When it comes to high-quality backpacking backpacks, the ones made by Osprey are pretty hard to beat. They are designed and manufactured with great care, which makes them both practical and durable – an Osprey backpack is a perfect choice for a frequent traveler. In addition, the unique features found on every Osprey backpack make it very easy to find a model that meets your personal preferences.
However, there’s a catch – there are dozens of different ranges and models of Osprey backpacks on today’s market. It goes without saying, but this can make the task of selecting the right backpack quite daunting, especially if you don’t know much about these accessories.
Have no worries, though – we’re here to help you out. In the following paragraphs, you’ll find everything you need to know about Osprey’s most popular backpacks and their most important features. Besides the reviews, we’ve also written a handy buying guide and an FAQ in order to make shopping for the right Osprey backpack even easier.
Related: Osprey vs CamelBak
Reviews of the Best Osprey Backpacks for Hiking & Backpacking
Osprey Daylite Plus Backpack
Whether you’re just traveling out of the city or going on a mountaineering adventure, Osprey Daylite Plus Backpack is a fantastic option for your essentials. This, in fact, a daypack, and one that you can attach to larger backpacks (such as Osprey Aether, for example).
Despite its capacity of 20 liters, this Osprey bag opens to a very spacious main compartment. It is roomy enough for the user to carry all of his most important travel belongings.
The model’s main compartment is complemented by the front pocket with a mesh organizer and the stretch mesh side pockets. As you can already guess, you can use these pockets to store your smaller essentials, such as keys or mini-flashlights. And when it comes to high-intensity outdoor activities, Osprey Daylite Plus Backpack provides a multifunctional sleeve that you can use for your internal hydration reservoir.
On commutes to the library or regular travel days, the sleeve substitutes as a safe space for gadgets such as your tablet or laptop. Finally, in terms of comfort, this Osprey backpack features a mesh back panel that promotes breathability and ventilation.
- Integrated handle, mesh shoulder straps
- Front mesh pockets for the storage of smaller items
- Breathable & comfortable mesh-covered back panel
- Roomy easy-access main compartment
Osprey Porter 46 Backpack
Next up is Porter 46, one of those feature-packed Osprey backpacks praised by users all over the world.
This model is constructed with straight jacket compression that sports lower panels and padded wings to prevent the backpack’s contents from getting damaged. In addition, this removable straight jacket compression is precisely why this Osprey backpack sports such an attractive look.
This excellent travel backpack also sports a hip belt, a rugged stowaway shoulder harness, as well as the sternum strap and a buckle for additional security. All of these convenient features turn it into a phenomenal choice for serious backpackers.
For even more functionality, Osprey has equipped this travel backpack with a top lid compartment. As you can already guess, this part of the bag provides room for liquids and toiletries and is bound to help you articulate your organizational skills.
Other features worth mentioning are the D-ring attachment points, which allow the user to attach a shoulder strap in order to carry his ski helmet, as well as the zippered front pocket that adds even more room for documentation and similar items.
- Reinforced cord loops that allow the user to attach a daypack
- Internal tablet/laptop sleeve for secure storage & easy access
- D-rings for a shoulder strap & fitted side carry handle
- Meets airplane luggage weight & size requirements
Osprey Daylite Shoulder Sling
One of the best solutions for ultralight hikers, Osprey’s Daylite Shoulder Sling is an anatomically designed daypack that provides easy access to your essentials. The soft and breathable NeoSpacer fabric, on the other hand, makes the sling feel comfortable on the body, while its special design allows for easy rear and front access.
What’s more, this is one of those smaller Osprey packs that can be attached to bigger bags (such as Aura AG 65, for example). Once you’ve set up your camp, you can simply detach the sling from the large backpack and use it for your day hike.
Osprey Daylite Shoulder Sling provides plenty of storage space, and this space is compartmentalized in order to allow quick and easy organization of gear – clean, wet, dirty, as well as water, snacks, and other essentials.
