Osprey Arcane Zip Pouch Review
The Osprey Arcane Zip Pouch is a teeny pouch-meets-front-pocket hybrid with a DWR coating, but the gaps in the top zipper track feel a little counterintuitive.
- Recycled polyester is soft yet durable
- DRW coating repels water and is PFC free
- Enough storage for wallet items plus small essentials
- Zipper track has gaps on both sides
- Not much interior organization
- Can be tricky to pull cards out
0.051 lb (0 kg)
3.35 in x 5.12 in x 0.39 in (8.5 x 13 x 1 cm)
Recycled Polyester, DWR Coating, YKK Zippers
For the Osprey Arcane Waist review, we started with the definition of arcane (known or knowable only to a few people) and made a joke about how easy it was to get our hands on the pack. We got our hands on the Osprey Arcane Zip Pouch just as easily, but it’s so tiny that you might lose it, so we think it is a little more fitting for the Arcane product line.
Jokes aside, the small zip pouch is crafted from the same material as the waist, and we have the same colorway, too. Matching is nice, but is the zip pouch just as functional? Let’s find out.
Materials & Aesthetic
To kick things off, we have to start with the materials. The packcloth is 500D recycled polyester, which is soft to the touch. It’s incredibly durable and looks just about as new as the day we got it even after two weeks of daily use. The material is bluesign approved, which means it was acquired sustainably, which is always great to see. If you can use materials that are soft, durable, and good for the environment, why wouldn’t you?
The packcloth has a DWR coating that is perfluorochemical-free. PFCs are commonly found in DWR coatings and take an extremely long time to break down in the environment. Scientists aren’t exactly sure about the long-term effects on nature and wildlife, so seeing that they aren’t included here is positive.
Similar to the Arcane Waist, the material can handle quick jaunts through inclement weather, but heavier precipitation does soak through the material. That said, this feature is less important in a pouch compared to a travel backpack.
The pouch we have on hand is Acorn Red, the same as our model of the waist pack. At the time of writing, the zip pouch also comes in Stonewash Black, which is a nice minimalistic option, but we’re a big fan of the earthy tone of the colorway we have here. The zip pouch also comes in a medium size, which comes in Stonewash Black and Milky Tea Tan, but not Acorn Red.
Both the Acorn Red and Stonewash Black colorways have an offwhite Osprey logo that contrasts nicely with the packcloth. It’s a little large compared to the zip’s small size, but it doesn’t take away too much from the simple design, we don’t think. After all, if you don’t like it, just flip it over, as there isn’t any branding on the other side.
The top zipper is a silver YKK #5, which is smooth and easy to open. The zipper track is Acorn Red to match the packcloth, and the silver is a nice contrast to the maroon. However, we think it clashes with the zipper pull, which is the same off-white color as the logo—it doesn’t look bad, just not…well, perfect. The zipper pull is a cylindrical plastic piece with Osprey spelled out in raised letters. This is helpful for grabbing onto when it’s wet outside, as the plastic can be a bit slippery.
However, despite the quality materials, we do have an issue with the zipper’s design. On the right side of the zipper track, the pouch just doesn’t quite close all the way where the zipper ends. On the left side, the zipper can’t quite make it to the end of the track, so there’s a decent-sized hole. A few coffee straws would fit through the one on the right side of the track, and the one created on the left could probably fit a standard #2 pencil.
The two holes haven’t caused us any issues, but it’s sort of an Achilles heel of the DWR coating. Yeah, the fabric will repel water, but there are two holes at the top of the zip to allow water to get inside and soak your money, city map, and headphones or charging cable. There isn’t an issue in most use cases, but it’s worth noting.
There’s a loop hanging from the top left side of the pouch that is Acorn Red to match the packcloth. It is rougher than the main pack material but feels just as durable, if not more. It’s a quick way to slide the zip out of your pants quickly, so you don’t have to hold it in your hand while waiting at a local cafe or coffee shop. Or, use it to hang the pouch inside your daypack, so it’s always in the same place or in your hotel or Airbnb using a carabiner like the Nite Ize S-Biner.
Usage & Features
The wallet’s interior is straightforward but capable enough to use as a wallet or mini-pouch. The liner feels like polyester and is a little slippery. It’s a deep mustard yellow, which is a nice complement to the exterior. It’s a lighter color so that you can see items easily against it. It does feel a little thinner than the exterior fabric, but still durable.
Thanks to an internal divider, the interior is broken up into two sides. Each appears to be the same size, but the divider tends to fold one way or the other, even when there’s nothing inside the zip. To give you an idea of size, we’re able to stow roughly 40 credit cards inside the zip using both sides of the divider. This makes it quite challenging to close the zipper, but it does close in the end.
When stowing cards or pulling them out of the wallet, they can get stuck on the zipper pull. It protrudes a little more than it feels like it should from the end of the track, so it can make accessing the interior a little awkward. You can get around this by angling items on the way into or out of the compartment, but in a hurry, it’s easy to forget.
Odds are, you aren’t going to need to stuff 40 cards inside your wallet, especially while traveling. If you are, no judgment, but what else can we stow here?
We often store our essential cards and money on one side of the divider, leaving the other half for daily items like headphones, a phone cable, and even SD cards for a camera on a few occasions. Although a zipper does not separate the two areas, the items tend to stay where you put them because the divider goes nearly to the top of the compartment. This leaves less room for items to jump from one to the other, making our gear easier to find when we open it up.
A standard-size lip balm container fits in the bottom nicely, and we often have the Goal Zero Flip 12 portable charger stowed as well. The packcloth isn’t rigid, so whatever you place in it affects the shape of the pouch overall. Lip balm isn’t noticeable, but something boxier like the Goal Zero is apparent when the pouch is packed out.
Overall, the Osprey Arcane Zip Pouch is a handy little wallet-sized pouch that can be used to stow your daily use items while traveling across unfamiliar territory. The materials are durable and water-resistant, but the holes in the top cause concern when the weather turns for the worse. It’s a great pick if you already have other Osprey Arcane gear, especially in Acorn Red, as it fits into the look very well. You won’t be able to bring everything, but what you do bring will look sleek and feel great, too.
- Despite the small size, there is a divider inside
- Fully opened, the zipper still covers some of the top edge
- Bills do need to be folded in order to fit
- Fabric remains dirt and dust-free
- Loop is great for grabbing it quickly
- No noticeable marks on the interior or exterior