CAMPING & HIKING

Best Osprey Backpack: The Eagle Has Landed

osprey backpack featured hikers
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Whether you’re trekking or traveling, having the right backpack can make the difference between a lousy experience and a great one. As far as brands go, Osprey has pretty much become a household name, at least in households where people value backpacks, and with good reason.With this in mind, we decided to bring to you the best Osprey backpack (well, backpacks, at any rate) currently available.

8 Best Osprey Backpack Reviews: Strap on, Frodo, We’re Leaving the Shire!

To save you the trouble of researching, we did the legwork (no pun intended) and made a list of eight top Osprey backpacks, making sure there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

Osprey Sirrus 36 Backpack

pink

Weight: 3.5 pounds

Dimensions: 12 x 26 x 12 inches

Special features: adjustable torso lengths, integrated rain cover, internal hydration sleeve, side panel access, sleeping bag compartment, hip belt pockets, trekking pole attachment

Best use: day hikes and overnight trips

The list kicks off with the Osprey Sirrus 36 Backpack, which is the big brother to the Sirrus 24 (the numbers indicating the volume capacity in liters). The backpack features the LightWire alloy frame, as well as a meshed back panel for better ventilation.

A great thing about this setup is that the frame pulls the mesh on the back panel away from the pack to create a lot of space for airflow, which helps keep you cool, dry and comfortable.

To, continue, the shoulder straps and the hipbelt consist of perforated foam covered in mesh. The hipbelt also features two little zippered pockets on both sides, and there are two more small pockets on top of the pack to help you keep your stuff organized (the top one even has a key clip).

As far as loading goes, technically, this is a top-loading pack. Once you take the lid off you get a nice big opening to stuff everything in. There is even front panel access, so you can get to your stuff all the easier.

Both sides have mesh stash pockets, perfect for water bottles, and the compression straps rout underneath the mesh so that when you cinch them down you still have full unobstructed access to the mesh pockets.

The backpack also includes a nice little raincover, and you have two options for storing trekking poles – either using the ice-tool loop and bungee tie-off, or cinching them with the Stow-on-the-Go attachment.

The backpack is pretty lightweight on its own, and should be comfortable to all types of backpackers. On that note, the hipbelt has decent wide webbings, so you shouldn’t ever feel it’s digging into you. Moreover, the sternum strap adjusts to wherever you need it, and it even has a nice little integrated safety whistle.

Finally, there’s also a nifty little compartment at the bottom for your sleeping bag (provided it stuffs small enough), so you can just shove it in there. Alternatively, you could use it for dirty socks and/or wet gear, that sort of stuff, keeping it away from your nice and clean stuff in the top part of the pack.

Check the price on Amazon

Osprey Porter Travel Backpack

osprey porter

Weight: 1.2 pounds

Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 inches

Special features: top accessory pocket, zippered panel load access, foam-padded sidewalls, stowaway padded shoulder harness, rescue whistle buckle

Best use: carry-on and traveling

The Osprey Porter Travel Backpack is one of those rare products that actually live up to the name – this thing is definitely designed with travelers in mind. It’s made of nylon, plenty durable and fairly breathable. More importantly, it features lots of little pockets, letting you bring a lot of stuff.

It also features a nice and convenient outside zipper that opens up to an organizational pouch, which is a rarity on the market, as far as this type of backpacks goes. If you like to keep things neat and organized, this will be an interesting feature for you.

The pouch lets you pack all the little bits of home, such as a 13-inch laptop, plus a Kindle and a smartphone, and there’s still plenty of space for your papers (ID, passport) and other assorted whatnots.

As far as loading goes, it’s important to note this is not a top-loader, which should strike a chord with many travelers. If you’re still not clued in, this is a front-panel loader. It opens up fully, much like a suitcase, and allows easy access to whatever things you have packed inside. The capacity, as the name might suggest, is 46 liters.

Another major selling point of this puppy is the back panel; the straps detach and stow away into a nice, zippered compartment in the back. On a similar note, there’s a top zipper in the front which helps you tuck in something small and essential (such as your passport). This comes in real handy if the bag is full to the brim; it won’t really fit in much, but it’s there if you need it. if you’re carrying a bit of a lighter load, you might fit in your sunglasses cases, a towel, perhaps even sunblock

The most important thing about the Porter is that it’s carry-on friendly, though it will mostly depend from airline to airline. If you’re traveling with Ryanair, then there’s nothing to worry about, as its height and width matches the requirements, but you’ll have to check on the weight requirements before setting off to the airport. This also applies to easyJet and Wizz Air, but you should always check the airline’s website for the most up-to-date measurements and weight limits.

