Arcido Akra Review | Innovative 35L One Bag Travel Backpack


The Arcido Akra is a 35 liter, polished, one bag travel backpack that
has some unique features and some smart functionality going on. I’m Tom, the founder of Pack Hacker, where we use our expertise
and real world experience to provide practical
resources and honest opinions guiding you towards smarter travel. So, if you’re new here,
consider subscribing. We have been testing the Arcido
Akra for about a month now along with the smaller
daypack and the other items within the ecosystem that go with it, so. Excited to share all our
thoughts with you, let’s jump in. (upbeat pop music) Overall this bag has a more
minimal and professional feel. The main fabric going on
here is a 500D Kodra nylon. The heather gray looks
professional and it also hides dirt when you’re on the road, which is a really great benefit to the overall aesthetic of this bag. At the time of this review,
the heather gray colorway is the only color that
the Akra is available in; we’re curious to see whether they add more colorways in the future. First of all the zippers
are colored to kind of match the fabric as well
as they are reverse coils so none of the zipper
teeth are actually showing, this adds to the polished
and streamlined look. On top of that some of these
zippers have welting as well, so that’s a tiny piece
of fabric that sort of goes over the zipper and hides it. The positioning of the
zipper gives everything a kind of interesting and round look. We have a couple issues with the access, which we’ll get into in a little bit, but overall it gives everything kind of a streamlined and unique look and feel. From a branding perspective,
we have a small logo on the front of the bag here. There is also a logo on the back panel, and then a small Arcido logo
mark on the shoulder strap. With bags, beauty is always
in the eye of the beholder, that’s why we decided to
poll our Instagram audience over @packhacker, and
here are the results. To be involved in future
polls, feel free to go over and follow us @packhacker on Instagram. To wrap up the materials we
have YKK zippers used across the pack that seem a little
bit small in some areas. The hardware is a mix of DuraFlex
and FastPros and we don’t have a lot of experience
with the brand FastPros, so time will tell on how that holds up, however we’ve had really
great luck with DuraFlex. (upbeat pop music) Kicking it off with the
external components, starting with the harness
system, the professional feel continues to show here with
the way that these straps and the harness system has been designed. The straps have this 500D
Kodra fabric on the outside, and on the inside there are
some breathable mesh going on. The foam used on the
strap here is quite thick and decently dense so it
provides a comfy ride. The sternum strap
attachment point is hidden behind this welted piece of fabric here, and that continues to add a
streamlined look to the bag. Although it looks good,
one of the problems with the sternum strap here is
the way that it attaches. If you’re an avid follower of the Pack Hacker YouTube
channel you’ll know that we sometimes lose sternum
straps like this in testing because the attachment point
is not necessarily permanent, it’s just way too easy for this thing to slip out on its own. During our testing we have
not had this sternum strap fall out on either the Akra
or the smaller Vaga daypack, which we’re gonna get
to in a second, however, just know that it is
a possibility and with the sternum strap design,
we have seen that happen on other bags we’ve tested in the past. For the sternum strap buckle, we have a satisfying,
magnetic buckle going on. We like that there is a strap keeper to manage the excess strap, as well, and there’s some slight
elasticity going on in the sternum strap, too, which makes it a lot more comfortable to
use and a lot more versatile. One other thing to mention
here on the sternum strap is that its easily swappable from the Akra to the smaller Vaga daypack,
so you can kinda reuse this, add it to the smaller daypack if you do want a sternum strap there, you don’t have to have a bunch
of extra parts laying around, although one might be nice in case you lose the sternum strap. We have a full written review of the Vaga over at packhacker.com, so
be sure to check that out if you’re interested in taking a
look at the smaller daypack. Moving on to the
adjustability of these straps, it is pretty standard, however
we’re a bit disappointed that we don’t have those elastic keepers on these strap adjusters that we’ve seen on both the sternum
strap and the hip belt. There’s some nylon webbing
at the bottom here, for attaching an optional hip belt, and, on me personally, it’s
more like a stomach belt. I’m six foot two inches
with a torso length of 19.25 inches and the hip
belt comes up very high, like kind of above my
