Natural Balance | Backpack | Aarn USA
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  • 5 x Long (67 Liters) / Large / Sport/Regular (12 Liters)
  • 1 x Long (67 Liters) / Small / Expedition/Regular (15 Liters)
  • 4 x Long (67 Liters) / Medium / Expedition/Regular (15 Liters)
  • 5 x Long (67 Liters) / Large / Expedition/Regular (15 Liters)
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  • 4 x Long (67 Liters) / Medium / Expedition/Large (18 Liters)
  • 5 x Long (67 Liters) / Large / Expedition/Large (18 Liters)
Aarn Natural Balance Backpack
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Natural Balance 59-67 Liters

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$ 369.95 $ 399.95

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Product Description

DuPont Brand New Award, Ispo, Germany; Adventure Gear Guide
Innovation Award, Australia, Outdoor Gold Winner, Germany 2015.

Aarn Natural Balance backpack

Now with increased load capability and one compartment to reduce weight, Natural Balance can carry 10+ days of ultralight gear and has received many outstanding testimonials.

The Natural Balance is an excellent, award winning bag that’s received raving reviews from major sources including Outdoor Magazine, Germany. This lightweight backpack is perfect for all outdoor adventures, as it has attachments for ice axes, trekking poles, caritools, and ice clippers.

  • Comes standard with Front Balance Pockets, which provide greater stability and balance, and a more upright posture.  This translates to much less fatigue and strain. Front pockets have accessible zip flaps to protect items from the rain, gear clips and mesh exterior pockets.
  • Pelvic form hipbelt, True-fit shoulder straps, and Flow-thru stabilizers help to make the bag feel lightweight and comfortable on your journeys.
  • Three waterproof Dri-liners and Cord-loc compression work to protect your belongings from the weather.
  • On-Adjust 2 Back lengths to shift loads up and down, with a 15 cm range.

This is the best hiking backpack for the versatile nature lover. Take it on hikes, treks, and camping trips. This lightweight daypack feels like virtually nothing on your back, so you don’t have to worry about the weight on your back when traveling up a mountain.

Pack Construction:

  • Materials:  500D Kodura nylon, 210D, 70 x 100D, and 40 D ripstop nylon
  • Colors: Green and grey combination for a natural look

Front Balance Pockets allow for high weights without feeling intrusive

The Front Balance Pockets attach easily to Aarn USA’s comfortable backpacks and convert easily into a daypack after clipping on the shoulder and sternum straps. Hiking, backpacking, and exploring the outdoors has never been easier!

    • Comes with either 10 or 12 liter front Sport-Regular Balance Pockets, or 15 liter or 18 liter Expedition Balance Pockets. Pockets provide greater stability and balance, and a more upright posture. This translates to much less fatigue and strain.
    • Shoulder and sternum straps are included for converting the pockets into a daypack, which is carried on the front of the body for maximum security and easy gear access.
    • Front pockets have waterproof Dri-liners, accessible zip flaps to protect items from the rain, and four mesh exterior pockets with compression cords.
    • The design of the Front Balance Pockets, which includes four mesh exterior pockets with compression chords, is to provide maximum comfort, organization, and accessibility. Attach to the Aarn USA bodypack for an unmatched outdoors experience.
      • Material: 00D Kodura, 210D, 100D x 70D & 40D ripstop nylon
      • Color: Green/Grey
    Sport Balance Pockets - Mid-volume balances unobtrusiveness and weight carrying ability

        Expedition Balance Pockets: Large volume handles heavy loads up front

        Short Backlength 15.6 59
        Long Backlength 17.7 67
        Front Expedition Balance Bags 4 15
        Short Backlength