This convenient little sling sports a key clip, an internal mesh organizer, an internal sleeve, a sizable main compartment, and a zippered front stretch mesh pocket. Even though it’s much smaller than other Osprey packs in our roundup, this sling is among the best solutions for day hikes and something that’s bound to keep your essentials secure and tidy.
- Easy-to-access & maneuverable shoulder sling
- Durable 210D nylon ripstop construction
- Soft & breathable NeoSpacer fabric
- Can be attached to large Osprey backpacks
Osprey Ultralight Stuff Backpack
As you can guess from its name, the most important feature of this backpack is its carry-on size. Since it weighs only 0.2 pounds, the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Backpack is an ideal gym bag, but also an excellent backpack for shorter trips into the backcountry.
This model is compact and lightweight, but it also sports a very sturdy construction. In addition, this is one of those Osprey backpacks that pack down in their own storage pockets, allowing users to easily store them away into their camping gear.
While it’s certainly not your best choice for heavy loads, the 40D nylon ripstop construction of this pack makes it more than capable of withstanding the weight of all of your hiking essentials. Despite its compact nature, this Osprey pack still provides plenty of space – 18 liters is more than enough for any day hike.
In addition, the pack was designed in such a way to ensure the necessary comfort and proper ventilation. It has a stretch mesh side gear pocket, a top zippered pocket, and a dual-zippered main compartment. It is available in several different colors and sizes.
- Dual-zippered main compartment
- Stretch side pockets for your water bottle and other essentials
- Packs down into one of its pockets
- Top-quality, compact construction
Osprey Quasar Backpack
Are you looking for a strong, durable everyday pack? If so, Osprey Quasar Backpack is certainly among your best options. With features such as padded shoulder straps, waist harness, 4-point compression belt fabrication, and the top-carry handle, it’s one of those Osprey packs that allow secure carrying and provide a proper fit.
In addition, the unisex design of this pack allows for a comfortable suspension and an ideal fit for both sexes. The model also features bungee side compression straps that provide extra storage space for one’s gear. The blinker light attachment also deserves a mention – it’s located at the base of the backpack’s front panel and can be of great help in low-visibility conditions.
On the inside, this pack has a well-designed, padded sleeve for gadgets such as your tablet or laptop. The main compartment of this pack is complemented by 4 external mesh and regular pockets and 7 internal pockets for the organization of your traveling essentials.
- Bungee side compression straps
- Padded sleeve for laptop or tablet
- Blinker light attachment
- Lots of mesh & zippered pockets for the organization of your essentials
Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack
- Capacity: 24 liters
- Weight: 2.76 pounds
- Material: 210D Nylon crosshatch
- Waterproof: Yes
When it comes to the best backpacking and hiking packs designed by Osprey, Stratos 24 is one of the more popular choices. Thanks to features such as, for example, the trekking pole attachment stow-on-the-go system, it’s a phenomenal option for mountaineering and trekking.
As the name suggests, the trekking pole attachment stow-on-the-go system allows the user to safely carry his trekking poles without the risk of them getting stuck on all sorts of backcountry obstacles.
Another great thing about Stratos 24 is that it’s one of the water-resistant Osprey packs, as it comes with an integrated rain cover. Not only does this rain cover protect one’s trekking gear from rain and moisture, but also easily packs down when it’s not being used.
Other features worth mentioning are the breathable mesh back panel and the airspeed suspension system – these ensure comfort throughout your hiking adventures. Finally, the hip belt, as well as the zippered hip belt pockets, make sure that there’s enough support and provide additional storage space.
- Airspeed suspension system
- Top & front panel zippered pockets
- Zippered hipbelt pockets
- Water-resistant (integrated rain cover)
Osprey Talon 22 Backpack
Whether you’re into snow sports, cycling, or hiking, the Talon 22 is one of those Osprey packs that are great for all sorts of active pursuits. The ice tool loop, the top lid lock helmet attachment, as well as the trekking pole attachment all, turn this backpack into a versatile and practical companion for outdoor adventures.
This hiking/travel backpack also encourages frequent hydration, as it comes equipped with a back-panel external hydration sleeve. Its design not only protects the liquid from spilling but also simplifies the refilling process. Talon 22 is also one of those packs that feature compression straps – these will make sure that your load is safe and secure.
