Gear Guide 2020: Arc’teryx Alpha AR 20 Backpack Review

Our picks for the best gear of 2020.
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The Arc’teryx Alpha AR 20 Backpack. 

The Arc’teryx Alpha AR 20 Backpack. 

I have a closet full of multi-pitch packs, and the Alpha AR 20 is one of the best. It’s light—a mere 19 oz—durable, and simple. On Geronimo, a fun three-pitch 5.6 in Red Rock, the 20L pack provided room for approach shoes, a water bottle, and snacks. It fit like a glove and evenly distributed weight, thanks to the minimalist waistbelt that kept the pack from rocking, the form-retaining dual-density insert (soft against the back, firm on the inside), and the easy-adjust chest strap. The vertical front pocket is handy—perfect for items you need on route like a wind jacket, phone, or topo. And the heavy-duty nylon features a liquid-crystal polymer ripstop grid that held up to squeeze chimneys and cracks. MSRP: $129, arcteryx.com

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