Osprey Packs

8:59 p.m. on February 3, 2007 (EST)
(Guest)

Hoping that someone can help me out here. I went to buy a pack yesterday and intended to get the Osprey Aether 70. The guy at the store measured by spine and I tried on the medium. He said that it was too big and that I needed a small. Since they don't make a Aether small, he said that the Ariel 65 (women's pack) would be OK because it did come in a small and is essentially the same. He swapped out the straps and belt and off I went.

Is it the case that the Ariel is really the same as the Aether? I feel kind of funny buying a women's pack. I'm 5'9 - I didn't think I was so small that I couldn't fit into a men's model! Should I look for something else? Thanks!

10:15 p.m. on February 3, 2007 (EST)
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The Aether 70 is a pretty big pack. I've tried it on. As far as I know from looking at them and from the Osprey website, the Aeriel is the women specific version of the Aether. The main difference is probably the suspension. The packs themselves are slightly smaller than the men's versions, but not by much. Once the belt and straps are swapped out, other than the color, I doubt they feel any different. I suggest calling Osprey and asking them. The guy at REI may or may not have been right-you may have a short torso regardless of how tall you are.

10:39 a.m. on February 4, 2007 (EST)
(Guest)

Thanks, Tom. I plan on giving them a call tomorrow. But your answer sounds right to me based on what I have found online. Bottom line, if it fits correctly, the Ariel/Aether is a nice pack and it should be fine.

12:41 p.m. on February 19, 2007 (EST)
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I agree with Tom here. You may just be a small torso, no matter your height. Curiously, have you measured yourself for a pack? I know the store clerk did, but does your measurement agree with his?

12:40 a.m. on March 5, 2007 (EST)
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The straps and harness are swapped out to fit the curves of a woman.

11:30 a.m. on March 5, 2007 (EST)
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I have the Aether 60 large and Barb has the Aerial 55 medium. Since Barb is quite small (5 feet tall plus, she claims, 1/4 inch), unless you are quite short-waisted, I find it hard to believe you would take a small Aerial at 5'9 (my height). Yes, the Aerial 65 is a larger pack than the 55, and the Aether 70 is larger than the 60, but still ...

These have proven to be very nice packs for weekend trips, and I have actually carried very large loads for a weekend backcountry climbing trip.

I have said it before, as have other people, but unfortunately REI (and EMS) have taken to hiring people who know very little about the products they are selling. Sometimes they will claim to be the world's greatest experts, but have little if any actual experience and give out a lot of misinformation (like the guy who is the current head of the climbing section of my neighborhood REI). If you have a specialty climbing/backpacking shop within 100 miles of you, it is well worth your while (and cheaper in the long run, as well as healthier for your back) to make the trip there to discuss the issue.

4:14 p.m. on March 5, 2007 (EST)
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Your REI should have (mine does)a pack fitting template that I think is made by one of the pack companies. It is a flexible piece of plastic with marks on it, similar in principle to the Brannock shoe sizing gizmo. It has a hole in it that fits over the bone at the base of your neck then you measure down to just above your hips. Several manufacturers have instructions on their website on how to do this with a piece of string, then you measure the string with a ruler.

Osprey has fitting instructions on their website.
I'm about 5'10 and I measure about 18 1/2" along my back which is a regular size for most packs. Many packs have some adjustability in the suspension to get the fit more exact. Osprey's site says the Aether harness has 3" of play in it, so you should be able to get a good fit. Look at the Pack Tech page if you haven't already.

After looking at their site, it looks like you could put a small Aerial harness on an Aether. Again, I'd get a second opinion and talk to Osprey before buying anything.

The good news is that if you get it at REI and don't like it-they will take it back no questions asked. Oh and if you aren't a member-join; the dividend savings on a big ticket item is worth the membership fee.

11:43 a.m. on March 7, 2007 (EST)
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Call Osprey. I just sent my Aether 85 back to have a strap re-sewn (my fault not theirs. . .) They are a wonderful group of people over there in Cortez, CO; the call would both ease your mind about the pack purchase and introduce you to a class act support team. I am over 6'2", and I ended up with the medium size Aether. Go figure. A late reply. . .I hope you get it sorted out. . .

From: http://www.ospreypacks.com/CustomerService/CustomerService/

"Osprey U.S. Customer Service is open from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday, Mountain Time. Call 970-564-5900 and one of our expert customer service folks will take care of you. We pride ourselves on providing you with real help from real people."

6:46 a.m. on May 15, 2007 (EDT)

I purchased a Aether from REI and, upon arrival, I quickly determined that the hip belt was too large. REI customer service fixed up this dilemma almost painlessly--I still had to wait for the replacement hip belt to arrive.

I would order the Aether over the phone. That will probably save you the trouble of waiting for a replacement.

December 18, 2014
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