Osprey Volt 60

6 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   4
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Reviews

8

The Osprey Volt is a high value, well-built, extended…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Osprey for testing and review)

Summary

The Osprey Volt is a high value, well-built, extended weekend pack with flexible fit and configuration. It may be considered a lighter weight 60 liter pack, but the Volt’s efficient frame can handle rather heavy loads with ease. The novel waist belt adjustability is highly effective at finding your comfort zone for long treks through the mountains, or hours in the airport security line.

The Volt strikes an excellent balance between its weight and useable features. The Volt 60 doesn’t have the most breathable back panel, making it a better cold-weather pack, but it is supremely comfortable, and moves with your body motions to maintain impressive stability.

If you don’t mind sacrificing some very minor features in the interest of efficiency and a lower pack weight, at a good price, then this is your pack. I highly recommend it.

Pros

  • Back panel design, wicking surface, adjustability, and suspension
  • Simple “Fit-on-the-Fly” hip belt adjustability and features (zippered belt pockets)
  • Excellent on-the-trail ergonomics and features
  • “AddOns” attachment feature works well, even without an Osprey branded day pack
  • Thoughtful features, like a color-coded rope strap just inside the collar
  • Dual access stretch side pockets
  • Stow-n-Go feature for trekking poles
  • Separate hydration reservoir pocket keeps leaks out of the main compartment

Cons

  • Back panel doesn’t ventilate as well as some other designs
  • No included lashing for handles of climbing tools or mountain axes
  • No side or front-access zippers into the main body
  • Removable lid doesn’t double as a waist pack like other Osprey models
  • Stow-n-Go attachment is at times awkward in use
  • Water bottles sometimes fall out of the forward-facing openings in the pack’s side pockets
  • Harness is not removable and lacks tool loops, which may be a deal breaker for the hard-core mountaineer

INITIAL REVIEW after three months, seven trips, both outdoor (4) and urban (3):

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Fit:

With its Torso Adjustment System (using a hook and loop fastener for simple size adjustment) this men's pack adjusts to fit 17-22" torsos, and for my 20.5" frame, fits very well, but will soon allow my growing son to use it (16.0" torso).

The “Fit-on-the-Fly” hip belt’s 6” of pad adjustments, plus a highly adjustable belt strap, ensure that this pack will fit both my waist (35") and my '’5" son’s 29". It will be a fantastic week-long pack for his growing frame.


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Torso Adjust


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Hip Belt Pocket/Fit-on-the-Fly adjustment

As one would expect, load lifters and adjustable sternum strap rails make finding the sweet spot a breeze, and all straps are in the common locations for making "on the trail" adjustments to suit varied conditions. An HDPE frame sheet, with a silicon-tube protected “Lightwire” aluminum peripheral frame transfers load to the hip-belt and makes for a solid pack, even when loaded to the hilt (about 55-60 — weekend trip tested comfortable so far to 45 pounds).


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Picture of tube frame

Comfort & Ride:

With all of the adjustments in fit (more than I would’ve expected for what Osprey defines as a “basic” pack), the Volt 60 is supremely comfortable. I had no hot spots on my waist or shoulders during my hiking trips AND, more importantly, after standing static for two hours in airport security (wearing the entire time).

The adjustable waist belt padding is so simple yet effective. The best compliment I can pay this feature is that I don’t find myself aware of how the belt feels while I’m laboring away. This creates a comfortable, stable ride when tackling more technical trail sections (those that include some scrambling).

While I have not tested it climbing or mountaineering, the Volt 60 does have a narrow profile that I imagine could lend itself well to such endeavors.


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General Use

High quality, supportive and dense foam on the pre-curved shoulder straps is very comfortable as long as pack weight is under 60 pounds, which is a lot. The only time I've had it packed with higher weight (40 pounds) was on a business trip to the Northwest (48 pounds).

Loads of 35 pounds or less are so well-distributed with this pack. I only had minimal soreness after each of my two multi-day backpacking trips with this pack. Both times, the pack was 30-35 pounds, excluding a full 3 liter water bladder.

The ventilation channels in the back panel work okay given their simple design, due in part to the good mesh on the surface. But if you sweat a lot and are going to use this in warmer/humid climates, then you will have to loosen the shoulder straps and sternum strap to let your back cool and dry off. This is one concession made as a result of the lower costs of this pack compared to my Lowe Alpine packs that feature specific ventilation channels in their back panel design.

