This is a comparison between the new exceptionally light packs launched recently, Osprey Exos vs Gregory Optic, so see which is better.
What this is about
As you may know, in 2018 Osprey has launched new versions of their Exos packs. The Exos packs have been around probably for 9 years or so, and have been upgraded a few times in the past. More about the previous Exos 58 please see in my review.
But this year they have also added the corresponding Eja series for women. Some of these packs I have described in my separate texts so see Eja 58 pack review and also Eja 38 pack review. The reason for mentioning them here is that they have the same basic features as the new Exos packs, and they are described in detail. So reading about Eja packs you will learn everything about the new Exos too.
However, there are several new packs from Gregory as well. In January 2018 a brand new series has appeared under the name Opic (for men) and Octal (for women). These are also ultra-lightweight packs, true competitors to the Exos packs from Osprey.
Within each of the sizes, you also have 3 sub-sizes. Now, perhaps you do not know, in the case of Osprey, the three sub-sizes are such that the largest of the three is the nominal size – this means that the Osprey Exos 58 has S, M, and L size where the L is 58 liters and the other two are smaller (52 and 55 liters). But in the case of Gregory, you typically have S, M, and L sizes where the M is the nominal size – so the Gregory Optic 58 is the M size while S is 55 liters and L is 61 liters.
New 2018 Osprey Exos 58 vs Gregory Optic 58
Here I give these two packs as representatives of the two series. The other packs in the corresponding two series are similar so no need to present them separately.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Hip belt pockets
Payable Every Month
Payable Every Year
So these are numbers and some facts about the two packs, useful to get some unbiased impression. But here below is my direct rating of the two based on i) some features which I find important, and, ii) on the general impression about the two packs:
choose your plan
Gregory Optic 58
Osprey Exos 58
I would like to say a few words about each of the criteria in the second table, and about the reasons why I give the corresponding affirmative or negative opinion.
- I do love the shoulder harness of the Exos packs, they simply look cools and the padding is almost enough. However, the shoulder harness on the Gregory Optic pack is also very good although it doesn’t look as attractive as in the case of the Osprey Exos.
- Ventilation is good in both packs, but the tensioned mesh in the Osprey Exos is something similar to what I have been using in the past 16 years. Nothing can be better than that.
- The hip belt fins in the Osprey Exos are symbolic, it is not a close match for what you have in the Gregory Optic 58 pack. This is the biggest difference and the most important of all. This is the main reason why I think that the Gregory Optic is a better pack in general.
- The Gregory Optic pack is slightly lighter, some 90 grams (3 oz), but the difference is obviously not essential.
- Obviously, the new Osprey Exos is without the pockets that were available in its previous version. In total 4 pockets have been removed, incredible. So the Gregory Optic pack is far better here too.
- The Exos packs have more attachment options. The Stow-on-the-Go is there as well. But note the QuickStow feature for sunglasses in the Gregory Optic packs.
- Awesomeness, well this is not about parameters and features, this is about feeling. I love many things in the design of the Osprey Exos packs. Gregory’s packs, in my view, frequently miss the wow factor and they look less cool than Osprey’s packs. But their quality is undeniable.
- The Gregory Optic 58 is a far better option for a heavier load, mainly due to the hip belt design.
All in all, in my view, the Gregory Optic 58 is a better choice in general. Note, I am not paid by the brands, these are just my views, unbiased hopefully.
So what do you think? Let us know, there is a comment box below. I shall be happy to hear what you have to say.