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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good backpacking choice with a few small issues,
I just finishing hiking ~230 miles with this pack, mostly along the John Muir trail in California. My pack weighed between 35 and 50 pounds, and it felt great the whole trip and held up admirably. There is no appreciable wear anywhere on the pack, despite the fact that I've treated it about as poorly as you can imagine.
I do have a few complaints about the pack (hence the 4/5 review). They're minor, but extremely frustrating issues.
* There are only 4 real compartments (top, main, bottom, outside). This meant that I basically stuffed all of my miscellaneous items into the top compartment, making it difficult to find any one particular thing. Other packs have little zipped side-pockets scattered around, and they would have been appreciated.
* The bottom compartment has a extremely obnoxious zipper. It's hard to explain why it's obnoxious. It works just fine, but even when empty it's frustratingly difficult to open and close. Once I stuffed it with a sleeping bag and some clothes it became a real struggle to get the thing shut again.
* The water bottle pockets on the side are a little small. When the main compartment is fully packed, it takes up enough space that it becomes really tough to get bottles in and out of the side pockets. With a bear canister in the main pocket, it was almost impossible to get 1-liter Nalgene bottles in there. If the pockets were a little larger, they would be much more pleasant.
On the other hand, it has a fair number of things going for it.
* It is well constructed. As I mentioned, I was out on the trail for nearly 26 days with this pack. I threw it around and sat on it many times. It scraped against rocks, trees, and gravel. Despite this abuse, it shows no real damage and I have complete faith that it will last a long, long time. Osprey also has an extremely good warranty.
* The top compartment detaches and can be worn as a small daypack (it attaches around your hips). This is an extremely convenient feature to have, and I used it multiple times. Occasionally I would make camp early and detach the top for a few hours while I scrambled up a nearby rock slope or went to explore a waterfall. I also had a couple chances to drop my main pack but still wanted to carry some water and food (for instance, at Halfdome and Mount Whitney).
* It carries weight like a champion. The straps are nicely padded, there are a ton of adjustments and compression straps around to adjust how the weight is distributed, and the frame keeps the whole thing secure and easy to carry. I should mention that the hip belt can be molded to fit better, but I did not take advantage of this feature. Nonetheless, it was very comfortable. Comfort is the single most important thing in a backpack, especially one you're going to be loading up with a bunch of weight and carrying around all day, and it's here that the Aether really shines.
Long story short, it's a great pack with a few things that will irk you over time. I would not hesitate for a second to recommend it to anyone looking for a mid- to long-term hiking pack (over 4 days or so). As for sizing, I'm roughly 6 feet tall and 160 pounds and the large pack fit well. I have a 30" waist and the large hip belt just barely fit. I would have definitely been more comfortable with a medium hip belt (they are exchangeable, so you could get a large pack with a medium hip belt).
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best out there,
No time for total writeup - hiked 60 miles this summer with this pack (Mount Rainier and Eagle Cap wilderness) and it was excellent in almost every way. I still feel it's probably the best balance of comfort, build, durability out there but I will take away 1 star due to limited outter pockets. I wish there were a couple outside pockets for things - the top of the pack works in most cases but it's a larger disorganized mass of maps, 1st aid, pocket knife, chap stick, sunscreen and many other small things. Not always easy to find and easy for something to fall out. So that's my only wish.... highly recommended - took off the top satchel and used to carry photo filters for sunrise/sunset photography.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 trips with the Aether,
I bought the Aether (large) in the spring of 2011 and did three trips with it; the Chilkoot Trail and West Coast Trail x 2. Lots of room for the 5, 6 and 7 day trips. Pack weights: between 36 and 45 lbs wasn't a problem. I bought it with a large hipbelt. Waist is 34" and the large belt was cinched in to the max (should have got the medium). I wasn't kind to the Aether and threw it around quite abit. Despite the abuse the pack stood up well. Never a problem with straps loosening off, good attachment points for the hiking poles etc. My hiking partner had a very expensive Arcteryx pack. He didn't have half the handy attachment points that the Aether does. I would like to have seen a couple of small pockets incorporated into the hip belt...
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great pack for the money, Flexible for all conditions,
I have an older (2007) Aether 70 pack, and they've upgraded it since, so keep that in mind.
When I buy a piece of gear, I want it to work in every environment I decide to take it to, whether snow and ice, or desert hot & cold.
The Aether 70 was my choice after looking around for a good couple of months.
It isn't an ultralight pack, weighing in at several pounds. Nor does it have the high capacity volume a true expeditionary pack would need.
However, a good mix of equipment and proper packing means that I can take my Aether 70 where I want to go, for as long as my own endurance holds out. The first major trip I took mine on was a 7 day trek through the Emigrant Wilderness in the Sierra Nevadas.
All total, pack weighed in about 55 pounds. This is about the maximum I should be carrying, but going alone, I didn't have a lot of choice. The pack took the weight load just fine. The molded hip belt was comfortable and tight. The weight load was centered and the pack frame "flexed" with me as I twisted and turned, keeping the load where it should be, and not dragging me down.
In 5 years, I've had to replace the hip belt clip (a generic replacement part fit just fine) and that only because I shut the car door on it by accident. No rips, no tears, it has held up to desert and mountains alike.
The spot for a hydration bladder I've never used, but it is a nice selling point.
The side stretch pockets are perfect for a couple of water bottles.
The front stretch pocket is exactly where to stash that poncho or super-light raincoat and pants for bad weather surprises. Enough room for those and the snacks you'll need for the trail. Try not to cover it up by cinching your tent down over it.
