New hipbelts for Osprey Backpacks in 2012??

10:34 p.m. on October 23, 2011 (EDT)
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I read somewhere that Osprey was coming out with new hipbelts for their backpacks in 2012. Anyone else have info on this?

I'm interested in an EXOS 58 (size large) and wonder if those will be getting new belts. It would be nice if Osprey offered a heat mouldable hipbelt for the EXOS and AETHER packs.

11:41 p.m. on October 23, 2011 (EDT)
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The current Aether utilizes the isoform hipbelt which is heat moldable. I haven't heard anything in regards to what they are doing as far as making any changes for 2012 but it wouldn't surprise me.

I will do a bit of digging on this and post anything I find out. You have me kinda curious as well.

12:10 a.m. on October 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Osprey has had the thermomoldable hipbelts on some of their packs for a couple years. The Argon 85 I reviewed a while back had one, and they have been adding them to their other lines as time has gone along. The plan has been to eventually have them on all the line that are intended for carrying a heavy load (not the daypacks, though, if I recall correctly). Also, the belts are (or will soon be) gender specific. That is, the Argon belt (men's) is different than the Xenon belt (women's version), and similarly for the Aether (M) and Ariel (W), and so on.

3:55 p.m. on October 24, 2011 (EDT)
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i hadn't heard anything about a design change, but it's possible.

The Aether/Ariel heat moldable hipbelt (the "isoform") is gender-specific.  the Exos has a lighter-weight mesh/foam hipbelt to save weight.  because it is so flexible, the hip belt on the Exos wraps nicely around your hips.  In my view, it does not provide as much support as the heavier, moldable hipbelts, which you might like if you tend to carry more weight. 

A large 60 liter Aether weighs about five pounds, whereas a large 58 liter Exos weighs a little over 2 1/2 pounds.  The weight difference translates into carrying comfort as weight increases.  So, if the Exos may start to feel uncomfortable somewhere between 30 and 40 pounds, the Aether may start to feel uncomfortable between 40 and 50 pounds. 

While Osprey's more robust heat-moldable hipbelt for the Argon/Xenon backpacks (the "bioform") can be used with the Aether/Ariel, to the extent you prefer a heavier and more supportive hipbelt on the Aether/Ariel, you cannot use the heat-moldable hipbelts with the Exos - the Exos hipbelt is sewn directly to the backpack. 

It's worth trying these on with weight inside, equivalent to what you would typically carry, to see how they feel on you. 

4:35 p.m. on October 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks guys. I've tried the EXOS in my local REI with a 30 lb. load for 30 mins. and found it actually more comfortable than my 2009 REI Flash UL 60. Maybe that will be my pack for next year.

October 31, 2014
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