Customer Reviews & Testimonials. Check out what our previous customers and fans are saying about our packs and find the right one for your hiking, skiing and trekking adventures today!

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Correctly-balanced packs are innovative and revolutionary and once you’ve experienced one all other packs will fade into insignificance. During my 45 years of tramping, climbing and hunting I have used many packs including the latest ergonomic designs. My experience with balance packs has changed all my previous perceptions of comfort.  I have never used a more comfortable pack—it fits your body like a glove. Balance Pockets reduce a considerable amount of strain and are extremely useful for accessing items while on the move. I would thoroughly recommend a balanced pack to anyone who wants to experience the pinnacle of tramping or climbing comfort.
Ray Goldring, NZ Mountain Safety Organization

“ The Porsche of packs”
Patrick Rottiers, CEO, PROconsulting International, Christchurch, NZ

“It is hard not to be evangelical about a product that works so well. It’s hard not to gloat when you pass someone bent over with a big pack.”
Phil Robinson, New South Wales, Australia

“I think the pack is tremendous! It’s the first pack I’ve had that really does what it is supposed to. I had back surgery six years ago. Part of a disc in my back was removed. I don’t have any back pain with my pack as I always had with other packs. Backpacking is the love of my life. I have had one of the best known, highly rated and most expensive internal frame packs on the market. This one surpasses that in terms of comfort. There was no discomfort in either the shoulders or the hips.”
Dr. Jan Lemon, Neuropsychologist, Boulder, CO, USA.

“Bodypacks virtually eliminate postural stress on the torso and shoulder girdle. My kinesiological tests on a patient who had back surgery showed no stress induced by using the pack”
Jay Wilson, D.C., USA, Chiropractor and Backpacker

“Last weekend we went up the Croesus Track with my old pack. Within about an hour, I was starting to get my usual pain across the right shoulder blade that I’ve become accustomed to whenever I use traditional backpacks and which I don’t get when I use a balanced pack. I began tramping 26 years ago and have gone through 4 backpacks over that period. Your Bodypacks I have found the most comfortable and I can’t understand why anyone who is planning to purchase a pack would buy any other brand.”
Chris Leaver, Vice-President, Peninsula Tramping Club, Christchurch, NZ

“Bloody fantastic, would not go to other designs”
Anne Griffin, Kangaroo Flat, Australia

"Recently my husband, Joe and I completed 462 kms. on the northern section of the Bibbulmun Track in W.A. I was carrying my Featherlite Freedom pack and Joe was carrying his Natural Balance pack. I carried about 14 kgs and Joe carried up to 18 kgs.
We are both very experienced walkers but our age is beginning to limit us. (We are 73 and 75) We found walking with our balanced packs allowed us to walk an average 20 kms a day without sore shoulders, sore backs. We had plenty of energy left over at day's end to set up camp, cook our evening meal and after a good night 's rest be ready for the pleasures of walking the next section. Other walkers we met were very interested in the design of our packs and I feel that we are proof that you have got your design principles right.
Thank you for your Bodypacks which have enabled us to realise our ambition of becoming
"end-to enders" - we have now walked all the way from Perth to Albany a distance of 960 km".

Beth and Joe Gilks, WA, Australia

"I’m on the Te Araroa trail. I love my Balance Pockets and after 830km - still no sore shoulders/neck etc. Often I don’t bother to take my Bodypack off when having a break because everything is easier to access when it’s on. Great having camera, food, water etc so close to hand.
I have regular massages at home & always my massage therapist finds aches & pains in my neck & shoulders - whether I have been tramping or not. I had a massage en route having walked 500kms - plenty of aches & pains in my legs & feet but NOTHING in my neck & shoulders - awesome. I think its often easy not to notice what is not happening (no discomfort) - but reading of & talking to other trampers & their rubs & aches I know its BLOODY AWESOME that I have none associated with my Bodypack".
Wendy Hare, NZ

"I always quite enjoyed going tramping but my pack always felt like such a weight on my back and shoulders that I wasn't that keen on multi-day tramping. I had tried various brands of packs but they all felt the same to me.
We both agree that after 8 years of intensive use, we are thrilled with our packs. The packs make carrying weight comfortable and weight of the pack centers through your body - you can almost forget you have a pack on your back compared with other packs we have had in the past.
The convenience of the Balance Pockets in front to access gear/food while walking and the inner waterproof pack liner are brilliant features too.
This pack has revolutionised my tramping. I have tramped further and higher than I ever thought possible and much of that has to do with the packs I am using."
Helena & Stuart Gane, Auckland, NZ

