Osprey Backpacks Review

When you calculate which backpacks are most often found on the most popular tourist routes, Osprey will be the leader. The secret of success is simple: they sit comfortably on your back, help you not get tired and enjoy your travels. And among the backpacks of the American brand, you can find models for any type of activity. We tell about everyone.

Basic characteristics of Osprey backpacks

Back design

The main thing in a backpack is the back. The comfort when carrying the load depends on its design. Osprey backpacks receive the most reviews from satisfied backpackers who do not feel the weight on their backs and therefore are less tired on the hikes. All this thanks to a well-thought-out harness system that takes into account the purpose of the backpack and determines its carrying capacity.

All Osprey Large Touring Backpacks use a closed wire frame that creates a rigid structure and distributes the weight of the load evenly throughout the body. Three types of rear panels are responsible for comfort:

  • AirScape;
  • AntiGravity;
  • AirSpeed.
  • AirScape

The simplest and most powerful frame of the Osprey backpacks. The center of gravity is located as close to the body as possible, which means that it will be comfortable to carry heavy loads. Foam ribs on the rear panel, covered with a thin mesh, are responsible for ventilation – this is quite enough so that the air flow does not allow the back to overheat. AirScape is used in the largest and largest Xenith / Xena backpacks, as well as in a number of smaller trekking models.

AntiGravity

A frame with a mesh stretched over it, which connects the straps, belt and back into one surface. This panel is very comfortable: it “hugs”, distributes the weight of the load over the whole body and breathes perfectly. AntiGravity is used in medium-duty trekking backpacks.

AirSpeed

Most breathable back panel. The back of the stretched coarse mesh creates an air space between the backpack and the hiker, providing excellent ventilation and comfort in hot weather. The disadvantage of this design is that the center of gravity is too far away, so backpacks with this panel are suitable for small loads. AirSpeed is used in lightweight rulers.

Sizes and adjustments

All Osprey backpacks come in three sizes to accommodate different heights:

  • small (S);
  • medium (M);
  • large (L).

People with the same height may have different back lengths, so Osprey does not make recommendations based on height. To find out which size is right for you, use Osprey’s PackSizer app – it uses the camera in your phone to adjust the size to the correct size for your torso. The application is not Russified, but it is intuitive. Well, there is always an option to come to the store and try it on.

Inside each size, the backpack can be adjusted to fit even more precisely – in most models, the back length is adjustable.

Note: Nacelley.com also recommends reading an interesting article about the best dog carrier backpacks.

Female version

Osprey produces women’s variations for almost all models of its backpacks, except perhaps for mountaineering and sports rulers. Women’s models are created taking into account the anatomical features, and also differ in brighter colors, less volume. And also the name – therefore, when choosing, keep in mind that the same model in the male and female versions is called differently. For example, Xenith and Xena, Kestrel and Kyte, Aether and Ariel.

When choosing a backpack, consider the features of the figure. Tall girls can safely measure male versions, and women of short stature and adolescents are most likely to sit better on female models.

Osprey Travel Backpacks

#1 Backpacks for mountain tourism Xenith (men) and Xena (women)

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Purpose: sports mountain tourism of high categories, multi-day autonomous routes.

Carrying capacity: 20-25 kg.

Regions and routes: hiking in the Western and Central Caucasus, the Kola Peninsula, the Urals, Altai.

The most voluminous and heavy-duty backpacks in the Osprey travel series. Powerful harness with AirScape rear panel, durable fabric and functional external hitch make them optimal for mountaineering – they are comfortable for long walks and even climb technical obstacles.

A suspension system based on a closed frame made of powerful wire is responsible for the comfort of movement.

The feature of the model is a thermoformed belt and shoulder straps. This means that they can be tailored exactly to the shape of the body. The process resembles the molding of a ski boot: the belt is heated in a special oven, the foam inside becomes soft and the belt “hugs” the backpack wearer, repeating all the curves of the body.

Unlike previous versions of this model, there is no rain cover included. The flap no longer turns into a belt bag, but it can still be removed and the backpack can be used without the flap, covered with a thin fabric “cover”.

#2 Kestrel and Kyte Lightweight Travel Backpacks

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Purpose: weekend hikes, sports hikes of primary categories, travel.

Carrying capacity: 12-15 kg.