        Height: 26.8 Width: 16.5

        Depth (front-back): 9.8

        Height: 68 Width: 42

        Depth (front-back): 25

        Long Backlength

        Height: 28.3 Width: 16.5

        Depth (front-back): 9.8

        Height: 72 Width: 42

        Depth (front-back): 25

        Pounds (Min/Max)
        Kilograms (Min/Max)
        Short Backpack 3.11 / 3.31 1.41 / 1.5
        with Front Balance Bags Attached 3.75 / 4.03 1.7 / 1.83
        Long Backpack 3.28 / 3.37 1.49 / 1.58
        with Front Balance Bags Attached 3.99 / 4.37 1.81 / 1.98

        Recommended Maximum Load (Pack only):  49 pounds (22 kg)

        Ultimate Gear Lists - 2019By "Sam"

        Wild Magazine - January 27, 2016 By Laura Walters See:

        The Aarn Natural Balance Bodypack features a unique design that helps maintain the wearer’s posture. After it won gold at the Outdoor Industry Awards in Germany last year, Laura Waters was determined to give it a long distance trial.


        "I have a nickname for this pack – I call it my Magic Pack.

        From the moment I first tried it on I’ve been amazed at how weight seems to magically disappear once I’m wearing it. Whether I need to carry ten days of food over a long section or seven kilos of water for a desert stretch, it turns a sizeable load into something very manageable. In fact, my pack has felt so suspiciously light at times that I’ve actually taken it off mid-walk to check I haven’t inadvertently left something behind at the last break.

        I carried the Natural Balance for over 3000 kilometres hiking the Te Araroa Trail from one end of New Zealand to the other, and its absolute comfort gave me one less challenge to deal with. Gone were the aching shoulders and hot knots of pain in my back that I used to suffer with a traditional backpack.

        So what’s the secret to this ‘magic’? It’s the way you carry your load that makes all the difference. Aarn Tate has spent 30 years perfecting and testing the Flow Bodypack system in the tough terrain of his homeland, New Zealand. The key to its design is a set of pockets on the front in which you carry all your compact, heavy gear and thereby counterbalancing the load on your back. The result is an energy-efficient system that maintains the natural curve of the spine and leaves you standing upright and perfectly balanced.

        Why It Works

        A backpack magnifies the forces acting on your body. Without going into the detailed physics of it, a 16 kilogram load plonked on your back with a traditional backpack could end up exerting a force on your body that feels more like 20-24 kilograms. The Bodypack system however removes all leverages on your back from your pack and brings your posture as close to upright as possible. In doing so most of the load is shifted off your shoulders and spine and transferred evenly around the pelvis.

        It Looks Different

        I get a lot of comments from hikers I pass on the trail, dubious of the design of this newfangled pack. Here are a few examples:

        Yeah, but can you see your feet? – The Natural Balance has two separate front pockets so you can see your feet in the gap between them if you want to. Having said that, I discovered that I didn’t actually watch my feet hit the ground, I looked ahead at the ground where I intended to put my feet and then my feet simply followed.

        What about tricky terrain? – The pack has a fantastic hip belt and shoulder harness that allows the load to shift as you move so you stay centred and balanced always. The front pockets do not hinder manoeuvrability when scrambling over rocks on all but the very tightest of ledges.

        Isn’t it hot to wear? – No. The front pockets hang away from your body allowing air to flow, plus ventilation mesh is used in the back panel.

        You’re carrying all THAT? – Having a large load is not a pre-requisite to wearing this pack – Aarn make smaller volume models that an ultra-light hiker probably wouldn’t even notice they’re wearing – but if you like to take enough gear to stay warm and safe, if you need to carry lots of water, or if like me you’re partial to a bit of fresh fruit and veg on your hike, then this pack will allow you to carry your load in comfort.

        Another significant bonus is having camera, sunscreen, maps, snacks, PLB, etc. readily available in the front pockets. Pockets are interchangeable too so I swapped one standard pocket for photography specific one, padded for my equipment. The pack has a removable dry bag lining and the tough nylon exterior sheds water well so you won’t need a pack cover. And the whole pack is fully adjustable for a precise fit.