Check the price on Amazon

Osprey Daylite Daypackdaypack

Weight: 0.94 pounds

Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 18 inches

Special features: zippered panel load access, multi-purpose interior sleeve, ventilated back panel, attaches to bigger Osprey backpacks

Best use: hiking, everyday use

The Osprey Daylite Daypack is pretty much what it reads on the tin – it’s made of nylon, and comes at a decent price. One of the main features on it is the dedicated hydration sleeve, which easily fits a 2-liter hydration pack.

Speaking of storage, there are two big compartments, the main one in the back and the secondary one in the front; both are zippered and go all the way down to the bottom of the pack. Granted,the zippers are not exactly YKK-grade stuff, but they are sturdy enough. They do feature nice ties on the pull tabs though, which makes zipping the pack all the easier.

On that note, the zipper on the main compartment goes pretty deep, almost half the height of the backpack, which allows for nice and easy packing. The main compartment has plenty of space for some clothes and a first-aid kit, and you can easily fit a whole sleeping bag inside, or even a tent. There are two pouches within this compartment, which does allow you some degree of organizing your stuff.

The front compartment is smaller, though still plenty spacious; there are two small, but stretchy pockets in there, where you can keep your smartphone or travel log (if you’re the analog type, no pun intended), whichever jingles your jollies, and you even get a key-clip. It would be nicer if this whole compartment went all the way to the bottom (it runs to the half of the backpack), but it’s workable.

You also get straps on both sides that you can use to either tighten the bulk of the day pack or to cinch a sleeping bag to the side. Speaking of sides, there are also two mesh pockets for water bottles or whatnot.

On a similar note, the back panel comes with a decent amount of padding (not great, but decent), which allows for a great amount of breathing. There’s also a waist cinch, which is there pretty much for decorative purposes, to be honest.

Related: If you’re willing to splash out, you might like the Osprey Porter Travel Backpack Bag, or the Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Pack if you’d like just a wee bit more capacity without shelling out too much.

Check the price on Amazon

Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack

osprey packs daylite

Weight: 3.4 pounds

Dimensions: 7 x 9 x 17 inches

Special features: stowaway harness and hipbelt, padded shoulder strap, unisex back panel, lightwood frame, zippered panel load access

Best use: weekend hikes, carry-on, backpacking

The Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack is a great choice if you’re used to get the best bang for your money. It’s got 40 liters of capacity (obviously), and it’s pretty much a standard backpack.

Let’s start from the outside. First off, there are the compression straps going across the front of the pack. That’s also where you have two water bottle pockets (or beer bottle pockets, whichever floats your boat). There’s also a pocket with a key clip in the top of the pack that’ll hold a good amount of stuff (power bars, ID, smartphone, keys, you name it).

The pack expands a lot, and features two openings. The top opening (supposing you lay the pack on the back) has a zipper pocket with a decent amount of padding, good for electronics or toiletries, as well as a Velcro laptop sleeve behind that, with enough space for a 15.6-inch laptop.

The bottom compartment is the main one, and it unzips all the way around the bag, which makes it nice and easy to get into. It’s a huge area, ideal for clothes, and even comes with compression straps to help you out. There’s also a zipper pocket on the opposite side for even more items. Another piece of good news is that all the zippers have loops on them, so you can lock them, and the pack is allowed on pretty much any airline.

It has two handles for easy pickup, one on the top and the other on the side, and there are plenty of loops and attachment points for various pieces of gear. But, the best thing about this backpack is the back – it has a sort-of concealed zipper which opens up to reveal a full backpack harness, with the hipbelt and all. When you’re done with it, just pack it, zipper up, and it won’t bother you.

Related: There’s the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack, if you’d prefer something lighter, or the Osprey Porter Travel Bag, for more capacity, or the Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack, if you really want to splash out.

Check the price on Amazon

Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack

daypack plus

Weight: 1.19 pounds (unloaded)

Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 18 inches

Special features: attaches to bigger Osprey backpacks, zippered panel loader access, multi-purpose interior sleeve,

Best use: carry-on and hiking

The Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack is pretty much the bigger brother of the Daylite Daypack. It has all of the features its baby-brother does, and then some.

There’s a large panel-loading compartment on both, where you can store your gear (pretty much anything from clothes to sleeping bags, and even a tent).

