Osprey Backpacks : Reviews

Osprey Backpack

Whether you’re planning to travel long term or short term as a backpacker, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need a backpack that won’t hurt you in any way.  Some people decide on a suitcase or rolling bag instead, but if you’re on the move, hiking, or in an area where rolling your luggage along will be inconvenient, definitely consider getting a backpack as an option.  In this post, I will be reviewing osprey backpacks for men and women.

Size is important here!  My own backpack is 65L, and it is the perfect size.  During my travels, the most weight I’ve put in it is 13kg, or 28lbs.  Not too bad for a long term traveler!  My life is in the bag. It has everything I need.  I find 65L to be the perfect size, but it really depends on the individual  If you are able to travel with very few items, then a smaller bag will work well.  I had friends who had 80+L backpacks, but it also depends on the height of the person and what feels comfortable.

Another important aspect of your backpack is proper padding.  You should have an adjustable padded hip belt, as well as padding all up the back and in the straps.  This will save you a lot of pain if you have to carry it on your back for a while.  Having breathable padding will also help when you sweat.

Osprey backpacks for men and women are extremely popular these days.  Let’s find out why.

OSPREY WOMEN’S ARIEL 65 BACKPACK

Product: Osprey Women’s Ariel 65  Backpack
Available on: Amazon.com in the USA
Specifications:  Volume– 65L, Weight– 4lb 15oz, Load Range– 40-60lb.
My Rating: 9/10

Osprey Men’s Aether 70 Backpack

Product: Osprey Men’s Aether 70 Backpack
Available on: Amazon.com in the USA
Specifications: Volume– 70L, Weight– 4lb 15oz, Load Range– 40-60lb.
My rating: 9/10

Pros

Access to the main pocket through the front
This is a feature that you will find to be endlessly helpful on your trip.  Top loading backpacks cause a lot of frustration when you realize you need an item that you packed at the bottom.  With a zipper in the front to access that pocket, you can easily get to your stuff at the bottom without having to unpack and repack everything!

Hipbelt pockets
Do you ever get tired of trying to keep track of where your phone is, or wear you’ve placed your headphones or money? These pockets on the belt allow easy access to your small accessories! Most hip belts don’t have pockets, so this is a relatively new concept.  You’ll always know your items are secured next to you.

Removable Daypack
The top of the backpack doubles as a detachable small daybag that you can wear around your hips.  If you’re exploring the town or not taking a big hiking trip, this is the perfect extra bag to keep your belongings safe.  It will also save you from having to buy an extra bag for this purpose, as this attaches easily back to the top of the bag.

Separate Sleeping Bag Compartment

The bottom pocket will fit a sleeping bag that you’re able to keep separated from the rest of your belongings.  This separate pocket will also be sufficient to keep dirty clothes, wet shoes, or other belongings away from the main pocket and avoid soiling the rest of what you’ve packed.

Cons

No Rain Cover
Many backpacks have a built in rain cover which is extremely convenient if you’re traveling to a country with unpredictable weather.  You’ll have to buy a rain cover separately.  If you forgo this, it won’t be pleasant to get caught in the rain with all of your luggage!

Taller frame means narrow inside
This pack is very vertical, and is quite tall, which can be annoying to some.  Because of the height, it causes the inside to appear quite narrow and cause packing to be a nuisance.  With no internal pockets inside the main compartment, you will need to make sure you pack in an organized fashion.  Check out these helpful packing cubes if you need some assistance with staying organized!

Inconveniently placed hip belt pockets

Although it is a pro to even have the hip belt pockets, they are just out of reach for the average person, placed closer to your side than the front.  This can cause uncomfortable twisting or reaching to grab much needed items.  If you don’t need these items immediately, then the pockets will be great to know your small items are secure.

Tall Frame means less head movement 
With a backpack that expands upwards when packed inside of out to the sides, expect that you will have some trouble moving your head backwards as your pack will be in the way.  Will this be a huge issue? Probably not.  However, if you’re hiking with it and going up a steep hill, you may want to be able to look up without your pack inhibiting you,

In conclusion

These are fantastic bags.  There are many pros to owning this backpack, and I believe it outweighs the cons, most of which are slight inconveniences.  All backpacks will have their own pros and cons, but the osprey brand is very knowledgeable about what a backpacker needs.  With a great weight distribution, you’ll be able to carry these bags for a long time without having pain from a bag that’s too heavy.  It will amaze you when your packed bag feels lighter than it actually is.  The ventilation feature of the backpacks will prevent the bag from getting too sweaty even when it’s very hot outside!

