Osprey Xenith Pro
I bought this pack back in the fall of 99. I've used…
Price Paid: $450
I bought this pack back in the fall of 99. I've used many packs over the years and this one is still my favorite. For a pack this size it's very comfortable and like a fine wine it seems to get better with age. A worthwhile investment if you can still find one of these. This was one of the last great ones made in Colorado before the company switched over.
I purchased this pack in the spring of '97. It's a…
Number of Pockets: see text
Max. Load Carried: 58 lbs. (approx)
Height of Owner: 6'0"
Price Paid: $429
I purchased this pack in the spring of '97. It's a top loader with the typical floating fanny pack/top pocket and has side zips on the main packbag. It caught my eye in the local backpacking store and I made the mistake (for my wallet) of trying it on. Wow! I had never put on a large pack that seemed to carry the load so close to my back with such comfort. Realizing that progress had indeed been made in the decade or so since I bought my last pack (Gregory Cassin) I tried on similar capacity packs from several other manufacturers - Dana, The North Face, Lowe, and Gregory. The Osprey won hands down. Why? Comfort, pure and simple.
It is now nearly two years later and I still love the Xenith Pro. Since pack comfort is such a personal thing, I won't go into any detail about how it carries, except to say that the pack works extremely well for me. If you are thinking of buying one, take the gear you use and load it up in the store. Don't settle for sand bags! Make sure the stated capacity is enough for you under real packing conditions and make sure the pack feels good with real loads.
Even though this pack has a stated 7500 cubic inch capacity, I think the volume may be somewhat less. Osprey packs tend to run small in the opinion of some print reviewers and I'm inclined to agree. I wound up buying the Osprey summit pack to use with the Xenith Pro, as it seems to have more capacity than the standard Vector Two pocket, and I found myself needing the extra room (Note: I wind up carrying more than the average user, as I inevitably add more gear to my pack in order to keep the weight down on my wife's pack when we hike).
I do have one gripe about the Osprey - the zipper pulls. They are cords with plastic tabs on the end of the pull. I find myself having to grab them near the head of the zipper slider to use them in a loaded pack. I would much prefer zipper pulls like Dana or Vortex uses. I even prefer the zipper pulls on the old Gregory I had (simple rawhide).
Other than the above minor complaint, I have found the Xenith Pro to be a great pack -- well sewn and very durable.
If you are looking for a large capacity backpack, check this one out.