The basic travel backpack for beginner hikers and teenagers. This is a simplified variation of the Xenith / Xena model: with the same frame, but without the thermoformed waist and shoulder straps, with the same foam with grooved channels on the back of the AirScape, but without the mesh cover. The result is a lightweight budget backpack for hiking with a small load.

The external hitch is not damaged – there is a suitcase entrance, lower compartment and side access, a stretching mesh pocket on the front panel and pockets on the belt. And even a rain cover is included here, unlike the older model.

#3 Trekking backpacks Aether (men) and Ariel (women)

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Purpose: summer trekking, hiking, simple mountain hikes.

Carrying capacity: 16-18 kg.

Regions and routes: summer Caucasus, Alps, Pyrenees, middle Tien Shan mountains along popular trails, trekking in the Himalayas.

Slightly less “hardy” than Xenith / Xena, but the same comfortable backpack for trekking – the main thing is not to overload it. Closed wire cage with a mesh connecting the shoulder straps, waistband and backrest distributes the weight of the load and breathes well. This is the best option for comfortable trekking, including in hot regions. For sports hikes of high categories, it is not suitable, not the same carrying capacity. Yes, and too delicate for rough handling – the frame does not hold the lateral load poorly, so it is better not to sit on the side of the backpack.

The outer hinge is the richest in the series. For example, the volume limiter straps on the front can be used to carry a rug, snowshoes or snowboard – so the backpack will not lie idle in winter and is suitable for backcountry.

#4 Backpacks for light trekking Atmos (men) and Aura (women)

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Purpose: comfortable light trekking, weekend hikes.

Carrying capacity: 13-15 kg.

Areas and routes: hiking trails in Southern Europe (eg Santiago Way), Crimea, summer Caucasus, trekking in the Himalayas.

Most ventilated and comfortable in the Osprey trekking backpack range with AntiGravity back panel. The Osprey was the first to use it in this line, and the harness here is the most powerful and functional among the backpacks for light trekking. For example, unlike the Aether / Ariel series, there is a more comfortable mesh on the back – it is velvety, pleasant to the touch and extends to the hip belt. The belt itself can be adjusted to the desired waist size – not only the length of the sling is regulated, but also the soft part that “hugs” the hips.

Despite the developed harness, the backpack is designed for small loads. His center of gravity is carried away farthest from his back, so it will be uncomfortable to carry more than 15 kilograms. But for hikes with a small load, this is a great option, especially in hot regions. You can find more backpacks on Swivetry.com.

#5 Exos (men) and Eja (women) backpacks for walking

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Purpose: super comfortable light trekking in hot climates.

Payload: 12 kg for 38 liters, 16 kg for 48-58 liters.

Regions and routes: Crimea, Southern Europe and the Alps in summer, the Western Caucasus, the middle zone of Russia, any super-long marked trails with an appropriate selection of equipment.

Initially, the backpack was created for the passage of super-long marked trails in the United States, but it turned out to be so successful that it became popular far beyond their borders. It is the lightest trekking backpack, with the thinnest frame and the most ventilated AirSpeed ​​back panel. This is a great option for beginners, who know how not to take too much and handle equipment (that is, they will not throw their backpack on stones and flop on top).

Everything here is done to lighten the weight: the side ties are thin, all the slings are thinner than the usual sizes, the fittings are small, there are a minimum of pockets, there is no bottom entrance. The flap can be unfastened and lighten the backpack by another 100 grams, and the main compartment can be closed with a special lid. The fabric in Exos / Eja is standard, does not frighten with excessive thinness and, moreover, is treated with a moisture-repellent impregnation, which partially compensates for the absence of a raincoat. And the absence of zippered pockets was compensated by elastic external pockets, which are very spacious and comfortable – it is easy to get equipment on the go.

Since 2018, the model has removed the pockets on the belt and shoulder straps. A lot of users don’t like this, but it’s not just about the lighter weight – this is how the Osprey tried to keep the backpack’s price tag even more expensive.

#6 Ultra-light backpacks Levity (men) and Lumina (women)

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Purpose: super comfortable easy trekking.

Carrying capacity: 10 kg for 45 liters, 12 kg for 60 liters.

Regions and routes: Southern Europe and the Alps in summer, the Western Caucasus, the middle zone of Russia, any super-long marked trails with an appropriate selection of equipment.

