Osprey's EXOS packs are designed to be lightweight backpacking rucksacks and the 48 Litre version hits some key performance characteristics - its a mid-capacity pack that weighs about a kilogram, (less if you remove the lid) yet has an excellent harness. More than this though, the EXOS packs have a venting back system and a full feature set.
What sacrifices do you really want to make when buying a lightweight pack? Comfort? Load Carry? Features? With the Exos 48 you can put these tricky decisions to the back of your mind! The Exos offers all the benefits of a lightweight pack but without the normal compromises, making it the pack to push yourself to the limit, moving fast and light.
Our revolutionary ExoForm™ harness and hipbelt uses a dual mesh construction to deliver a comfortable and stable fit that puts a traditional harness design to shame. The ventilated AirSpeed™ backpanel will keep you cool when the weather turns hot, but still delivers a stable load-carrying platform.
Essential 'on the go' items like energy gels are easily accessed via the power mesh pockets on the harness. Keep other small items easily to hand within the dual zipped hipbelt pockets. Conventional floating lid systems can be bulky and cumbersome but for the Exos we developed a neat ladder system allowing extended or reduced capacity. If you want to really hit minimal weight, remove the lid entirely and expose the integrated FlapJacket™ feature that provides additional protection to the top of the pack if the weather suddenly turns on you. Keeping your contents tight and under control is even easier with the adjustable multi-point compression system on each pack sides.
Every element of the Exos has been laboured over to provide the lightest yet best performing product possible. All these features and benefits for a shade over 1 kg, we should be accused of witchcraft.
Osprey's Exos 48 Litre Rucksack hits the mark from a weight point of view but it goes much further in that it offers a full ventilated back and a pretty full complement of features. Dealing with the back panel first its the type where the pack sits off the back allowing air to circulate thus reducing sweat build up - we don't find this often on very lightweight packs because it adds weight - but Osprey have managed to include it as well as keep the overall pack weight down.
Vented backs do move the load away from your centre of gravity, making them seem heavier - though the effect will be minimal with lighter backpacking loads and a good transfer of weight to the hips - which the Exos packs achieve.
The hipbelt is padded but not overly so, is could be stiffer which would help with heavier loads, but there are zipped pockets on each side of the hipbelt and two further tiny pockets on the shoulder straps - these are all stretch mesh and very useful on the trail.
The top loader straps work effectively as they pull directly on the frame. On the outside of the pack there are three large mesh pockets which are pretty much essential on a backpacking rucksack, the side pockets have dual access which limits their usefulness but makes them easy to access whilst on the move. There's a comprehensive volume reducing system which looks a bit complicated.
We particularly like the removable lid which gives you the option of a lighter pack or a couple of extra organiser pockets, if you do decide to leave the lid at home there's a secondary flap that comes into use to protect the contents from rain.
While Osprey don't even list the Exos in their 'backpacking' rucksacks section its exactly the kind of pack we would use, even for month long treks - if you carefully select your gear for lightness you can save anything up to a few kilograms on the weight of the pack itself - Light is Right.
- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear
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