Your daypack is an essential piece of gear. It is the go-to bag for any day adventure, whether it’s a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, a stroll through your local park, or even your work commute. If I could only have one backpack (thankfully I don’t) it would definitely be a daypack.
Finding the right daypack can be hard. There are so many different ones out there! You need something that is not only durable but will also fit everything you need to go on a fun and successful adventure (and you want it to match your style, too).
Gregory recently released their Arrio line, which is their most budget friendly line of packs yet. They offer minimal features to keep the cost down while still adhering to their high standards of quality.
I have to be completely frank with you—this isn’t my favorite daypack; however it does have some good features and serves as a basic pack. Below, I’ll go over my honest thoughts on the Gregory Arrio 24L Pack and compare it to some other packs I own.
Gregory Arrio 24 Review Summary
Gregory is a household name when it comes to backpacks. They strive to make packs that are “worn not carried,” and they do this through innovative chassis systems that work with your body as you carry the pack as opposed to against it.
Gregory, along with most of the outdoor gear industry, has begun to place a greater emphasis on sustainability. They have worked hard to revamp their packaging to be more eco-friendly, and they have an extensive pack repair program to help keep packs from getting thrown away. If your pack is not repairable at the end of its life, Gregory recycles or repurposes various components of the pack!
Their new Arrio line is no exception, and it has become a more recent favorite among day hikers. This is a pack designed specifically for hiking. It does not include features that a more versatile adventure pack would have. For example, there is no laptop sleeve and the pack itself is a little narrow to even fit a laptop.
The Arrio line comes in 18L, 22L (regular and plus size), and 24L (regular and plus size). The 18L and the 24L are top loading packs with a drawstring closure and a lid pocket, while the 22L is more like your traditional daypack with a zippered closure. This article is focused on the 24L, which has the drawstring close.
Ultimately, this bag has the basic features to make it a good daypack, but lacks features to make it a great pack. Let’s dive into that more.
Is The Gregory Arrio Right For You?
The Arrio is a unisex pack and is best suited for those wanting style over true function and versatility. It’s lightweight and great if you don’t need to bring a ton of gear with you on a day hike.
Since it doesn’t have the features for optimally carrying a laptop, this pack doesn’t really execute well off the trail. It does, however, have a large main compartment roomy enough to store everything you’d need for a day hike.
This pack is for the hobby hiker who needs a good basic daypack that is durable enough for their occasional adventures. If this sounds like you, it might be the right fit!
People looking to do longer hikes where they need to bring more gear with them might not find this bag very useful. The 9.5lb max carry weight is a little low if you need to carry more than 2 liters of water or any extra gear.
It’s especially not fit for peak bagging or rock scrambling, which would be better suited for a more supportive pack.
Gregory Arrio Pros and Cons
- This pack carries well. The suspended mesh back panel feels comfortable on your back and promotes good airflow so your back doesn’t get as sweaty.
- Great integration with the Gregory water bladder. The design of the tube routing and the Gregory water badder clip attachment makes using a water bladder in this pack super easy.
- This pack looks great! The design is sleek and it isn’t bulky in any way.
- The hip belt is only a nylon strap. I find that this style of hip belt doesn’t provide enough support when doing any type of rock scrambling or if you end up using the pack for bike commuting.
- The side and front zippered pockets seem kind of redundant. They not only take away volume from the main body of the pack when loaded up, but they are also similarly sized and seem to be designed to carry similar types of things like maps and keys.
- The carrying capacity of this pack is 9.5lbs. It should be able to carry a bit more weight in order to be my go-to day hiking pack. Each liter of water weighs 2.2lbs, so if you are going on a hike where you need to carry 2 liters of water your pack is already halfway to the weight limit.
Gregory Arrio 24L Daypack Specs
|Dimensions||21.7” x 10.6” x 8.7”|
|Max Carry Weight||9.5 lbs|
Gregory Arrio Features
The Outer Components
Some people don’t like to use top-loading packs because things at the bottom are hard to access. I’ve found that with a little organization, using a pack like with a top opening is still really functional. I try to keep all of my stuff that I might need while hiking on the outside of the pack and everything that I will need when taking the pack off inside the main compartment.
So let’s dig into the external storage featured on the Arrio.
