Osprey has launched a new version of its Osprey Ariel 55 pack for women, this is now a non-AG design but fully adjustable. Read more about it here.
Key features & benefits
- Non-AG design.
- Adjustable shoulder harness.
- Adjustable hip belt.
- Adjustable torso length.
- Great lumbar padding.
- 3 Access points.
What this is about
Osprey Ariel and Aether (for women and men) are among the best-known packs from this brand. If you follow it, you know that they have reshaped these series completely several times in the past. The previous version was what they called the anti-gravity (AG) design, but this 2021 version of these packs is a step back from this design.
In my previous text, I already discussed this shift in the design, and more details about the Aether 55 pack for men are available in this text. So this Ariel 55 is a version for women, and this implies some separate features introduced to better fit female bodies.
This is a classic pack with a floating top lid and a top entrance, but it has also a separate front access and a bottom access where you have a sleeping bag compartment and a removable divider, see the pictures below, the divider is a simple shelf:
The pack is hydration compatible, with an inner sleeve and a hose port on the back:
The suspension is the most important part here, the picture below shows what you have now, so this is an injection-molded AirScape back panel, completely different from the previous AG suspension:
The suspension is based on a 3.5 mm LightWire peripheral frame, and you have the usual load lifters to stabilize the load.
Adjustability: All the crucial elements in the suspension are adjustable, and this means the following:
- Adjustable torso length, you can see some markers on the picture above. They work together with straps that you have on the sides and which lock the harness in place.
- Custom Fit-on-the-Fly shoulder straps. This means that the padding on the shoulder straps can be repositioned, this is convenient if several family members use the same pack. You have Velcro hook and loop tabs in place so you can position the padding where you want within a given range.
- Hipbelt Fit-on-the-Fly adjustable fins. The same Velcro attachment is here as well for a perfect fit. This allows a bit of adjustment in the vertical direction as well.
If this is not enough, they build the pack in two sizes XS/S, and S/M, you will see some numbers below. So you can always find your best fit.
But there is more to this; in the new design the lumbar padding is massive (as it should be), the picture below shows how it looks now. The weight of a pack is mainly carried on the hip belt and on the lumbar curvature, this holds in particular in the packs for women. So this detail may be the most important element in the new suspension:
In this video you can see how these all elements fit together, have a look:
The pack comes with a set of 7 pockets (some shown below) that include:
- A large pocket on the front to keep some stuff on the go, with a buckle on the top.
- 2 Side pockets for a water bottle, with dual access from the top and from the side.
- 2 Zippered hip belt pockets.
- 2 Pockets are on the lid, in one of them you will find a rain cover that comes with the pack.
Attachment elements & straps
- There are 4 attachment loops on the lid. Here you can attach some bulky but light stuff with some cords.
- Dual side compression straps, see the picture below. You will use them to cinch the pack and to stabilize the load, and you can also carry some elongated items attached here.
- Dual StraightJacket compression straps on the front. They cross the front pocket, and you can use them to attach some larger items.
- Dual ice-axe loops that are paired with bungee cords on the upper front of the pack.
- Dual removable straps on the bottom, for a sleeping pad or anything similar.
They use durable materials here, you have a combination of 210D and 420D Bluesign approved nylon. The included rain cover is with a PFC-free DWR (durable water repellent) treatment.
Please see a bit more about these packs in this video:
Who is it for
You have already seen this is a pack for women, they build it in two sizes and this means two different harnesses but also two different volumes.
Regarding the size and volume, this is a pack for multi-day tours, this can include hiking and backpacking, but also travel, and any similar activity where you need a reliable pack that will allow you to carry the load comfortably.
Multiple adjustability options and the two different sizes are a guarantee for the best possible fit. The pack is large and you can store lots of stuff inside, but if this is not enough you have seen its useful attachment elements where you can fix some bulky items.
- Two sizes: XS/S (52 liters; 3173 in³), M/L (55 liters; 3356 in³).
– XS/S (L x W x D): 28.74 x 15 x 9.8 in (73 x 38 x 25 cm).
– M/L (L x W x D: 30.7 x 15 x 9.8 in (78 x 38 x 25 cm).
- Torso length:
– XS/S: 13.5 – 17 in (34 – 43 cm).
– M/L: 16 – 19.5 in (41 – 50 cm).
– XS/S: 4.77 lb (2.16 kg).
– M/L: 4.82 lb (2.19 kg).
- Recommended maximum load weight: 60 lb (27 kg).
- Made in Vietnam.
- All Mighty Guarantee.
Final thoughts, rating, pros & cons
So you have seen it, this Osprey Ariel 55 Pack for Women is now a very different pack. If you are not familiar with this, it is easy to get confused because both versions are on the market and this will probably remain so for quite some time.
This is again a great pack, no doubt one of the best on the market. But note that the pack is not light, and it is a bit expensive, nevertheless this is a great value for the money. Fully recommended. I have included it in my list of best women’s backpacking packs and top-rated expedition backpacks.
Please see how I rate this pack, it scores great in all criteria and the overall rating is very high, with all the good reasons:
Note that the previous AG version of this and other packs is available at various sellers and with some great discounts, see what you can get at REI.
Check under the category Large Packs if you need more options. Let me know if you have any comment or question, there is a comment box below. Thank you for reading and have a nice day.