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Gear Review: ARC'TERYX Miura 50 Climbing Pack
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By Josh Janes
Oct 10, 2008

Pack Review 1
Pack Review 1

The ARC’TERYX Miura 50 Climbing Pack

Introduction



The Miura 50 is my second ARC’TERYX climbing pack – the first, an RT 45, I used until I literally wore holes in the bottom. Unfortunately, that didn’t take too long. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great pack overall, but I did have a few gripes. Primarily, the holes in the bottom! This is a company that, in my mind, was known for manufacturing bomber gear, but when I called customer service, the employee who took my call told me not to put my rack in the bottom. I was a bit incredulous: This is a pack designed for climbers; it should hold up to having a rack in it. It’s not like I was dragging it over rocks or anything. Nevertheless, I got into the habit of putting softer items in the bottom and this seemed to prevent the damages from getting any worse. Some other minor flaws: The small, external pocket on the top was too tiny to be useful for much more than keys and lip balm, and the pocket on the back had such a small opening that even fitting a guidebook in it required tedious maneuvering. On the flip side, I loved the RollTop closure and the pack was super-comfortable.

The RT series of packs have been discontinued, and the replacement, the Miura, addresses every single issue I had, along with improving on the design in several ways.

The Basics



The Miura packs come in three sizes: 20 liters, 30 liters, and 50 liters. The model I have, the 50 is cavernous in capacity. It is only 5 liters bigger than my previous pack, but it seems to be able to carry much more. The pack utilizes a RollTop closure system which works much like a dry bag: Stuff items down into the top of the pack, fold the top over and zip two straps tight and it’s shut. This makes packing gear easy and opening and closing the pack very quick. The only drawback is the pack cannot be overstuffed since the top needs a certain amount of room to close properly. The pack also has zippers down the side which allow it to be completely opened like a clamshell. ARC’TERYX calls this design the “drawbridge system.” It’s a great way to access all your gear really quickly. There are two webbing loops at the base of the side zips that make zipping the pack up easy and can also could handle ice tools. The pack has a large pocket on the back that is accessible from both the inside and the outside, and also a pocket on the top. The frame consists of aluminum stays and an HDPE framesheet.

ARC’TERYX paid close attention to the details as well: The bottom of the pack is padded to prevent the material wearing out for those climbers who are insistent upon putting their rack in the bottom. The inside of the pack is a high-visibility green fabric which makes identifying gear in low light easy. There is a hydration port (but no pocket for a bladder) and a clip for a hose on the shoulder straps. There are two detachable compression straps that can be arranged in different configurations. There are two gear loops in the interior of the pack for organizing gear. The pack has a large grab handle at the top which makes moving the pack around at the base of climbs very easy, as well as a loop for hanging. The top pocket has a key clip, and all the zippers are extremely smooth.

Performance Notes From The Field



Pack Review
Pack Review

The author, with iPod and Miura 50, on the 3 mile approach hike into the Needles


The Miura is a fantastic pack. Over the past few months I’ve used it for everything from sport climbing, to making the five mile approach to the Diamond, to cragging at Indian Creek. On the lighter trips, I generally have a lot of extra room in the pack, but it still rides well and it allows me room to bring some luxury items like an extra jacket or larger lunch. On the bigger trips is where it really shines, however. Just last week I used it to approach Half Dome on an attempt to free the Regular Route. Our strategy was to hike in the day before and bivy on the shoulder, fire the climb the next day, return to our bivy site that night and hike out on the following morning. Inside the pack I was able to fit the entire rack for the climb, my harness, shoes, chalkbag and helmet, a sleeping bag, food for two and a half days, water bottles, a down jacket, a shell, and some other miscellaneous smaller items. Using the compression straps I attached my sleeping pad and could have easily attached a second rope as well. Carrying all this up the notorious “Death Slabs” was no problem at all: humping loads like that up steep terrain is always going to be hard work, but at least the Miura can handle it and I remained pain-free and felt agile enough to arm-over-arm up the fixed lines without a second thought. The Miura is fairly adjustable and has a solild waistbelt and suspension. The “spacermesh” back panel is comfortable and wicks sweat away quickly.

Like I said before, all of my gripes from the previous model have been addressed. The top pocket and back pocket are downright huge and very accessible. I usually put all the little items in the top and still have plenty of room for guidebooks, lunch, and even a water bottle. The back pocket accepts climbing shoes and a harness, or a jacket and hat and gloves. So far the bottom of the pack shows no wear – perhaps because of the padding. The outer fabric seems to be very abrasion resistant as well: You’d never know from looking at it all the miles of manzanita tunneling I’ve done in an effort to find shortcuts during approaches over the last few months.

