Osprey Exos Backpack Review
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Jan 22, 2009 at 4:08 pm #1472123Ethan A.BPL Member
@mountainwalkerLocale: SF Bay Area & New England
Can the 58 be cinched down well enough to control a smaller volume load well?Jan 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm #1474147Anthony WestonBPL Member
@anthonywestonLocale: Southern CA
Everyone said the Exos 58 was gigantic buy the 46, so I went even smaller and bought the Exos 34.
I own an Atmos 50 and the Exos 34 holds about the same amount of gear. I was able to fit the Bear Vault BV500 Bear canister inside the pack with 3 liters of water in the hydration sleeve but I had to shove the Platypus hydration water pack to the side but the pack didn't feel lopsided on my back.
I loaded pack with 35 lbs (stuff I would never take like 5 lbs of rice) and walked around the block.
The pack is designed to carry no more than 25 lbs but with all this room, I wanted to see if I could use the pack on a longer trek.
The pack is more fragile than I anticipated. I compared it side by side with the Atmos 50. The bag itself seems durable enough but with a big load running down the side of a hill, I could see the hip belt or shoulder straps developing a problem. Also netting on the airspeed frame although comfortable collapses and my lower back is against the pack something the Atmos doesn't do. The shoulder staps have just netting over foam which might be great in the heat but might snag going under logs and through brush.
The pack weighed 35 oz (large Exos 34) which is lb or so lighter than the Atmos 50. Because of my back, I can't carry a frameless pack. I'll try to post some photo's later, with a 12 lb base this pack might work for me on weekend trips as long as I'm disciplined and keep it less than full.Feb 9, 2009 at 8:08 am #1476441ben leaceBPL Member
I appreciate the review and was wondering how these osprey packs compare to the ULA Circuit, in terms of space and firmness. The Circuit was just redesigned with a stiffer pad. An Aluminum stay can be added too.
I like the firm feeling of the Osprey Atmos 65. To me the extra weight has been worthwhile because of how well the load transfers to the hip belt and how stable the pack feels on my back. I am looking for a smaller pack that weighs closer to 2 lbs., but that still feels firm on my back and transfers weight well to the hip belt.
Pack weight will typically be in the 25-35 lb. range with food and water. Not ultralight, but getting better – I carry the tent, water filter and the cooking gear for two.Feb 9, 2009 at 11:25 am #1476483Darryl RommMember
@lyrradLocale: Greater London
This might be of interest to some
Here is the forum thread which is worth a read.Feb 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm #1477124Steve ParrBPL Member
@srparrLocale: SE Michigan
Osprey says the Exos pack lid is removable … can anyone tell me what the lid weighs by itself? Preferably for a medium Exos 46, but either the 46 or 58 will give us an idea of how much weight can be easily removed.
I'm looking at the Exos and comparing it to the ULA Ohm. I like the ULA workmanship, and a medium Ohm with hydration sleeve & both hip pockets is spec'd at just shy of 25 oz. The Exos 46, with lid, comes in just over 35 oz (BPL tested weight).
The majority of this 10 oz difference seems to be the inclusion of the pack lid. I'd really like to know how much it weighs so I can compare the two packs.
UPDATE: I just finished reading through nearly 400 posts at the forum mentioned above. Apparently Osprey measures the capacity for the main bag only … so the Exos 34 (2100 cu in) is perhaps a better comparison for the Ohm (which also has 2100 in the main bag).
The Exos 34 is spec'd to be 28 oz (these values come from the posted Exos owner manual … the numbers vary between that and the Osprey webpages). But the max carry load is not as high as the Ohm & Exos 46.Feb 13, 2009 at 8:02 am #1477581Steve ParrBPL Member
@srparrLocale: SE Michigan
I just heard back from Osprey customer support, and thought others might be interested in the weight of the lid.
I also asked them about the correct weight of the Exos 46, and was told that the most accurate and up-to-date info is on the website … which I take to mean that the production model came out a few ounces heavier than the prototype (documented in a downloadable Exos manual).
This means that the medium Exos 46 is 37 oz (and can go down to 33 oz with lid removed)
Since the medium Ohm is 25 oz (with hip pockets & hydration sleeve), I now need to decide if the ventilation frame is worth carrying an extra half a pound of pack weight.Feb 14, 2009 at 11:18 am #1477825Raymond EstrellaMember
@rayestrellaLocale: Northern Minnesota
Nice review Will,
As you know from the other site I have been a huge (and vocal) supporter of the Talon series. I got an Exos 58 last month and have already come to love it.
