M Elemental Horizons Aquilo Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
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Elemental Horizons, founded by Matthew Lagas-Rivera, is a new, small company offering lightweight backpacks and accessories. The Aquilo is a frameless backpack with an available contoured aluminum tubular stay. At 31.5 ounces (893 g), the Aquilo weighs twice as much as the lightest frameless backpacks I tested for our Frameless Backpack State of the Market Report 2011, but for lightweight backpacking, where the Aquilo properly fits, its weight, suspension system, features, and load carrying capability are impressive.
First things first; although the Aquilo is specified at 2700 cubic inches (44.2 L) for size Medium and 3200 cubic inches (52 L) for size Large (which I tested), I measured the actual volume of the Aquilo (size Large) to be a whopping 4090 cubic inches (67 L), which is 28% larger than specified. Matthew later mentioned that the specified volume is for the main compartment only. The key point here is that the Aquilo is a large volume frameless backpack, well suited for lightweight backpacking, but it has way too much volume for ultralight backpacking. I would love to see a smaller version of this pack for ultralight backpacking.
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