The Elemental Horizons Women’s Aquilo Backpack (75L) is 1 of the initial women’s ultralight-style backpacks produced by a cottage backpack manufacturer. Weighing 43.eight oz, the Aquilo is a roll-major backpack with an adjustable length torso, one more rarity amongst cottage gear makers, with female-certain shoulder pads, a female-friendly hip belt, and additional-modest sizing. But the factor that sets the Aquilo apart from comparable higher volume lightweight packs is its uncommon configuration of external pockets. If you like pockets or need to have to carry heavy or awkwardly sized gear, you will like the Aquilo.
Specs at a Glance
Backpack Storage and Organization
The Aquilo is a roll-major style backpack with seven pockets in addition to the major compartment. There are the usual side water bottle pockets, an open front mesh stretch pocket, and the two closed hip belt pockets identified on most UL-style backpacks. The hip belt pockets are optional and removable but come common with the pack.
The side water bottle pockets are huge and can conveniently match two 1L Nalgene bottles. I can attain back and grab a bottle and replace it even though wearing the pack, even though the front mesh pocket is very good for drying damp things, carrying camp footwear, snacks or additional layers. All of these pockets have elastic cords operating via the major that you can cinch down to avert things from falling out.
The hip belt pockets are also huge. A single pocket can hold six+ snack bars, offering sufficient space to shop a lot of meals for a day of hiking. My iPhone eight+ fits into the pockets which is uncommon since it is so massive, and I can use the other pocket to hold all of my hip belt accessories that I ordinarily spread amongst two pockets on other packs.
There are also two unusually tall and higher capacity pockets on each sides of the pack situated beneath the side compression straps that are very good for storing heavy, extended, or bulky things. I liken them to chipmunk cheeks because they can hold a whopping 10L of gear every. The pockets are situated appropriate behind the rods of the pack’s internal aluminum remain, so heavier things stored in them can be carried a lot more effectively, appropriate on your hips, which is exactly where you want them. They also give significantly-required additional capacity if the major compartment is hogged up with a bear canister. I’ve utilised them to carry a tent physique and poles, but they could carry trail upkeep tools, pickets, paddles, fishing rods, or even a hunting rifle. Each pockets have an elastic cord operating via the major and the pack’s compression straps run more than them, securing the things packed inside.
The major compartment is huge, with 49.five L of storage capacity. It closes with a roll-major anchored to buckles on the sides of the front mesh pocket with a third webbing strap operating more than the major. The inside of the major compartment is PU coated, which tends to make the Aquilo hugely water-resistant, despite the fact that the interior seams are not taped. I like that truth that I can roll back the extension collar and see what’s inside the pack. It also tends to make it significantly much easier to pack.
There’s no hydration sleeve in the Aquilo, which I do not miss at all. When backpacking with a complete pack, hydration bladders can be a nuisance to use and fill. Nevertheless, there are two loops inside of the pack that 1 could hang a bladder from, even though the hose can be threaded out a rear hole and more than either shoulder strap.
Backpack Compression and External Attachment Technique
The Aquilo has a multi-faceted compression and external attachment technique that involves side compression straps and external gear loops. The roll-major closure also gives significantly-required major-down compression and load stabilization which is essential on a pack of this volume.
The Aquilo has two side compression straps: 1 at the major, and a second that runs from a reduce spot on the pack via a slide buckle to the pack’s midpoint, offering double the compression of a mere single strap. This reduce compression strap is external to the tall pocket, which means it will compress any tall object inside of it, such as a tent. The reduce pockets are external to the compression straps.
There are also a lot of anchor points situated about the pack if you want to generate your personal external attachment points or cord configurations. The pack comes with a crisscrossed cord more than the front mesh pocket, as effectively as a pair of elastic loops beneath the water bottle pockets that could be utilised for carrying a foam sleeping pad.
Backpack Frame and Suspension
The Aquilo has an adjustable length torso so you can match it to your precise measurements. This entails growing or decreasing the distance amongst the shoulder straps and the hip belt so that the weight of the pack rests mainly on your hips and not your shoulders. The height of the shoulder yoke is controlled by an adjustable webbing strap, even though velcro panels behind the shoulder straps hold the yoke to the pack and avert any lateral slippage. Elemental Horizons involves fantastic documentation with the pack for how to adjust it and it is quite simple with a tiny patience.
The frame is a U-shaped aluminum remain that slots into the hip belt at the bottom, offering fantastic load transfer to the hips. The stay’s major cross-bar gives added stiffness and gives an powerful anchor for the pack’s load lifter straps. The hip belt is also out there in numerous lengths and replaceable (like petite sizes) so you can get the match you need to have.
The Aquilo has S-shaped shoulder straps that wrap about your bosom rather of smashing them flat like some unisex backpack shoulder straps. The shoulder straps are lightly but sufficiently padded, devoid of becoming as well bulky for my modest frame. The sternum strap is also adjustable, which I had to do as I choose the strap a bit reduce and away from my neck. The webbing on the outdoors of the shoulder straps has daisy chains loops sewn into it which are very good for attaching additional pockets to the pack and hanging additional gear.
The hip belt has a “quad buckle adjust hip belt system” consisting of two webbing belts connected by a central buckle. To adjust it, you close the center buckle, pull all 4 webbing straps so they snug against your physique, pull the major strap to cant the pack to the shape of your hips, and then pull the bottom strap snug. The outcome was a hip belt that conforms to the hips and back, snug but not tight, and gives an outstanding base for carrying heavier loads.
Comparable Higher Capacity Women’s Backpacks
The Elemental Horizon Aquilo Backpack is a super comfy 75L ultralight-style backpack with an adjustable length frame. It is out there in each unisex (male) and women’s models. The women’s model, reviewed right here, is out there in shorter torso ranges (down to 14″ and up) and hip belts (down to 24″ and up) to match modest and petit sized girls. Becoming a brief lady, myself, I identified the Aquilo to be exceptionally comfy and adaptable devoid of becoming as well complex to use. But the pocket layout, and the additional pockets, genuinely seal the deal. The Aquilo is a fantastic solution, effectively worth exploring if you are seeking for a greater-capacity and adjustable length, women’s certain backpack and for girls who do not naturally fall into the neat tiny sizes assumed by other backpack suppliers.
About the Author
Beth Zimmer is an professional backpacker who’s backpacked all more than New England and Eastern Canada, with a extended list of hiking accomplishments to her name. She’s section hiked the New Hampshire Appalachian Trail, climbed the New England Hundred Highest and the New Hampshire 200 highest (mainly bushwhacks), redlined the White Mountain Guide (1440 miles), and climbed the White Mountain 4000 footers numerous occasions more than. Beth also teaches GPS and off-trail navigation classes as a volunteer for the Appalachian Mountain Club and is co-chair of the New Hampshire Excursions Committee, which oversees all volunteer hiking and leadership education activities. When she’s not hiking and backpacking, Beth resides in New Hampshire exactly where she can typically be identified sipping coffee and arranging her subsequent adventure.
Disclosure: The author received a backpack for this overview.
Editor’s note: Enable help this web-site by producing your subsequent gear buy via 1 of the hyperlinks above. Click a hyperlink, purchase what you need to have, and the seller will contribute a portion of the buy value to help SectionHiker’s unsponsored gear evaluations, articles, and hiking guides.