My favorite features of the pack include the RollTop closure. I think this design is really superb. I like the roomy external pockets and huge carrying capacity. I also like the flexible compression strap design: Usually I don’t have them on which keeps things clean looking and snag-free, but when I occasionally need to carry a second rope or a sleeping pad, I can put them on in about 30 seconds.

Features I don’t make much use of are the internal gear loops and hydration port, but others may find these helpful.

Bottom Line



This is the best climbing pack I’ve ever worn, hands down. I have to stretch to say anything bad about it… Hmmm… While climbing Higher Catherdral Spire, a raven managed to unzip the top of the pack and remove all the contents, scattering them over a 50 foot radius at the base of the climb. The Miura is not raven-proof. While cragging at the Chapel Wall, a bear decided it wanted my sunblock and toilet paper. Fortunately the main part of the pack was open and it got into the top pocket by going through the less-beefy material inside. Duct tape has solved this problem for the time being, but soon I will have to check out ARC’TERYX’s repair service. The Miura is not bear-proof. Seriously, this pack is extremely comfortable and flawlessly designed. I highly recommend it.

The Pali Rope Bag

I’ve also been using ARC’TERYX’s Pali Rope Bag. While one might initially think there’s not much to designing a rope bag, there are two little details that make this a great bag. First, the square tarp is sewn into the bag by a corner. This makes folding the tarp up and stuffing it very quick: Just take in the three exposed corners and stuff. Second, the Pali also makes use of the RollTop system: It has a huge opening with stiff inserts that can be folded over and cinched shut in seconds. Tightening a single strap squeezes the rope down into a small package really quickly. No draw strings to fuss with or extra straps to buckle. When all is said and done, the bag is shaped perfectly to fit in the bottom of the Miura 50. I found that I could only get it to fit if I opened up the whole pack via the “drawbridge” and placed the bag in the bottom (stuffing it through the top didn’t seem to work quite right), and also it would only fit properly with a 60m rope. The Pali handles a 70m rope no problem, but it just doesn’t get quite small enough to snug up into the bottom of the Miura. The Pali comes with a detachable, padded shoulder strap.

The ARC’TERYX Miura Packs

  • Miura 20: 20 L capacity. 1.5 kg weight. MSRP: $150.

  • Miura 30: 30-35 L capacity (depending on size). 1.9-2.1 kg weight (depending on size). MSRP: $199.

  • Miura 50: 45-55 L capacity (depending on size). 2-2.3 kg weight (depending on size). MSRP: $225.

  • Pali Rope Bag: 16 L capacity. 625 g weight. MSRP: $58.95.A women-specific version of the R-320. MSRP: $125.

www.arcteryx.com


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By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From Ventura, CA
Oct 10, 2008
Photo by Marisa Fienup.

Josh, THANK YOU for the detailed and insightful review.

I have been using my own Miura 50 for several months. It is the pack that I use day-in and day-out to get to the crag when I am guiding. I second just about everything that you've already said.

The only thing that I want to specifically second is that this pack is fantastic for carrying big loads. Occasionally, I have to carry my own personal climbing gear plus up to three ropes, 100 feet of anchor cord and a full trad rack. Loaded down with all of this gear, the pack weighs over 60 pounds, easily. First of all, the pack has the ability to swallow all of this stuff (with the ability to strap 2 ropes to the outside, when needed), and it carries it all in reasonable comfort. I certainly wouldn't recommend carrying this much stuff to anyone, but know that the pack can handle even the heaviest loads.

My only gripe is with the internal gear loops. I love using internal gear loops to organize my stuff. The only problem with the Miura's loops is that they are arranged vertically and they are large. The effect is that nothing actually hangs from the loops. Things attached to the loops simply sit in the bottom of the pack. I would have really appreciated horizontal gear loops located at the very top on the inside of the pack.

I had real separation anxiety when Osprey discontinued the last pack that I used from day to day. The Miura 50 has not only filled the void, but it has raised the bar.


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By Walter Macalma
From Oceanside, CA
Oct 13, 2008

Thanks guys, I totally love my pack as well. I’ve been using it for about 3 months. I got the 50L regular Black. In hindsight I probably would have loved the Raisin or the Lime colored version. This is a great pack, the best I’ve ever had. I have yet to use the Pali rope bag because I prefer to strap it to the top. Because of the size of this bag I tend to make use of every inch of space, which makes this a bit cumbersome. I normally stuff a full rack(C4 doubles, TCU singles, 15 Inferno QD’s, slings, 2 cordelettes), harnerss, approach shoes, helmet, food, down jacket, guidebook and extras with a tad bit of room to spare. If I load it to the gills it’s pretty dang heavy, I almost wish I also had the 30L version for sport cragging since I love the features.


