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Osprey Silhouette

The Silhouette has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best expedition packs for 2022.


Price Historic Range: $150.00
Reviewers Paid: $259.00-$379.00


7 reviews
5-star:   6
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

I bought this pack back in 1994... today is 2007 and unless someone steals it or it bursts into flame I will probably have this pack forever. I work for an outdoor outfitter and see all the new packs as they come out and I always tell people about my Osprey pack with so many straps its looks like it has dreds or something. However it has held up wonderfully and I will probably never have to buy another pack.

Size: 5400
Max. Load Carried: 50lbs
Height of Owner: 6'1
Price Paid: don't remember

This is a great pack. I've carried extremely heavy loads and it remains sturdy. It's held up very well over the years. I'll never own anything but an Osprey pack. Hopefully, I'll never need to replace this one. Why? The only additions I've made are a detachable pocket. The vector system allows excellent customization.

Design: top loading internal
Size: 5400
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 75 lbs
Height of Owner: 6 feet
Price Paid: $325

I took this pack on a 30-day NOLS course and it performed flawlessly. I originally only bought one side pocket (the store clerk said it was plenty)...but I regret not having two. I took the pack on a winter ascent of Mt. Whitney in Dec., and had a little trouble fitting all the gear and cold weather clothing I needed. I had a little trouble fitting my synthetic bag in the sleeping bag compartment. All in all, a great pack in terms of construction, durability and comfort. I wouldn't take it on an expedition, but it's great for a week in the field.

Design: Internal
Size: 6,000
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 65 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'1
Price Paid: around $300

Version reviewed: 1994

I worked for the Forest Service and Park Service for several years as a wilderness ranger and fire lookout (GS-4 to 7) and have carried and owned MANY packs (Kelty, Gregory, Dana, North Face). My Silhouette is a superb long-haul heavy duty load carrier. Personally, I think the '94 is the pinnacle for this pack's design, and I special-ordered a '94 model even though I bought the pack in 1995. (In 1995, Osprey changed the delrin rod to the outside of the pack, which I'm sure makes it a bit better load carrier, but it's more rigid, and because the pack doesn't flex as much, I think the post-1994 packs aren't as comfortable.) This is also pre-vector, which is fine with me, since I've got every pocket option under the sun (snow shovel, side pocket, double size front pocket, etc.).

This pack also rides like an external, which I like. And the shoulder straps are very soft and comfortable. This pack should be a bargain on the used market. I OWNED A DANA TERRAPLANE AND (GLADLY) SOLD IT TO BUY THE SILHOUETTE AND HAVE NEVER LOOKED BACK!

Design: internal
Size: big
Number of Pockets: Many, optional
Max. Load Carried: 50 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 9"
Price Paid: Not sure

I bought this pack mail order (against the advice of review columnists) and when I took it out of the box I couldn't believe the number of straps this thing had. However after loading it up it became apparent why this pack has got the reputation of being a superb load controller. It does take a while to adjust all the fittings and things (I also got a vector mega) but if you are a varied load carrier then you'll love this pack. There's so many mounting points you could hang all your worldly possessions on this pack. (next up is the Vector snowboard attachment)

To sum up: cannot be beaten for functionality, comfortable, a bit fidgety to load if you're in a hurry. One for the technophiles.

Design: silhouette
Size: 5400
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 60 lb
Height of Owner: 6' 2"
Price Paid: $259

I borrowed this pack and a Dana Alpine and compared them over a weekend. I used 30 lb loads and went out for two miles at a time. Even though I was biased by the Dana reviews (undoubtedly well earned), I finally settled on the Osprey simply due to comfort.

Build quality is comparable. I used the Osprey in Aug '97 on a four day trip in Rocky Mtn National Park and it was superb. I am thrilled with the Vector system, which is similar to Dana's beaver tail but with several detachable options. For this trip I used the Vector Summit, a detachable 1100 cu in summit pack.

It was perfect for the gear I needed to take when we summitted Long's Peak. I also used the detachable fanny pack on the summit trek, for my rain gear. Osprey is made here in Colorado and is very well known and highly regarded. While its reputation doesn't seem to extend east of the Mississippi, perhaps that is changing. If my experience is any indication, they are coming on strong with a great pack and the added appeal of the Vector system. (While I was in the store, a Dana Alpine owner was figuring out how to attach a Summit to his pack!) So, if you are skeptical, as I was, that Dana has a monopoly at the high-end of the pack market, check out Osprey. I love this pack!

Design: Internal frame
Size: 5600
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 45 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'
Price Paid: $349

The best pack I have ever had the priviledge of wearing. The Vector compression panel is outstanding, I once had to carry my friend's pack off a mountain. I just hooked it to the Vector and went. The combined weight was 117 lbs but I had no problems.

Design: Internal Frame
Size: 5400
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 65 lbs
Height of Owner: 6 Feet
Price Paid: $379

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