Person standing in the mountains with a large orange osprey backpack

The 7 Best Osprey Backpacks of 2019

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For over 40 years, the name “Osprey” has been synonymous with quality and durability in the world of backpacks. Since the company’s founding in 1974, owner and founder Mike Pfotenhauer has insisted on creating the best backpacks in the world.

As a child, Mike remembered the pain of wearing an ill-fitting backpack in the mountains and vowed never to do so again. At the age of 16, Mike learned to sew and made his first backpack, thus starting a revolution in pack design.

Over the last four decades, Osprey’s designs and manufacturing processes have improved drastically, making Osprey one of the foremost names in backpacking gear. Thanks to the company’s dedication to quality, Osprey is one of the most popular backpack manufacturers around, so it’s understandable that you’re now looking to get yourself one of their packs.

But, with so many options to choose from, how can you decide on just one for all of your adventures?

To help you out, we’ve got our list of the best Osprey Backpacks, from daypacks to expedition bags, so you can spend less time researching and more time on the trail. Coming up, we’ll review some of Osprey’s best packs and even give you some tips and tricks for purchasing your next Osprey backpack. Here we go!

Best Osprey Backpacks

Osprey makes some of the best backpacks for every occasion: hiking, backpacking, travel, and day to day use. We put together a list of the 7 best Osprey backpacks and to be honest, every backpack they make basically kicks all the ass.

Osprey Farpoint

Do you have more passport stamps than the pages in your passport could possibly hold? Have you struggled to find a pack that travels as well as you do? The answer to your dilemma? The Osprey Farpoint, a top-of-the-line pack for intrepid globetrotters.

Although they are fully featured for extended travel, the Farpoint series of packs boast some ultralight weights to keep you happy and comfortable as you explore the world. Plus, with an array of travel-specific features, there’s nothing you can’t handle with the Farpoint.

Built for organization, the Farpoint series packs have a large panel-style zipper that provides easy access to all of your belongings, while lockable zipper sliders keep you most trusted possessions secure when you check your bag. Oh, and with a stowaway harness/hipbelt and a zip-off daypack, you can take on the world for the Farpoint series of packs.

Pros:

  • Travel-specific design and features
  • Zip-off day pack for lightweight day trips
  • Panel-style zipper for easy access and organization
  • Lockable zipper sliders for security
  • Stowaway harness and hipbelt for checking a bag

Cons:

  • Not great for expeditions
Osprey Farpoint
576 Reviews
Osprey Farpoint
  • Size requirements vary among airlines. Please check with your airline for carry-on luggage size restrictions.

Osprey Atmos

The Osprey Atmos has long been the gold standard for comfort and quality in an expedition backpack. Built to carry up to a week’s worth of food and gear, the Atmos is a backcountry pack with new-age technology.

The modern rendition of the Atmos features clean, fresh colors, and tough materials so you can be confident in the durability of your gear. With an anti-gravity suspension system and back panel, the Atmos helps keep you comfortable and cool, even in the harshness of the midday heat.

Plus, even though the Atmos is a top-loading backpack, it features an adjustable stretch mesh front pocket for extra storage and organization. Or, if you’re looking to cut weight, the Atmos even has a removable floating brain that can be replaced with Osprey’s proprietary “FlapJacket” to lighten your pack. What could be better?

Pros:

  • Anti-gravity suspension system is breathable and comfortable
  • FlapJacket lid helps cut weight
  • Exterior pocket for extra storage

Cons:

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Relatively heavy
  • Top-loading design can be difficult to get used to
Sale
Osprey Atmos
86 Reviews
Osprey Atmos
  • Anti-Gravity suspension - feels like you are carrying less weight than is in your pack
  • Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment allows you to stow your poles in steep terrain or whenever you need your hands free
  • Adjustable harness and Fit-on-the-Fly hipbelt to dial in perfect fit
  • Internal hydration reservoir sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir

Osprey Fairview

The Osprey Fairview is the women’s specific version of the fan-favorite Osprey Farpoint. With all the same features as the Farpoint, the Fairview is designed to be just as functional and durable as the Farpoint, but with a shape made to fit a woman’s body. 

