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Osprey Ariel 55

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Osprey Ariel 55 weekend pack (50-69l)

Great pack, super comfortable, rugged.


  • Carries a lot. Plenty of pockets for stuff outside the bag.
  • Excellent design of the women's shoulder harness.
  • Rugged fabric and clips, durable product overall.


  • Carries so much you may bring more than you really need.
  • Seriously, no cons.

I have used this pack since 2003 on the Long Trail for overnight hikes of 2-4 days, carrying 25-32 lbs. It will carry more but I try to limit the weight.

Fit: This pack fits great. It is adjustable so many ways that despite layering on and off as I go. I can still feel comfortable with a pull or release on various straps. The women's shoulder harness is very well padded, but not bulky. Very comfortable, great range of motion for my arms with the pack on.

Comfort: My back gets enough air flow from the venting mesh back panel. Hip belts are comfy and when I tighten the belt, most of the weight goes onto my hips, which means the carry is much more comfortable on the shoulders. Sternum straps adjust up and down so good option for finding the right comfortable fit.

Capacity: This thing will hold a LOT more than I need to take with me. It could easily carry another 10 lbs if I am not careful. It I were doing the AT or out for a 7-day hike, this would allow for plenty of space for food. As it is, I have plenty of room for tent, extra clothing, rain gear, cooking kit, sleeping bag and pad, and food in there and still some room left over.

Organization and Accessibility: I have the older version of the Ariel 55, so no zipper to get in. I have to unpack the whole bag to get something at the bottom, but by then I am in camp anyway, so no big deal.

The side pocket hold fuel and water and the front pocket expands to hold water filter, trail book/maps, camera, snack, hat, etc. The top lid compartment hold my raingear and pack cover, so readily accessible. I find the pack easy to organize and pack/unpack.

Ride: If this pack is loaded with heavy toward the bottom and lighter up top, I find it rides very nicely. Sits close to the back, so I don't feel pulled backwards on tricky rock climbs. The hip fit is excellent and carried the weight so that the shoulders and back are not overburdened.

Compression: I have used this pack for a single lightweight overnight and also for 4 days out with a lot more weight on board. THe internal and side compression straps keep all gear under control and snug.

Ease of Use: Very comfortable carry, very easy to deal with at rest stops and in camp. I have used this pack for the past 10 years in varied weather and difficulties of trail and all good experiences.

Construction and Durability: Tough fabric, no holes or wear marks anywhere on the pack. All clips and straps intact. One side mesh pocket has stretched out from my Nalgene bottle being carried there, but no other mesh has suffered any problems. I do not baby this pack. It has fallen down rough sharp rocks and landed hard and did not hurt the pack. Luckily I was not in it at the time....

Conditions: I have section hiked all of the Long Trail in sun, rain, hail, mud, etc. over the past 10 years. I take the pack on vacation with me as luggage when I go car or boat camping all over New England.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $175 in 2003

I love this pack. I got a deal on steep and cheap, and have logged 49 miles backpacking with it so far.

The women's fit and custom moldable hipbelt make it very comfortable. The design of this pack takes the weight off of your shoulders and back, and makes heavier loads very doable.

I would definitely recommend!

Price Paid: $120

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The Ariel 55 replaced the Osprey Ariel AG 55.


small medium large
Price MSRP: $219.00
Current Retail: $299.95-$300.00
Historic Range: $97.73-$300.00
Reviewers Paid: $120.00-$175.00
Weight 4 lb 10 oz / 2.10 kg 4 lb 14 oz / 2.21 kg 5 lb 1 oz / 2.30 kg
Capacity 3200 cu in / 52 L 3400 cu in / 55 L 3600 cu in / 58 L
Product Details from Osprey »

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