Aarn Packs dose anyone know ……

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    William Jones


    Hi All Can anyone tell me anything about Aarn Packs?

    They have won award in Europe I am told and are very different to a Back pack?
    Any info ??


    Jay Ham


    Locale: Southwest

    Stay tuned. We are reviewing the Aarn Liquid Agility and Featherlite Freedom packs right now. I am not one of the reviewers, but did get a look at them. They are definately unique, unlike any other pack on the market.

    Most notable are the large front pockets, that better distribute the pack weight, and the shoulder straps’ lower attachment. Actually, this is where they are really different. The lower shoulder strap attachment doesn’t attach, but goes through a hole in the bottom of the pack, underneath the pack, and out the other side to the other shoulder strap. This strap can slide from side to side allowing the shoulder straps to move with your movements.

    I have only seen these packs and didn’t have the opportunity to try them with a load. I can’t comment much on how well they perform.

    Jay Ham

    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    I’m one of the reviewers for the Aarn packs (it’s great not being in charge – I get to have fun again!) – specifically, the Liquid Agility, which is a small volume overnight/day sized pack.

    The hardcores will balk at their weight:volume ratio. However, they do have a unique internal frame and a dynamic suspension system that blows away their closest US competitor, which is Ultimate Direction.

    Bottom line: These are incredibly comfortable packs for long distance hiking.

    Lots more coming in the reviews, which will be published later in the spring (so they tell me!).

    William Jones


    I just found there web site at

    I see why people are saying the things they are, Very different from anything I have every lay my eyes on.

    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    I think the folks that would benefit the most from the Aarn suspension will be either (1) people carrying bloody heavy loads or (2) people moving fast over long distances, both situations where there is some meaningful efficiency to be gained over the long run by optimizing body movement.

    It’s a novel idea, and the packs are certainly comfortable, but I honestly don’t know that anyone knows how much benefit this novelty gives to the weekend UL enthusiast hiking 5 or 10 miles a day with only 20 pounds, vs. a more traditional pack.

    Wayne Robinson


    LOL :) I feel sorry for all the suckers who buy the old technology.

    I have had one of Aarn packs for 12 mo now and won’t use anything else, that would be just plain foolish.
    With all the design awards you have to look at them.
    Further more the Pom (UK Limies) Put Aarn Body Pack in the new Musem in London, it was the only bit of outdoor eqipment in the place.

    William Siemens


    Glad to see some notice taken of these novel packs – I’ve seen their website, emailed him for a quote, haven’t sprung for one yet. BUT, I am a great believer in front packs, and have experimented with hanging stuff from the front of my Vapor Trail. It’s a concept that grabs me, sort of like the quilt idea grabs some people and leaves others of us cold…..(so to speak)

    aarn tate
    BPL Member


    The purpose of lightweight gear is to reduce the energy necessary to carry a load. Reducing the weight is a major component in this quest. What has not been recognised is that how you distribute the load on the body also has a major influence on energy usage. Ray Lloyd conducted a year long study at Leeds Metropolitan University comparing a backpack with a Bodypack,(a backpack with a pair of counterbalancing pockets on the front).

    With approximately equal load in the front and the back, the centre of gravity is brought in to match the center of gravity of the wearer. As a result the wearer stands with a natural upright posture. Ray found this eliminated pain in the shoulders, neck and thighs, and greatly reduced it in the thighs under heavy loads. Equally important, the bodypack required significantly less energy to carry the same amount of weight.

    The differences were greatest when working hardest-walking at a fast pace or when climbing. The findings proved that the minimum energy load carrying system was a combination of minimum weight AND a load balanced in front and behind.