Capacity:

This will swallow a lot of gear for its size — more than advertised 60 liters. With its stretch back pocket and attachment points, you can stretch this overnight pack to a week-long pack in the spring and summer. With its extension collar, I can stuff about 8 liters of extra gear over the published 60 liter capacity.


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Add-ons (cord loop) and other daisy-chain attachment points

A standard top-panel access is augmented by an excellent, inverted U-shaped zipper on the mid-to lower panel, which has a removable shelf to create an isolated lower compartment for your sleeping bag (or other item of choice). It has easy to grab, four-season zipper pulls.

Accessing items in the lower section of the pack is much easier than my other packs of similar size that lack this feature. The mesh gear pouch can swallow a helmet, jacket and snowclaw shovel, and the items stay put no matter the activity.


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Rear stretch pocket

The side pockets are very deep and have a flexible design, allowing me to stuff things inside through their front openings while on the trail.


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Side pocket openings

Items dry quickly in that pouch because of the generous amounts of mesh. The top panel is cavernous. Dual compression straps and draw cord collars allow me to shrink this down to a small day pack.


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Compression strap

Organization & Accessibility:

There are external straps for a sleeping pad or bag, with adjustable attachment loops on the bottom for rigging another one. There is a zipper pocket with a keying on the underside of the top pouch, and there are great pockets on the waist belt. I will say that there is a learning curve for opening and closing the generously sized hip belt pockets with one hand. You must open or close in an arched motion.

I do like the Stow-n-Go feature, which after a short learning curve proved very useful, and not just for trekking poles.

I also use the daisy chains on the back (pictured above) to attach different items. 

Two minor organization gripes: The climbing tool loops are not on the outside edges of the pack, staying out of the way of the lower bag compartment, as compared to my Lowe Alpine packs (a great feature).

Also, this pack does not include lashings for the handles of the climbing tools when they’re stored in the tool-loops. But there are daisy chain loops for using separate accessory straps or cord to secure axes/tools. 


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Comparison of both packs. notice the loop location on the Osprey Volt (first picture), which blocks access to the bottom compartment, versus the Lowe Alpine Appalachian pack's loop location, leaving the lower compartment fully accessible. The Osprey's loop is larger, however, which is better suited to hold climbing tools/axes of varying head sizes. 

The separate, external sleeve for a hydration bladder is of excellent size, and has perfectly executed/adjustable lashing straps.
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Hydration harness

All of my dromedary bags are 3 liter and still fit well despite their height. All of the requisite drink tube routing loops and ports are included, and I found that the shoulder-strap loop of the Stow-on-the-Go system functioned very well as a holder for the bite valve, allowing me to place it right by my mouth for easy, on the go hydration.

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Bite Valve Stow

The side mesh pockets hold 1 liter Nalgenes and then some, with an easy front-access point that makes it easier to get to items without stopping the trip. But Nalgenes may slide out the front opening if inserted through them. Vertical placement of water bottles in the side pockets holds them securely. The compression straps function well and are adjustable enough to take tent pole bags and back-country tables in stride but hold them firm.

Features are listed below:

  • Top access to main compartment via a draw-cord secured top.
  • Hydration system compatible with external sleeve
  • Mesh gear pouch on front with compression strap
  • Adjustable, removable lid with interior and exterior body facing zip pocket and key holder
  • Lower sleeping bag compartment with fold-away shelf
  • Add-Ons attachment system for external mounting of a small daypack, Osprey or other brand.
  • Side mesh water bottle holsters with dual access system
  • Secure ice axe AND trekking pole (Stow-N-Go) attachment system -
  • Fit-On-The Fly hip-belt padding adjustment design
  • Torso-Adjust system fits to almost any adult male’s back
  • Attachment Loops on the detachable lid
  • Daisy chains on both sides of the pack
  • Red colored compression strap on top of main compartment
  • Exterior lashing straps for sleeping pad or tent body.
  • Dual Side compression straps can double as ski/snowshoe/crampon straps or carriers
  • Sternum strap with safety whistle
  • Large hip belt pockets
  • Weight: 3 lb. 11.4 oz. (verified - mftr listed at 3-09)

Ease of Use:

All buckles and straps have held up and operated exactly as expected, with no slippage of belt or torso adjustments either (secured by hook and loop systems). The zipper pulls are all glove-friendly, the cord-lock cinch on the top loader opening is “a cinch” to use (the best on the market that I’ve tried) and the strap design for tightening the hip-belt is super easy to use.