        If I could change anything it would be the plastic clips and buckles. They are lightweight but not the strongest. I’ve broken two over 3500 kilometres of hiking and while spares are provided I’d like to see a tougher material used here. Also after 1000 kilometres the dry bag lining was, perhaps unsurprisingly, no longer completely watertight though a few bin bag liners inside the pack avoids any dampness in a downpour (note: the dry bag liners are replaceable).

        The Natural Balance has won a string of awards, most recently Germany’s Outdoor Industry Awards in 2015 where it earned the Gold Winner title for best backpack. It may look odd and a tad on the bulky side, but to wear it is to experience its magic."

        Expedition Balance Pockets - Come Standard and Included in price

        The large volume of the Expedition Pockets hold large loads effortlessly

        The expedition pockets come standard with the Natural Balance lightweight daypack from Aarn USA. Pockets attach to the backpack and offer security, as it is attached to the front of the bag. The pockets are made with waterproof Dri-liners and zip up flaps to protect your belongings from the weather.

        • Pockets provide organization with four mesh exterior pockets and one map pocket.
        • Comes with compression straps and pocket can convert to a daypack with shoulder and sternum straps.
        • The length of the expedition is 5 cm longer and is suitable for back lengths longer than 42 cm.
        • Expedition pockets are made from 500D Kodura, 210D, 100d x 70D, and 40D ripstop nylon
        • The colors are a natural green and grey combo

        These pockets come standard with the Natural Balance bag and can be removed at any time. Shop and see why Aarn USA is one of the best hiking backpack brands on the market.

        (Click on Buttons to Evaluate and Purchase)

        These allow you to clip climbing hardware on the larger models with Pelvic Form Hipbelts.

        Hold tent, poles, foam pad, etc. on pack sides.

         Attach skis to the pack sides and lock to prevent movement

        Lock skis to prevent movement

        " I'm a long time customer (since 1995) and enthusiastic fan of your pack designs, every since I took an Aarn Natural Balance to Europe in 1995. Wearing that pack (with the "Balance Buddies" as they were called at the time) I have climbed in the Dolomites in Italy, hiked in the French and Swiss Alps, and scrambled and climbed all over mountains near my present home in Seattle, WA. I've worn your pack on every conceivable kind of trip, from long hikes over flat ground to "light and fast: alpine climbs going straight up, AND, having formerly worked in the outdoor industry, I've had the opportunity to fit and wear almost every kind of pack design there is. To this day, nothing compares to my good 'ol Aarn Natural Balance pack.

        I wanted to send this note to personally thank you for the enjoyment I've had over the years thanks to your groundbreaking design. Very few packs are equally well suited for hostel-hopping around Europe and summiting Mt. Rainier. Yours is. And, after 15 years, it's still holding up pretty well, all things considered. Anyway, I wanted to say thank you.

        If I was still in the outdoor retail industry, I'd still be selling your packs. There is nothing to compare to them, (as you know!!) It's a shame that they're still so hard to find, here in the US, but I'm glad you're still making them. Best of luck to you, and thanks again for doing what you're doing."
        Eric Fredrickson, Seattle, WA, USA

        " Background: After 10 years of marriage we had twins. We were farmers I was accustomed to working on the farm. I started carrying one twin on my back and one on my front - perfect balance.

        Years later I started tramping with friends. I bought a backpack. I always ended up with things dangling on my front. A large camera bag was best: it held everyone's snacks, camera, water, elastoplasts. Then I found an Aarn pack sitting on the floor of our local outdoor shop that actually had front bags, called Balance Pockets, it was called Load Limo. The pack was huge - 85kg, but it balanced me perfectly. I managed with heavy loads (I often take a tent). I stood upright, and had no back or knee problems.

        Age has crept on, the body changes, bones protrude, flesh disintegrates, carrying weight becomes a burden.

