This Osprey Aether 60 pack review is about a lightweight pack designed for multi-day and extended backpacking tours. It has a lot of standout features and its adjustability is without a match.
Standout features & benefits
- Moldable hip belt.
- Complete adjustability of the harness and waist belt.
- Top lid converts into a lumbar pack.
- Multiple access points to the main compartment.
- Separate external hydration sleeve.
- Attachment points for Osprey’s Daylite pack.
Please note, there is a new 2017 anti-gravity (AG) version of this pack, you can see it described in my separate post.
Best price & place to buy
- The best place regarding the price and shipping conditions is usually Amazon.com.
Osprey Aether 60 pack is built in three different sizes, so in the moment of purchase, you have options to choose which size suits you best. It is therefore good to know your torso length and waist size.
But even if you miss this, there is some overlapping between the three sizes and you might still be good with it even if the size is not perfect. This is because after this initial step, you have a lot of possibilities for fine-tuning; this pack has everything adjustable.
The pack is designed to carry up to 60 pounds (27 kg) and you can be sure you will do this very comfortably.
You have 3 access points to the main compartment:
- Top access through a traditional top lid.
- J-shaped zipper on the front.
- Through the bottom zippered entrance, by opening the divider between the bottom and the main compartment.
The lid is floating and removable, so you can use it as a small lumbar summit pack. You have integrated straps for this purpose.
The pack is hydration compatible and you have a separate external sleeve behind the back panel. This is very convenient for several reasons: you have an easy access to it, it does not take space from the main compartment, no issues with condensation or leaking into the main compartment.
Dual compression straps are on both sides. The lower straps are with InsideOut feature, so that you can run them over the stretch pocket or through the pocket.
Dual horizontal compression straps are also on the front of the pack, to cinch the pack or to attach some stuff.
You also have dual and removable compression straps on the bottom section, for a sleeping pad or a tent.
Dual attachment loops are on the lower section of the front, and they are paired with tie-offs higher on the pack.
Here too you have the usual Osprey’s patented Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment system, to attach the poles when you are on the fly and need free hands for a moment.
On the front, you have attachment elements to add Osprey’s Daylite pack. This is yet another great feature to add a real daypack.
Attachment loops are also available on the top of the lid.
Two zippered pockets are on the hip belt. One large stretchy pocket is on the front of the pack. Dual stretchy mesh pockets are on the sides of the pack.
One large zippered pocket is on the top of the lid.
This is a pack with a great suspension, based on a peripheral aluminum frame plus a central stay, and an HDPE sheet.
You have Osprey’s IsoForm used here. This implies that in a short time (a couple of days) the hip belt and shoulder harness mold by your body warmth and adapt to your body shape.
The mentioned adjustability also implies that the harness and the waist belt can completely be changed to fit your body. In addition to this, the harness is adjustable itself, so you can move it up and down to find the best possible position for you.
The back panel is what they call AirScape type. But I must say I am not so impressed with foam ridges for ventilation which you have there, see the picture. This system is not a match for some packs like Deuter Futura Vario where you have a suspended and tensioned mesh. The ridges and channels are simply not deep enough for a perfect ventilation.
The sternum strap is also completely adjustable and with an emergency whistle.
All these nice features are presented in this video by Osprey:
Pros & cons
Here is the summary of my cons and pros is as follows:
Osprey Aether 60 is an almost perfect pack. But there is ‘almost’ here: it does not have a rain cover.
On the other hand, this is a big pack and I would like to see side zippered pockets, they are very useful for organization.
Wherever you read about this pack, you will notice that it is rated incredibly high. No doubt this is completely justified. At Amazon, it has scored an incredible 4.8/5 average rate.
- Use: multi-day and extended tours.
- Three sizes: S, M, L.
– S: 57 l (3478 cu in).
– M: 60 l (3661 cu in).
– L: 63 l (3844 cu in).
– S: 4 lb 7 oz (2.01 kg).
– M: 4 lb 11 oz (2.13 kg).
– L: 4 lb 14 oz (2.21).
- Torso fit:
– S: 16 – 19 in (41 – 48 cm).
– M: 18 – 21 in (46 – 53 cm).
– L: 20 – 23 in (51 – 58).
- Waist fit:
– S: 27 – 31 in (69 – 79).
– M: 30 – 34 in (76 – 86).
– L: 33 – 37 in (84 – 94).
– 210 D Nylon Dobby,
– 210 D Nylon Block Shadow,
– 75 D Nylon Stretch Woven Ripstop,
– 500 D Plain Weave Nylon Oxford.
– HDPE frame sheet and metal alloy peripheral frame.
– 1 aluminum central stay.
- Maximum weight: 60 lb (27 kg).
- Adjustable torso.
- AirScape back panel with foam ridges for ventilation
- Pre-curved IsoForm CM moldable hip belt.
- Sternum strap with emergency whistle.
- Sleeping bag compartment.
- Removable top lid which converts into a lumbar pack.
- Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment.
- Rain cover.
- Dual ice axe loops.
- Stretch mesh side pockets with InsideOut compression.
- Dual access to the main compartment:
– Top lid access.
– J-shaped zipped front panel access.
- Dual zippered hip belt pockets.
- External hydration access.
- Removable sleeping pad straps.
- Compatible with Daylite pack.
- Lifetime warranty.
Comparison with competition
In this table, I summarize some most basic features for several top brands in the similar size range as Osprey Aether 60 pack. See how they compare:
Aether 60 M
|Zippered side pockets||no||no||no|
|Hip belt pockets||yes||yes||yes|
|Metal internal frame||yes||yes||yes|
The suspension system in the Gregory pack is based on a tensioned mesh. This provides the best ventilation and I do not think that other packs are a match with respect to this. I suggest following the links and see more about the packs given in the table.
To conclude this Osprey Aether 60 pack review, this is a top quality pack loaded with features, some of them being quite unique for this series. Adjustability options you have here are without a match. There is little one could object to this pack. I miss the rain cover because this is something I need in the Alps, but this may not be so essential for you.
Thank you for reading. I shall be happy to hear from you. There is a comment box below.