The already-mentioned back panel is mesh-covered – you won’t have to worry about ventilation or breathability. Finally, the lumbar body wrap, hip belt, and the Biostretch harness all provide additional support to the wearer’s body.
- One of the most feature-rich Osprey packs
- Compression straps guarantee the security of the load
- Equipped with an external hydration sleeve
- Lots of pockets and attachment systems
Osprey Nebula Backpack
Behind this interesting name hides one of the most exciting products in Osprey’s range of hiking & backpacking packs.
First of all, the Nebula is a backpack with a breathable mesh panel – carrying it all day long is as comfortable as it gets. However, this backpack is also durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear – it’s made out of three different types of rugged nylon.
As you can see in the specifications, the Nebula is also one of the roomiest packs of this type, with a carrying capacity of 34 liters. It offers compartmentalized storage space with its TSA-approved laptop pocket, stretch water bottle stash, side mesh pockets, and stretchy frontal mesh pocket.
One thing we particularly like about Osprey Nebula is the fact that it’s equipped with compression straps. These are top-quality compression straps that allow for a well-packed load and can also be tucked away when they’re not needed. In addition, they complement the backpack straps for enhanced load weight balance.
Other features worth mentioning are the blinker light attachment, the top grab handle, and the relatively low weight. In summary, Nebula works well as both technical and casual backpack – it’s one of the most versatile, practical, and high-quality packs made by Osprey.
- A durable & versatile Osprey pack
- Generous carrying capacity
- TSA-approved laptop sleeve
- Breathable mesh back panel
Osprey Atmos AG 65 Backpack
When it comes to Osprey backpacks designed specifically for serious trekking, Atmos AG 65 is among the best options available.
What makes this pack so great is its anti-gravity suspension design, which makes the pack feel lightweight even when you’re carrying it at full weight capacity. In addition, this top-notch trekking pack sports an ingenious construction that promotes articulate organization of one’s hiking essentials.
The compartmentalized pockets, ice tool attachment points, and the trekking pole attachment system of this pack all make it extremely practical and easy to use. What’s more, the men’s variant of this Osprey pack comes with a sleeping bag compartment, allowing the user to carry his sleeping bag and other camping gear all in one pack.
Men’s variant of the Atmos AG 65 pack also sports an internal hydration sleeve. The sleeve accommodates an internal hydration reservoir of up to 3 liters, and this is of vital importance for long-distance hikers who need to keep themselves hydrated. The pack also has a hip belt and an adjustable harness, and these also allow for the backpack’s comfortable and secure fit.
- One of the best Osprey backpacks for multi-day hiking
- Anti-gravity suspension design for extra support
- Has a sleeve for the internal hydration reservoir
- Flap jacket protects the bag’s contents in case of a removed top lid
Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
One of the best Osprey packs for day hikes and regular travel, the Farpoint 40 is a pack that sports Osprey’s proprietary LightWire frame suspension system. This means that it effortlessly balances the load weight – you’ll be able to carry your essentials for miles on end without feeling any discomfort.
This Osprey pack also sports a hip belt and a harness, and these work together to reduce chafing during your on-foot adventures. The mesh back panel, on the other hand, enhances ventilation and promotes much-needed breathability on the user’s back.
The Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack also features dual compression straps. As you can already guess, their job is to keep the load safe and secure no matter the difficulty of the terrain. A large panel zipper allows quick and easy access to the main compartment, which can house 40 liters of your traveling/hiking essentials.
Other features worth mentioning include a padded tablet & laptop sleeve, a scratch-free zippered pocket for your sunglasses or smartphone, padded side and top handles, dual front mesh pockets, as well as the small carry-on size – the Farpoint 40 weighs only 1.79 pounds.
- A durable and lightweight day hike/travel pack
- LightWire frame suspension for better weight distribution
- Breathable back panel ensures proper ventilation
- Suitcase-style opening on the roomy main compartment
Osprey Aura AG 65 Backpack
Osprey Aura AG 65 is one of the best backpacking backpacks on the market – there’s no doubt about that. With features such as the easy-to-remove top lid, a good number of pockets, a wide range of fitting options and adjustments, and plush, comfortable padding, it’s a pack you won’t regret spending money on.