There is one water bottle holder on one side and the other side has a larger zippered pocket. The front of the pack has another external zippered pocket.
The Arrio does lack a few features that would make it a great hiking pack. There is a curious lack of straps on the outside of the pack to attach things to. Sometimes when I hike I like to attach a rain jacket and trekking poles to the outside for easy access, but there just isn’t a good spot to do that on the Arrio.
The Arrio has two extra straps that secure the pack to your body: a sternum strap that nicely routes a hydration bladder tube with a whistle on the buckle, and a nylon hip belt.
The Arrio also features the Gregory “Freespan” mesh, suspended against a curved back panel that is meant to keep your back cool while hiking.
Take A Look Inside
The main inside compartment of the pack is very simple. It is one large area to store all your gear, and I would suggest buying separate dividers or packing cubes if you need to keep any of your gear separate or more organized!
It has a sleeve for a water bladder and a little clip to hold it in place, which is always a key feature I look for in hiking packs!
The harness of a pack is all of the things that touch your body while wearing the pack. This includes the shoulder straps, the hip belt, the sternum strap, and the back panel.
The back panel on the Arrio is great because the suspended mesh conforms to your body as you wear it. Does it really keep your back cooler though? I’m not so sure. These types of back panels have been around for a long time, and as far as I’m concerned, I still sweat a ton when I hike—my back being no exception.
The shoulder straps are padded and mesh on the bottom, making them really comfortable. The Sternum Strap is about as generic as they come. It can move up and down and has a whistle on it.
The hip belt (more like a strap) leaves a lot to be desired. It is a nylon strap with a buckle, and it doesn’t do a great job at alleviating the load off your back. With a more sturdy hip belt, the load limit of this pack might be higher, making it more functional.
Overall this pack carries very well; however, if you put too much gear into the pack it feels tight in the shoulders and just uncomfortable. Again, this pack really is a good basic daypack if you’re just looking to carry a few essentials on your hikes! Just don’t expect to take a ton of gear or water up the trail with you in this pack without it being uncomfortable.
There are 5 places for storage on this pack. On the outside, there is a water bottle holder on one side and a long water-bottle-sized zipper pocket on the other. I feel like they could have had the same effect by putting 2 water bottle holders.
The back zipper pocket is square and great for putting small easy access things like maps and keys. The last outside pocket is the lid pocket. It is triangular and a pretty solid spot for more small things like sunglasses and snacks.
The main cavity of the pack is spacious and has a water bladder sleeve.
Overall it has a decent layout. I found that this pack held everything that I needed on short and mid-length day hikes. The lid pocket and the front zippered pocket held my phone keys and a map easily and provided easy access to snacks.
I found myself wishing that there was a second water bottle holder because I always seemed to be putting a second water bottle in the side zippered pocket (but I am admittedly not a water bladder user).
This is a top-loading pack. There is no access to the main compartment from anywhere but the top. The only organizational feature the main compartment has is the bladder sleeve, which definitely comes in handy when hiking.
I wish the bag had another internal pocket for organization, but Gregory does a good job of putting some pockets on the outside so your smaller items don’t have to go in the main pocket and they are ready for quick access.
That being said, there are no straps on the outside to attach things to the pack. Many other hiking packs from other brands give you a few loops and steps so you can attach gear.
Gregory Arrio Review
Comfort: Is it Easy to Wear?
The main thing that I liked about the Arrio pack was that when it was loaded up to the weight limit it felt comfortable on my back. The mesh back panel creates a custom fit for every person that puts it on. The Arrio is one size so it is designed to fit everyone.
If it was over the recommended weight limit of 9.5Lbs it got a little tight in the shoulders, so just be sure not to overload it!
Materials: What’s It Made Of?
The pack is 100% nylon with an Alloy steel frame to give it shape and to suspend the mesh back panel.
The bottom of the pack is made of much higher denier nylon making the bottom more durable and feel thicker to the touch.
All of the fabric has a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish that makes the pack water-resistant until the finish wears off. This is very common on all nylon pieces of gear.
Durability: Will it Last?
Overall, this pack is pretty standard in terms of durability for a daypack.
