Product Reviews

Aduro SL Packaduro.jpg

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Great compact pack!
Jeff Wright (Cartersville, GA) 6/9/2014 7:38 PM
I recently took my first trip (five days on the A.T. in NC/TN) with my Aduro pack and was very happy with it's performance and comfort. At first I was a little concerned that it might not carry well without a traditional frame, or at least with the V Stay frame that comes with the Kalais, but this was not the case. For the frame, I cut an old Ridgerest to fit the sleeve and it worked extremely well. It transferred the weight of my gear, food, and water (about 20 pounds) to my hips as well as anything else I've ever used. It was also comfortable enough for me to not feel the need to take off my pack whenever I stopped for a break. Also, after a day or so on the trail, I usually end up with some pain between the base of my neck and the middle of my shoulder blades. For the first time, this didn't happen. It could have been the slight decrease in weight from my last trip, but I feel like this pack had a lot to do with it as well. I look forward to many more trips carrying this pack and can't wait to see how it holds up over many more miles. I still love my Kalais, but will probably reserve it for when I need to carry a little more gear and food than I can fit in the Aduro.

 

Aquilo Packaquilo3.jpg

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Two Years - Still going strong
Matthew W (Carlisle, PA) 12/29/2014 5:29 PM
I've had this pack for two years now. I typically only put 100-200 miles a year on a pack, so definitely not a heavy user. So far the pack has been amazing. The sizing is excellent. Once everything is cinched down, I feel almost zero weight on my shoulders. The weight transfer took my breath away the first time (not literally, thankfully). I've loaded it up with well over 30lbs of junk, and it handled it just fine. I'm the kind of guy that will bring a frying pan along so I can have eggs or pancakes in the morning. Matt was very responsive to questions I had, and the pack arrived quickly. Would definitely recommend this without any hesitation.
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Excellent pack
Ben (maryland) 4/7/2014 1:34 PM
I have still been looking for a framed, lightweight pack (< 30 pounds load) that is actually comfortable and functional. I decided to try an elemental horizon pack after reading some good reviews. I got a size large, custom Aquilo pack with dynema for the external pockets. After taking it out for a 10 mile shakedown hike with a little over 20 pounds in it I was very impressed. The pack and hipbelt was very comfortable. The belt just seemed to mold perfectly to your hips and the stay system transferred all the weight to my hips. There is plenty of external storage and the side pockets are usuable even with a full pack, unlike a lot of other packs. Having used other lightweight framed packs from Granite Gear and ULA this pack beats them in comfort. The hipbelt wraps and contours better than other hipbelts on lightweight packs I have used. The dual pull ensures there is no slipping. One minor quible. I did not get the lumbar pad and when first putting it on I could feel the bottom of the stays a little (it really wasn't bad and would be fine as is). The lack of the lumbar pad was on purpose as I find packs with any sort of pronounced lumbar padding very uncomortable. A very easy solution for this was slip a piece of 1/8 thick padding from my GG pad in between the fabric sleeve that the hipbelt goes thru and the hip belt. That solved the problem entirely and that felt fine afterwards. My sugguestion would be to add a little padding to the frabric sleave the hip belt goes through. It didn't take much as all, I found my 1/8 foam was sufficient.
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Best Pack....Ever!!
SoundWitness (Stockton, NJ) 4/3/2013 4:38 PM
First of all, I've been backpacking since Boy Scouts in the mid 70's and have owned and used countless backpacks over the years. Most recently my packs have been from major manufacturers to cottage industries. By far, the Aquilo outranks them all!! With over 200 miles logged on this pack, its comfort continues to impress me. With a pack weight of approximately 24 to 26 pounds, the load transfer/hip belt and the V stay support the pack with amazing lightness! This pack can be described in two words......Freakin' Awesome!! I can't wait to load this baby up in an upcoming trip to the Linville Gorge, NC in May!!!

 

Backpackinglight Highly Recommended Award "The Aquilo is superbly constructed, a very capable load hauler, and a flawless design, so it deserves our Highly Recommended rating." July 2011- Will Rietveld Backpackinglight.com

"What’s Good:
  • Excellent volume reduction system
  • Durable fabrics
  • Excellent removable stay system, the best currently available" July 2011- Will Rietveld Backpackinglight.com
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I have just returned from 8 days backpacking in Italy and I have never carried a more comfortable Pack in my 48 years Backpacking.  The hip belt in particular is the best, I never knew it was there. - Patrick Egan, UK

Kalais Packkalais-pack-right.jpg

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The perfect pack
Gilad Nachmani (London, UK) 10/29/2014 2:35 AM
I've been searching for the right pack for almost 10 years now, and finally found it. As someone who works in the outdoor industry I own 8 bags at 35-65 litres, in my search for the right long haul bag, and there was always a problem with them, until I got the Kalais. The Kalais offers the right balance of volume, ease of access (mainly to the side pockets that are superb!) and weight. I've already used it for short weekends, family backpacking trips and 2 weeks backcountry trips, and the Kalais performed perfectly. I bought the camo laminized fabric, and so far it has been coping with the British and Scottish wet weather comfortably. Highly recommended.
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Outstanding!
Shane Sibert (Gladstone, OR) 3/23/2014 2:26 PM
The Kalais is a stellar pack. Quality is top notch. The Kalais reduces weight without sacrificing load carry ability or comfort. the design has a perfect balance of suspension features, accessory options, materials, custom offerings, attentive details and sparseness all blended to make a seasoned distant hiker giddy. This is a testament to Matthews understanding of the needs of the lightweight backpacker. Matthew is professional and outstanding to work with and will go out of his way to make a backpack to suit your needs and likings. Highly recommend!
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Pinnacle of Evolution
Erick Freeman (Portland, OR) 11/17/2012 1:08 AM
This pack is by far the best pack I have ever used. Hands down most comfortable. My $500 dollar pack carries like a Buick compared to this German sportscar. Weighs in at a pound will comfortably carry 25-30lbs with the burden of a mildly stuffed 20 liter day pack. The outer pockets and attachment points are extremely well thought out, and really take the Kalais to a whole new level amoung the outdoor elite. Thank you Matthew! A truly beautiful design.

"Saying that I highly recommend the [Kalais] pack is an understatement..." July 2012 - Sgt Rock HikingHQ.net

"Every detail in the strap construction as to where the curves of the straps ride around your shoulders, to the way the hip belt gets it just right. When you tighten it down, is like the pack was tailored to the wearer. Which is downright amazing considering there was no custom fitting done, just the standard medium. Add to that, the little touches like the accessory system, which is downright cool..."
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"The Kalais is one of the best backpacks I have ever tested, and I have tested a lot of packs." March 2012 - Will Rietveld Southwest Ultralight Backpacking

It’s well designed and constructed, durable, fits well, comfortably carries a sizeable load, and its volume adjustment capability is outstanding. In response to the question of: “if I were to purchase only one pack, which one would serve most of my needs?”, the Kalais would be one of only a few packs I would recommend."
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Ultralighht Pack Coverulcoverblaze.jpg

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Clever design
Erick Freeman (Portland, OR) 11/17/2012 1:19 AM
This pack cover cleverly attaches externally to the top compression strap, via a special clip,in its own stuff pouch, that allows the cover to be deployed instantly with a pull. An elastic cord and a buckle attach it to the pack. Simply brilliant. I purchased the Kalais wich uses the small size and it weighs next to nothing. I highly recommend one if you live in a wet climate.
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