Backpack choice

12:35 a.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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I've been backpacking with BSA for a couple of years now. I've only done weekend trips but would like to start doing some longer stuff over the summer. I was using my dad's old external frame High Sierra pack, but it was heavy and recently broke. I need a new pack and am trying to decide what would be best for my needs. I think I have it narrowed down to either the Osprey Aether 60 or the Osprey Kestrel 58. I just want to get some input on the two packs.

12:45 a.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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Hey acwatts1995, welcome to the party.

Have you tried either of these packs on? If not the best choice may very well be neither. If they don't fit you properly neither are going to be the pack you want.

Osprey's fit me(I own a few) but Gregory's don't. Then there are those that fit Gregory's but the Osprey's are a no fly zone.

This is typically due to the design of the pack varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Not too mention not everyone's body is shaped the same.

Best option?

Go to a shop and get fitted(torso length, harness, etc.) Also make sure ya try the pack on with weight in it(Outfitters typically have sandbags for this purpose.)

Another mention is take the gear with you that you will be working with while on trail(in stuff sacks) and make sure it fits the pack volume wise. It would be a shame for ya to get a pack ya like only to have to exchange it for the next size up volume wise because when ya get home your kit won't fit.

I had an Aether 70. Nice pack but I upgraded to an Argon 85 because my week long winter kit was a little on the large side for the 70 so the Aether was handed down.

11:13 p.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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I've tried on the kestrel, but not the Aether, when I get a chance I'm gonna go back up and try it. Thanks for the advice, I'll try to keep that in mind.

3:33 a.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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Welcome to Trailspace acwatts1995!

Rick is right on target, very important to get measured and try on the pack(s) with wieght in them. They all fit a bit different. I too have an Osprey Aether 70 that I love. But thats me not you or anybody else. Ive got a Kelty that just doesnt get it for me but other folks just love theirs.

I fit my winter kit for a 4 day trip in my Aether 70 with plenty of room to spare. Keep in mind I live in AZ so my winter kit isnt quite as much as say someone in much colder wetter climates. Better to have your pack it little bit large then to small. Most packs can be sinched/compressed down for smaller loads but your outta luck if to large and it dont fit.

Good luck with your search

5:57 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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The Osprey packs fit me great - I've got a few.  The main one I've been using recently is the Aether 70, and I upgraded the belt to the Argon's belt for more padding.  It's a pretty big pack though and most of my trips seem to be short so I recently scored a good deal on a Kestrel 58.  Haven't tested it yet, but it seemed to fit well when I got it all adjusted.

8:46 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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I have been looking at a backpack for the summer too, I like a few pockets outside of the pack for like a camera, cell phone, munchies and rain gear. I tried on the Osprey atmos 65 and liked it but some people have stated that the arch feels like it takes away from the storage space and 1 person said they couldn't fully use the space because of the arch. I tried on a Gregory Z65 and didn't like how it fit, I was surprised with all the great reviews I read.
I also tried on the Dueter Act Lite and liked how that fit, I am still going to check out a few more packs before I decide. I have a cousin who loves his Osprey ultra light but I'm more of a few more pounds for a pack is ok and I prefer it.

11:21 p.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks for the advice, I'm going to try to go up to the store this weekend and look more in depth.

6:25 a.m. on April 5, 2012 (EDT)
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I'll start off by saying that I have the Osprey Aether 70, and i really like it. That being said you should take all of your gear to an outfitter if possible and load up packs and try them on. This accomplishes two things, 1) it fits all of the gear you would want to fit and 2) allows you to make sure the pack fits you properly and is comfortable under your normal load.

All packs are not created equal, you can have two 60L packs from two different manufacturers or even just two different models from the same manufacturer and one may realistically hold 55L and the other realistically hold 59L. All of those extra little pockets, and the way the pack is sewn all go into the volume measurement. Just something to keep in mind, that is why most always recommend taking your gear to the store and actually loading up and trying on the packs.

Good luck in your search

July 30, 2014
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