I feel like the Arrio is a solid pack in terms of workmanship. Gregory used high-quality materials for everything on the pack, from the buckles and straps to the thick nylon on the bottom of the pack.
I took this pack on a lot of day hikes and mine still looks good as new!
Style & Aesthetics: How Does it Look?
This pack is really beautiful! Gregory did an especially great job of choosing aesthetic colors.
When fully loaded up, this pack is really sleek. There aren’t a bunch of buckles or straps hanging off the pack and all of the pockets seamlessly fit together. making a very clutter-free pack.
This does not have the more rugged or functional look of a dedicated hiking pack like the Osprey Talon 33.
Warranty: What Kind of Warranty Does Gregory Offer?
Gregory offers what they call the Gregory Lifetime Guarantee. It covers everything except for normal wear and tear, unreasonable or abusive use, and improper cleaning or storage.
It’s a good, not great warranty. It essentially covers you if the workmanship or the materials are defective when you get your pack. Compared to the All-Mighty guarantee (they will replace or repair and pack for any reason from any era) that Osprey offers on their packs, this is not a great warranty.
Shipping: Does Gregory Ship Internationally?
Gregory ships to everywhere in the United States, Alaska and Hawaii included, as well as to Puerto Rico and Guam.
At this time Gregory does not ship internationally. However, many retailers carry Gregory both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.
Gregory Arrio Accessories
There are a few accessories that can be added to the Gregory Arrio 24.
The Arrio is designed to be used with a water bladder, which you can purchase separately. And if you live in a wet climate or travel often, a rain cover is always helpful to stay dry!
Gregory 3D Hydro 2L Reservoir
The Arrio comes with a SpeedClip and a compartment for a water bladder. This Gregory branded bladder fits perfectly into the pack and also comes with Gregory’s quick connection method. If you are going to be using this pack I highly recommend using the Gregory 3D Hydro 2L Reservoir.
If you hike or travel often, you’re likely to run into fog or rain at some point along your journeys. Although the pack is treated with a DWR finish, these things wear out over time. The best way to keep your pack dry in the rain is with a rain cover. They do make generic covers that you can get online. However, the ones from the manufacturer are always better, and they tend to fit your specific pack much better.
Gregory Arrio Alternatives
Here are a few product options that are similar to the Gregory Arrio 24L, and how they shape up in comparison to this daypack.
Mystery Ranch Coulee 25L
This daypack is a great basic pack that is a bit more functional for hiking than the Arrio.
This pack has a really unique 3-zip opening design that allows for quick and complete access to your gear, snacks, and more. Where this backpack really excels over the Arrio in my opinion is the two front woven pockets that make it easy to slip in your extra layers, shoes, or water bottles that you may want to whip out easily while on trail.
This bag also has a proper padded hip belt that offers support when carrying a heavy load—and it’s removable if you don’t need it!
This pack unfortunately doesn’t come with a laptop compartment, but it does have a bladder sleeve. This is definitely more of a hiking daypack than an EDC (every day carry), but it is a great closet staple for day hikes!
REI Co-Op Trail Pack
REI really shines with their Trail Pack (men’s and women’s), designed for hiking, commuting, and carry-on travel.
This bag has a top opening much like the Gregory Arrio 24, and a small front zip pocket for maps and snacks.
One of my favorite features of this bag are the sleek straps on the front that are great for attaching trekking poles and other gear. It also has a water bladder compartment and side mesh pockets for water bottles and other essentials.
The recycled nylon material is water-resistant, and the pack also comes with a rain fly for those extra rainy days.
This pack unfortunately has a sub-par hip strap that doesn’t offer much load bearing or comfort. However, it does have comfortable padded shoulder straps and a sternum strap for added support.
Gregory Arrio 24 Review Summary: Final Thoughts
The Gregory Arrio 24 is a basic backpack. It is made with high-quality materials and the back panel feels sturdy yet comfortable against your back.
However, every time I took the Arrio hiking I was always missing some feature that my other packs had. I think for me the lack of a real hip belt and a second water bottle holder was a real turn-off for me.
That being said if you are a hydration pack user and looking for a lightweight hiking pack, the Arrio is an awesome pack for you. The right gear always makes for a better adventure. So have fun, and remember to always leave it better than you found it!