Crazy light series for ultra light riders. The basic design has a lot in common with the Exos / Eja line, including a mesh back panel and exterior pockets, but all in a stripped-down fashion. The frame has become lighter, the straps and the belt are thinner, instead of the side lines, there is a cord, from which the braces are made for tents. The main outer fabric is thin siliconized Cordura, which is frightening at first with its transparency, but in fact it is quite durable, you just need to handle it with care. Those parts of the backpack that are subject to more wear are made of Dyneema fabric for increased durability. The result is a voluminous backpack weighing less than a kilogram, for experienced minimalists who understand what they are doing.

This is the first mass publication of the easy-to-go approach to American backpacks. The meaning of this approach is that outside the backpack there are elastic pockets that imperceptibly add 8-10 liters of volume – you can put in them, for example, a 2-liter bottle of buckwheat. Another thing is that if you put a lot of bottles of buckwheat, it will be hard to carry – the backpack is not designed for a large load. At the same time, due to the soft belt, this model sits on a greater variety of figures than the Exos.

#7 Budget trekking backpacks Rook (men) and Renn (women)

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Purpose: summer hikes, trekking, marked trails.

Carrying capacity: 18 kg.

Regions and routes: summer Caucasus, Kola Peninsula, trekking in Nepal, backpacking in Europe and Southeast Asia.

A large, lightweight backpack with a ventilated back, for those who are not willing to sacrifice comfort and budget. This is something in between the Exos and Aether lines: from the first, the back design has been preserved, from the second – a dense outer fabric, more budgetary, but also more durable. The result is a popular ultra-ventilated backpack of large volume for the average user – that is, for those who do not carry a cotton sleeping bag, but also do not saw off the handles of spoons and toothbrushes.

The design here is simple and familiar: there is a lower entrance, side and waist pockets. One size, but many adjustments. Rook / Renn is good as the first backpack for easy hikes, but with the prospect of athletic growth.

#8 Universal backpacks Talon (men) and Tempest (women)

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Purpose: weekend hikes, summer mountain hikes, simple ascents.

Carrying capacity: up to 10 kg.

Areas and routes: Appalachian trail, summer Arkhyz, any areas for simple summer ascents.

The Talon / Tempest range includes a variety of models, from the belt bag to the roomy hiking backpack. The most popular is the trekking line. It is usually chosen by those who have not fully decided on the purpose of the backpack and do not like a ventilated back.

There are two models in the line: 33 and 44 liters (in the women’s version 30 and 40). They are slightly different in design: the larger model has a “floating” valve and has a bottom inlet, the smaller one does not – simply because with such a volume it is not necessary. The suspension system is the same: the traditional Osprey closed wire frame, a foam panel with honeycomb stiffeners and a mesh stretched around the perimeter. The suspension is as simplified as possible, but comfortable.

Small detail: this is now the only Osprey backpack with a shoulder strap pocket after the Exos was shaved.

Osprey Ace Kids Backpacks

#9 Osprey Ace

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In 2020, the Osprey collection includes a 75L children’s travel backpack. The dream of children’s hiking instructors. The Ace 75 is a quality trekking backpack for an active teenager who really walks. Suitable from 12 years old, depending on the size of the child, of course. There are also 38 and 50 liter capacities, which are suitable for younger children and for less harsh hikes.

Throughout the range, the comfortable AirSpeed ​​ventilated harness, thermoformed shoulder straps and waistband are just what you need to comfortably carry your hiking weights. Lots of pockets, bottom entry – all in a light weight. And thanks to the wide range of adjustments, the backpack “grows” with the child, so you don’t have to buy a new one every year.

Climbing Backpacks

#10 Osprey Mutant

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The range of volumes of this model covers almost all the needs of the climber. Mutant 22 is suitable for multi-pitches, Mutant 38 is a classic assault backpack, and 52 liters is an option for multi-day ascents when you need to carry a bivouac.

Structurally, only Mutant 22 differs – it has no valve and a minimalistic sling. Larger models of traditional design: with a removable top flap, a soft belt with neoprene overlays that will not get clogged with snow. The back is not adjustable, there is a minimum of mesh on the back panel. The external hitch allows you to conveniently carry everything that a climber needs: there are hanging loops on the belt for “iron”, loops for ice tools with pockets for beaks. Wide skis are placed under the side lines, so Mutant is also suitable for ski mountaineering. The front panel is reinforced to allow the backpack to be dropped onto rocks without damaging the fabric.