Made out of two different types of nylon, Osprey Aura AG 65 is certainly among the best Osprey backpacks in terms of durability. It has a tensioned and very supportive frame that easily carries heavy loads. Features such as the hip belt, adjustable harness, or the sternum strap, on the other hand, provide a good fit, comfort, and balance.
As expected, this feature-rich pack has many other things to offer – there’s a sleeping bag compartment, an interior hydration reservoir sleeve, InsideOut side compression straps, as well as many large and small pockets for your hiking gear. To put it simply, it’s among the best packs money can get today if you really want to get your money’s worth.
Our only complaint is that the model’s primary compartment can be accessed only from the top, but this disadvantage pales in comparison with the bag’s phenomenal design and convenient features.
- A feature-rich Osprey pack for the demanding outdoor adventures
- Class-leading comfort, support, and ventilation
- Interior hydration reservoir sleeve
- Equipped with a sleeping bag compartment
Best Osprey Backpacks Buying Guide
In this part of the article, we’ll be taking a closer look at a couple of different factors you need to keep in mind while shopping for the best Osprey pack.
When shopping for an Osprey backpack, one of the first things you’ll have to consider is the style. What style of a backpack will suit your needs the best? A full-blown trekking backpack? A simple shoulder sling? Or perhaps something a bit more versatile?
Most of the packs we’ve analyzed above are quite versatile – they’re of the right size and are both convenient and practical. In addition, most models offer plenty of space with compartmentalized pockets that turn the task of gear organization into a breeze.
Extra features like, for example, padded tablet & laptop sleeves can add a lot of value to travel/hiking backpacks. Backpacks with special sleeves for your high-tech gadgets can be picked up and used as the college, gym, or everyday bags for around-the-town use. Smaller packs, such as the already-mentioned slings or the models using ultralight materials, are an excellent choice when it comes to daily activities and short trips into the backcountry.
If you’re someone who often engages in high-intensity outdoor activities such as cycling or trekking, your best choice is Osprey backpacks sporting features like hydration sleeves, helmet carriers, and ice tool/trekking pole attachment points. These will let you carry all of your essentials in a single bag.
The next factor you’ll have to consider is functionality. Fortunately, most Osprey backpacks are quite multifunctional, although it all depends on the design and style of a particular model.
Most shoppers easily find a perfect Osprey backpack for the type of activity they want to use it for, be it camping, hiking, cycling, or even fishing. And, as we already mentioned, the company’s smaller daypacks and shoulder slings work great for activities that don’t require the transportation of lots of gear. They are ideal for daily activities and shorter trips.
An important thing to mention here is that you can always pair two different types of Osprey backpacks. You can, for example, get yourself a larger 65-liter model for your backcountry adventures and then combine it with a daypack for your short day hikes out of the camp when you don’t need a lot of gear. For more great backpacks, see our post on the best backpacks for the Camino de Santiago.
When you’re carrying a lot of gear, including things like the sleeping pad, hiking poles, clothes, snacks, and other essentials, you need a lot of storage space. Fortunately, Osprey is a company whose backpacks come in a variety of sizes – from small shoulder slings to large mountaineering backpacks.
In order to ensure that they fit well, the company customizes the sizes of their bags. They have also created a very handy sizing guide that can help a potential buyer choose the right model for an ideal fit.
Their fitting & sizing guide works by providing the length between one’s C7 vertebrae (neck bone base) and the iliac crest (the top of your hip bone). In addition, Osprey’s fitting & sizing guide also provides specific sizing for unisex, women’s, and men’s models – after all, people’s body types differ significantly when it comes to gender.
Below is an example of Osprey’s fitting & sizing guide based on Osprey Escapist Backpack (unisex), Osprey Xena Backpack (women’s), Osprey Xenith Backpack (men’s), and Osprey Jet 12 Backpack (for kids). An important thing to note here is that each variant of these packs comes with varied sizing that depends on its particular fabrication design.