"I thought that the shoulder–pain associated with carrying a heavy pack was an inevitable by-product of trampling- a necessary evil in order to enjoy the outdoors. Even with good packs my shoulders would hurt. Putting more weight on the hips did not help because I still had to hold the pack forward.
I had no shoulder pain on my first multi-day tramp with my pack, despite carrying my normal weight of 18-20 kg. Great design and great attention to detail!"
Stefan Meyer, Nelson, NZ

Thank You, thank you, thank you so much. I just summited Mt. Kilimanjaro on Sept 3rd thanks to your gear. The other trekkers laughed at my balanced pack,  until they saw I could hike with more weight and longer. They stopped laughing when I didn't have sore shoulders or back and they did. I carried my pack everyday except 1/2 of summit day. There was only one other person, a woman, who carried her pack the whole time. With the Pacer Poles you guys advised me to buy, my arms didn't hurt, neither did my hands like the other trekkers did. The guides told me I was strange and I looked strange and I told them whatever it takes. Only 1/2 of our group got to the top, I was the third one to summit of the 7 who made it. A huge thank you!!!"
Jude Brown, Melbourne, Australia


Flow Motion
"I have cervical a slipped vertebrae and suffer way less problems with my neck using your packs due to the Flow Motion systems. I really dread having to resort to another kind that locks my shoulders stiff since these often has caused my traps to go into spasm. Can I also just say how massively I appreciate your invention and very grateful to for making it possible for me to hike and carry again with my neck the way it is. I would never have been able to experience the incredible mountains of the French Alps and Norway last year in the way I did without your pack, and it was a really unforgettable and sublime experience."

Alison Moore, Sydney, NSW, Australia
"The Flow Motion systems work! The pack hugs the back closely and moves with the body without the feelings of restriction and discomfort. Stability is much better than with an ordinary pack on. I was skiing down from Cairngorm in a high wind; conditions were icy and darkness was falling – the pack was like a limpet, not swaying or moving at all, yet I had complete freedom of arm and shoulder movement."
Chris Townsend, Equipment Editor TGO Magazine and Author “The Advanced Backpacker”

Shoulder Straps
“The wide shoulder straps are comfortable, pliable, and not bulky. Some of the most comfortable I’ve ever worn.”
Ryan Jordan. Review,

"The shoulder straps were gently contouring and I experienced no neck pain, which has been a constant feature of my pack carrying life."
Paddy Pawson, Waipuna Community Trust, Christchurch

Waterproof Dri-liners
“After two months of meandering around the great mountains and valleys of the West Coast, I really appreciated how dry the Bodypack interior remained in the wet conditions.”
Paul Kilgour, Takaka, South Island, New Zealand

Balance Pockets
The Balance Pockets enable you to walk in a more upright position, and with considerably more balance than with a normal pack. Additionally, the load is distributed over the body, so your shoulders don’t get as sore. It all adds up to a less fatigued body, and one that can traverse awkward terrain more confidently. I noticed a profound difference straight away wearing this pack.”
Mark Watson, Editor, NZ Climber magazine Test Review

"Before using a balanced pack I wouldn't have thought to complain about poor balance while using a day pack or a lumbar pack on a climb. Once we got on the long boulder fields of St. Helens though, I noticed a major improvement. I was able to move as though I wasn't wearing a pack at all, confidently walking across the tops of boulders whereas before I would have chosen a more conservative route."
Brice Keown, WA, USA

"I have just arrived home from Victoria were we walked 75km in the Croajingalong N.P mainly beach walking. Due to a drought, we had 3 dry camps in a row- no good drinking water as all the drinking water springs were bone dry. I was carrying around 20 kg, 4kg of which was water that was just a dead weight, especially when walking on sand. Out of the 6 of us there was no doubt that I was the most comfortable throughout the walk as I had my water in the Balance Pockets and didn't have the weight on my shoulders. One female walker had just purchased a new M***** and had large blisters on her shoulders, (not a good sight)".
Brian Ogilwy, Melbourne, Australia

"I was initially reluctant to wear the Balance Pockets because of the way they looked. The Compact Pockets match my Peak Aspiration pack, so I tried them. I found I was able to carry more weight than I usually would, but it felt like I was carrying my usual weight. There was no soreness in the shoulders. When the Balance Pockets were fastened in the recommended X configuration, they sat comfortably and were stable even when clambering over rough terrain. The Pockets were very convenient. Because I carried the items I was likely to use in the Balance Pockets, it meant I didn't need to remove my pack to access those items."
Alison Hamilton, Wellington, NZ