Osprey’s women’s packs feature a shoulder harness with gender-specific angle changes and extra padding to accommodate a larger chest. Plus, the hipbelt on these packs features varying padding thickness for a more comfortable and anatomical fit. 

If that wasn’t good enough, women’s packs, such as the Fairview, tend to be narrower for greater freedom of movement and increased stabilization on the go. So, if you need a fantastic travel pack made for a woman’s body, the Osprey Fairview just might be for you!

Pros:

  • All the same great features as the Osprey Farpoint
  • Special shoulder strap design for increased comfort
  • Varying padding on the hipbelt for an anatomical fit

Cons:

  • Women’s specific Fairview isn’t available in the 80L version
Sale
Osprey Fairview
158 Reviews
Osprey Fairview
  • Stowaway backpanel, harness and hipbelt with zippered rear flap for protection
  • Laptop and tablet sleeve secure in lockable compartment
  • Lockable sliders on main compartment zipper
  • Two internal compression straps hold contents securely

Osprey Talon

Designed specifically for those light and fast missions int the mountains, the Osprey Talon is technical day hiking pack like no other. With a lightweight construction and a continuous lumbar-to-hipbelt wrap, the Talon series of packs are so comfortable, you might just forget you’re even wearing it.

The Osprey Talon series comes in a variety of sizes, from the super tiny Tallon 11L to the adventure-ready Talon 44. Each of these packs is made for the multi-sport adventurer, who might find themselves hiking, biking, or climbing, on any given day.

This series of packs features Osprey’s aluminum peripheral frame suspension system that helps transfer weight from the harness to the hipbelt, as well as an Airscape back panel to keep sweat levels down and breathability up, so you can keep moving and keep exploring.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Wide range of pack options

Cons:

  • Some durability concerns with lightweight materials
  • Not as many features as other pack options 
Sale
Osprey Talon
196 Reviews
Osprey Talon
  • Dual-zippered panel access to main compartment
  • Stow-On-The-Go trekking pole attachment
  • LidLock helmet attachment
  • External hydration sleeve

Osprey Daylight Plus

The Daylight Plus is Osprey’s answer for anyone who has ever wanted a pack that can do it all. From global travel to walking around town and long day hikes, Osprey’s Daylight Plus is the day pack for you. 

While the Daylight series of packs started out as an accessory that could be attached to larger packs for short summit days during an expedition, the modern-day Daylight is a simple, yet comfortable pack for everyday use. With a large panel-loading zippered compartment and side mesh pockets, the Daylight plus makes the most of its carrying capacity by maximizing storage space on the inside and outside of the pack. 

Plus, the Daylight features a lightweight removable foam frame sheet with mesh panels to help support the weight of your pack without decreasing breathability. Oh, and you can attach the daylight onto a few dozen different Osprey packs, making it one of the most versatile offerings from this popular pack company.

Pros:

  • Can be attached to different packs
  • Lightweight yet comfortable
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Not for carrying heavy loads
  • Not great for technical outings
Sale
Osprey Daylight Plus
557 Reviews
Osprey Daylight Plus
  • Large panel loading main compartment provides accessibility to inside contents
  • Dual stretch mesh side pockets provide additional storage options
  • The multi-function interior sleeve can be used for either a reservoir, tablet or laptop (up to 14"); attaches to a variety of compatible Osprey Packs
  • Mesh-covered die-cut foam back panel provides both comfort and ventilation.

Osprey Exos

The Osprey Exos is a thru-hiking pack designed for comfort on the first day of a trip and the last. With the Exos’ AirSpeed 3-D mesh back panel that keeps sweat to a minimum, as well as a tensioned support system, you can carry weight without feeling pulled down.