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By Kevin Craig
Oct 13, 2008
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

I've been using this pack for most of the current climbing season including a couple of trips to the desert, cragging around Denver/Boulder, etc. It's about the best climbing pack I've ever owned (the horizontal gear loops suggested above would be a nice improvement however). It swallows enormous amounts of gear easily, opens up wide once at the crag for easy access, carries huge loads comfortably and has a place for everything. In short, it's got everything you need and nothing you don't. The local gear shop showed me a cool un-intended feature - it can be used just like a Crazy Creek chair. Get out your Crazy Creek and your empty Miura, look at both and think creatively - pretty cool.

The only other nit that could be picked is that it is a very beefy and heavy pack (empty). For the use for which it's designed, this is a reasonable trade-off however. I don't normally expect to be doing 10 mile approaches with my cragging pack.


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By Peter L K
From Cincinnati, OH
Oct 19, 2008
rrg

Yep, been using the 50 Tall Raisin for about 7 months and love it. A couple of things:

1) It is not a light pack. With lots of gear that is heavy, this is no big deal, but it is definitely a cragging pack.
2) I had to bend the sheet and stays near my lower back to get a good fit. I think I could have gone with the regular over the tall, but the tall fit after I bent the sheet and stays.


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By Sirius
From Oakland, CA
Oct 20, 2008
Moving through the crux lock - now that's micro beta for you, that is.

"I have to stretch to say anything bad about it… Hmmm… "

Let me see if I can help you with that: it costs $200.

Edit: Good write-up and thanks for it.

One question: is this a status buy? Or would a cheap but solid pack not get the job done on an approach like you found to the Needles, or HCR, or other places further afield? Or do you Miura 50 owners just really appreciate quality products? These are not argumentative or rhetorical questions - trying to understand the thinking on that kind of dough for a crag pack.


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By Walter Macalma
From Oceanside, CA
Oct 21, 2008

Sirius wrote:
"I have to stretch to say anything bad about it… Hmmm… " Let me see if I can help you with that: it costs $200. Edit: Good write-up and thanks for it. One question: is this a status buy? Or would a cheap but solid pack not get the job done on an approach like you found to the Needles, or HCR, or other places further afield? Or do you Miura 50 owners just really appreciate quality products? These are not argumentative or rhetorical questions - trying to understand the thinking on that kind of dough for a crag pack.



Sirius you bring up a good point. The only real reason I bought this bag was that I was my trad rack was getting bigger and my old bag was getting beat up and Climbing or Rock & Ice rated it well. I don't own alot of Arcteryx gear, but the gear/clothing I do have are top notch. I found an awesome deal online and splurged. I know it's alot for a crag bag, but now that I have it, its worth every penny. It's quality is better than any crag bag I've seen and conceptually better than anything on the market. I've owned, borrowed or use Boa, Boa Duffle, Crag station, Cilogear, Splitter and it’s just better.


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By Peter L K
From Cincinnati, OH
Oct 21, 2008
rrg

Sirius wrote:
"I have to stretch to say anything bad about it… Hmmm… " Let me see if I can help you with that: it costs $200. Edit: Good write-up and thanks for it. One question: is this a status buy? Or would a cheap but solid pack not get the job done on an approach like you found to the Needles, or HCR, or other places further afield? Or do you Miura 50 owners just really appreciate quality products? These are not argumentative or rhetorical questions - trying to understand the thinking on that kind of dough for a crag pack.


Well, it is a bit pricey. But I like buying toys, didn't want a top loader, and things like the Boa weren't big enough for me. I use it every weekend, so it's worth it for me.


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By Sirius
From Oakland, CA
Oct 21, 2008
Moving through the crux lock - now that's micro beta for you, that is.

Thanks for the responses. If it's a well-built product, and lasts you three to four times what a cheaper model would, then you end up with the best value AND you're consuming less materials than the guy who buys 3 or 4 packs in the same time frame.

So you owners just have to stick to your Miura's and not buy any more toys in this category for 15-20 years. I've had my El Shitterino pack for about 8 yrs now, can't remember what the price was but less than $50 and it's still kicking, still ugly, still functional.

As long as form follows function and not vice-versa it's hard to go wrong in the consumerist role.


