Choose your own adventure with Mission Workshop's Arkiv modular backpack


May 24, 2012

The Arkiv modular system lets you build the ultimate backpack for every trip out the door

The Arkiv modular system lets you build the ultimate backpack for every trip out the door

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Carrying spare tubes and extra clothes for cycling, transporting a laptop, books and files to the office and lugging camera gear ... those are just a few random examples of things that you might need a backpack for on any given day. Typically, you might need to get a separate backpack for each activity or series of activities, but Mission Workshop's Arkiv Field backpack utilizes modular compartments to transform into the pack you need every time. One backpack can take on limitless functions without compromise.

Customization begins at the point of purchase, as you'll select the specific components and accessories that you need to build your ideal backpack. Start off with your choice of a 1,250 cu in (16 L) or 2,500 cu in (36 L) main pack and then select storage add-ons like a laptop pouch and tool pocket. All components are weatherproof and attach to the main backpack via steel hardware. If you realize later that you need more room, you don't have to buy a new backpack; you can simply purchase an additional pouch or sleeve.

With a base price over US$200 and an average around $60 for storage add-ons, the Arkiv isn't the cheapest backpack out there. In fact, depending on how many add-ons you want, you may just save money by buying two separate backpacks. However, it's certainly a cool multifunctional backpack that offers you configurations for all kinds of hauling. It's also made in the USA and backed by a lifetime warranty.

The video below illustrates how many different ways you can equip yourself with this backpack.

Source: Mission Workshop via Acquire

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

That looks like it would last 3 seconds flat in real world conditions (they shouldn't have used the 'fuzzy side' of the Velcro on a high wear part, like they have on the top).....this'll be good for one trip, if that......good try....but they aren't doing anything that a thousand other bag/backpack manufacturers aren't already doing....

Vincent Najger

This doesn't seem much different than the already easily available MOLLE system.

Stephen Yang

What, no photos of the interior? That's where most of the organizing happens. And i would like to see if they used a lighter colored material on the interior to make it easier to find items.

While we are at it, how about some photos of the harness.


Most of my backpacks have the same problem: they start breaking at the top harness attachment. I'm a bycicle enthusiast who usually carries around an assorted toolkit and some small mechanical spare parts, which is actually a load heavier than usual for a regular backpack. Thus, they start ripping open in just three to four weeks, even a good-quality Swiss Army backpack I last bought! My local shoe repair shop has reinforced all my broken packs, but still the remedy lasts only another month. Are there any regular-sized backpacks designed for heavier loads? I don't want to look like I'm carrying a parachute, but still I need the capacity to transport heavier-than-usual stuff...(by the way, great leg exercise!) I will much appreciate your suggestions......

Charlie Channels

I have to say I own a Mission Workshop Vandal bag and travel extensively around the world for work. I use the bag as my carry on luggage and also to carry computer equipment. I have yet to have even one stitch fail on the bag and its very sturdy. Yet probably the most comfortable bag I have owned.

I have no doubt the arkiv system bag is of the same quality.

Its probably important to note the bags come with a lifetime warranty. So anyone worried about it breaking down after 4 weeks has peace of mind.


Nick Laing
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