Aarn Featherlite backpack review – the best yet?

We have owned several hiking backpacks over the years. Most recently, our tried and trusted One Planet Strezlecki’s have been carried to many wonderful places but after our daughter Clare invested in an Aarn backpack we started thinking about a change.

We are heading towards our late 50’s and want to keep seeking adventure in the outdoors as long as we can. Carrying a lot of weight does not help the cause. The last couple of trips we have had sore feet, damaged toenails and blisters. Include a sore back into the equation. It was becoming hard work.

Checking out the Aarn website we were intrigued by the following statement:

Aarn Bodypacks are the most efficient, comfortable, stable, practical and healthy way to carry load on the human body. They challenge traditional thinking on pack design.

Backpacks significantly disturb the posture, balance and movement of the body. Backpacks create leverages on the torso that act to distort the natural curve of the spine. Backpacks are a stressful and energy wasting way to carry a load.

It was time to seek an alternative.

We headed off to Backpacking Lite in Melbourne to check them out. In our opinion, if you are purchasing something like a pack you, really need to try it on, get it fitted and understand it before you purchase it. Buying it online is not a great option.

After a thorough play around with the pack we were convinced they might be for us and purchased one each.

Review of Aarn hiking backpacks

Sue and Hannah with their Aarn packs

A couple of weeks later,  without any pre-trip experimenting with the packs,  we loaded them up and headed off for 7 days on the Overland Track in Tasmania. Yes, the first time we wore them loaded was heading off. Crazy? Yes!

After a wonderful trip, the new Aarn packs proved to be winners.

Positives:

  • light, around 1.5kg (3.3 lbs), about 1.5kg lighter than our One Planets.
  • fit like a glove, very comfortable, easy to walk, little stress on our backs or feet.
  • you can walk upright in a comfortable position.
  • we were balanced and stable while we walked.
  • it is waterproof so you don’t need to pack gear inside your pack in dry bags.

Negatives:

  • you look weird compared to other walkers you meet
  • you spend time explaining how the pack works
  • there are many straps, fittings and adjustments. This can be very confusing at the beginning.
  • we found it a fiddle to get the back length right

Things to look out for:

  • try and get it fitted by a professional when you purchase it. Especially the height adjustment. Getting your head around adjusting the pack, when you have no idea how to do it, and it is fully loaded,  is a challenge.
  • be careful packing sharp items as each compartment is lined with a dry bag. Once perforated you need to replace it or accept the pack is not waterproof.
  • The Aarn website has a STACK of information and video’s on how to adjust and fit a variety of their packs. The site can be confusing as there seems to be a several videos for each pack and the different adjustments for the pack

This video is a basic comparison between our old One Planet Strezlecki packs and our new Aarn Featherlite packs.

Hope it helps explain the differences and gives you some good information if you are in the market for a new pack.

Have you tried an Aarn backpack?
Do you love or hate your existing pack?
Do you have any recommendations for our readers?

Shoot us a comment below, we would love your feedback and ideas.

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