3 Osprey Hiking

Backpack Reviews


Different Hiking Trips

The Osprey Hiking Backpack is well known for being a prominent pack for the hiking community.

Osprey Packs is a widely-known hiking backpack brand. It is usually a little bit more expensive than other brands, but they come with guarantees that many other packs don’t provide. They provide a variety of different hiking backpacks for various hiking trips. It is essential to choose a suitable pack for the proper hiking adventure. Otherwise, the trip could have consequential results.

I enjoy every Osprey hiking backpack that I buy. I have some dislikes, which I’ll explain more about in this article, but I am definitely a fan of the brand. A friend of mine ripped his pack during a River to River Trail thru-hike, and he sent it to them, and they fixed it. So, they do commit to their guarantee, and I think that’s important to note.

Keep reading my reviews of Osprey hiking packs for three types of hiking. This review will cover the Talon 6 Waist Pack, Stratos 36 Day Pack, and the Aether 70 Overnight Pack, all by Osprey Packs.

Osprey Hiking Backpack Review: Talon 6 Waist Pack

The Osprey Talon 6 Waist Pack is perfect for short day hikes or minimal hiking experiences.

This Osprey hiking backpack is excellent for shorter hikes or those who do not want to carry a lot of gear. You could use it for biking, trail running, or even ultralight hiking trips.

This waist pack includes adjustable and breathable waist belts and straps, a lightweight design, dual zippered hip belt pockets, the zippered main compartment, and a stash compartment on the front with a key clip built-in. There are also two padded bottle holders with retention straps to secure the bottles.

The pack holds up to 6 liters and weighs 0.9 pounds. There is a red, black, and blue option, each with the Osprey logo and Talon 6 print on the front of the packs.

These are listed at $90.00 on the Osprey Packs website.

Osprey hiking backpack

Osprey Talen 6 Waist Pack Likes

I like the size of these packs for my shorter hiking trips.

I usually took my leading Osprey Hiking Backpack with me on an everyday hike, which is heavier because it holds more. But I don’t need a pack that big when I got areas like Snake Road or Heron Pond.

But I still want something I can carry essentials in.

This smaller waist pack allows me to take what I need without putting too much weight on my back. This is especially nice for Snake Road because walking on gravel is a lot harder on my body than on a dirt trail.

With this pack, I can carry plenty of water, snack bars, bug spray, first aid kit supplies, and camera batteries. If I need to store my keys, wallet, and phone in the pack, I can do that, too.

The waistband pockets are also deeper than the pockets on my main-day hiking pack. I enjoy that because I take a larger camera to Snake Road and its batteries are bigger. They fit perfectly in the waistband pockets for quick and easy access to them.

And finally, as I wear the pack on my back rather than the front, I can easily access the zipper pockets and water bottle holders without straining myself.


Osprey Talen 6 Waist Pack Dislikes

There are a few things that I don’t like about this Osprey hiking backpack.

It isn’t water-resistant, and the pack has no built-in rain shell. That’s a problem if you hike in the rain and don’t want your stuff to get wet. Alternatively, you can bring water-resistant stuff sacks, but the inside of the pack will still get wet and need to be dried out.

I typically carry Gatorade bottles with me for water (I reuse a couple of the bottles) as they provide me with enough hydration for most of my hikes. When I carry two of them, the pack tends to want to slide off, which is a little noticeable on my hiking excursions. So, I usually take one bottle, which also messes with the pack’s balance a little bit.

I bought Michelle one, and she also has issues with carrying water bottles. It also hurts her stomach to tighten the pack to keep it secured. She is looking for alternative options in fanny and waist packs to meet her needs.


Osprey Talen 6 Waist Pack Final Thoughts

My final thoughts about this Osprey hiking backpack are that I am glad I bought it and plan to continue to use it.

However, I have to use it on nice days. The lack of water resistance is the worst part of the pack. We like hiking in all weather conditions, including rain and snow. But the pack will get wet if we use it.

I’ll keep using it until I find something that could provide more features aligned with my needs.

But I recommend this pack if you’re looking for something lightweight and easier to carry on shorter hiking trips.

Osprey Hiking Backpack Review: Stratos 36 Pack

The Osprey Stratos 36 Pack is ideal for day hiking to lighter-weight overnight hiking trips.

This backpack is my primary day pack. I bought this pack from Shawnee Trails Wilderness but through Osprey, as they’re a registered dealer of Osprey hiking backpack products. I went there versus buying online to get a fit to ensure I got the suitable pack. I also wanted to shop locally and support one of my favorite stores.

Osprey described this backpack as an ideal pack for most day hiking trips but for lightweight overnight backpacking trips.

The features of this pack include an integrated rain cover, a breathable and adjustable waistband with pockets on each side, a compression strap system on both sides of the pack, built-in attachments for trekking poles, and an ice tool, a built-in reservoir for a hydration bladder, a top lid with a zippered pocket on top, and an additional zippered pocket on the bottom of the lid that goes inside the pack. There is a large pocket that serves as the main compartment of the backpack. There is a bottom zipper to access a bottom pocket for a sleeping bag and a zippered pocket on the front of the pack.

There are plenty of pockets protected by zipper systems. The rain shell covers the entire pack aside from the waistband pockets.

The pack holds 36 liters of gear and weighs over 3 pounds (without equipment). It comes in a forest green-like color. The logo and name of the pack are printed on the front of the pack.

There is currently a reduced price for this pack. It was $170.00, and now it is right under $85.00. This may mean this particular pack may be discontinued in the future.

Osprey hiking backpack

Osprey Stratos 36 Pack Likes

I like that this pack has a rain shell built into it. I feel like that is an important feature that should come with all Osprey hiking backpack models.