    A bodypack will weigh more than a backpack made of the same materials because there are 3 separate load carrying compartments rather than one. How do we decide which needs the least energy? Let’s take two examples. Some large volume ultralight US packs are up to 1 kg lighter than our Ultralite models because they do not have frames, effective hipbelts, Balance Pockets or waterproof liners. Sports scientist Ray Lloyd concluded from his research that the energy saving posture of our Bodypacks more than makes up for 1 kg extra pack weight with loads over 7 kg. Another example: if two backpacks are the same weight and you add Balance Pockets to one, then the one with Balance Pockets will use less energy if the load is over 3 kg. With heavier loads, this energy reduction is magnified.

    Therefore it is clear that the minimum effort, maximum efficency load carrying system must balance the load in front and behind.This is what we have achieved with our designs.

    Free body movement is another issue we have addressed with our designs and I’d like to here comments from users about the benefits of our flow motion systems.

    Aarn Tate

    Meir Gottlieb


    This is a very interesting idea. But what about packing a bear canister with an Aarn pack? Seems you would not be able to keep the food in the canister and use one of these packs.

    aarn tate
    BPL Member


    Hi Meir,
    Good question. The front Balance Pockets are a smaller volume than the backpack, because the same volume would not be practical. To equalise the weight in front and behind, we recommend putting your heavy, most compact gear in the front Balance Pockets (water, stove, fuel, food and things that you need to get at often and quickly without stopping), and your light bulky gear in the pack (sleeping bag, tent, clothes etc.)
    Therefore you are right- to get the weight distribution that puts the least strain on the body, it would be best to put something light and bulky like your sleeping bag in the bear cannister, and repack your food into the front Balance Pockets. A little extra work, but resulting in a more enjoyable days hiking.
    Aarn Tate

    Doug Johnson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    For those fans of front packs or front pockets, LuxuryLite ( sells an interesting carbon fiber external frame pack with an integrated front pack. I recently completed this review and it will be posted at along with the Aarn park reviews.

    I would agree that the front pack/pockets is very intelligent thinking and like Ryan said, this is especially true with heavier loads. Another benefit to the LuxuryLite pack is that the two packs act as counterbalances, creating excellent airflow. Wait for the review to see more!

    I can’t wait to see the Aarn pack reviews as well!

    Doug Johnson, Shelter Systems Editor

    Andrew Browne
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mornington Peninsula AUSTRALIA

    When can we expect to see the pack reviews on the Aarn and Luxury Lite packs

    Jerold Swan


    Most of my outings are fast, done-in-a-day type stuff; the Liquid Agility pack looks intriguing from this perspective. I’ve always been a big fan of front pockets.

    I have an Ultimate Direction Endorfun pack with front pockets, but I don’t use it any more because the front pockets interfere with my arm swing, and the position of the straps often results in nipple abrasion. Can anyone who’s used the Liquid Agility comment on this?

    Also, does the size of the front pockets restrict movement during class 3/4 climbing moves?

    allan Johnston


    5 months ago I walked into the Stoney Creek shop in Tauranga, .
    Right in the door way was a pack like like no other before I had case my eyes upon.

    Of core it was an Aarn Body Pack . I was very impressed as at age 17 I was a trapper in one of New Zealands national packs and have spend many hours with large back packs full of possum skin in.

    At the time I was working for Martin Askes the owner of the NZ Outdoor Magaazine and Stoney Creek Outdoor clothing developing and market outdoor product.

    I stood there looking at this pack thinking why had it take so long to come up with something like this.
    All the hours and hour of packing skin out of the hills, what a waste and a lot of pain.

    When I moved to Christchurch in the south Island 5 months ago I made a pont of calling Aarn Tate and meeting him only to discover some of the other front thinking product he had design and to say nothing over some very impressive design award.

    Now I am a raving fan!


    Bruce Warren
    BPL Member



    I can’t find your email address. I have made many changes to the LuxuryLite Pack since you got yours last year and want to give you an update… new frame geometry to fit as carryon luggage, better shoulder straps, thinner, more compliant waist belt with hip cutouts to fit gals much better, clear map pocket on front pack, the waist belt doesn’t flop down and is sideways adjustable for unbalance loads, and even lighter weight!

    Email me at info @

    –Bruce Warren

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