        Then I bought a Natural Balance. It weighs a kilo less than my old pack. I climbed in the hills around me, crawling in places, I packed it to the limit, I tramped out in heavy rain, it was faultless. I have done some real bush whacking with it, thinking the fine fabric would tear: it did not. This for me is the perfect pack.

        The Aarn design is the most intelligent and ingenious pack I have had anything to do with. I would never consider another type of pack. The design has thought carefully about the body and how it reacts to weight bearing. The pockets are in all the right places - maps, cell-phone, water, food - everything in perfect position to reach without having to take the pack off.

        I congratulate Aarn. His engineering and design skills are superb. And thankyou for the extra years of freedom this pack will give me.

        Having just come back from a 14km. hike in the hills in perfect shape and able to spend the rest of the day at work and still feel OK I am elated.
        Jo Speedy, Hastings, NZ

        “I recently took the Natural Balance Bodypack to the UK where I completed the Lands End to John O’Groats Walk—1,050 miles in 57 days, i.e. an average day of walking 18 to 24 miles. The Bodypack did the business! I’m enormously impressed with the pack which I have no doubt helped me to complete the journey without any notable incidents or setbacks.

        Having had a lumbar discectomy a few years ago, and a history of neck and upper back problems, it was essential that the pack and hipbelt put minimal strain on my lower back, neck and shoulders. I found that at the end of each day, I had no soreness or tiredness in these areas. Further, my overall fatigue level after 8 to 10 hours walking was surprisingly low, given that I was carrying an average daily load of about 13 kg.

        The fore and aft balancing worked well—I found that I had good balance when it was really needed; going up or down steep gradients, rock-hopping, crossing streams or on slippery surfaces. The backpack proved 100% waterproof. Thanks
        for helping me to realize a dream!”
        Richard Hipgrave, Wellington, NZ

        “Hi. Not something that I usually do, but I just could not let the event pass without comment. An unsolicited recommendation!

        I am 59 years old and my wife is 56. In February 2004 we had a serious bike accident where my wife broke her collarbone, her pelvis and a rib. I fortunately suffered more minor injuries. We are both keen trampers and planned to continue but were worried about being able to carry our old packs, which always gave problems mainly on our shoulders. We purchased two of your Natural Balance packs (mine the 75L, my wife's the 70L).

        We have just returned from 4 days of tramping round Lake Waikaremoana and what a revelation! Both of us just could not believe that you could spend days with the pack on and have absolutely no issues with the weight. These packs just have no impact on you shoulders. This particular tramp requires a lot of clambering up and down a 'root' based track but the packs were just great to carry. I cannot recommend the packs more highly and regardless of whether you have problems I am sure that you will benefit from using these amazingly designed packs.”
        Thanks for saving our outdoors life!
        David & Margaret Ivory, North Island, New Zealand

        Thanks for such a wonderful pack! It was a big investment, but I've never been happier with a piece of adventure equipment. The fantastic design and great build quality make it a pleasure to handle and has saved me in some tricky situations.
        When scrambling up vertical inclines with a previous pack the awkward and scary sensation of falling backwards down a steep cliff makes me appreciate the Natural balance so much more- I use it for all my treks now- even day walks.
        I love the balance pockets to store my water bottles - what a fantastically versatile unit!
        Ben Campbell, Ashford, South Australia

        " I have been using a Natural Balance for years. It is still going strong and is without a doubt the best, most comfortable pack I have ever used. I've done lots of backpacking the Sierra here in California and it never fails to get people's attention on the trail. I always tell them, "You are looking at the backpack of the future."
        David Nelson, California, USA