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By Kevin Craig
Oct 21, 2008
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

Yep, I've tried and sold a bunch of cragging packs over the years and this is by far the best I've found. I foresee wearing this one out. Just open the top, dump all your stuff inside, roll closed and go. Simple and easy. Once at the crag, unzip the sides, pull it open, dig out what you want, and climb. Simple and easy.

If only Arcteryx would think-out a technical alpine pack as well as they did the Miura for its application: Nozone - too heavy by half. New Khamsin's - no sheet/stay in the 40L, doofy and fiddly tool attachment system, over-designed crampon pouch.


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By Joe Cappiello
Dec 13, 2008

Picked up the Miura 50 before heading to the Creek for Thanksgiving. I'm still amazed at how much you can stuff into this thing - triple rack, 70m rope, 2 pairs of shoes, harness, the draw hanging flying squirrel, etc. It carries all this and more comfortably. really liked the gear loops inside for keeping the rack organized and allowing you to pick and choose what you need. Also the two compression straps can be removed easily for snagless hiking in brush filled areas. Spot on Arcteryx......The pali is also awesome, albeit a bit pricey.


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Jan 26, 2009

Just add my $0.02 to the raves for this thing. After my old Lowe Mtn Attack 50 disappeared from the base of a route, I was in the market. A couple of friends ended up with the Miura 50 and after checking theirs out in action at the crags, I found one for $160ish online. It's perfect for cragging. The only thing I might add would be a grab strap/handle running vertically on each side near the middle of the body. The lining on the back and shoulder straps looks prone to snagging and wear, but it's the only thing remembling a fault I can come up with.

Being able to quickly get everything out by zipping it open, and not wrestling an extension sleeve while packing, no drawstrings to mess with, etc is superb. No more floppy top lids or cursing while trying to wrestle a rope bag through a too tight top opening. The framesheet gives big support and keeps cam lobes from poking you in the back. I'd recommend this to anyone, it's the best crag bag I've had by miles.


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By desbien
From seattle,wa
Feb 5, 2009
wife dog me

I have the 30 and its great for everything but the rope and I just lash that to the outside.


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By Ben Mahaffey
Mar 30, 2009
generic crack

Can anyone post any pics of the roll top system, i am interested in getting a 30L for trad cragging and one of my concerns is the roll top and how it works. also for desbien what does "everything" include? shoes harness helmet, food, water, extra layer...etc?

thanks
Ben


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By Chase Gee
From Wyoming/ Logan Utah
Mar 30, 2009
My Top Secret Yet to be named crag.

I'm looking at these too the roll top is cool sorry no photos. I'm not sure the 30 is big enough for trad though. My friend has a 30 and he can barely fit his sport gear in it. I'm going to buy the 50 for trad.


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By Josh Hampton
From Provo UT, Merced, CA
Jul 31, 2009
Timpanogos cave

i also have this backpack and i love it !


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By Joseph P. Crotty
From Broomfield, CO
Aug 1, 2009
Maltese cross.

I have owned the Miura 50 Tall (i.e., 55 Liters) now for almost six months using it probably around 15 times mostly local craging and a one day alpine trip. In summary it is a joy.

One pet gripe. The roll top is great for multiple accesses made during a typical crag day, but it does reduce capacity compared to a typical sleeve and draw string closure system. With a rack, rope, shoes, harness, clothes, and food container(s) all in the mix it is often a small struggle to get the roll top closed. If you are carrying two ropes in the aforementioned scenario the second will have to go external.

Note, there is a 3/8" EV50 foam padding along the bottom and sides of the pack. This is great for day to day use - drop the pack and you rack isn't destroyed on hard ground and vice versa for the pack fabric. However, for the weight weenie on an alpine excursion you can remove these pads internally. Be warned they are a bear to extract and replace.


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By AustinH
From Renton, WA
Feb 16, 2010

I've had the 30 in lime for a couple years, I use it often and have no real complaints. I agree about the internal loops, somewhat useless in their current position. The bag can haul heavy loads comfortably and is functionally perfect for my needs. I have a tendency to shred my toys, so the beefy Arc'teryx quality makes this worth the price.


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By emmet
May 30, 2010

If you don't mind the lime green version, the tall 55L pack is going for $135 at backcountry.com


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By Peter Rakowitz
From Portland, OR
Jun 9, 2010
Karl and me hanging out under the bolt ladder.

Sirius wrote:
"I have to stretch to say anything bad about it… Hmmm… " Let me see if I can help you with that: it costs $200. Edit: Good write-up and thanks for it. One question: is this a status buy? Or would a cheap but solid pack not get the job done on an approach like you found to the Needles, or HCR, or other places further afield? Or do you Miura 50 owners just really appreciate quality products? These are not argumentative or rhetorical questions - trying to understand the thinking on that kind of dough for a crag pack.


