This Osprey Aether 85 backpack review is about one of the largest and best backpacks on the market, a backpack that has even appeared on the Time magazine cover for getting up Mt Everest.
Aether 85 is the largest in the series which also includes models of 60 and 70 liters.
This is a load hauling custom fit pack. This custom fit practice has been in Osprey company from the very beginning, just like what you would have when you go and order a custom fit suit or shoes. So this pack is supposed to give you the exact fit.
Best price & place to buy
- The best place regarding the price and shipping conditions is usually Amazon.com.
Custom fit and other features
The mentioned custom fit is achieved through:
- interchangeable elements of the pack (like changing the hip belt and harness, and choosing the best fit for you), and
- through adjustability of the harness.
So how you adjust and choose properly? Your harness padding should go all the way around and below your armpits. You should also have 3-6 inches between pads when the belt is cinched.
The foam in the hip belt has a memory effect; when heated by the body it takes the shape of your hips. So it remains reasonably stiff as required, but it fits your body perfectly, you will not have hot spots and unpleasant rubbing.
So this is similar to what you might experience with shoes in the process of breaking them in, but on a much faster scale and painless of course.
On the back, the mesh padding is made breathable, and there are circulation channels allowing for the air flow. A steel spring frame supports the back through its connection with the hip belt. Its role is to spread the load on a large area of the hip belt. I must add again, something similar one can see in Deuter models as well.
This is all accompanied by an aluminum stay in the center of the back panel.
Do not miss to read this testing report of Osprey 85 backpack.
Please see this great YouTube video presenting Osprey 85 backpack:
Osprey 85 backpack – technical specifications
- Amazing weight features:
– 4 lb 9 oz (small model, 2.08 kg),
– 4 lb 13 oz (medium, 2.18 kg),
– 5 lb (large, 2.28 kg),
– 5 lb 4 oz (extra large; 2.38 kg).
- Maximum load: 60 lb.
- Frame: internal.
- Volume (cubic inches): small model 5004 (82 liters), medium 5187 (85 liters), large 5370 (88 liters), XL model 5553 (91 liters).
- Suspension system: LightWire frame, Airscape back panel, 6061-T6 center stay.
- Shoulder straps: IsoForm CM, where CM means custom molding; made of dual density spacer mesh foam. Seams made so that they do not contact the wearer.
- Torso fit:
– small model 16 – 18.5 inches;
– medium model 18 – 20.5 inches;
– large model 20 – 22.5 inches;
– XL model 22 + inches.
- Waist and hips fit (in inches):
– small model 27 – 31;
– medium 30 – 34;
– large 33 – 37;
– XL model 36+.
- Pockets: 1 large stretch mesh front pocket, 2 zippered on the hip belt, 2 stretch mesh side. The latter have two openings so that you can have the bottle angled forward for an easy access. A large pocket on the top lid as well.
- Detachable lid, to use as a separate pack.
- Top loading and a J-shaped zippered front access to the main compartment.
- Heavy duty buckles and fabric.
- Warranty: lifetime.
- Material: 210D nylon, 75D nylon stretch ripstop, 500D nylon.
- Hydration pocket on the back of the pack. Bladder not included.
Pros & cons
Hydration sleeve is too tight for the water bladder. In one report I read “I need to take a lot of gear out of the pack though to refill it”. Something similar you may see related to the Osprey Aether 70.
Stretch fabric of the side pockets is too tight, it may be difficult to get things in and out. More general pros and cons are summarized as:
Comparison with other brands
See how Osprey Aether 85 pack stands with respect to several similar size models of some other top brands:
|Removable day pack||yes
To conclude this Osprey Aether 85 backpack review, this is a top quality pack. I rate it lower than other models because of the price, but if this is not an issue then this is a pack for you. If this pack is too big for you, see also Aether 60 and Aether 70. For women, you have the Ariel 65 with the same features.
Thank you for reading and please leave some comment below. It will be appreciated. Have a nice day.