User Review: Osprey Aether 70
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $280
Love this pack. It's very solid construction, a good hip belt and is very comfortable under heavy load.
- Lots of room
- Great hip belt
- Allows for too much packing?
I bought this as my first hiking backpack because I felt like I needed all the extra space. I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything. So I loaded it up for a 3 day hikes will all the essentials and then some! With water, I had a bit over 50 pounds on that first trip and it handled it with ease. I have to admit that I over packed :)
I have since gotten a bit smarter about what I pack and 70L is slightly on the big side for me. I still use this pack when I go backpacking with my girlfriend as it allows me to take on a few more items so that we can keep a better pace.
The hip belt saved me on that first trip, but I had it so tight that my hips felt bruised (not raw, but felt like I took a good hockey check). In subsequent trips, the belt felt much better with less weight on my back.
The side pockets are very usable, the back mesh is great to throw in rain gear for both quick access for an oncoming storm or drying once the rain is done. I like that I can access the sleeping bag from the bottom, but my North Face Cat's Meow is a very tight fit. The Western Mountaineering Ultralite easily fits, at which point I can slide in my tent next to it.
I also like the top of the bag that can be used as a day bag. I often use it when we have a bit of a walk for water away from camp. I can then pack it with the water filter and first aid kit (which I always leave there for quick access anyway).
I like the loops that allows for storing your hiking poles. I normally prefer hiking with the poles, but sometimes we get in bushwhacking or tight spots and being able to put them away without removing my pack is great.