We often get asked the question; “what's the difference between Faroe and Akra?”
You might be forgiven for thinking these bags are virtually identical, especially since they look so alike. That’s no accident - the starting point for Akra was the design of Faroe. They’re the same size and made from the same material: a water-resistant lightweight Kodra. In essence, we took our best-selling model Faroe and added some great features to make an even better backpack.
Let’s talk about Faroe to begin with. It’s a cabin-sized backpack with a large central pocket that holds a lot of stuff. We designed it in a way that maximises the amount of space for bulky stuff like clothes and shoes. There are also compression straps inside which means you can really pack down your stuff if you need to. Akra is no different; the main compartment in both bags is the same size and also has compression straps.
The main compartment in our Akra pack is almost identical to the compartment on the Faroe.
But outside the main compartment is where the similarity ends. You might notice the outside of Akra looks a bit different; that’s because there’s an extra pocket that can be accessed both inside and outside the bag. It’s great for storing loose items, and the dual-access makes it easy to get to those things whether you’re packing or actually using the bag. It is also the perfect size for the Arcido washbag, which you can remove easily at airport security.
The backplate is another key difference between Akra and Faroe. We wanted to include more ventilation and to make the bag even more comfortable. So we added ventilated foam padding on the back with mesh under the shoulder straps. This makes the bag more breathable and comfortable to wear.
We've made the back pannel of Akra super comfy.
One thing our customers asked for when we originally developed Faroe was water bottle holders. There are two on both Faroe and Akra. But with Akra we decided to add secret pockets behind the stretchy material. It’s a great place to store secret stuff like a spare credit card, keys or medication.
And speaking of comfort, Akra comes with a sternum strap and a waist strap / hipbelt as standard. These can both be removed as we realise they’re not necessary on every trip. The sternum strap can actually be used on either Akra or its baby brother Vaga. Including these straps means that the weight of your stuff is more evenly distributed and thus more comfortable to carry. We also plan to include a connector on Faroe for a hip belt, which will be available to buy separately.
The sternum strap with magnetic buckle will help lighten the load on your shoulders.
We've added a clip on waist belt which some travellers will appreciate.
On top of the bag, a pocket on both Faroe and Akra is great for loose change keys and small items. For Akra, we made the pocket fleece-lined so that it’s perfect for protecting your sunglasses. The hope is to eliminate the need for a sunglasses case, which tend to be bulky.
Your sunglasses won't get scratched inside the top pocket.
We developed Faroe with the idea of protecting your laptop whatever size or shape it was. We’ve continued this idea with Akra and made a similar laptop ‘harness’ that can be adjusted in the same way as Faroe’s. However, this one is totally removable and can be used in either Akra or transfered to the Vaga daypack. The idea is that if you take both bags with you on a trip, you can use either to protect your laptop. Or alternatively, use the Vaga with the laptop harness for your day-to-day life, then when you need to go on a trip, just transfer the laptop harness into Akra and away you go!
The laptop harness on Akra is adjustable and removable. Faroe has the same but cannot be removed.
One last feature we wanted to add was interlocking zips. On both the laptop compartment and the main pocket, we’ve used zips that join up and can be locked with a padlock. If you’re particularly conscious of what’s in your bag, this is a good way to ensure it hasn’t been tampered with.
Which bag should I choose?
Given how many extra features Akra has, you might be wondering why we still stock the Faroe bag. The fact is, not everyone needs or wants a lot of extra details -- Faroe does the same job as Akra but with fewer ‘nice to have’ features. If you’re doing shorter trips, or you aren’t planning to carry the bag for extended periods of time, Faroe is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you’ve got a long walk around a city with 10kg on your back, you will really appreciate the extra padding and comfort that Akra provides.
The other question might be this; do you already have a day pack that you’re happy with? If not, the Akra and Vaga combination works really well, allowing you to transfer the laptop component between bags. The Vaga also fits inside Akra so you can take it away with you and benefit from having a whole ‘travel system’.
Either way, Faroe and Akra make an excellent choice as cabin luggage, both focusing on making your travel experience more streamlined.