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Osprey Arcane XL Day Review Extra Large Backpack with Two Laptop Compartments

Monday, January 24, 2022

Mysterious and known only by a few, the new Arcane XL Day backpack by Osprey - an extra large backpack for work, travel and school. It has two separate laptop compartments and plenty of volume space to store things - even a cycling helmet! 



The Arcane XL Day backpack has a total of 4 external compartments, including a dedicated laptop compartment on back side of the backpack. The rear facing location of the laptop compartment is perfect for an anti-theft backpack and, it's also isolated from the main compartment, making it impossible for someone to pinch the laptop out of the backpack. The laptop compartment zipper is located vertically sideways, which means you can access the laptop while walking without having to take off the backpack by simply removing one shoulder strap and sliding the backpack towards you to access the laptop.


The Arcane XL Day laptop compartment measures 36cm long so, you can easily fit a large laptop, a large A4 binder and books. Other valuables like a handheld console or graphics tablet will also fit nicely and securely inside the laptop compartment, thanks to the thick padding back-to-front and top-to-bottom. The laptop compartment zipper fabric is not waterproof but, it has reverse coil teeth, which should minimize water and dust ingress. There is no storage pockets inside the laptop compartment and no passthrough openings, which would have been useful for running a charging cable through.


The Arcane XL Day shoulder straps are supremely comfortable on the shoulders when carrying heavy loads. The straps are slightly curved and measure 44cm long, 6cm wide and 1cm thick. They are made of closed cell foam padding, which is soft and springy. There is no fabric mesh on the backside of the straps and no sternum chest strap, which is always useful especially if you have sagging shoulders to keep the straps closer together. There is a small front facing elastic pocket on the left shoulder strap, which is useful for storing a train/bus ticket, loose chain, bank cards and, even a smartphone.


Another anti-theft feature you get with the Arcane XL Day is a locking strap, which is designed to work just like a bike lock, letting you lock the backpack onto something (e.g. chair) to prevent someone from grabbing and running off with the backpack. The locking strap feature works via a G-clip, which lets you quickly detach and attach the right shoulder strap when you need it it - like in a coffeehouse.


The Arcane XL Day back panel measures 46cm high and 26cm wide and, it's entirely padded with closed cell foam - the same type used for the Arcane Large Day and Arcane Duffel. The back padding feels very comfortable, thanks to the ridged wavey texture of the fam which feels like orthopedic foam padding.

The wavey texture of the foam helps with ventilation too, although not as effective as a split back padding. The Transporter Roll Top is a good example of a backpack with split back padding design and let air circulate so, the backside doesn't get too sweaty.



The Arcane XL Day backpack doesn't have traditional side pockets but, it does have one side pocket which is soft and elasticated and large enough to accommodate a 500ml water bottle. The Arcane XL Day outer shell, including the base, it's all made of the same material - recycled 500D packcloth fabric (polyester) with a C0 durable water repellent (DWR) coat applied to it, which is a vegetable base, PCF-free and fluorine free water repellent treatment. While the base of the backpack isn't reinforced with extra material, it is at least resistant to water.


The base of the Arcane XL Day backpack has an angled construction due to the back padding which protrudes out, preventing the Arcane XL Day from sitting upright on the ground. On the front side of the backpack, there is an Osprey branding badge made of fabric, as well as a large and roomy pocket compartment, which works well as a quick stash pocket for bulky items like a water bottle, small tripod, etc. The front pocket measures 30cm high and 27cm wide and opens up horizontally via a single metal slider. The front pocket zipper seam has standard coil teeth so, it's not water resistant but, it has a wide fabric flap cover that acts as a canopy keeping water away from the zipper. The fabric flap also hides away the zipper compartment so, you can't really tell it is there, which is a plus.


On top of the Arcane XL Day backpack, there are two top-loading main compartments - both large and roomy. The main compartments use dual zippers and are similar in size, spanning the entire length and width of the backpack (46cm high and 27cm wide).

The front facing main compartment has a small U- shaped zipper opening with a short travel so, the zipper sliders do not open all the way down. Inside this compartment, there is a small open pocket and pen holder, as well as red plastic key chain and a large zippered compartment (breathable) that measures 14cm high and 12cm long. The zippered compartment, key chain and small pocket/pen holder are located near the top of the compartment, making them easy to access from the top.



The middle main compartment has an J-shape opening style, as well as a wide flat covering the zipper to keep water away. The zipper sliders opens up a lot more, giving you better access to the bottom of the compartment. The middle compartment is very roomy and has a large thin fabric sleeve pocket for storing a laptop. You can safely and securely carry two laptops inside the Arcane XL Day in two separate compartments without worrying about both laptops bumping against each other. The middle compartment dual zipper sliders are the largest ones on the backpack.

There is one grab handle at the top of the backpack, which is very comfortable to hold. It is made of soft webbing and closed cell foam so, it's springy. The grab handle opening measures 9cm across so, your palm size has to be less than 9cm wide to comfortably fit the grab handle. In terms of storage capacity, the Arcane XL Day has the same 30 liter volume capacity as the Arcane Duffel. If you need something smaller, the Arcane Large Day backpack is smaller (20 liters). In terms of versatility, the Arcane Duffel is a bit more functional than the Arcane XL Day because of the "briefcase mode" feature, which lets you hide the straps and carry the Arcane Duffel like a briefcase.



The Arcane XL Day backpack looks and feels durable - particularly the stitching, which is tightly sewn without any visible weak points. The shoulder straps have good reinforcement too, sewn together via a single piece of fabric making them more sturdy than individually sewn shoulder straps. The ladderlocks and G-clip are made of alloy metal too. The Arcane XL Day backpack will be better suited for people over 5 ft 7. As long as your torso is long enough (over 50cm), the Arcane XL Day backpack will fit well above the hips.


The Arcane XL Day is a unisex backpack that comes in a range of colors, making suitable for everyone. It weighs 790 grams (empty) and can expand outward up to 20cm when fully loaded. When flat, the backpack measures 3cm thick, which is thin enough to store inside a large suitcase for day trips. The Arcane XL Day backpack uses YKK 8RCT and YKK 10RCT zipper sliders, which glide smoothly without catching and feature non-removable a hard plastic pulltab attached to a fabric cord that is looped around the eyelet of the zipper slider. The pulltabs have Osprey branding, as well as a grippy texture, which helps with sweaty fingers.You can buy the Osprey Arcane XL Day backpack from amazon.

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