Arc'teryx makes products that are generally highly acclaimed. They have a history of excellent construction and simple design. The Brize 25 pack meets these expectations, but most daypack consumers are looking for more sophistication and more features in their pack. For the fan of simplicity, the Brize is worth consideration.
Solid construction and careful design are the Brize's strong points. Other packs edge ahead overall with more features and better ventilation comfort.
The Brize is your basic hiking rucksack. This is especially true when considering comfort. The shoulder straps feature gentle contouring and generous padding. The waist belt is minimalist. The back panel is subtly vented with mesh and molded foam. It is this back panel that sets the others apart. All of the more comfortable backpacks we have reviewed have better venting in the back panel than the Brize. The Editors Choice Osprey Talon 22, for instance, has a carefully tensioned back panel that leaves room for air to flow between bag and back, aiding in the evaporation of your perspiration. The Camelbak Fourteener 24 also has better ventilation. For carrying daypack loads, up to 25 pounds or so, the Brize suffers only for the lack of a padded waist belt.
Like the rest of the pack, the back panel of the Brize 25 is relatively simple. The mesh and foam combine to lend a little ventilation, while maintaining even support.
For as simple as the Brize is, we wish it were lighter. It weighs more than a number of the more featured packs. The weight comes from the thick shoulder pads and burly fabric. The fabric will last a long, long time, but you'll be carrying around extra ounces that whole time.
In this case, the Brize 25's simplicity is a virtue. Simple packs are more versatile. If you use your daypack for only day hiking, you want carefully arranged pockets, sophisticated ventilation, and various strapping points. If you will also use this pack for rock climbing, travel, or day-to-day use, simplicity is better. In all these other areas, extra pockets and super rigid ventilated back panels are liabilities. The simple, flexible construction of the Brize makes it more suitable for other activities. For this, it does well.
Day pack side pockets should hold a one liter water bottle. The Brize passes this test.
Ease of Use
Again, the simplicity of the Brize edges it ahead here. The one main compartment, complemented by two simple zipper pouches, is easy to figure out. Of course, when you are used to them, the many options of something like the Gregory Zulu 30 enhance your usage. Our one gripe about the ease of use of the Brize is in the narrow main compartment. For this volume, the pack is particularly tall and narrow. The distance from the front to the back of the pack seems very low. This makes it carry close to your body, but getting stuff in and out is compromised.
The tall, narrow profile of the Brize is comfortable, but makes packing a little trickier. Stay organized and it will work out fine for you.
This bag will last you a long time. Our experience with this pack, other products from Arc'teryx, and our experience with packs made of this weight of fabric suggests a great deal of durability. Our test regimen does not allow us to test every product to failure, but we are confident in our ability to extrapolate durability from the prodigious usage we do execute.
Simple and clean. The external (and internal, for that matter) lines of the Brize 25 are smooth, with minimal extra paneling, pockets, or straps.
This is a day-to-day hiking and commuting bag for he or she that can organize their stuff without a plethora of straps and accessory pouches.
Arc'teryx equipment is not cheap. At this price point, in our daypack review, you have access to packs that have more features and greater comfort attributes. That said, there are no packs in our test that will last as long as the Brize. When it comes to dollars per use, the Brize is a great value.
As a classic hiking rucksack with modern durability and just a few careful add-ons, the Brize might be for you. Consider all your options. If you value durability and simplicity, the Brize might come out ahead.