Internal frame backpacks now have model years, just like cars - there are incremental changes each year, and a makeover every 3-5 years. The popular Osprey Aether 60 was last updated in 2003. It gained some features and weight, to the chagrin of some backpackers who relished its light weight and simplicity. For a while the previous model was sought after because it was a few ounces lighter. The Aether 60 is updated again for 2006, and again it advances in features and weight. This review details how much weight the 2006 Aether 60 gains and whether the new features are worth it.
Will Rietveld Ph.D, Senior Editor for Gear and Apparel, joined the BPL staff in April 2004. In his former career, Will was a research scientist, project manager, and R&D program administrator. Now retired, he lives in southern Colorado where he takes up a new career of backpacking year-round in the mountains and canyon country of the Southwest. During the summer months Will and his wife Janet are volunteer wilderness rangers in the Weminuche Wilderness. He has been a lightweight backpacker for 52 years and an ultralight backpacker for 13 years.
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