Arc’teryx Miura 50 Backpack

The Miura 50 was also designed for the Arc’teryx Pali rope bag to fit into the bottom of the main compartment. It is a tight fit, but is convenient and takes up minimal space to allow more room for other items. The only problem is that Arc’teryx does not make the Pali rope bag anymore. So if you are lucky enough to own a Pali rope bag already or can find one in some dark corner of your local gear shop, then you’re set. If not, rope bags like the Metolius Ropemaster or rope bags shaped more like cubes fit better than longer skinny rope bags. Or you can always strap your rope to the outside (more on that in a second).

In addition to the main compartment, there are two other pockets on the Miura. The first is an outer front pocket, which Arc’teryx calls the Kangaroo pocket. At first glance it appears small, but is actually big enough to store two water bottles, a thin rain jacket, guide book, and a couple of other small odds and ends. Thanks to a second zipper on the back wall of the Kangaroo Pocket, its contents are also easily accessible from the main compartment when the pack is opened and the front panel is facedown.

The other is a small pocket on top of the pack that has enough room for a small lunch (like a sandwich, chips, and energy bars). This pocket also has the ever convenient key clip. Both pockets are designed so that even if the main compartment is full to the point of bursting, the pockets are unaffected, and you can still easily access and fill them without stuff getting crushed.

The outside of the Miura 50 is very plain, with minimal straps and buckles. In fact, there are only two straps, which Arc’teryx call their Modular Compression straps. That might seem like too few, but it’s a versatile system. The straps can be moved from the front of the pack to the top, depending on how you like to carry things (like a rope or a jacket) on the outside of your pack.

I personally thought that carrying a rope on the top of the pack felt better, but carrying a rope on the front of the pack was still comfortable, and I never felt off balance like the weight was pulling me back. I like the look of the clean exterior as well and have never felt I needed any extra straps or buckles for overflow items. I only used the pack for day trips, however, so if you were going to do a multi-day trip with camping equipment, you would certainly need a larger pack.

The Miura 50 has held up to all the abuse I could think to throw at it. It has been dragged across slick rock, rolled down scree fields, and scrapped against granite when I was too lazy to take it off and thought I could fit between a couple of boulders. The outer is made of ballistic nylons designed to survive the rough handling climbers can put gear through. The two side zippers that make the Drawbridge Opening system are large and sturdy and haven’t given me any trouble over two years of use.

The pack supports its load with two aluminum stays, and there is also a hard plastic sheet with a foam backing running down the back panel to make sure gear with sharp edges aren’t poking you in the back. The backing is very breathable, and though I do still sweat, it dries quickly and has remained soft and comfortable.

The hip belt and shoulder straps are anatomically shaped and are very comfortable. They distributed weight evenly without any pressure points. The hip belt seems thin, but because of the shape, it forms around my hips and doesn’t need any extra bulky padding. In the past I’ve used similarly sized packs (Osprey Exposure 50, Black Diamond Epic 45, Mammut Neon Gear 45), but I would say the Miura is one of, if not the most, comfortable day-trip climbing pack I have used.

This isn’t a light pack (the size Tall I use comes in at 4 lbs., 13 oz.), but it’s only about a pound more compared to some 50-liter climbing packs from Black Diamond, like their 50 Caliber Pack (large) at 3 lbs. 8 oz., and Osprey’s Variant 52 (large) at 3 lbs. 12 oz. But the added weight of the Miura (mostly from the protective back panel and the heavier nylon and the reinforced bottom) is worth it for the added durability and comfort, in my opinion. Also, light and fast aren’t things I think about while out climbing for a day.

Bottom Line:

I would like to see a couple of things added to the pack, like a hydration sleeve and maybe some small side walls on the main compartment so that smaller loose items don’t fall out when you open the pack. But overall I would say this is a great pack. The comfort, durability, and convenience are hard to beat, which makes the Miura 50 my go-to pack for any day climbing trip.

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