Osprey Xena 85
A fantastic extended trip and mountaineering pack…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $340
A fantastic extended trip and mountaineering pack that can be customized to fit your body specifically! Plenty of space, pockets, and straps to accommodate all of your gear!
- Hip belt can be molded to fit your hips (REI has the molders at the store)
- Pockets on hip belts (great for tissue, chapstick, etc)
- Deep and stretchy pockets on the outside (won't take away space from inside of pack)
- Has bottom and side access zippers
- Not for an ultralighter (the pack itself is about 5 lbs.)
The fit of this pack can work for any body shape and size. Osprey designed the pack so that the straps, hip belt, and torso length can all be adjusted and switched out (for example, you can buy a medium pack, adjust the torso length, trade out the hip strap for a small, and so on).
The other great thing about Osprey is that the hip belt can be molded to fit your hips, specifically (example, REI has the molding machine at the store).
From the cool Cascades to the warm and toasty Sierra Nevadas, I have been able to use this pack without overheating, regardless of the weather!
Throughout my backpacking life, I started out with an old REI Traverse pack and thought up all the ways I would change it so that it would have pockets in all the right places and different straps, and so on. This Osprey pack seemed to read my mind, because every single pocket and strap I dreamed up for my old pack was on the Xena 85.
This backpack can fit an incredible amount of gear inside, and can be adjusted to spread your gear throughout the length of the pack, rather than all just falling to the bottom, if you have much less gear than the space offers.
To give you an idea of the capacity of the pack, I was able to fit an 11.5 liter bear vault into the pack sideways, and could still fit all the rest of my gear inside, too! There are side access zippers, and a bottom access pocket, as well, which is a separate cargo space for things like sleeping bags (this pocket can also be accessed by the main part of the pack, too—there is a removable flap that separates the bottom cargo from the rest of the pack).
There are three stretchy mesh-like pockets on the outside (one on the front, and one on either side) and they are able to stretch away from the pack, rather than pushing into the inside space when holding a Nalgene or other such things. I was slightly worried about the material of these stretchy mesh pockets, at first, but they have not been handled in any delicate fashion, and they are still as good as new!
I am more than impressed with this product, and know that it will be my go-to pack for all of my long trips to come!