        " Tested: June 2008, northern Australia, solo walk over 23 days (full pack, no re-supply possible).
        Environment: tropical; dry season; slow country=deep gorges, loose rocks, exposed ledges, spinifex/sandstone ridges, screw-pine cluttered valleys, open woodland, vine thickets, speargrass hells
        Exposure/time: (from Easiest to Hardest): strolling over horizontal, open, flat ground (1%), walking in woodland, feet mostly visible (25%), rock-hopping along creeks, feet visible (35%), river crossings (1%), high-stepping through over-head-high vegetation, feet not visible (25%), pushing/scraping through distorted spinifex/sandstone labyrinths, feet often not visible (7%), gorge climbing (6%)
        Weights: body: 64 kg (141 lbs) skin-out at start: 24 kg (53 lbs) (of which 2 kg clothes/shoes/hat) complete pack at start: 22 kg (46.3 lbs).
        Other packs used on previous walks: On earlier walks (over 14/20/21 days) in various parts of the Australian Kimberley, I used a very light (710 g=25 oz) frameless pack, the “Starlite” (Six Moon Designs, recommended for 16 kg/35 lbs loads max; I carried 16-19 kg. During those 3 walks, obsessed with the idea that “light is always better than heavy”, I pushed myself through difficult country (with stays added to the pack on the 3rd trip). I took it for granted that my daily exhaustion, especially during the first 2 walks, merely reflected the hard terrain. I was physically in above-average condition. Trip #4 (2008) changed my mind: I now had an Aarn.
        My experience: At first, I felt like a bicycle rider in the seat of a Ferrari. Starting out with the “Natural Balance” crammed and heavy (=1/3 of my body weight), I spent the first 2+ days fiddling with adjustments; numerous possibilities meant that I had to *learn*. I carried most of the dense, heavy stuff in the front Balance Pockets (satphone, camera, GPS, lots of lithium batteries, muesli bars etc). These pockets hold max. 10 L/pair (=22 lbs/pair). The rear pack: it is divided into top and bottom loading sections. The top section contains a removable dryliner with a vertical divider making 2 cylinders; these parallel cylinders keep the cargo close to the body, i.e. prevent weight from bulging out and away from the back (the stressful lever action I knew well from my previous packs). Excellent solution! - with one disadvantage: loading requires *thinking*. The front Balance Pockets: Each contains a bendable alu stay that is seated in the front hip belt. Meaning, the “Balance Pockets”, too, do not weigh on the shoulders at all but only on the hip. Since there are 2 front packs - the center chest gap lets me see my feet while walking. Also, I can use my arms freely. Although the Balance Pockets were packed full, and are designed to lean away from the chest (bendable stays=no sweaty contact with body), I had no problem seeing my feet while on the move.
        Day 1-2 (v high grass, deep gorge packed with boulders, river crossing): I am amazed, amazed: I am comfortable, despite the heat and the weight. Still, this highly customizable pack demands more than just 1 or 2 hours of initial learning. The most important of all adjustments to be figured out is the *precise* fitting of the hip belt (since the whole pack rests on this).
        Day 3 (steep slopes of loose rocks): I am much impressed by the quality of workmanship and materials: the pack feels and looks tough.
        Days 4-5 (ravines, spinifex thickets): After eating 2 kg of food, I have now achieved a comfortable ratio of body vs. carried weight. The pack’s tough materials seem not to suffer even when I scrape through thorny vines and scramble across huge boulders. And the numerous brushes against bushfire-burnt trees leave hardly a mark. Packing has become somewhat easier: Tent, sleeping bag etc. in the bottom section, accessible from below; food and mat are in the top section which still rises high enough to bump a little against the rim of my hat.
        Day 6 (open woodland): Hot, hot. I keep a full 500cc water bottle in the front outer stretch pocket of one “Balance Pocket”. I am grateful for the 3D “Matrix Mesh” between my back and the pack: it does let the air ventilate nicely, keeping my shirt almost dry.
        Day 7 (gorge): Climbing down along a string of waterfalls, I am doubly cautious: loose rocks, partially hidden; few handholds. A few intense stretches, edging along ledges. By now, I have come to love my pack: it seems to move as part of my torso, rather than swinging or jerking away from me; and I feel no fatigue at all. And yet, on exposed ledges, the bulky front “Balance Pockets” make it impossible to keep kiss-close to the rock face. This awkwardness is mostly compensated for by the astonishing overall balance of the pack – the back part never seems to pull me backwards away from the rock. Still, when I find my chest forced away from the rock face by the bulging front Balance Pockets, I sometimes have to retreat and to look for a safer route. On the other hand: a *conventional* back-only pack might let me press my chest flat against a rock face but would pull me more, by lever action, away from the wall. No, sir, give me my Aarn. (Aarn – a new hipbelt holster allows you let the Pockets swing to the sides easily when you unclip the top straps, for such moves).
        Days 8-12 (screw-pines in flooded deep-grass valleys; then waterless rock labyrinths higher up): On some previous trips, this was when fatigue began to overcome me. But now I feel none at all, despite this being the hardest country I have yet walked. My back, hitherto prone to lumbar pain: no pain. Shoulders and neck muscles: loose. I am no spring chicken but I feel like a spring chicken.
        Days 7-23: Houston, we have a problem. On one of the front Balance Pockets, the alu stay’s top is working its way out top of the sleeve top. Using a light carabiner, I connect the Balance Pocket’s side plastic ring to the connector strap on the pack’s shoulder strap. All in all, this weird disfunction hardly lessens my delight in the Aarn. (the Balance Pocket frame socket has since been redesigned solving this issue - Aarn)
        Day 23: Conclusion: last week, I slipped and fell once – on flat ground. This is an enormous improvement over previous walks under a conventional backpack, where I took bad falls half a dozen times during the first pack-heavy days. I am balanced now. I am not tired. I am walking free. No, the “Natural Balance” is not cheap: at NZ$460 or more (US$320), you’ve got to need it badly. But as an old chap with a bad back who loves long walks in difficult terrain, under a fair load, I couldn’t sing its praise more gladly."
        Anchan Braun, Australia