S/M or M/L
Next up is durability, an extremely important factor for shoppers who are planning to use their Osprey packs to carry gear like the sleeping pad or lots of clothes and snacks into the rugged wilderness. When shopping inside a retail store, the material is the first thing most people examine – it’s the thing that determines the durability of a particular backpack.
It goes without saying, but the best Osprey backpacks are made out of materials that are rugged and tough enough to withstand all weather conditions and difficult terrain. After all, you’ll be hauling all kinds of gear and essentials into the wild, and some of this stuff will be sensitive – such as your tech gadgets. That is precisely why the backpack’s material needs to be able to withstand daily wear and tear and protect your belongings.
An important thing to examine is the overall construction. Pay close attention to the model’s buckles, zippers, and straps. Backpacks that are equipped with extra features like compression straps are great at distributing weight and balancing the load, which ultimately reduces the strain on the backpack and prolongs its lifespan.
Reading through customer reviews who have bought and used Osprey bags is always a good idea. These can be extremely informative and help you gain more knowledge about the performance and quality of these backpacks.
Finally, keep in mind that the maintenance and care you provide for your backpack can have a major effect on its overall longevity. By treating your pack with extra care and by following Osprey’s maintenance guides, you can rest assured that your particular bag will serve you well for the years to come.
As you can see in our reviews, the vast majority of packs designed and manufactured by this company feature some kind of nylon construction.
As you probably already know, nylon is well-known to be quite abrasion-resistant and capable of withstanding use in rough environments. Moreover, this material effortlessly keeps its shape, resists chemicals, absorbs moisture, and is exceptionally easy to clean.
Depending on the design of a specific model, different Osprey bags sport different nylon strengths. Osprey typically uses industrial nylon, which is usually denoted by “D” (which stands for Denier). The higher the number next to “D” is, the stronger and thicker the nylon is.
Obviously, heavy-duty Osprey bags typically feature thicker and therefore stronger nylon in their construction. However, that doesn’t mean that Osprey’s lighter models aren’t as strong or durable. As you can see in our reviews, it’s pretty easy to find an excellent daypack with a rugged ~210D construction that easily withstands daily wear and tear.
Other Osprey backpacks will be made out of either nylon ripstop or polyester. The first one of these is a type of lightweight nylon that has been reinforced with ripstop stitching. In other words, if it rips, the rip won’t spread that easily. Polyester, on the other hand, is equally durable, quick-drying, moisture-wicking, and shape-holding.
Next up is comfort, which is perhaps the most important out of all factors listed in our buying guide. After all, who’d want to wear an uncomfortable backpack for miles on end over rough terrain? As expected, proper fit is the No. 1 thing to look for if you want your backpack to feel comfortable all day long.
This leads us to an important point of discussion – gender-specific Osprey backpacks. It goes without saying, but these greatly elevate the chances of finding a comfortable, form-fitting model. Just like many other manufacturers of hiking packs, Osprey designs its gender-specific backpacks to conform to the bodies of male and female outdoor enthusiasts.
Moreover, and particularly in the case of backpacking, hiking, and travel packs, it’s very important to pay special attention to backpack suspension systems. Their job is to distribute the weight evenly and balance the load. Extra features, such as padded straps and hip belts add even more comfort, and this can come in very handy when you’re hiking over long distances.
Color & Design
Just like the backpacks manufactured by other companies, Osprey packs are available in a myriad of different colors and designs. There’s something for everyone – whether you need subtle colors for the great outdoors or something vibrant for around-town use, Osprey has you covered.
In terms of design, however, it’s important to ensure that your bag has attachment points for things like trekking poles and a sleeve for your hydration bladder if you’re planning to use it for serious hiking adventures. If you’re planning to use your Osprey bag for college, on the other hand, you should probably make sure that it sports a padded laptop sleeve.
Various backpack designs also give potential buyers a choice of pocket quantity and design – the more pockets a particular bag has, the easier it will be to store and organize your essentials. Also, depending on how and where you’re planning to use your bag, consider whether you should go for a panel-loading or a top-loading model.