Moreover, there’s also a smaller front-pocket, where you can keep your sunglasses case, power bars, keys and other assorted whatnots. There are two pockets in there to help you organize those smaller items (including a key clip).

The back panel is decently padded, and it goes a long way to keeping your back cool and ventilated. The spacer mesh harness and the webbing hipbelt perform as expected, though the hipbelt feels like more of a decoration than a purposeful addition. Yes, it cinches the backpack to your frame, but it feels like it might dig into your belly.

Of course, no daypack is complete without side mesh pockets for beer… erm, water bottles, as well as a hydration sleeve (though you can use it for pretty much anything). Now, where Daylite+ differs from the plain Daylite is the additional storage in the form of a padded sleeve for a tablet or small-to-medium-sized laptop (though you could use it for a hydration pack).

It also features a fabric shove-it pocket in the front, with a vertical zipper compartment for smaller stuff. Of course, both the Daylite and Daylite Plus attach to other bigger Osprey backpacks (Aether, Aerial, Volt and Viva), and even some larger travel bags.

Related: The Osprey Porter Travel Backpack Bag, if you need more space, or the Osprey Daylite Daypack, if you want to go vanilla, or the Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir, when you don’t want to use hands stay hydrated.

Check the price on Amazon

Osprey Talon 22 Backpack

22

Weight: 1.5 pounds

Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 11 inches

Special features: zippered panel load access, exterior hydration compartment, gender-specific hipbelt (built-in), gender-specific harness, trekking pole attachment, hipbelt pockets, lidlock helmet attachment

Best use: hiking & backpacking

Whether it’s commuting or hiking, the Osprey Talon 22 seems like the right choice for your everyday activities. As you may’ve guessed, it has a 22-liter capacity, but there are also plenty of loops, locks and attachment points on the outside.

The pack has a lidlock on the front, which lets you attach your helmet (great for cyclists). The front also has an external mesh pocket, stretchy and roomy. It’s fairly safe, but don’t keep anything you’d hate to lose in there.

The sides have bungee tie-offs that link in with the loops near the bottom of the pack, which is great if you want to attach an ice-axe or trekking poles. Of course, there are also the standard mesh side pockets for water bottles and whatnots.

The main compartment is zippered, with a zipper that goes pretty much down to the half of the pack’s height, allowing you easy access to whatever you’ve got inside. There are no additional pockets and/or pouches in there, except for the zippered mesh pocket on the top for small stuff, such as toiletries. There’s also an additional pocket on the top, where you can keep all the things you need an easy access to – wallet, keys (has a key clip), ID, sunglasses case, the whole shebang.

It also features a nice and easily accessible exterior hydration sleeve on the backside, behind the back panel. Speaking of which, it’s fairly well-ventilated, and should do a great job of keeping your back cool.

The straps feature the same mesh as the back panel, so they too offer a good measure of breathability. You’ve got the traditional chest strap (with an integrated emergency whistle), and there’s a nice and elasticated mesh pocket on one of the shoulder straps, right above the Stow-on-the-Go attachment for your walking pole.

Related: The Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir, if you need to stay hydrated while keeping your hands free, the Osprey Hi-Visibility Raincover, for obvious reasons, or the Osprey Women’s Tempest 20 Backpack, for the fairer backpackers.

Check the price on Amazon

Osprey Atmos 65 AG

atmos

Weight: 3.9 pounds

Dimensions: 10 x 16 x 23 inches

Special features: floating top lid (removable), internal and side compression straps, top loader and zippered front panel access, trekking pole attachment, adjustable hipbelt and harness, anti-gravity suspension

Best use: hiking and backpacking

The Osprey Atmos 65 AG is, much as the name would suggest, a 65-liter capacity backpack for men. It does cost a pretty penny, but rest assured you’ll feel (or, rather, won’t feel) where each and every of those pennies went.

It features Osprey’s innovative anti-gravity suspension system. There’s a solid-piece mesh panel that runs all the way throughout the back from the shoulder straps to the lumbar and then it contours off the back to allow cool air to come in and hot air to come out. Not only that, but it also uses the weight in the bag and that design to hug the backpack to you so you can be more maneuverable.

In a way, you get the feel that the backpack carries you rather than the other way around. The mesh even goes down into the hipbelt, which solves the problem most backpacks have – sweating around your waist.