The only minor difficulty in adjustment is occasionally on the bottom silicon tube-covered bungee on the Stow-on-the-Go system. It can be tough to pull and put the poles with baskets into it, and taking them out can also be difficult. A couple of times I found myself taking off the pack to get the poles back out for use, which defeats the design’s intended purpose.

Construction & Durability

I have not had any wear problems with this pack to date. It is very well made for its price, with consistently straight stitching and alignment of materials. 

Made of 210 Denier Nylon rip-stop and 600D poly, the Volt seems well suited to the rigors of the trail. I’ve not had any wear spots yet, but a long term evaluation will tell the tale. I did through the pack around during some airplane travels, and found that this pack can fit in the standardized carry-on spacing (meaning someone won’t make you check your pack for a plan trip).

Conclusion:

What a great pack in the value-priced segment. Building this much quality and utility into a pack for less than $200 retail is a testament to Osprey’s design and engineering prowess. The Volt is a highly versatile pack, loaded with adjustments, and that can mean its use by more than one member of a family. The Volt is superbly comfortable under load, has some unique convenience features, and is well-suited to all but expedition and alpine mountaineering-style endeavors in the outdoors. This pack can even function for backcountry skiing and some light-duty alpine skiing/snowboarding adventures as well.

If you are looking for a value leader in a great all-around weekend or 4-5 day pack, the Osprey Volt should not be overlooked. 

TJ1984

great review!


9 months ago
G00SE MODERATOR

Great review! I've never seen so many pros and cons listed!


9 months ago
XterroBrando

Too many Pros/Cons? I wrote more based on the idea that many do not read through an entire review.


9 months ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

I like the pros and cons, Xterro. Thanks for testing and reviewing this pack.


9 months ago
XterroBrando

I do want to point out that some of the "cons" are concessions in design made to save weight on this pack. The only perfor


8 months ago
XterroBrando

...performance cons were the minor ventilation issue on the back panel, and the waterbottles coming out on occasion when stuff through the front holes of the side mesh pockets. I've mastered the stow on the go feature. Really a great pack.


8 months ago
soleful2001

Great review! Informative, easy to follow and very detailed. The only thing I have to add is that I don't understand how this pack is actually heavier than my old Osprey Aether 60 and has less features. I have had this pack on my short list for a while, though still on the fence between this one and the ULA Circuit. I will say that Osprey provided me some of the best customer service I have ever expereinced from any company. Thanks for the review!


8 months ago
Sean Harrison

I had this pack for a short time and exchanged it for an Aether 60. I found that when you loaded a full bladder into the bladder sleeve it protruded into your back and swelled the padding out. I think the sleeve should be larger so that the bladder can push into the pack vs the padding for the back. I did like the adjustable waist straps though. Great pack otherwise and great review.


8 months ago
XterroBrando

Soleful2001 - a good point. It is perplexing how the packs get heavier. New features? Even the Aether 60 is now 4lb 12 oz. I'd be curious to see what features have changed over the years in the Aether - a superb pack that I've tried on one hike but never owned. Perhaps it's the weight of the fabrics? I will say that the weight if the Vilt relative to its performance was negligible.


8 months ago
XterroBrando

soleful2001 I recommend you also take a look at the Golite Quest 65 pack if you're considering the Volt 60. It is listed as 1 oz lighter, though its likely the same. Feature-rich, and is less expensive thanks to direct-to-consumer pricing structure. I agree with your praise for Osprey - I have had fantastic service from Golite. Haven't had any experience with the Circuit.


8 months ago
XterroBrando

Sean, I didn't notice that hydration protrusion creating discomfort for me, but maybe it was the type of reservoir I used. What type did you put in there? I used a Ultimate Direction 2.95 L that has a center rib and baffle to keep things in shape. Osprey's own reservoirs have the same backbone type design to keep things from becoming cylindrical. My other older reservoirs turn into tubes of water, so I'll have to try them out and update the review. Thanks for that insight.


8 months ago
Sean Harrison

I was using a Source 3 L bladder. No spine or support so it was definitely leaning towards a cylindrical shape. The Aether has a larger pouch and the back is a bit stiffer so I haven't noticed any swelling so far. I wouldn't normally carry so much water in a bladder but that trip had no available water. Also, it didn't cause discomfort, it just caused the pack to roll back and forth ever so slightly from side to side when I walked. It was just a minor nuisance really.