Custom Fit
"This pack has many adjustments and while initially I needed to sit and work it out, the pack can be custom adjusted to fit any person’s frame size."
Paddy Pawson, Waipuna Community Trust, Christchurch

"I am a mountain guide in the Alps working in Austria, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland. I am addicted to balanced packs now and make a lot of publicity to my clients of course, but also in mountain-huts and hotels. Best mountain greetings!"
Anne Moraw

High Winds
"We had the most ghastly weather the first day. Winds so strong they pushed us over - we were the lightest. Others packs kept swinging, mine sat absolutely with the body. Love the pack and think it an extremely healthy design because of the balance factor."
Jo Speedy, Wellington, NZ

Cold and Wet
"We had torrential rain, sleet, hail hitting us sideways. My pack was totally waterproof, everything inside perfect. The Balance Pockets a boon as had everyone's snacks there and plasters - no need to take pack off in dreadful conditions with stiff frozen hands. All in all the pack is the best I have had, am totally sold."
Jo Speedy, Wellington, NZ

Hot Desert
It was pretty warm on our Sak River trip in South Africa—-up to 36C one day in the shade. In the open where we were walking of course there wasn't any shade and the temp was 52C. Still, it was dry heat, so reasonably comfortable. The packs were fine, and certainly no warmer to wear than a normal design, despite the front Balance Pockets. The matrix mesh back-pad is really great—much lighter than other packs and it lets the air through nicely."
John Flux, North Island, New Zealand

"I broke my back in a climbing accident a couple of years ago and your Bodypacks play a big part in me being able to enjoy hiking..."
Andreas Nilsson, Halmstad, Sweden

"I have been using the Aarn Photo Balance Pockets with a number of pack models for several years.
The Photo Pockets
quickly became my case of choice for travel and field photography.
Each compartment has individual dry bags for each piece of gear. Typically, I will carry an SLR (w/out battery grip) with a wide-angle lens in the larger compartment.
On the other side, I fill the dry bags with various lenses and/ or a flash.
There is more storage in the bottom each pocket that can house smaller lenses, or needed accessories.
Access is one of my favorite features of the system: a top zip allows for quick grabs when needed. Each piece of equipment is protected with a dry bag, and some thin padding.
I have taken my systems on several extended expeditions and have never had an issue with the padding. The final feature that has been a HUGE bonus for me is that the Balance Pockets detach and become a smaller backpack on it's own.
This is truly great for those smaller hikes or urban travel with a camera system."

Sean O’Connor, owner, Freesolo Photography, Portland, Oregon, USA

"The Photo Balance Pockets make it really easy to keep the camera at the ready - it's very easy to grab the DSLR out of the pocket, even with a 70-300 lens attached. When it comes to changing lenses, its like having an extra pair of hands. The load balance was amazing - totally different to my normal experience. Last weekend I packed my normal day-hike winter safety gear, food, 1.5 L of water, then loaded the pockets with my DSLR, 3 lenses, binoculars,GPS, plus a second point-and-shoot camera. The load just never seemed to be an issue.
The elastic pockets worked well for stowing filters. I found the dry sacs spacious enough to make for easy use. This is a good feature as most inexpensive DSLR's and lenses aren't weather or dust sealed."
Michael Hamilton, Wellington, NZ

"I am a botanical artist and do a lot of sketching and photographing of plants in the field. I have gone through a lot of packs to find the right fit for my equipment. After searching endlessly for a daypack that would hold my art supplies and my camera equipment, the Aarn pack has proven the perfect solution.
I carry my camera equipment up front in the Photo Balance Pockets so I have instant access – no longer do I have to constantly take off my backpack- and I carry my paints, paper, water, sketching tools, clothing and food for the day in the pack.
Since herniating a disk in my back several years ago I find that balancing gear in front and behind is much easier on my back than having it all a behind.
Happily my balanced pack does not sacrifice maneuverability for tramping and climbing. It is very useful that the same Balance Pockets work on a full sized pack or a daypack, depending on trip length.
Even in hot weather the Balance Pockets do not make the packs hotter and I have used them in some very hot places! I now use this pack exclusively on all my tramps from New Zealand to Bhutan and beyond. Excellent."

