Osprey Xenon 85
After trying on several packs and having owned a couple…
Design: Front Loading Internal
Size: 85 L
Number of Pockets: 2 Exterior, 2 Stash, 2 lid compartments
Max. Load Carried: 75 lbs
Height of Owner: 67 inches
Price Paid: $285
After trying on several packs and having owned a couple of different expedition packs, I bought the Xenon 85L. I rate it at 4.5 stars simply because it does not have hipbelt pockets. Being able to reach a zip-able pocket while in harness, roped up and simul climbing is key. The outer stretch pocket holds a Nalgene bottle within reach, so the compromise is acceptable.
The pack is supremely comfortable, even when worn above a climbing harness. The shoulder straps were comfortable enough to allow me to haul 65 lbs in the pack, while pulling a sled behind me. The heat-molded belt is super sweet, and fits like a dream.
This pack lived on my back in the Alaska Range for two weeks, and never let me down. It will be climbing with me on the Emmons Route on Mt. Rainier in July, and I am fully confident that it will prove its value again and again.
One of the coolest features is Osprey's add-on option: exterior crampon pocket snaps right onto the outside of the pack. Saves room on the interior and makes the 5100 cu even bigger. Well worth the money if you are alpine climbing. This pack can be compressed down for use as a summit pack as well- multiple exterior straps tighten small loads well.