        Sore Shoulders

        Pull back force on shoulders from weight behind

        Add Balance Pockets, or if using them, put more weight in them and loosen front shoulder strap webs

        Too much weight on shoulders

        Loosen front shoulder strap webs

        Hipbelt has slipped down

        Raise hipbelt & retighten &/or shorten

        Balance Pockets are pulling down on bottom of shoulder pads

        Increase back length: Pull up on navy top back panel web

        Bodypack is too hard to put on

        Incorrect technique used

        1. Loosen hipbelt webs before putting the bodypack on for the first time.

        2. Follow this sequence: Place hands underneath Balance Pockets; grab hold of hipbelt center buckles, lift both Pockets & hipbelt up to the right height; clip center buckle together & tighten the tension web loop at top and bottom to get an even pressure at the top and bottom of the hipbelt

        3. When taking the pack off, before releasing the hipbelt center buckle, loosen the side buckles. With familiarity, you can release the 2 tensionlock buckles on each side with each hand simultaneously, by pulling the buckle ends up. Now you have set the pack up to be easy and quick to put on next time

        I no longer have the coordination anymore to master this sequence

        Substitute Universal Balance Bags for Balance Pockets. These quickly and easily attach after you have put the pack on

        My pack leans to one side

        Your pack will lean to one side, like any brand of pack, if you have the shoulder straps and/or hipbelt adjusted unequally on both sides, or you have loaded the pack unevenly.

        First check that the top stabilizer straps are equal length and the front shoulder strap webs are also equal length. Now check that the hipbelt parts are adjusted to equal length and angle on both sides of the center base plate and the side tension adjusters (cord or web) are of equal length both sides. Now with all these adjustments made, check that the hipbelt ends are sitting at a similar position on each side of your pelvis with the pack on. Finally, check that your U-Flow movement (the movement when you lift one shoulder), is equal on both sides. With everything centered, including the load, there should be no reason for your pack to lean to one side.


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