If you need to check out rain covers, which I highly recommend doing, just click here. You can choose which size will fit your bag and the cover will even attach to your bag so it will stay in place while you’re walking!  The cover comes in it’s own little bag so you won’t have to worry about it storing it wet near your other belongings.  The prices are reasonable, and you won’t regret keeping all of your stuff dry.

I hope this review has helped you, as I highly recommend these bags! They’ll help you have a great trip anywhere in the world.  What type of backpack do you use?  Leave a comment!

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10 Comments

  1. Hi Lauren,

    The one feature I am fond of is the hipbelt pockets. As you said, it is something new as past hipbelts do not have a place for phones or wallets. I myself do not own pocket shorts, so, it is vital being aware the most important accessories are kept safe at all time. Furthermore, having a inclusive detached small bag is an extra for me. But it is suited for being flexibility, whether you go to a long day trail walk or an intense short hike up for half an hour in the morning. I like the both of the bags!

    • Hi there! I agree, the pockets are one of my favorite features about the bag. It just adds a little more reassurance that you won’t lose your most valuable items!

  2. Hi Lauren!
    I love your website!
    It seems like you spent a serious amount of time researching and preparing your posts. The information you provide is detailed and really helpful. I like that you are an experienced traveller, I would love to read more about your adventures in Australia. Keep on creating cool stuff!
    Good luck 🙂

  3. I was looking out for a camping backpack and came across these recommendations, however, I’m not able to tell how big it would be for me even though you have mentioned the size range. How do I understand which size is the best for camping? And how durable are the bags from osprey?

    • Hi Shrey! So it’s pretty simple to tell which size is for you, you’ll just have to measure the length of your torso. Start from the base of your neck, where your shoulders meet the neck, and measure downwards. With hands on your hipbones, thumbs pointing back, this is where the backpack will be sitting. Measure to the center of your thumbs.

      Extra Small: Fits torsos up to 15 ½”
      Small: Fits 16″ to 17½”
      Medium/Regular: Fits 18″ to 19½”
      Large/Tall: Fits 20″ and up

      Hope this helps! Also, these backpacks are made to last. You can be assured that they are heavy-duty enough to withstand some rough handling.

  4. Hi Lauren, and thanks for providing this excellent review of the ” Osprey ” family of backpacks.

    You describe these backpacks in great detail, and as a long-time outdoorsman, and traveler, I have tried many types of packs over the years.

    We seem to agree that the ideal backpack has not been invented yet. Time and experience always work well to reach an acceptable solution.

    I would much rather travel with a backpack than wheel a suitcase of sorts around an airport, bus depot, or subway system.

    Smaller packs also educate us to the fact that things get heavy to carry around and that we really don’t need all that stuff.

    I really like the front loading feature and the removable small bag on top. The padded, breathable harness and the small hip belt pockets show that these Osprey backpacks have been built by people that use backpacks.

    Will certainly have a closer look at these packs on my next purchase. Thanks for this and happy trails.

    Paul

    • Hi Paul,

      I agree that using a backpack is so much better than a suitcase in most cases, it always seems more convenient. Hopefully one of the backpack brands will work to create what may be the ideal backpack for a majority of people, with the new additions and constant improvements, it seems as though they are working hard to find a solution! Thanks for the kind comment, if you need anything, let me know!

  5. I’m just starting out as a hiker but eventually want to get into proper backpacking throughout different countries. 🙂

    I really do like the look of the Osprey Backpacks, and I especially love the color of the men’s one. It’s also reasonably priced for the serious back packer, but I think the main thing that puts me off is the lack of rain cover.

    But since you give the Aether 70 a high rating, I’ll definitely bare it in mind for my travels.

    Neil

    • Hi Neil! These backpacks are great. The lack of rain cover is definitely a letdown, but it wouldn’t be too expensive to buy one, which is good! Let me know if you need anything!

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