Things I would have liked:
1. some way to attach my camera bag to the hip belt. Clipping my camera to the chest strap was uncomfortable and inconvenient. I ended up putting 2 D-rings through the top pocket and rigging my DSLR's carrying strap through those to rest about shoulder level.
2.The side "J" zipper that now comes standard. Having to drag the bear canister out through the top every time I wanted something else below it got very tiresome. The new "J" zipper means no problem!
3. Some kind of attachment system for snowshoes and/or crampons. I rigged the side straps to carry my snowshoes, along with a bunji cord. Didn't do too badly, but it was awkward.
Ultralight enthusiasts won't like this pack because it's too heavy. Major expeditions won't work due to volume constraints.
For those of us doing hiking trips of up to 2 weeks, you can't go wrong here. Pick the rest of your gear with as much care as you do your backpack, and neither one will let you down.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable carry pack,
I have bought this for an upcoming 7 day hiking trip to Alaska, there is plenty of room for all of my kit plus a little for some essential items (espresso pot and grounds). I have broken it in on my training hikes through the local mountain trails. Comfort wise, having only ever carried a day pack before I was concerned about the extra weight and the loading on the back and shoulders, this isn't a problem at all, the waist strap is as comfortable as anything and carries the majority of the load without digging in, chaffing or slipping.
The narrow width is good for getting between crevasses and I never felt over burdened or bulky, I took a medium size which fits well on my 6 foot frame with a 33 inch waist. I read a lot about the build quality in on line reviews and have to agree that the straps and zips seem to be able to with stand a fair bit of stress. I put my own hydration bladder into the back, it's not an Osprey but it fits well and works as well as it does in my other packs.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing,
This product is amazing. I am one to pack more than he needs, and this is perfect for me for the weekend. My girlfriend doesn't have a pack bigger than a school backpack. We went on a one night backpacking trip. Short 3 mile hike, but I comfortably carried the tent, 2 sleeping bags, a mattress pad, food in a bear container, clothes, and backpacking stove. All she carried was her clothes and her sleeping pad.
Overall, very, very comfy. Unfortunately, I got a large when I ordered a medium, but it's not a big deal 'cause at its tightest, the large fits me perfectly. I didn't contact the seller about it 'cause it wasn't that big of a deal to me. Also, my snowboard fits perfectly in the external compression straps, which is a huge reason I bought the bag. I'm very excited to take it out backcountry riding.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Hiking/camping gear I bought,
Over a year ago when I decided to randomly take a multi-day trip along the North Country trail... this was the only smart choice I made. Buying an Osprey bag. I bought a bigger bag, not on amazon but at a store that fitted me for it. Also a point of intertest if you buy it off of amazon go to a local shop and have them adjust it for you and find a place to heat the hip belt to mold it your hips. I have abused this bag over the last year of owning it... and it looks like new not even a snag mark! Amazing constructed it's fairly water-proof having had it a couple downpours without any leakage. And the easy access to the sides from the mutliple opennings makes it easier to find gear and organize it. I am far from an expert hiker and as I said it was one smart thing I did when planning for a hike my first time. It can be compacted down when half loaded, if you really wanted to the top part can be taken off although I've never had an occasion to do so. I've had in the rain, had it in the snow, had it on 4 mile hike on the dunes in silver lake michigan... only problem I have with this bag is that I overpack and this bag is designed for long distance hikes not the 2-3 day hikes I have done with it. So thats a personal problem. I do agree with another reviewer though that the bottum zipper is well odd to operate... it works fine just it a really heavy duty zipper that takes umph to work which is just annouying.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great pack,
I really do love how this pack is constructed. It's very sturdy, and like my Osprey day pack, the stitching is very well done. This pack will do great for a 5 day hike. Over that, you may need more space for food, or water if there are no sources where you are hiking.
It accommodates a sleeping bag and pad well, and there are plenty of zippers. The only thing lacking on this pack is pockets. There are no pockets on any straps, which I find odd. Even my day pack has 3 on the straps alone.
It fits well, and is adjustable in numerous ways to make it comfortable to each person.
The downside of so few pockets is made up in how light and durable the pack is. So pick your tradeoffs. I can live without so many pockets.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable and quality,
I took this backpack with me on a 4 day backpacking trip in Colorado. I have a bad upper back, and this pack was actually pretty comfortable. The back panel has very comfortable mesh and foam, which helped a lot to keep my back cool. This pack is "Hydration compatible", and I was able to use my Camelbak reservoir. The pocket for the water reservoir is inside the pack on the other side of the back panel, so the cold water also helped to keep my back cool. There was more than enough room for everything I needed (I purchased the large). The backpack didn't move around much and I never felt like it was sliding around or slipping down my back like a couple others that I have used. It could have a couple more pockets, but there are plenty of places to strap down whatever you might need.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
I love this pack, very comfortable, highly adjustable, can hold everything you need to carry, but isn't so big that you want to pack everything you own for those "just in case" scenarios. Straps are easy to adjust, nice big buckles, many different configurations for setting things up.
The outside mesh pocket will swallow up anything you put in it, its like Mary Poppins purse, it will hold anything. Great for those odd shaped items, clothes you need to air out, that wet rainfly, anything.
All of this and it comes with the excellent osprey warranty, it is hard to go wrong. I will say, I don't adore the side mesh pockets for water bottles or whatever you put there, very oddly shaped, holes in weird places, but it isn't a big deal.
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