Osprey Backpacks and Osprey Packs:
Beautiful Design and Function
Exhibiting a solid range of handsomely crafted and terrain-tested products, Ospreybackpacks are functional, form-fitting and even elegant in design.
Started in Santa Cruz, California in 1974 before moving to Colorado, Osprey packs have integrated innovation with high performance for over 35 years to offer long lasting and durable products built for a lifetime.
Today Osprey backpacks are recognized as the standard for some of the most comfortable and efficient packs on the market.
Plus, the Osprey All Mighty Guarantee promises a comprehensive warranty “regardless of reason or age.”
A consistent leader in technology, the company has benefited from the presence of its founder and head designer, Mike Pfotenhauer, since its inception to ensure quality control for every pack series.
With unique fit and design, it won’t take long for you to be an Osprey backpack fan, especially if you like a tight back fit and little wobbling for those long days on the trail.
Environmental and Social Responsibility
As an independent pack manufacturer, Osprey not only produces quality packs, but is also committed to sustainability and being part of the local and outdoor community. In 2008, Outside Magazine noted the company as one of “America’s Best Places to Work.”
Seeking ways to lessen environmental impacts, Osprey backpacks are expected to last a long time. More recycled materials are being used and reducing waste during production and supply operations are part of their search for solutions.
Since 1997, Osprey began sewing labels with the Leave No Trace principles into their large packs as a handy reminder to practice low impact activities.
Osprey also supports numerous environmental organizations, including the Access Fund, as a corporate partner to help keep climbing areas open, and the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative.
As part of its sustainability program, Osprey supports efforts to promote alternative transportation and Bike-to-Work, tries to reduce its own carbon footprint via non-motorized means and carpooling and sponsors environmental film festivals.
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Osprey Backpacks: Best Seller Selections
Osprey makes some of the finest packs on the planet that translates into loyal backpackers. The wide range of models and variety of uses requires some research to find the best gear for your activities.
Osprey Aether (Women – Aeriel 3400 to 4600ci/55,65,75L)
(Backpacking, Mountaineering Light – 3700 to 5200ci/60,70,85L)
Designed with simplicity and comfort, the Aether provides exceptional features that satisfies requirements for weeklong excursions to expeditions.
A more streamlined and lighter pack, the AirScape suspension and custom fit hipbelt keep the weight focused on the pelvis area for a better balance under full loads.
Loads over 60 pounds did not pose problems for users that matched hipbelts with proper torso size to rate this pack in the Top 3 for its class.
Mountain climbers and backcountry trekkers preferred the Aether’s performance over travelers requiring more organization options and canyon hikers scrambling over rough terrain.
Common complaints included the lack of external pockets for gear and GPS or camera, the annoyance of getting water bottles out, and no side access to reach inside. For others, the curved shoulder straps dug into the body and some disliked the narrow padding for the hipbelt.
One of the best fitting expedition packs on the market that carries top end loads with a sturdy, streamlined design. A keeper for serious backpackers.
Osprey Atmos (Women – Aura 2100 to 4000ci/35,50,65L)
(Backpacking – 2100 to 4000ci/20L)
Recognized by Outside Magazine as a Gear of the Year winner, the Atmos has proven its worth during months of tropical travel and across the Appalachain Trail.
Not to mention its normal use for shorter excursions like rock climbing, overnight hikes, extended camping trips and harsh winter outings.
Designed to handle loads up to 40 pounds, users recommend to stop at 30 pounds for the most comfort and to avoid overstuffing. Among the most popular features were the AirSpeed suspension and breathable mesh back panel that provided reduced body contact and good ventilation.
The firm and snug fit, coupled with the pack shape, keeps it out of the way when scrambling and climbing. The pack fabric is more durable than the Exos model material with added weight too.
Users pointed out that the pack series tends to run small with weight transfer to shoulders if not the correct torso size. Packing gear is also tricky to avoid flattening out the ventilation panel.
Repeated abrasions from pack setting may wear the fabric thin over the frame under rough conditions. And the Atmos is a top loader without side access.
A functional, lightweight multi-use pack suitable for days out on the trail or months traveling abroad, the ingenious design and comfortable fit make this pack perfect for minimalist adventure.
Osprey Argon (Women – Xenon 4300 to 5200ci/70,85L)
(Extended Backpacking – 4300 to 6700ci/70,85,110L)
Supreme comfort, excess capacity and style define the Argon pack line, one of Osprey’s premier brands for backpacking and travel. With innovative designs such as the ReCurve suspension and a Custom Molding hipbelt, users raved about carrying heavy loads better than many other packs on the market.
And good compression eliminates excess bulk to tighten the load when food supplies decrease or for minimal loading. Notable features include a hydration sleeve, easy access points and a removable lumbar pack lid.
Heavy loads provide excellent balance when packed properly and in most cases the Argon can take a beating on rugged trails.