belly button, it just doesn’t really work for me personally. What a lot of other bags
do to solve this problem is that they offer multiple nylon loops for attachment points, so,
this one’s pretty high up, we’d be curious to see,
in the next iteration if they offer a loop
maybe higher, maybe lower for somebody that needs a
little bit of a different positioning on that hip belt,
based on their torso length. We also hae a couple of
gripes with the hardware. The DuraFlex gatekeeper that
is used to attach the hip belt is one of the hardest clips
in the backpack business to do and undo, not really
knocking Arcido much for this as it is a very popular choice
with a lot of other bags, but just to note, it’s a little
bit hard to get on and off. The magnetic buckle on the
hip belt doesn’t seem to work quite as well in this application either. You typically want a hip belt very close and tight to your body, and
while this was tightened, we typically found ourselves
kinda poking ourselves trying to get this magnetic buckle off. A standard slide release buckle would likely work better here. On to the positives of the hip belt, they have these nice little pockets here that are used for more
flexible or smaller items like Chapstick, transit
cards or extra cash. All that can be held here,
although you may not wanna put your phone in there ’cause
it’s gonna be a little stiff and the hip belt needs
to contour to your body. We also have those nice
elastic keepers on the hip belt which helps with strap management, and the extra nylon at
the attachment points provides some flexibility
for the hip belt. Lastly on the harness system
them is a pretty dense foam going on here on the back
panel that is lined with mesh. It is nearly impossible to
get away from sweaty back with back packs but this
definitely helps with airflow. The grab handle on top
is just the right size, it’s low profile and it has
the right amount of padding. Arcido really did this one right. Opposite of that the
bottom of the bag has a higher denier fabric going
on at the bottom here for added durability as
you’re setting the bag down. Now, the bottom this
features a thin frame sheet kinda going on to give it
a little bit of structure, however we haven’t really
noticed that’s helped. Generally this bag is pretty floppy, kinda the back frame sheet
is pretty lose as well, so it’s not gonna stand up on its own unless you have like exactly
rectangular and structural padded packing cubes on
the inside of this thing. Not a deal breaker, but
just something to note. And lastly, the water
bottle pockets on the sides. Now, these are of ample size, you can fit larger water bottles in here, however the material and the
stretchiness of the elastic is very minimal, so,
whereas, water bottle pockets on other bags really grip
that water bottle in place, this one doesn’t really
do that great of a job, so you kinda need a
bottle with the exact size to fit inside; oftentimes we
found our bottles falling out. (upbeat pop music) Some of the unique organizational features and the design decisions
are where this bag really starts to shine,
especially in the travel context. With all of the pockets and compartments going on with this bag, let’s
start with the stealth pockets going on right behind
the water bottle mesh. The angled positioning of the zipper, follows the water bottle mesh exactly and we can definitely
appreciate that minor detail. The pockets going on here
are bout the same size as the water bottle mesh that you
see on the exterior as well. There’s a top, quick-access
pocket that’s lined with this felt-like material
that’s good for things that are a little bit more delicate, so, sunglasses, your phone, has ample space so you can fit a decent
amount inside as well. Then there’s a back, hidden
pocket that is great for items that require a
little bit more security. So, maybe your travel documents,
extra cash, your passport. Definitely a secure pocket,
considering if you’re wearing this thing it
is against your back. You probably don’t wanna put anything too bulky or pokey in
here, there’s a kind of thin frame sheet that this
pocket goes behind that helps a little bit but it’s generally
better for flatter items. Now, opening up the bag,
fully clamshelled at the back gives us access to the laptop organization features going on here. We really dig this laptop harness, and think there is some great thinking going on with the features here. First of all it offers a
custom fit, which is gonna work well for most laptop
sizes under 15 inches. You just un-Velcro the sides here, slide your laptop in,
Velcro it for a tight fit, and then you are good to go. Your laptop is suspended
in the middle of the bag, which is great, so in
case you drop this thing, the edge of your laptop isn’t
gonna hit the ground first, it’s gonna kinda be padded
by the rest of the bag, so it’s a floating suspension
