User Review: Osprey Ariel 65
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300
This is a good all-around pack for people who backpack once every year or two, but not ideal for a long-distance hike.
- Good stability
- Not durable
- Unnecessary weight
- No pockets on hip belt
I used this pack on my hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2012. By the time I was a couple hundred miles in, straps were already fraying and breaking. I called their customer support, and they grudgingly sent me a new one. By the time I finished the trail, many of the straps and buckles had broken on this new one as well—most importantly the stabilization straps connecting the hip belt to the main pack.
Granted, the PCT is a long trail and the pack got a lot of use, so in terms of durability it would probably be fine to use this pack if you are just going out for a week here or there.
I would like to see Osprey eliminate a few of the buckles and straps that don't seem to do anything particularly useful, likewise the barrier inside to create a lower compartment. It would also be great if they put some pockets on the hip belts. As it is, there is no part of the pack that is very accessible when wearing it.
When the hike was over, I called customer service again to see whether I could get the broken straps and buckles repaired. The good news is that they will do this free of charge (except for postage for the pack), but this customer support person seemed just as annoyed as the last one. I wouldn't blame them for feeling that way except that Osprey makes a big deal in their written literature about how much they would just love to repair or replace your pack any time no matter how much use it has seen or how may years you have had it, so I thought the customer support would be a bit more enthusiastic about helping me out.
Basically, this is a good pack for the average backpacker, not a good choice for a long-distance hike.