An expensive investment, the Argon is slightly heavier than the Aether series and well worth the price according to many experienced trail users. The pack was recognized over and over again for its superior quality and comfort, but one expedition suffered failed zippers and material tears after just ten weeks.
Other complaints relate to trying to remove water bottles on the move, the lack of hipbelt pockets and that the pack is more water resistant than waterproof.
A multi-day, multi-season expedition hauler that carries heavy loads, compresses well and provides excellent comfort and plenty of features at a slightly heavier weight.
Osprey Stratos (Ventilated)
(Backpacking, Day Hiking – 1100 to 2400ci/18,24,40L)
A medium capacity pack for long weekends, overnighters, day trips or foreign travel excursions, the Stratos excels at gobbling up your gear, feeling light and offering features of a larger pack.
Recommended to handle loads up to 30 pounds, the sweet spot is between 22 to 26 pounds. Users experienced stable loads and little shifting around as befits the narrow and long design of most Opsreys.
Whether its for a summer outing or a winter hike, the AirCore back panel breathes well and plenty of pocket options hold bulky gear and snowshoes tight.
Surprisingly, there were lots of complaints about the long and numerous straps, getting in the way or catching on stuff. The top lid is not removable and the torso is not adjustable.
Some preferred better access to main compartment and the side pockets hold water bottles too snug if fully loaded.
A perfect travel companion for carrying light loads on the trail, backpacking overseas, or extended day trips with good weight distribution, ventilation and quality.
Osprey Kestrel (Torso Adjustable)
(Backpacking, Day Hiking – 2000 to 2900ci/32,38,48L)
For a qood quality travel and trail backpack with lots of features at a lower price, the Kestrel fits pocketbooks well too. An adjustable rip and stick torso harness provides a comfortable load for most, though anyone with a torso over 19″ should doublecheck.
With lots of pockets and options for storage users especially liked seperating wet and dry gear during hikes. Other features such as the Stow and Go trekking pole attachment made it easy to scramble up the slope and hit the ground running again.
Recommended to carry a load up to 40 pounds, the pack managed well when ducking under trees and climbing over rocks. And the Kestrel comes with its own raincover.
Considered a steal compared to more expensive models, the trade-off is that the pack is heavier.
A few bothersome aspects include the attached top lid, a lack of divider between the main and sleeping bag compartments, and difficulties trying to refill the bladder when fully loaded.
New backpackers searching for bargain quality, the Kestrel performs as an all-around solid pack comfortable with loads under 35 pounds.
Osprey Talon (Multi-Use)
(Hiking, Biking, Trail Running, Climbing – 400 to 2700ci/6,11,22,33,44L)
The Talon series of lightweight packs gains buyer loyalty due to its super-comfortable fit, smart design and added features. Whether you prefer fastpacking, mountain biking, climbing or just a good day hiker, choose among the wide range of Talon sizes.
Most reviewers particularly liked the body fit, long and narrow, over other packs that are wide and short. This huggable quality keeps the pack close during trail running and active endeavors.
Seasoned users raved over its performance to call it the ultimate daypack. For a lightweight and minimalist material, the pack feels solid and remains durable and water resistant.
An adjustable torso allows taller trekkers a better and more comfortable fit. Easy access to hipbelt, strap and side pockets keeps you on the move while reaching for water, GPS, MP3, camera or anything else.
The main complaints related to larger bladders causing some discomfort and too much bounce. And tall water bottles tended to fall out when set on the ground during a rest break.
For the best performance, function and fit, be sure to keep to the lower weight limits of each Talon pack and become a believer.
Osprey Exos (Ventilated)
(Backpacking, Day Hiking – 2100 to 3500ci/34,46,58L)
For ultralight backpacking with ultracomfort, the Exos stands out as a marvel of technical ingenuity for those seeking extended outdoor action with a lighter pack.
An aluminum frame supports the AirSpeed suspension that offers a breathable mesh back panel and side ventilation.
The innovative designs were recognized by National Geographic Adventure Magazine as the Best Adventure Gear for 2009.
The pack is hydration compatible and has a removable top lid that doesn’t convert to a fanny bag. Best perfomance for comfortable hikes came with lighter loads than the recommended 35 to 40 pounds.
Even with such high praise, some trail use appraisals revealed a few problems. Sacrificing weight may lesson the long term durability as the material did tear under rough conditions, unlike the Atmos 50 with stronger fabric. Though the pack is loaded with features not usually found in ultralights, buyers must decide on overall reliabilty factors versus features and lightness.
Reviewers were disappointed in the performance of the pack due to poor harness padding, front pocket reduction with full main compartment and belt pockets blocked by the frame. Others complained that the Exos does not perform like an internal pack, with a slight bounce in the load and opposite body movement.
For best multi-day use keep the load light and stick to trail pursuits without too much rough and tumble activity.