Sirius wrote:
Thanks for the responses. If it's a well-built product, and lasts you three to four times what a cheaper model would, then you end up with the best value AND you're consuming less materials than the guy who buys 3 or 4 packs in the same time frame. So you owners just have to stick to your Miura's and not buy any more toys in this category for 15-20 years. I've had my El Shitterino pack for about 8 yrs now, can't remember what the price was but less than $50 and it's still kicking, still ugly, still functional. As long as form follows function and not vice-versa it's hard to go wrong in the consumerist role.


hmmm, you come off as being pretty jealous. Some people can afford to spend 200 dollars on a crag bag and enjoy using a quality product, especially when It's something that they will be spending lots of time with and will enjoy for years to come. There's something about using a tool of fine quality that just makes you feel good, every time you pick it up it puts a smile on your face. Have you not experienced this feeling?
Not everyone has the same idea as to what constitutes a good value. You don't have to agree with how certain people choose to spend their money, but what do you really accomplish by posting your disapproval. Does it make you feel better about having a shitty bag by trying make others feel bad about having a good one?
The purpose of this thread is to inform people who may be considering this bag. If you offer no information about this bag you are polluting this forum, and have no place posting here.


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By bigwallrog
From the farside
Aug 30, 2010

Nice review, thanks glad someone has found a near perfect pack for climbing.

I have collected a grip of packs over the years most of em are long gone having been sold off due to my never ending quest for the perfect pack there always seems to be one or two things about one pack or another that piss me off enough to burn or sell the damn thing
after a couple of trips / seasons. That being said.......

I want the Swiss army knife of packs who makes one Ill gladly pay
twice the price of this pack if I can find one and here's my point

If you want a Wall Mart pack that might last a trip or two than buy it
wall mart will love your repeat business

Or If you can realize that the price of a well made pack spread over several years of use really amounts to less than you'll spend on Starbucks over the same number of years the pack is in use.

This is how I justify All my purchases no matter if it's a pack or a cam or any gear

No I don't own this Miura 50 pack or any Arc'Teryx pack for that matter they are way too heavy empty in my book to even consider.

This pack alone weighs a couple ounces shy of 5 fricken pounds!
Half of that to me amounts to extra water/gear/???? But that's just me .

Again nice review that drew me in on my quest for the pack of my dreams

Just my two cents


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By Chris treggE
Administrator
From Madison, WI
Aug 30, 2010
Teh traverse.  Photo Ian C-B.

Can you travel with a Muira 50 as a carry-on on a typical cross country flight?

Does it fit over head or under the seat?

Tired of my top-loader...

ADDENDUM: I looked at the Arcteryx site, and looking at the pack on the model's back it sure doesn't look like a carry-on. Never mind. The 30 maybe...


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By Corey Morris
From Fort Hood, TX
Sep 12, 2010

Josh, you should get paid for such a good description...


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By Darren in Vegas
From Las Vegas, NV
Sep 14, 2010
Skiing around.

Chris treggE wrote:
Can you travel with a Muira 50 as a carry-on on a typical cross country flight? Does it fit over head or under the seat? Tired of my top-loader... ADDENDUM: I looked at the Arcteryx site, and looking at the pack on the model's back it sure doesn't look like a carry-on. Never mind. The 30 maybe...


just took the 50 short as a carry on, fits in the overhead compartment no problem


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By Nathan McBride
From Fort Collins
Sep 14, 2010
Top of the final pitch (4th) of Otto's Route.  Exposed and a little burly but great holds the whole way. Beautiful place.

I have the Miura 20. I love the pack, the removable straps are great, you can use them where you need them. The "drawbridge" design is really nice for getting at gear with out having to tug it out. It's not a super light pack but I like the beefiness, it's a tuff pack with tuff zippers. I love the top handle for when I carry it off my back. I get a lot of compliments on the bright green color.

My only complaints are:
1) the zipper handle for the zipper that connects the main compartment to the vertical, outer compartment, only faces inward.
2) the 2 permanent gear loops on the outside of the pack could be a little longer for ice-axe storage.

To end on a positive note, this pack has also been great for school.


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By Chris treggE
Administrator
From Madison, WI
Sep 16, 2010
Teh traverse.  Photo Ian C-B.

Thanks Darren. Just called Bentgate and put in an order. Excited to have a pack where I don't have to dangle a bunch of crap off the back on the approach.


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