It does come in three different sizes – small (62L), medium (65L) and large (68L), so you can choose accordingly (fits as expected). They’re there just to dial you in on shopping, but whichever you go for, it’s fully adjustable, so you can’t go wrong.

The hipbelt is adjustable, and features pockets on both sides. Right above those, there are the angled side pockets for water bottles or whatever. Of course, the sides also feature compression straps at couple of places.

In the way of pockets, the backpack has an outer mesh pocket in the front, stretchy and pretty spacious. It’s best used for wet gear or dirty socks, to keep it away from your clean stuff, and the mesh material will help it dry off.

Down below that there are a couple of straps to cinch your sleeping bag or pad. On that note, there is an actual sleeping-bag compartment, zippered, at the very bottom of the pack. Moving back up, between the mesh pocket and the straps you have two loops for attaching your trekking poles horizontally.

The top of the pack has two pockets, one on the very top (the lid), for your raincover (attaches with Velcro), sunglasses case, or whatever gear you find suitable for the location you’re headed to, and another that opens a bit more widely, where you can keep your dry sack. The best thing about this part is that it’s completely removable. On that note, you can use the space between this section and the backpack to store a tripod or something similar.

The backpack itself is huge, borderline cavernous, and loads from the top. It closes with a lid and drawstring, which is a bit of an overkill, but speaks well of the manufacturer. On the inside, you have a hydration bladder at the very top, and there’s also a hammock-type divider that keeps your top stuff separate from those in the bottom. There’s also a couple of really deep zippered pockets in the front, for additional storage.

Related: The Osprey UltraLight Raincover, for those who want to be prepared for everything, the Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir, for backpackers who need their hands free at all time, or the Osprey Women’s Aura 65 AG Backpack, for campers who need a different fit.

Check the price on Amazon

Osprey Aether 70

70

Weight: 4 pounds 15 ounces

Dimensions: 26 x 17 x 7 inches

Special features: trekking pole attachment, external back-panel hydration compartment, add-on attachment (compatible with Osprey daypacks), zippered front J-panel access, hipbelt pocket, lumbar pack, sleeping bag compartment, sleeping pad straps, tool loops,

Best use:trekking and backpacking

Depending on the generation you go for, the Osprey Aether 70 can go from value-for-money to pricy as hell, but every penny you spend on it will be well worth it. It’s been around for a while, but Osprey keeps updating it from time to time, which somewhat accounts for the difference in pricing (in addition to the size).

There’s one thing you’ll notice when seeing this fella – it’s big, real big. Now, the Aether is specifically designed for male torso, but if you want a female version, go for the Ariel – you’ll get the same features, but the design will be better suited for female torso.

One thing you need to keep in mind – these are not backpacks for casuals. They are built tough to carry heavier loads and survive longer treks, so only get them if you’re serious about backpacking. The Aether 70 weighs in at almost 5 pounds empty, so if you’re counting ounces when packing, this may not be the pack for you.

The backpack features the LightWire peripheral frame, coupled with the innovative IsoForm hipbelt, which go a long way to stabilizing the backpack and balancing out the load. The whole system, the harness, the hipbelt and the back panel come with a nice firmness-to-cushion ratio, which definitely helps on longer treks.

Of course, everything is fully adjustable, so you get a little bit of play in case you gain or lose some weight between using the backpack. The pack is loaded with compression straps, inside and out, so you’ll have no problem cinching everything down so that nothing shifts too much.

As for pockets, there’s two on each side of the hipbelt, as well as two mesh pockets with dual access point on the sides for water bottles, which is pretty standard for backpacking packs. In the front, there’s a large mesh pocket, where you can keep your wet gear (the mesh will help it dry off), as well as a nice convenient pocket on the lid.

There are multiple ways to get into the pack – if you don’t want to undo the top, you can simply unzip the J-panel in the front and access the main compartment that way. Of course, there’s also the sleeping-bag compartment which has a removable divider, and the top pocket (effectively, your lid) detaches fully and turns into a lumbar pack with a built-in hipbelt.

There are also sleeping pad straps, plenty of loops and attachment points, and the standard Osprey Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment. It would be nice to have daisy-chain loops on it, but we’re really just nitpicking here.

Related: For those who prefer a different fit, there’s also the Osprey Women’s Ariel 65 Backpack.

Check the price on Amazon

Conclusion

So, there you have it, eight best Osprey backpacks for backpackers, travelers and weekend-warriors. We made sure to include a little bit of something for everyone, but if you feel we missed something out, don’t be shy – leave a comment and let us know what you think.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

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