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Gear Review: Osprey Exos 58 Backpack: By Zach Koerth

Gear Review: Osprey Exos 58 Backpack: By Zach Koerth

 

Gear Review: Osprey Exos 58 by Zach Koerth

Value rating: 9

Durability rating: 8

Overall rating: 9

Location of test: Philmont Scout Ranch

Duration of test: 2 months

Product name:  Exos 58

Product Brand: Osprey

Best use: Lightweight backpacking when quality and durability matter

Sizes: Torso Sizes; S, M, L, Volume; 38L, 48L, 50L

The Full Review: When I used this backpack it was my job to go backpacking almost every day. I covered hundreds of miles with this bag and it never let me down. I have owned a lot of backpacking bags and this one definitely has the most bang for the weight. The backpack has a number of unique features that make hiking with the pack on much easier including a supportive suspension, trekking pole holder in reach, and (my favorite) a front loading water bottle pocket so you don’t have to ask your buddy to grab your Nalgene every time you stop moving. This 58 liter pack is a little on the small size for a couple nights of backpacking unless you travel light or pack tight, but that’s ok because the pack is only designed to comfortably carry 30 to 40 pounds anyway which made it perfect for what I was doing. This backpack cuts down on all the small odds and ends you don’t need and yet keeps the ones that matter the most such as the wonderfully simplified compression straps and the simple yet comfortable hip belt. Even the pack brain is removable either to leave at home and save weight, or bring it with you and use as a day pack.

Pros:

  • Large side pockets hold all 4 of my Nalgene bottles with room to spare and the front loading pocket makes them easy to access.
  • Zero gravity suspension is supremely comfortable for miles on end
  • Removable brain makes for a perfect day pack for side hikes and summits (shoulder straps not included)
  • Pack is very light without being so light that it compromises the strength of the bag
  • Trekking pole holder allows you to hang your poles without having to pack them up or set them down so you can check your phone or the map

 

Cons:

  • The secondary pack lid gets in the way when its not being used.
  • If you like to strap things to the outside of your bag, there are very few attachment points
  • The arched shape of the bag frame can make packing the main compartment awkward.
  • The pack may not carry enough weight and/or may be a little on the small size for most backpackers

Love it or leave it: If I was going on a long trek with multiple days worth of food I might bring a larger bag, but if you have a very dialed in set of gear and you needed to move fast, light, and efficiently, this would be the ONLY bag I recommend.

 

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