Rebecca Thompson, Christchurch, NZ

We recently used our packs on a paddling expedition. After an inadvertent swim in a class IV rapid, with my boat stuck in a hole for 15 minutes, everything came out dry!”
Sam Salwei, North Dakota. USA

"The movement aspect of Marathon Magic really appealed to me. I tried one on in the shop and loved it. Got some weird stares as I was 'practice casting'. It's the only truly active pack I've found. Even when fully loaded but it fits like a glove. Several fishing packs have front pockets and a backpack but none of them use any pack design science or match the harness you've developed, and they are cumbersome and uncomfortable to use with weight, especially if wading rivers and in the rough stuff."
Craig Price, Melbourne, Australia

Solving Problems After Surgery
We bought two packs for our 800 km Camino del Norte trek in Spain. The packs have greatly exceeded our expectations. I have lymphadema in my arm after breast cancer treatment in 2011 and even with my small conventional day pack, my arm would swell and ache at the end of even a 5kms walk...with your system I can walk 20 kms and I am pain free at the end.
I have been singing balanced pack praises and so many people stop me on my walks and ask about them!

Marion Armstrong, Mt Maunganui, NZ

Search and Rescue
"Recently used my Featherlite Freedom on a Search and Rescue exercise.
I am training a search dog (Tilly) and this was her first bush field trip/exercise.
This time after a long trail walk, we had to 'bush bash' through thick vegetation to a rendezvous with other search teams.
At about 7.30 pm the dog and I began hours sign cutting and tracking through a freezing river gully.
We had to continuously track the lost party in and out of the river up the steep gully sides, only to loop round into the freezing water again. When the rest of the search teams had bedded down for the night, we (Dog Team One) continued on, closing in on the lost party.

By nature of the dog’s abilities and speed we cover ground faster than a normal search team. As a result we walk (jog) further, and get fewer breaks, as we try not to break the dogs drive to keep on track. At 11.30pm we decided to call it a night.
I looked at one of my support staff and saw he looked really shattered (carrying normal style pack). I however felt good to go.
I had none of the usual aches and pains I would have had under my previous pack.

After 6 hours kip we were up breakfasted and good to go.
Normally I would have really felt the aches on a cold morning, it was -6C but I still felt very comfortable. We carried on with the search, and by noon had located the remaining lost parties.
Dog Team One (Two trainee dogs, two handlers and two support staff), had located all the most vital clues and all the lost parties, in the 24 hours the exercise had been running.

Tilly had performed well and I had learned valuable lessons about tracking by night through thick vegetation, but I would not have been able to absorb the key learning points if I had not been so alert. My load during those 24 hours consisted, of food and water for 36 hours (for the dog and I), tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, spare clothes, plus long leads, dog harnesses and other search equipment.
It was not the heaviest load I have ever carried, but it was substantial.
It's fair to say the Featherlite made the going much easier.
As I sit here writing this I feel fit to go again (36hrs later). I do not recall being in such a physically good state after such intense load carrying exercise.
My shoulders have none of the normal pain, and that alone made the investment in your product a sound choice.

I would like to thank you for an excellent, well-designed, comfortable pack.
I may be getting older, but thanks to your product I kept up with people who have nearly a decade on me. I feel more well-known companies charge a lot of money for what I now realise is an inferior load carrying system."

Jim Negus, Taupo, NZ

River Crossings
"I was on a river-crossing course today on the Tauranga-Taupo River with my Natural Exhilaration Bodypack and was delighted how it performed.
We had to do river crossings and then float down the river head first then feet first and in both positions I felt very supported with my head out of the water.
I had a thermos and water bottle in the front pockets and this seemed to stabilize my position in the water.
Others with regular backpacks often seemed to roll a bit from side to side. Nothing was even damp in my pack.

Lesley McKeesick, Taupo, NZ

"Skiing the thick snow in the narrow, steep main schute required strong stances with a lot of body extension. The Flow Motion systems of the Flowmo Bodypack allowed me to achieve the aggressive body positions of extreme skiing, which cannot be achieved with other packs. This gave me the confidence and security for a successful descent."
Rhys Vidgen, after first ski descent of main schute, Mt Alarm, Inland Kaikoura range. NZ

"It has been a longstanding problem cross-country skiing with expedition equipment. Sleds are hard to pull uphill and dangerous downhill. Serious backache often occurs even after a few kilometers due to an exaggerated stooped forward posture. Balance Pockets balance the weight front and back allowing us to stand upright and carry all the weight in the pack without back pain. We can leave the sled at home and go ride the hills for a comfortable week of solitary skiing."
Gael Simon, Resources Orion, Canada