Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Arcteryx Leaf Khard 30 Pack

I have been using Arteryx' Leaf Khard 30 - pack now for a year. The Khard is a superb pack,  altough I must admit it has its shortcomings and I wished I had bought the
Khard 30. Picture: Arcteryx
45 litre version.

The Khard has a zipper that runs all around from on side to the other. Making it a sort of top-loader, but with the option of opening it up completely flat. This makes the bag super versatile and even when stuffed to the brim it is possible to remove items from the bottom of the pack with minimum hassle. Just zip up the side, take it out, zip up again. The load bearing system is great, nothing less that you'd expect from a Arcteryx product. The shoulder straps are sturdy and quite comfy. The pack comes with a wide 50mm webbing waist-strap, which means it's unpadded. Though I see no reason why there should be any padding, since you'll probably not be carrying anything heavy enough to require padding. I have carried loads to about 12kg without any need for padding. The pack also has two aluminium "stakes" running through the back, giving the pack a back shaped contour. I ended up removing these, as I saw no need for them and quite frankly I think the pack is much more comfortable without them.

The pack also features two huge side pockets, a top pocket and a small flat pocket under the top "flap". The side pockets can easily hold a 1L Nalgene bottle or a hydration bladder(there are ports for hoses/cables). Alltough a Source Wide pack will not fit in the Khard 30' side pockets, because of the wide opening. A Source Kangaroo will fit. I have used the side pockets eg. for my hammock, tarp, raingear, water bottle and DDK(Diaper Disaster Kit). The top pocket is also huge and goes all the way to the front for maybe 10 cm. I can easily fit my Swarovski EL 10x32 binoculars in there. The flat pocket inside the pack will fit som maps or a pocket sized Moleskine notebook. I usually carry my Firsts Aid-kit in there. The pack also features a hook typ of hanger for eg. a waterbladder inside the pack and the main compartment has two access points for cables och hoses. There are numerous lashing points on the outside and on the top, but only two at the bottom. The pack comes with a bungy-cord and lock attached to the lashing points. Similary there are lashing points inside the pack, along the back. All four sides inside the pack has wide hook- and loop webbing for attaching pouches. This is great! LBX Tactical sells pouches specifically made to fit inside the Khard on the webbing. Or of course if you own a sewing machine you can easily and at a fraction of a LBX pouchs' cost DIY.

During the spring I took the pack for some lightweight hiking( 1 night, approx 25km): I could easily fit in it:
- lightweight down jacket
- Poncho liner(US surplus)
- Freeze dried food, snacks
- Water: Source 3L Wide pack, Source 1L Kangaroo
- warm hat, sleeping socks, gloves
- Rain coat & pants
- Cooking kit
- First Aid kit
- Map, compass
- Headlamp
- Tarp, cords, tent stakes
- Hammock, cords
- Sleeping pad(lashed on the outside)
- Odds & ends

Pack flat open. Note: hook and loop panels.

Attachments points, inside back side.

The flat inside top pocket.

Access points for hydration hoses and cables. Attachment hook for eg. Hydration bladder.

Side pockets, external attachment points, side handle.

Side handle, attachment points.

Access point for hydration hose or cables from side pocket.

Side compression straps.

Side compression straps. Attachment points at bottom.

Shoulder straps, sternum strap, waist-belt. Note: attachment points on shoulder straps.
 Shoulder straps, sternum strap, waist-belt. Note: attachment points on shoulder straps.

Quick-release buckle on shoulder strap.

Main zipper at top of bag(for some reason blogger keeps on rotating the picture)

Top "lid/flap" pocket with key ring inside.

Bungy cord attached on the top of the bag.

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