Osprey Aether 60, REI UL 60, Gregory Z55

1:56 a.m. on April 17, 2007 (EDT)
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I need to choose between one of these three short listed packs. Would appreciate some comments from users of these packs. The Osprey has a lot going for it what about the REI UL 60 and the new Gregory pack.
I will carry about 30 pounds for a 4-5 day trip in the backcountry
Any help will be appreciated

1:14 p.m. on April 17, 2007 (EDT)
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Now that you have narrowed down to these 3 packs, go to a shop (or more than 1 if necessary), work with an experienced packfitter (not someone like the salesman mentioned over in the "Downmarket Tent" thread, rather someone who really knows about fitting packs), load the pack with 30 pounds of sandbags (good shops will have these), and walk around the store for at least 15 min with each of the packs (half-hour is better). What you are looking for is (1) does the pack fit (they come in different sizes for the same nominal capacity and interchangeable waist belts of different sizes)? and (2) how does the pack feel after walking around for a while with a load (I suggested 30 pounds, since that is what you say you will be carrying)? Not all packs fit all people of the same nominal size. For example, I find my Aether 60 to be fairly comfortable with up to 50 pounds (including a bunch of climbing gear) for a 5-10 mile approach. But I can't get a comfortable fit with any Gregory I have tried, except for a small daypack I have.

You will find people raving about how great each of the packs is for them. But the real question is how it works for you. The test "hike with load" in the store will give you a good indication. And with any pack, I can't emphasize too much finding a good, experienced pack fitter.

1:57 p.m. on April 17, 2007 (EDT)
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Bill's right-packs are like shoes-it's all about fit. When I was pack shopping, I tried on a lot of different models. I am fortunate to have an REI, Sport Chalet and A16 near by with a pretty good selection between them. Osprey Aethers fit me pretty well, Artery'x packs don't. Granite Gear packs also fit me. I wound up with a used Kelty and it fits pretty well too. It all depends on your body shape and the pack design. That's why you now see packs for women with different designs. One size doesn't fit all.

One thing about REI-if you can't get to one and order online, you can send the pack back if it doesn't fit. Other vendors may offer the same refund, but REI does for sure.

5:51 p.m. on April 17, 2007 (EDT)
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I had an Osprey Aether 60 but got an REI Cruise UL 60 since it was lighter and cheaper than the Osprey as well as more comfortable than the Osprey. I also liked the hipbelt pockets on the Cruise UL and it turned out to be the lightest of the three packs you mentioned. Arc'teryx packs fit me pretty well as well and I plan on getting a Naos or Acrux sometime soon. Never tried the Gregory Z55 but I hear it's a fine pack as well. Whatever you choose make sure FIT is what you choose and not price.

2:48 a.m. on April 18, 2007 (EDT)
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Thks guys.. good inputs will try them at REI and then decide

6:47 p.m. on April 18, 2007 (EDT)
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i've had the REI UL Cruise 60 about 2 months ago and have been greatly impressed with it. i like the compression system and the hip pockets are really handy. when i've used it i've gone out pretty lightweight, about 20-25 pounds and it handled the weight very well and was very comfortable. that said i'd still say go to the store and try them all out.

1:22 p.m. on April 21, 2007 (EDT)

I used to work for REI and I recently outfitted my backpacking partner. We tried on all of thsoe packs you'd mentioned---he said nothing came close to the Gregory Z55. That was his favorite pack by far. Backpacker magazine also gave the Z55 some extremely high ratings in one of its last magazines

2:21 a.m. on April 23, 2007 (EDT)
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Yes I seem to like the Z55 too lets see how it fits

1:07 a.m. on July 10, 2007 (EDT)
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Hi guys! I finally got the Aether 60 from the Down Store in Santa Cruz ! Had is custom fitted out.. seems great! thks for all the help..

June 18, 2018
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