Travel Backpacks

#11 Backpacks bags Farpoint (men) and Fairview (women)

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They look like bags on wheels, but instead of wheels, there is a comfortable harness with shoulder straps and a belt. This is a great option for combined travel, in which there are many transfers, flights and walks – all at once. The straps and belt can be hidden in a special compartment with a zipper: it is in this form that the backpack is best checked into luggage. And take a small Daylite urban backpack with you to the salon, which comes with bags for 55 and 70 liters. It attaches comfortably to the main compartment and is secured with front straps. In models for 40 and 80 liters, it is not, but you can buy it separately and fasten it in the same way – there are accessories for this, and the backpack is useful for city walks.

This whole structure is outwardly very laconic – what is needed so that nothing gets caught and does not come off during transportation. A rigid frame around the perimeter – the same as a suitcase – helps to preserve fragile items, so you can safely transport your laptop and photographic equipment.

The Farpoint Trek and Fairview Trek versions are a hybrid of a travel bag and a touring backpack. Unlike the base model, it uses the AirSpeed ​​harness, more durable and water-resistant materials, and a rain cover. There are more compartments and pockets, a lower entrance appeared, a compartment for a drinking system – and the weight became even less.

#12 Travel backpacks Stratos (men) and Sirrus (women)

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Backpacks for those who cannot choose between trekking and travel or want one backpack for everything. There are four volume options in the line: from a 22-liter city backpack to a 50-liter one for trekking (or travel). There are also several design options: with a top flap and just with a zipper.

The backrest is the same in all variants: a closed wire frame, a ventilated AirSpeed ​​back panel that integrates the back with a belt, padded belt and shoulder straps. This line will be appreciated by lovers of pockets, there are many of them: front, side, inner, on the belt, and also access to the main compartment from all sides. The external hitch is very rich even in small volumes and allows you to attach trekking poles, an ice ax, hang equipment on the side loop and fasten something under the side or bottom lines. The fabric is very dense – stronger than the Talon series.

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Sports Backpacks

#13 Hikelite and Daylite

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Hikelite and Daylite are two similar models for hiking and active travel. The 18, 26 or 32 liter Hikelite is perfect for day trips with a breathable AirSpeed back panel and rain cover included. Daylite and Daylite Plus in 13 and 20 liters are designed for urban activities, such as traveling around cities and countries. Daylite is included with the Farpoint Backpack or sold separately.

Running Backpacks & Vests

#14 Osprey Duro 1.5

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There are three models in the Duro running line: 1.5, 6 and 15 liters. The smallest, the Duro 1.5 is an ultra-lightweight vest with all the trail running gear you need: front elasticated bottle or phone pockets, zippered pockets for gels and essentials, pole mounts and a main compartment to hold your windbreaker. The 6 liter version is a classic vest of the same design with an additional external elastic pocket.

Duro 15 is a full-fledged backpack with exactly the same hinge, but with a voluminous main compartment and a comfortable belt. It is perfect for trail runners who don’t care too much about minimizing weight, as well as multisport and speedhiking.

Osprey Urban Backpacks

#15 Osprey Nebula

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The urban Osprey range is represented by the Nebula / Nova and Quasar / Questa models, which are durable backpacks with a comfortable interior organization. Inside, everything is standard for city backpacks: a padded compartment for a laptop or tablet, a protective pocket for electronics and glasses, and many more pockets for various small things.

Cycling backpacks

The cycling series of Osprey backpacks is “sharpened” for a mountain bike. The models are very different: different volume, design, back panel or AirScape with foam inserts for ventilation, or even more breathable AirSpeed.

The backpacks have rich bodywork and well-thought-out equipment organization. In addition to basic elements, such as a helmet and a beacon mount, reflective elements, there are many convenient pockets, an outlet for the drinking system (in some models, the hydrator itself is included).

#16 Osprey Packs Escapis

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Despite such a huge assortment, Osprey has an understandable classification, and it is quite easy to choose a backpack, the main thing is to decide on the purpose.