Osprey Arcane XL Day Review
The Osprey Arcane XL Day is an impressive 28L unisex daypack sitting as the largest in the Arcane series.
The latest of the lifestyle packs takes what we know and love about the Arcane series and simply gives it a little more volume. The sleek design, minimal branding and high-quality hardware are still retained, but you’re now able to carry everything you’ll need in an average day.
If you’re searching for the best of the bunch for a versatile daypack, the 28 litre XL Day has to be shortlisted.
Outside the backpack
The exterior of the Arcane XL is, in our opinion, one of the best looking packs from Osprey in the purely aesthetic sense.
A sleek design with minimal branding, secret pockets and impressive hardware choices are big positives for us. The outdoor heritage of the brand is still evident, but if you were new to Osprey – comparing the Arcane to say the Talon 22 is like comparing apples and tomatoes.
Yes they’re still fruit, and they’re great in their own ways – but they’re not massively interchangeable in the usual sense.
One of our favourite feature of the Arcane XL Day is the hidden water bottle pocket, allowing for standard water bottles to be disguised within the sleek pack. Water bottle pockets have often been a sticking point with some of the earlier Osprey packs and we’re pleased to see this issue rectified with this simple, but ingenious solution.
The harness is great too, offering plenty of stability and comfort when wearing despite the lack of adjustability. There’s no outdoor-inspired gear to be found on the back of the pack with the omission of a sternum strap and hip belt although, with a city-inspired daypack, this isn’t something that’s missed.
Wearers won’t notice any typical Airscape technology (ventilation) in the back of the pack either, although once again – it’s not really something that’s needed in a daypack.
Instead, a breathable neo spacer material is used to covered both the harness straps and the mesh-covered foam back panel. It’s an ingenious solution, preventing uncomfortable wearing without compromising the clean look of the pack.
A helpful harness pocket is great for storing small objects, as seen below with a pair of our favourite Bluetooth earbuds, compliments the simple harness. It’s also a great place for travel cards or emergency snacks!
Overall, the exterior is a successful example of a minimalistic design of a daypack perfect for the urban environment.
Inside the backpack
Getting to grips with and opening the pack up for the first time highlights a total of four zippered sections – fantastic for on-the-go organisation.
Starting from the front and moving backwards, a simple zippered scratch-free electronics and sunglasses pocket is a great addition. Typically we would recommend this area for small notepads due to minimal padding against the front.
Stepping back to the next zipper and we’ve got a fantastic organisation pocket, complete with a large internal zippered pocket, smaller organisation pockets and a handy key hook. This section, although only offering a half zip, covers the entire length of the pack and offers great space.
Opening up the main compartment we see the bulk of the 28L pack. This is a predominantly simple but large opening complete with a document sleeve accessed by the J-zip on the pack. We had no problem storing jumpers, camera gear and laptop accessories in this section and appreciated the space available.
Finally, one of our favourite parts of this particular pack is the padded laptop sleeve on the rear of the pack. The sleeve offers enough space for a 16″ laptop and is heavily padded, so much so that additional cases or sleeves are not required.
We were very impressed by the level of organisation and just how well the internals of this pack are arranged. It is one of the best daypacks that we’ve had the pleasure of testing.
Material and durability
Osprey has made a big deal getting the materials just right on this pack with a push towards brand sustainability.
As a result, the day pack is made up of 100% recycled polyester that’s soft to the touch but plenty tough enough for use every day. A PFC free DWR is also used to treat the pack, ensuring additional protection whilst increasing the sustainability of the pack.
The durability of the components is typical of Osprey with the highest quality hardware thrown into the mix. There’s true craftsmanship highlighted in the quick-release security clip, harness metalwork and YKK zippers that we rarely see with other brands.
The colours available showcase an impressive palette with Haybale Green (as pictured), Acorn Red, Deep Fig Purple, Milky Tea Tan, Stargazer Blue, Stonewash Black all available.
Osprey does typically take some beating when it comes to their materials and the Arcane is incredibly impressive from the sustainability standpoint.
Testing the Osprey Arcane XL Day
Osprey Europe was kind enough to send out one of their latest Arcane XL Day packs for the Adventure Pending team to trial.
The pack has since become a daily staple thanks to its great size, useful laptop sleeve, organisation capabilities and stunning looks. We’ve found the sizing to be perfect when carting around our required equipment for hectic daily schedules.
The pack is incredibly comfortable thanks to the well-padded, breathable neo spacer covered harness straps and neo spacer mesh-covered foam back panel. It’s not necessarily something that we’d like to wear for several hours at a time – but that’s not what this pack is about.
If there’s just one gripe that we do have with the continued use of the pack it’s the ability to pick up marks. Most of our lifestyle is outdoors and the pack does tend to spend as much time lay on the dirt as it does on our backs. It’s not an issue that would prevent us from recommending the pack – but it’s something to think about before purchasing.
The Osprey Arcane XL Day is one that backpack that we’re expecting to keep on our backs for a long time to come.
The Osprey Arcane XL Day is an impressive daypack that we’re quite frankly smitten with.
The largest of the unisex Arcane models, the pack offers supreme space and organisation for the urban minimalist. The branding of the pack is subtle and the overall design and appearance are enough to really make a pack nerd smile.
The quality is second-to-none, as you’d expect from the brand with high-quality components and a 100% recycled material chosen for the body. We’re excited to continue using the daypack, testing it to its limits.
If you’re looking for a medium/large commuter or daily pack, you’ll have a hard time finding a better companion than the Arcane 28.