8 months ago
Drake

Outstanding review, XterroBrando! I bought mine based on your assessment and it has been a great purchase. We all know how easy it is today to pay a lot money for a whiz-bang pack and just get a lot of gimmicks conjured up by some marketing department living in a cube farm. The Volt is real value for not a lot of green. Thanks for doing the review and thank you, Osprey, for having the good sense to build this pack.


5 months ago
XterroBrando

Hello Drake. I apologize for the delayed response. I'm so pleased to hear you're enjoying your Volt pack! It is a great value for sure :)


3 months ago
1

This pack provides superior comfort and will not break…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $179.99 USD

Summary

This pack provides superior comfort and will not break the bank if you are looking for a well made product from a reputable company. This pack is so comfortable, I would recommend it to my grandmother if she was going to embark on a multi-day backpacking trip.

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Can fit to many different backs

Cons

  • Zippers are somewhat hard to use
  • Lots of straps
  • Breathablilty

The pack fits me perfectly. Although I went into an Osprey authorized retailer, you could honestly fit this pack yourself and figure out all the bells and whistles. With Osprey's patented Fit-on-the-Fly hip belt and torso adjustment, a 12-year-old could fit this pack.

Like I said earlier, Osprey's Fit-on-the-Fly hip belt and torso adjusters allow for a seamless fit, no matter what shaped back and all straps supply adequate room to adjust and readjust all load-lifters, sternum straps, hip belt straps, and side straps. The ventilation on your back could be better, but I do tend to sweat a lot.

The advertised volume of 60L seems very accurate, although I haven't actually got around to testing to see how accurate that is. After my sleeping pad, bag, tent, clothes, fuel, miscellanious items, and food are packed in (for a 5-7 day trip), there is still a bit of room left at the top. You can even separate off the bottom part of the pack, say if you wanted to store just your food in the bottom or your entire cooking gear plus food to have things organized a bit better.

The gear is easily accessible although one problem I have with the pack is the zippers; they are hard to use!! Fortunately the only zippers on the pack that give me problems are the one on the lower compartment and on the hip belt. Overall, the pack is designed so an idiot could safely and effectively stow gear inside (although he might get so mad that he rips the zippers off).

The load is distributed PERFECTLY onto the hips; that is, if you have properly adjusted the pack. I could not ask for a better ride. It remains comfortable no matter if you have the pack completely loaded down or with equipment for a day hike. The load lifter make the pack seem like it's literally growing out of your back!

Because the pack uses mostly plastic clips and zippers, there's not really a lot that can go wrong (at least I haven't had any problems yet). Only problem I can see if the small 1/2'' clips used for attaching a sleeping pad to the pack could snap if put under too much stress, but that's with any plastic pieces.

Other than that, I have yet to see any problems with the pack since I bought it in June. The upcoming winter will give me a nice time to test some of the other features more extensively.

0

This pack holds what you need for a weekend. It could…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $129

Summary

This pack holds what you need for a weekend. It could use a few extra pockets. I would recommend it to an experienced backpacker who knows what he needs to pack for a weekend.

Pros

  • It fits well and has great support.
  • It has a big pocket for a sleeping bag.

Cons

  • Not enough pockets
  • If you have a large chest it tends to be tight.

It fit me well but a bit tight. Some of the straps are difficult to grab, but i managed. It is very comfortable and has good weight distribution. I would not recommend it for a woman or child.

I was able to pack it with enough gear for a four-day hike around the Lake George, N.Y. area. I had it packed with four days worth of food and a tent (Nemo Galaxi 2) for two people, extra shoes, and Primus stove.

I have only had it for a year and it has worn well.

0

This pack is an absolutely excellent option for the…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $180

Summary

This pack is an absolutely excellent option for the lightweight backpacker. In fact, of all the packs I tried (and I tried a lot in various stores before settling for this one), the Volt represents, in my opinion, the best compromise between minimal weight, carrying comfort, and features.

First, the weight. The Volt 60 is in the same weight class as lightweight framed packs such as the Atmos, Flash 62, or Gregory Savant, to name just a few. But whereas those packs struggle to carry 30 pounds (which is about my typical total pack weight for a weeklong trip), the Volt handles that kind of load like a champ. That's because, instead of cutting back on the suspension like most lightweight packs do, Osprey kept an excellent suspension and cut out weight elsewhere (like useless compression straps, extra compartments, extra zippers, etc.). So you end up with a fairly minimalist packbag, with all of the usefull features, and none of the heavy frills. Very nicely done!

