Aether 85 or Mars 85

4:16 p.m. on January 1, 2010 (EST)
1,711 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I am looking to make a large pack purchase and have narrowed it down to 2(REI Mars 85 & The Osprey Aether 85-09 model.)

I do go heavy once in a while and I have noticed the 09 Aether 85 on the cheap @ $216 out the door which seems like a good deal and won't break the bank. I have tried both packs. The fit & feel for me seem quite good under 45lb+ loads(I put my own gear in both)and now I am stuck on which would be a better choice for 4 season use. Any suggestions? Thanks.

7:15 a.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
8 reviewer rep
16 forum posts

I've played the pack game with Crescent (Osprey), Mars (REI), Odyssey (Golite), and now Bora 95 (Arcteryx) and they all have their pros and cons. My 07 Mars pack at REI is $129 (now) and that is cheap, my hiking partener has it and 50 lbs wasn't a problem. My Golite was light but at 50 lbs it didn't work for me on waist support. My Osprey Crescent is still in my gear locker ready for a trip. Bora 95 is my new piece and as hikers do we have to try it out a few trips before we put a OK stamp on it.

I like the Mars because it can (open wide) front load plus top load.

8:02 a.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
4 reviewer rep
70 forum posts

i own da osprey aether 85 best pack i ever owened.spend a little extra if ya gotta you wont regret it.ive had over 50 lbs in dis pack and it rides great.

2:19 p.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
1,711 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Thanks, REI is running the Mars for $159 right now. I've read alot of good about both packs. The newest model Aether has gone with the dual entry(top & front) system as well. I look for the best possible price on what ever gear I get normally(then there was the time I bought the Asolo 500s....)

Anyhow I love this time of year because of the prices you can find if ya look(off season? not for me). Its usually the time when I can stock up on quality gear @ a reasonable price. Don't want to shell out the extra dough if I don't have to. I am kinda leaning towards the Aether 85 because I don't have much need for the daisy chain on the Mars and have not heard much in regards to long term durability. I have a REI about a 10 minute drive from my home. Lucky me.

Thanks again for the info its appreciated

2:47 p.m. on January 4, 2010 (EST)
78 reviewer rep
440 forum posts

I got the Aether pack after a similar process last spring. On the whole quite satisfied. Only complaint is failure of stitching on stretchable fabric trim on side pocket. Do wish I'd waited for the combined access format, but that's more a wish than complaint.

Pack is very comfortable, and I've had it up near 50 lb.

OTOH, all the REI gear I've owned has done well for me.

10:43 a.m. on January 23, 2010 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
48 forum posts

I'd recommend the Mars over the Osprey for the following reason(s):

1. it's a better configuration and it's a lot less expensive

2. no-nonsense return policy of REI

3. well built, of decent materials

My son has been using a 2007 Mars for heavier loads and has nothing but good things to say for it; this from a guy who lugged a Denali Pro around for years, who takes an Outback Oven everywhere he goes and so forth. Like me his preference is for off-trail boonies wanderings and that can be pretty hard on equipment, but the Mars has held up well.

Besides, it is just silly to pay $200 or more for a traditional weight imported pack.

But it's your money of course and so you should absolutely go ahead and spend it anyway you want to.

Take another look at the Mars. It'll leave a few dollars in your britches so you can buy some of the stuff that you actually need.


6:51 p.m. on January 25, 2010 (EST)
22 reviewer rep
76 forum posts

I'm selling my Aether 85 for $170 @ From the looks of it I will either need to decide to keep it or lower the price!

If you fit the torso length of a Large maybe I can give a fellow Trailspace member a deal!

April 21, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Holiday Camping Newer: Winter Activity
All forums: Older: Socks added to Trailspace Gear Guide Newer: Outdoor Retailer: Snapshots from the show