Osprey Archeon ReviewThe Osprey Archeon 45 is for the serious backpacker and has everything you’re looking for in a backpacking pack It offers premium comfort, has multiple pockets and an easily accessible main compartment. It certainly won't disappoint! View Latest Deal
You’re eyeing the Osprey Archeon and want to know if it’s any good? It’s a big pack for backpacking trips, and it has a bunch of convenient features you will love. The backpack is available in three sizes, but this review focuses on the Archeon 45 – the perfect balance between a small and giant backpacking bag.
Everything worth knowing about this Osprey backpack is listed in this review, so keep reading to find out whether or not it is the right choice for you!
Before I start boring you with details about the compression straps and all the different loops on the back, here’s a quick overview of its basic features and how we rate the backpack with all of those in mind:
A rating of 86 is a solid A-, which accurately represents our general impression of the Archeon backpack. It has some excellent features that I’m dying to tell you all about, but there’s a lot of room for improvement with the value you get for your money.
Read on if you want to know why the Archeon pack earned this exact score!
The Archeon 45 is a big backpack, designed for multi-day backpacking trips. Here’s an overview of its basic specifications, so you have a general idea just how large this pack is:
I will focus mostly on the Archeon 45 in this review, as it is the most versatile option. It works for those demanding backpacking adventures when you need all the gear you can carry, but it’s also a decent option for multi-day adventures.
The backpack is available in two more sizes though – the Archeon 30 and the Archeon 70. But those two have rather specific purposes; the 30-liter backpack is only good for shorter outings, while the 70-liter packs works just for adventures that last several days.
The three backpacks have a lot of features in common – I think the smallest has slip instead of zippered hipbelt pockets, and the largest backpack has an extra compartment at the bottom, but that’s it. So, everything you read about the Archeon 45 stands true for the other two version as well.
The Archeon backpack is part of Osprey’s new 2020 range, which is made entirely from sustainable materials – good news for those of you that are trying to be more environmentally conscious with their purchases. It also features PFC free DWR coating, so it manages to have outstanding water resistance, in addition to being environmentally friendly.
This Osprey pack is made from recycled 1880D nylon canvas – a heavy duty material with great tear and abrasion resistance. It is a tough backpack that can take a beating, and still come out without any rips or tears.
And that’s exactly what a good backpacking backpack should be – a durable beast that can handle being caught on the rocks and tree branches, and that won’t let all your gear get soaked when you get caught in a downpour.
Oh, and it’s backed by Osprey’s All-Mighty Guarantee. That means that, in case a part of your backpack gets damaged or broken – zippers, buckles etc. – they will gladly repair it. And if you manage to beat up your backpack so much that it’s no longer usable, they will send you a brand new one to replace it.
That’s one reason why this is such an amazing brand – yes, you’re paying a lot of money for backpacks, but you will be able to use them for the next several decades.
With large packs like the Archeon, carrying comfort is everything. It has to fit you just right, otherwise you will wind up with a backpack that you can’t wear because it’s not comfortable enough.
Is the Archeon designed so well that you won’t feel the heavy load on your back? See for yourself below.
The Archeon backpack features Osprey’s proprietary AirScape backpanel. It’s one of their most-used backpanel systems, especially on high-capacity outdoor packs.
The AirScape features thick foam padding, and it is covered by breathable mesh. This ensures that you are comfortable throughout your adventures; the thick foam stops you from feeling the contents of the main compartment against your back, while the breathable mesh allows the air to circulate and keeps you cool even during hot weather.
Breathability is the key here – it means that it is perfectly fine to wear the Archeon during hot summer days, which isn’t always the case with big and bulky backpacks. But this one will be equally comfortable on the snowy peaks and the scorching plains, making it an excellent versatile backpacking beast.
With big and bulky backpacks like the Archeon, it’s very important to get that perfect fit. And the great thing about this pack is that it is highly adjustable, so it’s suitable for a wide variety of body types.
The length of the harness can be adjusted, just like the shoulder straps and the width of the hipbelt. Additionally, once you get that perfect harness length for your body, you can secure it in place so that it doesn’t accidentally move.
This pack has a close-fitting back-system, so it’s designed to really hug the contours of your body. But, this is the standard on packs that are designed to carry heavy loads like the Archeon. It helps you stay comfortable even with 30lbs+ of gear on your back, and stops you from feeling the actual weight of the pack.
That is, as long as you take your time to adjust all those straps to your body and make use of the hipbelt.
Sternum strap and hipbelt are a must on backpacks that have a large capacity like the Archeon. They are crucial for your carrying comfort, as they are the features the make sure the backpack will stay put while you’re roaming around the great outdoors.
The sternum strap on the Archeon doubles as a safety whistle; a convenient feature to have in case of an emergency.
But the hipbelt is the star here; it is heavily padded, so it is very soft against your body. There’s no breathable mesh on the hipbelt though, so it doesn’t have the best breathability. On the other hand, the transition from the backpanel to the hipbelt is entirely seamless, which further ensures premium carrying comfort.
It’s very important that you’re able to stay organized on multi-day backpacking trips. Will you be able to do that with the Archeon backpack? And will you have easy access to everything you need? That’s what we will be discussing in this section.
This backpack features a very spacious main compartment, just like you would expect from a 45-liter backpacking pack. It has dual zipper access, so you can easily get to the items inside, even if they’re at the bottom of the pack.
