Osprey Escapist 30
Letting me escape successfully for a little over a year now. No major faults and great features.
- Adjustable shoulder harness
- Rain cover included
- Helmet holder
- Designated shoe compartment
- Cell phone pocket
Osprey is the leader in packs for a reason: they make a damn good fitting pack, they've got a sick warranty and they listen to consumers.
I bought this pack by "accident" which is kind of funny because I think I would prefer it to my original choice; which was an Osprey Talon 22. I filled out a pro form to have the Talon shipped to me, but because they were sold out they asked if they could send me the Escapist which would be the next closest thing. I looked it up and thought, "well, okay".
I was overcome by a girly characteristic in that I wanted the Talon because it was a) functional and b) came in "cute colors" *and just for the record, I hate that that came into play, and it rarely is a factor in my gear choices.* I opened it up and I hated it. I hated it because it was a replacement for what I wanted. But two days later, I absolutely grew to love it.
Being a very small lady (5'2" and 120 lbs with a 16" torso) I was surprised that the pack actually fit me. The pack fits great because Osprey is still creating their backpacks in torso sizes with some really great adjustment features. My pack is a S/M (because they hadn't made an Escapist women's version at this point) and so I just ripped the velcro shoulder harness and adjusted it to fit my small frame. So even though they are sized, there is still a significant amount of adjustment to it.
Once I fit it to my torso, everything felt great. The shoulder straps are fairly contoured and perforated foam, so even a lady would find it comfortable and breathable. The sternum strap is completely adjustable as well as it is on a sliding track unlike some that you have to move it from preset lash points. The hip belt is great because it has pockets. God, I love a hip belt with pockets. And yet, it is still a very nice flexi and breathable belt.
There is no solid frame in the pack, but it there is an thin EVA foam in the back to give it some structure. The back has some vaulted foam and some mesh to make some air channels. When I wear it, I normally always sweat on my back but it definitely a lot better than a lot of other day packs I've tested out (Dakine, TNF, Lowe Alpine).
I mentioned it had some great features - yes, I stand by that. But some of these features need either tweaking or rebranding.
The features that I love: the external pocket for hydration. I love that I don't have to put my reservoir into the main compartment of my pack so condensation or leaks don't affect my stuff. If you put an Osprey Hydraulics reservoir in that compartment it would be even better. Trying to shove my Camelbak reservoir in there is tough at times because it's floppy, but the compartment is big enough for me to put my hands in and pull it down.
I love the extra gadgets pocket at the top. It's where I put my odds and ends like my sunnies, my wallet, i.e. anything small that I might need to find quickly. It's also got an organizer pocket to stash my cards, pens, keys and other junk and a nice mesh pocket on the outside for stuffing a rainshell (my Arc'teryx Beta AR fits in the front mesh perfectly).
I also LOVE the helmet lock. I think that is what I use the most as I am an avid cyclist and commute daily to work and running errands on my bike. Going in and out of shops is great when I can just toss my helmet on my pack.
Features I am just all right with: the cell phone pocket; which they have altered on all packs for Spring14. I have an Android phone and my pocket won't close completely with my phone in there. It is pretty much just for iPhones. They have changed all the cell pockets on their packs to a stretchy mesh so that you can fit a variety. And overall, that's pretty minor.
Now....this "designated shoe pocket" I think is hilarious. Although a great concept (a small 30L bag having a 2nd entry) they dub this as a shoe compartment. This is a day hiking/every day bag. I use it a lot for commuting to and from work as well as my go-to hiking bag. However - I am a women's size 9-9.5. That's a decently big foot. I can jam my sneaks into this pocket, but if you are a dude with size 10 feet; best of luck to you getting that in there. Luckily, that compartment has a zip separation and you can just unzip it if you don't want to use it. I do find it handy to pack my lunch in so that it is separate from all of my extra clothing.
The great thing with Osprey is that they are really big on "pack your stuff inside the bag, that's the whole point you're carrying one." So its a 30L pack and it will hold internally about 30L worth of things with very few options to clip anything to the outside (fine by me). Here's what I'll pack most of the time:
Wallet, Keys, Cell, Knife, Chapstick, Sunscreen, Extra Socks, Gym shorts, T shirt, Fleece, Sunglasses, Sneakers, Waterbottle or two, Rainshell, ENO Double Nest Hammock & Straps, A book, pens, Lunch & headlamp. That is what is in my pack right at this moment.
Stuffing this pack to the max still feels great because of it's adjustability. even at max cap, I can carry it for a 7 hour day hike and I get no chaffing and I don't get fidgety like I do with other packs.
I've used this DAILY as my regular backpack communting and on many a day hike for a whole year. Its been though a decent amount of rough-age. My only regret is that is discontinued that others won't have access to it. But the great thing is that Osprey makes great packs and continues to improve their already great backs.
If you happen to find this on a shelf with a red tag or in a sale bin...Snatch that puppy up. You won't be sorry.
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: Don't remember..$80?
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Historic Range: $84.47-$129.95