Are you planning to use your Osprey backpack in areas that get a lot of rain? If so, make sure to get a waterproof model – you don’t want your hiking gear to get wet.
Look for models that come equipped with backpack rain covers – these will protect your essentials from the elements and general moisture. If you need a water-resistant model, check out our review of Osprey Stratos 24.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I get an Osprey backpack?
Osprey is one of the world’s most renowned manufacturers of hiking accessories – opting for one of their packs comes with several important benefits. These include:
- Guaranteed high-quality construction – these packs are tough and durable
- Gender-specific packs allow both men and women to easily get that perfect fit
- Reasonable prices – those on a budget can still get themselves a quality Osprey backpack
- Lifetime guarantee that allows customers to have their bags repaired regardless of the date of purchase
- Osprey uses only synthetic materials to make their bags – no animals are hurt in the process
- When compared to packs made by other brands, Osprey packs are lighter and thinner – they’re great for ultralight hikers
Where are these packs made?
Due to domestic production costs, Osprey had to move its production lines to Vietnam in the early 2000s.
Just what exactly is “Osprey Guarantee”?
Fortunately, Osprey is among those brands that provide their customers with a very generous guarantee policy. The best thing about the company’s repair policy is that it lasts for the entire lifespan of your Osprey-made product.
In other words, the company is always ready to repair the product you’ve bought from them at no extra costs. This extremely generous policy covers all Osprey products and doesn’t take the date of purchase into account. If you’ve bought your Osprey pack all the way back in the 1970s, the company will still repair it for you – pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say?
How do I properly care for my Osprey Backpack?
To enhance the longevity of your Osprey pack, there are several ways and steps you need to follow.
The most standard of these measures is also the simplest – always thoroughly clean your bag after each outdoor adventure. Remove the residues that may prevent the bag’s zippers and other parts from functioning properly by using a soft brush, warm water, and a mild detergent.
In addition, clean the fabric, mesh, and webbing with soft brushing strokes – it’s important that you remove all the stains, sweat, and dirt. Furthermore, loosen the model’s straps and leave them to dry out in the sunlight. Don’t forget to remove the pack’s hip belt and harness before cleaning it. Of course, this goes only in case these parts are removable in the first place.
Finally, remember to never use a dry machine or a washer to clean your Osprey backpack – the spinning speed and the excessive heat will certainly cause irreparable damage.
In case your Osprey pack has a hydration reservoir, it’s important that you clean it out from time to time. This is particularly important if you often use the model’s reservoir for drinks that aren’t water, such as flavored or sugar-based drinks. If that’s the case, rinse out the reservoir after every use.
How to clean the reservoir? First, fill it with a combination of mild detergent and warm water. Then, take a brush and smoothly scrub the reservoir’s insides. For its hose, use a smaller and thinner brush. Once you’re done, hang the reservoir in a well-ventilated area and leave it to dry out.
To keep the reservoir clean at all times, you can also use cleaning tablets. To do this, pour some warm water into the reservoir and then dissolve one cleaning tablet and leave it there for about 5 minutes. Then, shake the reservoir for at least half a minute and then rinse it with clean water. Cleaning the hydration reservoir like this should only be done periodically.
Best Osprey Backpacks – The Verdict
Osprey packs are, without a shadow of a doubt, among the best accessories of this type available on the market. They are extremely well-designed, practical, and have all the necessary features to make each of your backcountry trips as comfortable as possible.
Even though all of the packs we’ve analyzed above are good in their own ways, one of them has managed to stand out due to its ingenious, feature-rich design – the Osprey Aura AG 65 Backpack.
While it’s certainly not the best choice for everyday use, this model is a godsend to all those serious long-distance hikers who need a backpack made out of premium-quality materials and which won’t let them down in the middle of nowhere.
Besides the outstanding build quality, Aura AG 65 sports all those bells and whistles that provide class-leading comfort, support, and ventilation – it’s our top pick for a good reason.
If you want to check out similar brands, see this Osprey vs Gregory comparison.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.