This pack is chock full of features that make life on the trail a happy existence, with dual-access mesh side pockets for water bottle storage and stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachments for quick scrambling missions in steep terrain. With a super comfortable exoform harness and hipbelt and pared-down features like a removable brain, even ultralight hikers can find something to cheer about with the Osprey Exos.

Pros:

  • Designed for lightweight hikers
  • Breathable mesh back panel with ventilation
  • Great features for moving quickly through the mountains

Cons:

  • Not designed to carry oodles of weight
  • Not durable enough for the every-day backpacker
Osprey Exos
13 Reviews
Osprey Exos
  • Integrated FlapJacket protects packed gear when top lid is removed
  • Front stretch mesh pocket stores rain gear and layers for easy access
  • Dual access stretch mesh side pockets for storing water bottles and other gear
  • Internal hydration reservoir sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir (sold separately)

Osprey Stratos

Designed for adventures in hot climates, the extremely well-ventilated Osprey Stratos is made to meet your unique needs. The Osprey Stratos comes in four different size capacities, each with its own size-adjustable harness so you can customize the pack to fit your torso.

Each Stratos pack features Osprey’s signature airspeed suspension system for maximum comfort and breathability when the sun is shining. Plus, with a seamless hipbelt interface, the Osprey Stratos removes unwanted chafing and discomfort so you can focus on the trail ahead.

If you still wanted more from your pack, the Stratos even comes with an integrated raincover for weather-protection. What’s not to love?

Pros:

  • Adjustable to torso size
  • Well ventilated for maximum breathability
  • Seamless hipbelt interface for added comfort
  • Integrated raincover

Cons:

  • Minimal features
  • Durability concerns with lightweight materials
  • Smallest size doesn’t hold very much gear
Sale
Osprey Stratos
120 Reviews
Osprey Stratos
  • Stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment
  • Integrated rain cover
  • Internal hydration reservoir sleeve
  • Dual side stretch mesh pockets

Osprey Backpack Features to Consider

Osprey has been making quality backpacks for over four decades, which means they’ve had a lot of time to create innovative technology for outdoor adventure. With so many different options to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which pack is right for you.

So, here are some of the things you ought to consider when looking to buy an Osprey pack:

Materials

Osprey uses some of the best materials in their backpacks so you can be confident that they’ll last through years of adventure. Osprey sources high-quality rip-stop nylon for many of their packs because is water-resistant, durable, and designed to hold lots of weight.

Ripstop nylon is a woven fabric that is made with a special reinforcing technique that helps prevent rips and tears. The nylon is woven into a crosshatch pattern that gives it a great strength-to-weight ratio while also preventing small tears from ripping the fabric apart completely – something that’s ideal in the rough and tumble world of outdoor adventure.

Additionally, many of Osprey’s packs are built with a wide range of different features, each of which adds functionality to the bag. Some of these features are made with durable plastic polymers, while others use lightweight metal or carbon alternatives to lighten your load.

Durability

If you buy a pack from Osprey, you expect it to last for years. Thanks to Osprey’s decades of experience building packs, theirs are some of the most durable in the business. Much of an Osprey pack’s durability comes from its careful construction at the hands of a talented seamster.

Additionally, Osprey is known for using high-denier ripstop nylon fabrics in its packs, which greatly increases their durability. A denier is a measurement that can tell you a lot about the thickness of the individual threads in a fabric. Fabrics with a higher denier count are thicker, sturdier, and more durable than their low denier counterparts, though they do tend to weigh a bit more.

Thus, in many of its packs, Osprey uses high denier ripstop nylon in heavy-use places, such as the bottom of the pack and the straps. Conversely, in low-wear locations, Osprey often opts for lower denier fabrics to help cut weight without affecting durability.

Accessories

Osprey is well known as a pack manufacturer that loves its accessories. Nearly every Osprey backpack has a plethora of different features and is compatible with a whole slew of accessories, such as a pack cover and a hydration system.