The carrying comfort and adjustability are also best-in-class, in my opinion. I was initially skeptical of the adjustable-torso feature and was prepared to pay much more for a size-specific pack, but I was won over after trying it out. You can really dial in the fit on this pack, without any of the sway or unstability you typically get on adjustable-torso packs. The suspension is simply rock-solid! In fact, I don't think I've ever had a pack that fits me this well and carries this comfortably.

Finally, as I mentioned above, Osprey really thought about the features most lightweight backpackers need and want — and cut out all the extraneous stuff. So you still get really nice features like hipbelt pockets, large stretchy side pockets, a huge front shove-it pocket, and a sleeping-bag compartment. You also get two (removeable) sleeping-pad straps, an external water-bladder reservoir, two short strips of dasy chain, and ice-ax loops. What you don't get is all the extra webbing, fixed pockets, multiple access zippers, included rain covers, etc that drives most lightweight backpackers crazy, and that many of us end up cutting off anyway. You can really tell that the Volt was designed by actual backpackers, as opposed to designers sitting in an office somewhere.

That being said, this pack probably isn't for everyone. It's probably best for backpackers who have already pared their gear list down a bit and are willing to do with a few less features in exchange for light weight. But for those folks looking for a lightweight and comfortable multi-day or weeklong pack, the Volt really deserves a look.

0

For overnight or two-night backpacking trips it would…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $179

Summary

For overnight or two-night backpacking trips it would be hard to find a pack better than this. With easy to access compartments on sides of the pack, top of the pack, and at the hips you are never more than a zip away from what you need. Sturdy and rugged this pack is definitely one of the better ones I've been able to use.

Pros

  • Tons of space
  • Straps on comfortably
  • Easy access

Cons

  • A little on heavy side
  • Side compartments deep (water bottles hard to get out)

When looking for a backpack I began by looking mainly at pack size and accessibility to the compartments around the pack. For me the Volt 60 was the best fit.  After trying it on at the store I was surprised with the comfort that the hip belts and chest straps provided. I've tried some other packs before and the straps dug into my side, but the Volt has pads that help prevent that from happening.  

Due to most of my trips being one-nighters I wasn't concerned with pack weight too much. I wanted to keep my total pack weight under 20 lbs for 1-2 night hikes and have been able to do so fairly easily.

It's easy to get my gear into and out of, as long as I pack correctly, and keeps the gear close to my back so it doesn't mess with my center of gravity too much.

I've had it for about 10 months and have gone on about 8 overnight trips and 2 two night trips and haven't seen much if any wear yet. Overall I've been extremely happy with my purchase and even a little surprised at the comfort of the straps. Awesome Backpack!

0

Light base weight, fully adjustable, surprisingly…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $179.99

Summary

Light base weight, fully adjustable, surprisingly comfortable pack at a great price.

Pros

  • Adjustable torso and fit on the fly waist belt.

Cons

  • Lacks the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive packs

After searching for a new pack, I realized that my wife’s experience with Osprey packs would be my directional leader in my quest. Several of the Osprey packs get rave reviews, but one that flew under the review radar sparked my interest.

I was looking for a pack that would carry enough gear for up to 5 days of winter hiking. Knowing up front I would be carrying a good bit of gear weight I wanted something comfortable, adjustable, and with a low base weight. Now there are lighter packs out there but the Osprey Volt gave me the best of all three worlds combined into one. I opted for the 60 liter volt with the thought that I could easily add the Daylite pack, which would give me an extra 13 liters of storage, plus an extra day pack.

The pack starts off at 3 lbs 13 oz and is designed to carry approximately 45 lbs. I can say that I hope to never reach the 45 pounds, but in preliminary tests with 30 lbs gross weight I was very surprised at how comfortable the pack was. I feel the key reasons for the surprising comfort is the pack's adjustability with a wide torso adjustment and fit on the fly waist belt you can simply make this pack fit with a thin t-shirt all the way to a heavy layered up parka. 

While it may not have some of the bells and whistles the other packs have I find it to have just the right storage compartments for me and my gear.

The bottom line is I would recommend this pack to any of my friends, and as a matter of a fact we are ordering the women’s version for my wife next week.