I could not use my Talon 44 on two trips in Yosemite last year because I could not fit a bear canister along with my normal loads. (I am not UL, just light.) The Exos is going to work great.
At first I thought I would miss being able to put my Platy Hoser behind the backpanel but after seeing how cool my back stayed with the Modified AirSpeed suspension I can live with it being inside the pack.Feb 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm #1477833
Still waiting to get an exos 58.
The exos 46 has been available in Europe for a while, but couldnt find a 58 yet.
Atmos and Stratos were the only backpacks i tried that werent painful with my back, so cant wait to ge a lighter one.
Contrary to most i was never able to use teh space behind the mesh to store a platy, i cannot bear the pressure it adds on my spine.
So a smaller gap between the mesh is all benefit for me , i dont use it, the load will be closer to my back, and the bag should be easier to fill.Mar 4, 2009 at 5:07 pm #1482797Lex RogersonMember
The Gear Issue of Backpacker Magazine, while overall quite positive about this pack, says the shoulder straps need frequent tightening. Can anyone who has used the pack either confirm or rebut this notion?Apr 5, 2009 at 11:38 am #1491448Richard SullivanBPL Member
@richard-sLocale: Supernatural BC
According to Osprey, the self-loosening strap problem was resolved for production. They have also told me that the volume spec is for the main bag only.
Just weighed my Exos 58 Size L and it is 2 lb 9.9 oz, right on spec. The top pocket can be removed to save 4.4 oz.Apr 6, 2009 at 1:14 pm #1491735
Also note that the Exos 58 in a size large is actually a 61 litre pack. I tested one of these last Saturday with a full 35lb load to see if it really could a) hold that much and b) carry it comfortably. The answer to both questions was a big YES. But if it were my pack, I would be chopping off a lot of the excess straps and doodads on it, not to mention replacing the mesh pockets with something less prone to snagging.Apr 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm #1491757. .BPL Member
@biointegraLocale: Puget Sound
I just picked up a size M Exos 58 from REI. The actual measured weights are as follows:
Total….40.0 oz. (2 lb. 8 oz.)
~ excellent build quality and features
~ a few excess straps and lengths – i.e. dual ice axe loops, waste straps long (perhaps 2 oz. worth max)
~ seems to fit/function very similarly to the Atmos
~ innovative minimal buckles (1/4" fastex buckles!)
– most comfortable non-rigid waist belt i've used (like Atmos)
– compresses quite small – should be ok for carry-on
– in order to utilize outer pockets best, don't pack main bag completely full
– compression straps stabilize load well for moving fast on varied terrain
I wonder if a large zpacks cuben-fibre pack cover will fit?May 10, 2009 at 11:36 pm #1500472Kevin YangMember
Just got a Medium Exos 46 at REI. Total weight of the pack is 37.0z. The removable lid weighs 3.75oz.May 11, 2009 at 4:50 am #1500480
Just back from the underwater south cape wrath trail :)
got rain close to 24/24 for one week
as for my exos 58 pack :
i tried to put the "O" back in place but it wouldnt hold for long.May 11, 2009 at 5:43 am #1500481Diplomatic MikeMember
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
I was thinking of you last week Fred. I had read on here you were doing the CWT. I was out for one night in that weather, and that was enough. I can't remember a worse week for rain. Like you said, 24/24 for a week. I know of one person who called out SAR because they were soaked and stranded by high water levels in the rivers. They were going down with hypothermia.
You'll be happy to know the weather is sunny and beautiful now! :)May 11, 2009 at 6:17 am #1500488
Posting some photos soon,
Worse rain i have ever seen but no fog, so we enjoyed our trip, nothing as bad as hiking all day in the fog and seeing nothing.