Generally speaking, Osprey lists which accessories are compatible with which pack on their website, so that’s the definitive source for information on their products. Thus, if there’s an accessory or a feature you know you really want to have in your pack, you can focus in on that during your search. That being said, each Osprey pack model is uniquely designed for a specific activity, so not all accessories and features will be found in every pack.

Capacity

One of the most important things you’ll want to look out for when you’re buying a pack is that it has the carrying capacity you need for your adventures. Generally speaking, day hikers can make do with a pack that’s under 40L, while overnight campers will need something in the 45-65L range. 

Once you start heading into the backcountry for more than a night or two, you’ll be looking at the 70L+ range, with some packs reaching upward of 100L. Additionally, even if you’re only heading out for a day, gear-intensive enterprises, such as climbing or mountaineering, might require more carrying capacity, so you might opt for a 50L, or larger, pack instead.

Style

Style, at least in terms of fashion, is a matter of personal opinion, where one person’s cool is another person’s ew. However, when it comes to backpacks, the word “style” can have a different meaning. Generally, backpack “style” refers to the pack’s design and how it’s meant to load gear.

Traditionally, hiking and outdoor packs use the “top-loader” style, where a cinch closure at the top of the pack is the main opening for packing your gear. Often, packs like these have a floating “brain” that allows you to pack away smaller items at the top of the pack for easy access.

Alternatively, an outdoor pack can be of the “panel-loader” style. This is more similar to a “school backpack” where you have multiple compartments, each with a large zipper that allows access into different pockets. Many people prefer these when they first get into using outdoor backpacks because it is more similar to the backpacks they might have used at school.

However, while some people prefer the panel-loader style for their added organizational features, panel-loaders are less durable than top-loaders and also tend to weigh more. On the other hand, top-loaders take some getting used to for many people while also allowing for limited accessibility for gear at the bottom of the pack.

Comfort

When you’re carrying a heavy backpack, a comfortable suspension system can make all of the difference between a miserable day in the mountains and an enjoyable one. Thankfully, Osprey takes its suspension systems seriously when designing its packs, offering a number of different options to suit every person. Here are some of your choices:

Airscape

Osprey’s Airscape suspension system uses a lightweight mesh-covered foam back panel to keep the pack’s weight close to your body. This allows for more stability and cushioning as you walk, while also maintaining superior breathability.

Airspeed

This suspension system uses a three-dimensional suspended mesh to completely eliminate foam from the back panel. While foam was traditionally used as a cushioning system in a backpack’s suspension, the Airspeed relies on strong, lightweight metal stays to give the mesh its shape. In doing so, the back panel provides plenty of support and – best of all – maximum airflow, so you can say goodbye to a sweaty back!

Peripheral Frame

Unlike other pack company’s Osprey’s heaviest-duty packs feature a back panel with a solid wire frame. This frame connects the load lifters on the top of the pack with the central core of the back panel and the hipbelt to help better spread the load around your body. Osprey’s peripheral frame technology is found in its largest packs as this system helps encourage natural torsional movement for a happier hiking experience.

Price

While we all wish that we had unlimited funds to spend on gear, that’s unfortunately not the case for the vast majority of us. Thus, when we’re looking for the best Osprey backpack, we generally need to keep the price in mind.

That being said, the larger the pack, the more expensive you can expect your pack to be. However, you can also expect to pay more for a feature-filled pack or one that’s exceptionally lightweight. Thus, if you’re looking to keep costs down, you’ll want to opt for a moderately featured pack at a moderate weight for the size range.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, if we had to choose just one Osprey pack to roll with on all of our adventures, we’d have to go with the Atmos, for its versatility and durability. Long-held as the standard in expedition backpacks, the Atmos is as comfortable in the backcountry as it is on a months-long globetrotting adventure. But, regardless of which Osprey pack you choose, the company’s commitment to excellence won’t leave you disappointed!

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