There are a lot of pockets to store items in. I do like that. I can carry everything I need for a longer day hike which usually includes more gear if I need to stay the night in the forest for some unknown reason. Anything can happen, and it’s wise to be prepared, right?

The durability of the pack has been outstanding. I hike off the beaten path quite a bit. My pack constantly gets hung up on snags, slapped by limbs, soaked by water, and scraped by rocks. The pack is just as durable as when I bought it brand new.

The pack is comfortable, which is essential for me. It has a breathable mesh internal frame that allows air to get to my back. I sweat a lot. I sweat more than most people. It is essential that air can get to my back, so it’s not so covered in nasty sweat. This might be the most critical feature for me.

I like the color it came in. I want a forest green backpack. It is nature-themed, and I love the color.


Osprey Stratos 36 Pack Dislikes

There are some things that I don’t like about this particular Osprey hiking backpack.

I wouldn’t say I like the hip-belt pockets that much. They’re small in compartment space and hard to zip back up. I have to either strain my one arm to zip them back up or use both hands. I usually carry a camera in one hand, which is a hassle.

The pockets need to be pushed more toward the front of the belt rather than the back. Deeper pockets like the Talon 6 reviewed above would also be awesome.

The backpack has a squeak when I’ve loaded it heavier than usual. With each step I take, the pack will squeak. I’ve read that other people experience this with Osprey packs, too. It isn’t bad, but it can sometimes be annoying.

My previous backpack had a mesh compression packet on the back of the pack. I miss that. The current pocket is a zippered pocket. The mesh pocket was easier to access items from by just bringing my arms behind me.

The side compression straps sometimes get in the way of my water bottle compartments. I also strain a little bit, trying to put water bottles back into the compartments.


Osprey Stratos 36 Pack Final Thoughts

My final thought about this particular Osprey hiking backpack is mixed.

The internal frame system and the ability for air to get to my back are a big plus for me. But that feature is usually common with other Osprey backpacks. So, I wouldn’t make your decision solely because of that feature.

But from the price drop, it looks like they might be discontinuing this particular pack.

Because of the side pockets and the complicated water bottle compartments, I suggest you use a different pack. I feel I’ll eventually upgrade to another pack they have pretty soon. That might be my Christmas gift to me.

While this pack is durable and has a lot of good, unless you need something cheaper, I suggest browsing around for a pack that might be a little better for you.

Osprey Hiking Backpack Review: Aether 70 AG EX Pack

The Aether 70 AG EX Pack looks to be discontinued. However, the Aether 65 appears to be a comparable Osprey hiking backpack related to the AG EX pack.

I use this particular backpack for overnight hiking. It holds a lot more gear. I can easily fit my tent, sleeping bag, sleep pad, cooking gear, and stuff I need for overnight backpacking into the pack. It is a strong pack with solid features.

The features include a built-in frame that gives you air support (comparable to their previous Anti-Gravity feature), deep side-band pockets and waistband system, deep compression-based water bottles pockets with multiple points of access to the bottle, built-in rain cover, sizeable front panel zip access to the main compartment, bottom zip access to the main compartment and sleeping bag pocket, adjustable straps to hold a sleeping pad on the outside of the pack, and a lot of space for extra gear.

The pack is generously adjustable to meet your need fitting needs.

The pack holds 70 liters (the current one is 65 liters) and weighs about five pounds without gear packed into it.

Small/medium and large/extra-large option comes in blue, green, and black color styles.

This Osprey hiking backpack costs about $350.00, brand new.

Osprey hiking backpack

Osprey Aether 70 AG EX Pack Likes

I’ve enjoyed this backpack enough that I don’t foresee getting another overnight pack unless they send me one to try and review! I love this backpack that much!

The waistband pockets are deep and in the proper position, which I can comfortably use on my hand to unzip and zip back up. This is something I wish more of their day packs had.

It holds the right amount of gear I need to take on an overnight hike. I usually have plenty more room. That makes me wonder if the equivalent Aether 65 liter would be a smidge better because it holds 5 liters less.

I love that you can pull water bottles from the bottom or the top. Accessing the bottle from the bottom makes it easier to take a drink while moving.

I’ve had this Osprey hiking backpack for about five years, and it is still a brand new feeling. They make lovely packs that are tough and long-lasting.


Osprey Aether 70 AG EX Pack Dislikes

There isn’t much that I dislike about this backpack.

I don’t like that it seems to be discontinued. I think it was near perfect. But I think the comparable Aether 65 might be a better option and a little lighter weight. If I were to get another overnight pack, it would likely be that one.

Besides that, the pack squeaks like other Osprey hiking backpack models I’ve had.

But that’s it for dislikes!

Even though I don’t use this for every hike because it is too big for day hikes, it is probably my most favored backpack from Osprey Packs.


Osprey Aether 70 AG EX Pack Final Thoughts

My final thoughts are simple for this pack.

If you can find one in a store or used and in good shape, get it!

If not, go with the comparable Osprey Aether 65 pack because it has all the same features aside from being 5 liters less than the 70.

I overpack, too, but I still had enough room for more, so the 65-liter model will likely be just fine.

These have been my overall Osprey hiking backpack reviews for my three main packs. I’ll continue to buy from Osprey Packs as long as they continue to make the awesome backpacks they make. I’ve used this brand for almost my entire hiking career and have fallen in love with it. I hope you enjoy this review, and I encourage you to subscribe to my newsletter for more exclusive reviews like this one that you won’t see anywhere else.

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Shawn Gossman

Shawn Gossman

Founder, Hiking with Shawn

Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. Click here to learn more about Shawn Gossman

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