A new style.
Aarn is a New Zealand company with packs designed to have equal weight distribution between the front and the back of the body. This is achieved by having what they term “balance pockets” attached to the front of the pack. The design aims to counter the weight on the back pulling backwards that can occur with conventional designs by having a similar weight in front so the pack evenly balances on the hips achieving “zero” pull back or forward on your body.
Wearing my Aarn Featherlight Freedom Backpack
Water bottles to be carried in the front pockets together with other items that can be easily reached while walking. I walked 500 km wearing this backpack in April-May 2018 on the first half of the Via De La Plata. I could open the front pockets as I walked and kept snacks, fruit, and sunburn cream. To try and balance the weight front and back I tried to fit any heavy items in the front pockets. Frankly I did not have enough small heavy items however I think it was about 40% front and 60% back so better than the usual with 100% on my back. Each of the balance pockets and the main pack has dry bags so I did not take a pack cover or poncho. Despite walking in rain nothing inside was wet.
Certainly one to consider. There are a number of youtube videos that explain the features together with reviews as people tried out various models.
I like the waterproof feature and dry bags. They claim you can swim with the back pack on and nothing will bet wet. The main part of the pack is just one large compartment with a dry bag inside with a roll down top. An approach now adopted by a number of lightweight pack manufacturers. Check them out here… Aarn backpacks