design going on here. And this pull cord at the
top here does two things, one, it helps with the laptop suspension, and when you un-Velcro it and pull it up, your laptop slides right out,
making it very easy to grab. Lastly this entire laptop
harness is very easy to transfer between the Akra and the smaller Vaga that go along with this ecosystem. There’s some great, unique thinking here, we like that Arcido didn’t
just play it safe, we like that they’re pushing the envelope
and trying new things. Behind the laptop
compartment there are some productivity organizational
features going on here. So, you have this mesh compartment here, that’s gonna be good
for any types of cords. You don’t really wanna put
anything too bulky in here, so maybe some laptop
chargers are okay, however, flatter items are typically better. There is a space for four
pens, pencils, or styluses going on at the top
and then there is space for a notebook here, maybe an
e-reader or a smaller tablet. Lastly there is a Velcroable
pocket on the back of this, good for flatter items,
maybe any documents that you’re traveling with
that have to remain flat. The only grip with this
organizational panel is that this back pocket, the
Velcro target going on here, is a little bit hard to get
exactly right, especially since the pocket doesn’t really
have any structure, the liner kind of flops
around and it’s hard to Velcro it exactly back on
the way you took it off. Other than that, pretty
great stuff going on here. Back to the front of the bag,
the last pocket on the front, wanted to save this
until the last, because, this goes all the way down
to the bottom of the bag. Basically this pocket shape
matches the front panel of this exactly and it’s also accessible from the main interior
compartment as well. Now the shape of this
pocket is a little bit odd but we don’t mind it
much, considering that longer, larger pockets like
this are typically used for stuffing in a jacket as you’re traveling. Opening up the main curved zipper, which we like the look of, gives us access to the main compartment. With that main compartment
there are some nice zipper garages going
on at the bottom here, nice little detail. When we open up the main compartment, we are basically greeted
with a giant bucket and two compression straps. The compression straps work
really well for loose clothing, however they work the best with Arcido’s included packing cubes,
in this greater system. The packing cubes are formed
to fit which means that one large and two smaller sizes will fit perfectly inside of this bag. Head over to packhacker.com
for some notes on that, we’ll also link it in the
YouTube description below, as well as a link to the
shoe bag and the wash bag. Although the curved zipper
provides an interesting look, we found it harder to fully pack this bag towards the bottom. So, at the top it seems
to kind of flow out and there’s a little bit more room. At the bottom things are
a little bit more tight. Then, lastly, that front
pocket on the outside is also this mesh pocket on the inside, so the pocket is accessible from the interior and the exterior; we think that’s a nice
little organizational touch. (upbeat pop music) At the time of this review,
we have been testing the Akra for about a month, and
the other packs and items in the Arcido system for about two weeks. So far so good on the durability front, there are a couple of aesthetic
blemishes on the exterior, but really no loose
threads or anything other that’s major to speak of at this point. So, to wrap this thing up
with some pros and cons, starting with the pros. The look is streamlined and considered. The laptop harness is a great
and customizable design, based on the size of your laptop. There’s a lot of smart organization going on here for travel. On to some of the cons. The sternum strap can
fall off unexpectedly. Lastly, it can be difficult to fill the main compartment
with the curved zipper, especially towards the bottom of the bag. (upbeat pop music) All in all the Arcido Akra is
a thoughtfully designed bag with the traveler in mind. We like that they focus on a
lot of design innovation here from the curved straps
to the streamlined look to the customizable harness system. We haven’t seen these
items in many other packs, and they are pretty unique to Arcido. With the sternum strap
that’s easy to lose, you may not wanna stray
too far from the city, but his bag functions incredibly
well for the urban focused traveler on the lookout for
a slick looking travel bag and a great organization
system to go along with it. So, there you have it, our
review on the Arcido Akra. We would love to hear what you
think in the comments below. Thanks for keeping it here at Pack Hacker, your guide to smarter travel, we’ll see you in the next video.

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