We ended leaving at Shielbridge after 6 days, we were so far behind schedule due to delay having to go to Carnach bridge instead of crossing the river, going uphill to cross stream then down etc…
we had sometime water up to our knees not in river but in the grass from day 1 and after 6 days my feet appreciated being dry again..
again in bad weather we loved having a floorless shelter, nothing as good as setting it up fast and going under asap with shoes on and all your dirt without caring of soiling your inner tent :)
my wife was worried for our summer hike in Greenland as its said to be wet but after this hike in the Higlands she doesnt anymore :)
edit we will be back anyway, probably starting from Shielbridge this time
we really love Scotland highlands, and if the climate isnt always warm the welcome always wasMay 11, 2009 at 1:44 pm #1500589
Fred, we found it takes at least two poeple (three is better) to put the "O" back in place. The only reason the "O" got out of place is because of that totally incomprehensible zipper to nowhere that makes you wonder if the frame is removeable. Does ANYONE know what that zipper is there for????May 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm #1500632Kevin YangMember
Lynn, if you are referring to the zipper inside the pack, I think it's there so that you can put a water bladder behind the mesh.Jul 14, 2009 at 10:25 pm #1513955Leslie AuerbachMember
As the owner of many Osprey packs, I had great hopes of the Exos. Alas, it is one of the few Osprey packs that I have tried that appeared unsuited to a small woman (5'2" & narrow-shouldered). The straps are placed too far apart to be comfortable; they dig into my arms & seem unstable. Even a unisex Atmos 35 (has anyone actually seen an Aura 35?) is more comfortable, albeit heavier. My 6'+ partner (tall, short-waisted, no hips — hate those guys!) & I have been equally comfortable with the Kestrels, Atmos/Aura series, & other Ospreys. This is a disappointment.Jul 15, 2009 at 1:16 pm #1514088
"I think it's there so that you can put a water bladder behind the mesh."
Well, that would have never occured to me. That ventilated mesh back was the best feature for me. I couldn't imagine blocking it off with a water bladder, but maybe in winter it would help keep the water from freezing???Jul 15, 2009 at 9:50 pm #1514207Lex RogersonMember
About four months ago, I posted an inquiry about the critique in Backpacker magazine, which said the shoulder straps on the Exos 58 need periodic re-tightening. Someone replied that the manufacturer claimed to have resolved this problem.
I bought a 58 a month or so ago and recently took it out for its first spin — a weekend in Pisgah National Forest. I had no problems with any of the straps slipping.
I also had reservations about the weight transfer because the waist belt does not wrap fully around the rear, relying instead on tension against the trampoline-like back panel. With a load just under 30 pounds, that did not pose a problem. It carried much like the conventional, super-padded waist belt design.
So far I'm extremely pleased with this pack. The features seem thoughtful, and the thin strap material worked fine. I'm an organization nut, so things like the front side pouches and the stuff front pouch are very useful.
I'm still a little leery of the mesh water bottle pockets, because they have top and side openings. I use a hydration bladder instead of a water bottle and therefore don't need the easy access that the front openings afford. I also nearly lost a book from one of them. I have since closed off the side opening of one of the two with a cable tie.Jul 16, 2009 at 7:29 am #1514258John CarterMember
@jcarter1Locale: Pacific Northwest
I'm curious how people are packing their gear in the Exos. I'm thinking about giving the Exos another try, this time with the larger 58, but when I tried the 46 I was never quite satisfied with how I packed things. The biggest question is the tent and bear canister. I'm used to storing my tarptent in a side mesh pocket, where it is freely accesible and doen't get the main pack dirty/wet. I tried putting the tent in the vertical zipper pouch, but it pushed into the main compartment so much that I'm not sure I could fit a bear canister in the upper part of the main pouch.
So right now I'm thinking main pouch gets slepping bag first, then insulating clothing, followed by tent and then food. But this leaves my jacket pretty buried and puts a potentially wet shelter right on top of my down gear. Any ideas?
ps I normally use a SMD Essence with no bear canister or a SMD Starlite with a bear canister. I am switching to a bulkier tent (Shangri-La 1 tarp AND inner mesh), which, combined with a bear caniseter is why I'm reconsidering a larger pack.Jul 16, 2009 at 8:55 am #1514272George PhoenixMember
How about the big stretchy outer pouch for a wet shelter? I'll be using my Exos 58 on my JMT hike in 4 weeks. I'll be renting a Bearikade Expedition for this trip. I hope it fits well. 8-PJul 16, 2009 at 3:49 pm #1514370
"How about the big stretchy outer pouch for a wet shelter? "
Yup, absolutely. Can't comment on bear canisters…Jul 17, 2009 at 3:16 pm #1514640John CarterMember
@jcarter1Locale: Pacific Northwest
Got the Exos 58, and I didn't realize how much bigger the size zip pouches are; my tent fits in there just fine, with my rain gear in the other pouch. Also, I've got a Bearvault 500 that fits horizontally at the top; the pack is large enough that I can completely enclose the canister horizontally in the main bag.
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