With the launch of the new 28 liters OXNA backpack on Kickstarter, some people have asked how this differs from other ARCIDO products. Before this launch, it is the AKRA that proved most popular among users, described by some as the “best carry on system”, when combined with the tailor-made accessories. This doesn’t leave much room for improvement, but that’s exactly what the designers at ARCIDO set out to do when coming up with the concept for OXNA.
Cofounders, Will and Felix, have been traveling long term with the AKRA, giving them a deep insight into its strengths and shortcomings in the real world. Combined with close consultation with customers and other long term backpackers, they developed a new pack based on their AKRA travel pack. Without losing any of the great features of previous bags, the OXNA has new additions to make this backpack even closer to carry on perfection.
Size, Shape, and Color
The most obvious update is that the OXNA is significantly smaller than the AKRA, at 28 liters rather than 35. Considering that ARCIDO has consistently promoted minimalist travel, you may have thought that their products were already at their smallest. However, Will and Felix have found themselves continuing to strip back their load, even reducing their packing list to be able to fit within a 23-liter pack. This is mirrored by a general trend among customers to embrace minimalism, as evidenced in the feedback.
By cutting the pack size by 7 liters, the OXNA looks more like a typical day bag and therefore some may choose to use this on their daily commute. Reducing the size means that it can be more comfortably carried around cities and stowed on public transport. It also means that the backpack is suitable for smaller frames, making this a truly unisex bag, while the AKRA was more popular with Men. The curve of the main compartment opening may look familiar, but the overall shape is designed to appeal to all body types. Furthermore, a noticeable color change from gray to black is likely to have wider appeal.
The designers at ARCIDO are aware that organization in a backpack is a careful balancing act. On the one hand, too many pockets can make a bag seem cluttered, eating into the total amount of space available and actually making it harder to find the things you’re looking for. This also ruins the aesthetic for lovers of minimalism. However, having too few pockets leads to disorganization, which makes packing and finding your stuff more difficult. This is antithetical what one bag travel is aiming to promote.
The AKRA has a good range of pockets, with the main compartment, removable laptop holder, front easy access pouch, hip belt pockets, and two water bottle holders, each with secret pockets. Along with a secret passport pouch and fleece-lined sunglasses pocket, this offers plenty of organization, while maintaining a minimalist aesthetic. Customers asked for somewhere to put the laptop charger so the team at Arcido included a laptop charger on the side of the pack which can be accessed from the outside.
Proving popular, OXNA maintains the hidden passport pouch and fleece-lined sunglasses pocket. Beyond this, an external mesh pocket has been added with wet jackets in mind and offers easy access via the outside of the bag. OXNA is small enough to be a daypack, so the laptop pocket is no longer removable. However, it is still raised above the bottom of the pack to protect your PC should you drop the backpack.
ARO is the accompanying day pack which folds up into a tiny package and takes up very little space in the bag. It’s simple, sleek and you’ll be so grateful for it on your next trip. It weighs in at just 200g. Finally, the OXNA includes a single packing cube for clothes, but this one improves on the last by being compressible, encouraging users to make more of the space they’re got rather than taking a bigger pack.
AKRA was designed to be flexible to the needs of users. For instance, the hip straps are there to ease the strain when the pack is full but can be removed when carrying a lighter load. A thick top handle makes it easier to pick up the bag when moving it. For the OXNA, Arcido wanted to take this concept of versatility even further.
Firstly, the shoulder straps can be completely hidden. In some environments, it is preferable to carry a bag in your hands rather than on your back. This is why some people end up traveling with a duffel bag or briefcase. With the OXNA, you get the best of both. It is a backpack when having to move quickly or if you need your hands free, but can become more briefcase like when on a crowded bus or in a professional office environment.
This is aided with the addition of a side handle so that the bag can be carried horizontally by your side. You can also use this to load the backpack into the trunk of a vehicle. With the straps hidden, there is no need to worry about them getting snagged or trapped while in transit. By giving people the option to carry the OXNA in different ways, this is a bag that can adapt to different environments. This allows you to stick to a single bag with the confidence it will handle any situation with ease.
The perfect backpack needs to be both durable and lightweight. The AKRA cracked this perfectly with the use of Kodra. While lower quality backpacks are made of nylon or polyester, we were keen to select a premium material that would be resistant to abrasion and high in water resistance. This is not only to ensure that your stuff stays protected, but also that you can purchase this bag once and then not have to buy another for many years. This is part of ARCIDO’s commitment to sustainability.
Once again, OXNA offers an upgrade, by using recycled Kodra. This offers incredible durability, water resistance, and a good looking bag - all while reducing the environmental impact.
Although some travelers may prefer the extra space of the old ARCIDO bags, the OXNA is a step up in several ways. Despite decreased volume size, the clever organization, such as compressible packing cubes, ARO daypack, and external charger pocket, means that you can make more efficient use of the space. The OXNA really is the ultimate in versatility. This a giant leap forward in the world of one bag travel.