again, no complaints.
|The two pockets at the top of the bag are spacious and have a bright lining to help find your things in low light conditions. There is also a clip for attaching items.|
|Another pocket is located once you flip the top of the pack open. Good for keeping more important items like money and passports.|
For examples of less extreme use, I have taken the Axios for over night trips and was pleased to be able to accommodate a thermarest, MSR 3-man Mutha Hubba tent, sleeping bag, change of clothes, and 10L water bladder. The side pockets and compression straps held the tent poles on one side, and the other side held my mattress. I'd consider this a much more realistic load coming in well under 30lbs. For a weight like this, the pack distributes the weight in a way that I don't even notice I'm carrying anything on my back.
On a day to day basis, I have found that this has become my go to pack. It's big enough that I can carry head to toe rain gear so that if it starts pouring when I'm at work, I can bike home comfortably. As well, if I want to stop for groceries, I have more than enough room to fit in a fair amount on top of my daily items. I like to carry a lot of stuff with me where ever I go. I probably carry too much in fact. The good news is that there is so much room in the main compartment, and so many ways to attach other items to the outside of the bag, I can't remember a time when I thought to myself, "Hmm, I don't have enough room."
|The only other point of wear I've seen on this bag is that the spacer mesh is starting to pill.|