In case you missed, there are new Osprey Exos backpacks and Osprey Eja backpacks launched in 2018. The latter is a new series for women.
The Osprey Exos backpacks have been on the market for many years, and they have never had the corresponding version for women. But now they built it, and those are the Eja backpacks mentioned in the title.
So what is new
♦ Yet another news is mentioned above – the Exos packs have been modified, and I am not sure if the changes are real improvements. See the most important changes:
- The hip belt is now with short fins, with very little padding.
- There are no hip belt pockets which were there in the previous version. I know that some people were complaining in the past that those pockets were small, but they were useful. So, what you have now is this:
- Those hip belt fins are very short and padding is next to none. This is is how it was in the previous design:
- The previous Exos packs have had small pockets on the shoulder straps. Again, there were complaints that there were small, but they were better than no pockets at all. So yes, they have removed them in the new version.
- Yet another difference is the sternum strap design. It was with three separate vertical positions in the previous version. Now you have sliders on the shoulder harness so the sternum strap position can be changed continuously, and you can put it in any position. This is an improvement in my view.
- The back mesh in the new model is a new design and it looks really great, a bit similar to their other new packs launched in 2018, the Osprey Hikelite 26 and Hikelite 18. This design is to some extent similar to the mesh in the Aether AG pack and in the other AG series (Manta and Mira), but you have it also in the Syncro, Sirrus, and Stratos packs. It seems that Osprey is shifting to this design and they are introducing it in more and more packs, even in the largest ones like the Aether 85 AG where it probably should not be used.
- Colors are different. You have tunnel-green and blaze-black in the new Exos packs.
There will be a lot of confusion with Amazon customers unless Amazon and Osprey change something. You can realize this if you check this Osprey Exos 48 – as you can see (as of the moment of writing this text) they sell the previous and the new version together.
- So the price range is $129 – 200, and this is for the old and the new models.
- The customers’ reports are there also together. There is no way to know which refer to the old and which to the new models.
- The situation is the same with Exos 38.
- In the case of the Osprey Exos 58, with the new 2018 model you can also see some hybrid model as well (at least this is at the moment of writing this text) – it looks like the first Exos from 9 years ago, but it has Stow-on-the-Go system on it, so I have no idea what this is.
- I already had a comment here in the review published yesterday, about the Eja packs; the user is not happy with those short fins, and the fact that the hip belt pockets were not there. The person was unaware of the fact that even Exos in the new version is without 4 pockets in total. But this is the part of confusion because all versions of Exos packs are in the same place.
Back to the issue of those short and thin hip fins. It seems that Osprey designers have forgotten about the modern trends that the weight of a backpack should be carried on the hips and not on the shoulders. It is easy to understand why this should be so. If you have ever climbed a high mountain you will know; you cannot breathe if the weight is on your shoulders and in the thin air this is far more so.
I am sure that at least 70% of the weight of my pack is normally on the hip belt. This is how I want it to be; the more the better.
They have added a decent padding on the shoulder straps, but almost nothing is on the hip belt fins. I feel they have missed the point, pity. You might want to see how these new Exos packs compare with the new Gregory Optic packs, please check here for a direct Exos – Optic packs comparison. Check also my comparison text Osprey Rook & Renn vs Osprey Exos & Eja backpacks.
So what do you think? It would be great to hear some thoughts. Please use the comment box below.