The zippered panel features an internal pocket, for easy organization of any smaller items you want to put inside the main compartment. There’s also a hydration sleeve inside the main compartment – if you don’t intend to put a hydration bladder in it, it’s a great slip pocket for smaller items.
The top lid is fixed on the 45-liter Archeon, and it features an external and internal pocket. There’s also a drawstring cord just below the fixed lid, so you have multiple options in terms of how you want to pack and unpack. You can treat this like any other top-loading backpack, but you also have the benefits of a front loading pack with the zippered panel.
Additionally, the main compartment also features an internal compression strap. This is a very convenient feature, and it will help you ensure that your stuff stays exactly where you placed it. The compression strap will also keep the contents of the backpack secure, and stop them from falling out of the main compartment when you unzip the front panel.
The Archeon 45 is equipped with twin hipbelt pockets. They’re easy to access, so perfect for things you want to have within reach at all times. The pockets are made from the same material as the rest of the pack, so they have really good water resistance.
One thing to note is that the smallest Archeon has open pockets on the hipbelt, instead of zippered ones. But they are there.
The top lid of the Arheon 45 features one external and one internal pocket. Both are zippered, but quite small, so great for items that you don’t want to lose somewhere in the vast main compartment. There’s also a handy key clip inside the internal pocket of the lid.
This backpack features a hydration sleeve inside the main compartment. It is compatible with all of Osprey’s Hydraulics reservoirs, but you won’t get one of those when you buy the backpack. A shame really, considering the high price point of the Archeon.
The largest hydration reservoir that you can use with this pack is a 3-liter one, and it costs about $40. But you will get all the accessories that go with it, which allow you to set up easy on-the-go hydration.
The Archeon backpack is equipped with dual access stretchy side pockets. It’s absolutely great that they are dual access pockets since it means that you can actually get something from them while you’re wearing the backpack. You won’t have to take it off just to grab a water bottle, which is going to save you precious time.
The mesh is pretty sturdy, and it will keep the stuff inside the pockets secure – an important factor, considering that there aren’t compression straps that go over these pockets.
Avid backpackers know that external attachment points can make or break a backpacking pack. It can have a 60-liter capacity, but it’s no good if it doesn’t have a spot for your ice axe or trekking poles – imagine having to carry those in your hands the whole time!
In this section, you will be able to see all the external attachment points the Archeon is equipped with.
An ice axe is a must-have equipment for those nasty winter climbs, but it’s a nightmare to have to carry it around everywhere. And it can be pretty sharp, so you can’t exactly store it inside your main compartment – it will go Freddy Krueger all over your stuff.
The great thing about the Archeon is that it features dual ice axe loops, which let you stow this handy piece of equipment when you’re not using it. These are at the bottom of the front panel, so you will be able to access the items inside the main compartment even when the axes are stowed.
This backpack also features loops for attaching trekking poles. They are located on the side pockets, so you will be able to stow the poles without taking off the backpack – perfect for those times when you just have to do a quick climb and don’t know what to do with the poles.
Additionally, you could put the poles in the side pockets, if you wanted a more fixed spot for them. The compression straps at the top of the backpack would keep them in place, and ensure that they don’t accidentally fall out of the pockets.
The Archeon 45 features multiple fixed webbing points on the top lid. There are four of them total, and they’re great for carrying really bulky items that just won’t fit inside the backpack.
However, you don’t get proper daisy chain webbing on the front panel, because it would mess with the zipper of the main compartment. You could attach a carabiner to one of the compression straps or many loops that are on the sides of the backpack, so it’s not like you don’t have any options at all.
The pack has a total of eight compression straps – seven are external, and there’s one inside the main compartment.
The two largest compression straps are at the sides of the main compartment, and they’re great for those times when your backpack is only half-full, and you want to cinch it in a little. There are also straps below and above the side pockets on each side, which let you tighten it up even further.
Additionally, the side compression straps are also good if you want to keep bulky items in the side pockets. You could stow trekking poles in them (although you don’t have to), and the top compression straps would ensure that those would stay put.
There’s another external compression strap that attaches the front panel to the top lid. So, even if the zipper of the main compartment comes undone accidentally, the compression strap will keep the panel in place and ensure that your stuff doesn’t just spill out on the trails.
On top of that, the internal compression strap will keep all your belongings extra secure, and stop them from bouncing around the pack while you’re on the trail.
Osprey backpacks are amazing, but sometimes it’s hard to stomach their three-digit prices. And that’s kind of how I feel about the Archeon. It is a great backpack – the backpacking features are all spot-on, and there’s no question about its durability. But is it really worth so much money?
The pack was released in early 2020, so it’s still pretty brand new. That explains the high price point and lack of deals. So, is it worth that much money? Probably not, especially if you want to get the smallest option. Don’t get me wrong, it is an amazing backpack for backpacking, but you can find much cheaper alternatives even if you stick with the Osprey brand.
The thing that bugs me the most about the Archeon is that they didn’t even include a hydration reservoir. If you want to be able to use Osprey’s excellent hydration system, you will need to purchase all the necessary components separately.
But at least you get a rain cover – that accessory accounts for less than 10% of the backpack’s entire price point.
After examining every single feature of this backpack, there’s one question left to answer – would you make a mistake if you bought the Archeon 45 pack?
If you’re a serious backpacker and the Archeon has everything you’re looking for in a pack, then by all means go for it. This backpack was made for people who need the premium comfort, the multiple pockets and the easily accessible main compartment – for backpackers that know how to utilize every single one of its features.