At first glance the Osprey Aura 50 appears to be crammed with clips, straps and attachment loops – and it is! There is an impressive six external pockets and Osprey’s patented Stow on the Go trekking pole attachment system, which allows you to keep your poles slotted to your left side for easy access. This is useful in theory when you don’t need your poles for short sections of a walk, although I’m not convinced it is that useful.
It falls somewhere in the middle weight-wise but it has one compartment rather than two, which may be a turn-off. Two back sizes are available and the shoulders can be adjusted up or down for a better fit – but it’s pretty tricky to do this.
The pack sits away from your back for good ventilation and the hipbelt is very comfortable and features two handy pockets, but the shoulder straps were cut a bit wide and dug in above my armpits.
Inside, the curved shape of the back did take up some capacity, making the Osprey Aura 50 not as easy to pack as others on test, which was a surprise. The compression straps lack quick-release buckle openings; but the wand pockets are big and the large tags on the zips are great to operate – even with cold hands or with gloves on.
Capacity 50 litres
External pockets 6
Wand pockets yes
Hydration pocket yes
Back lengths 2
Floating lid yes
Men’s option yes (Atmos)
Feature-packed and well-ventilated, the Osprey Aura 50 is perfect for those who love gimmicky extras, but it’s not as comfy or roomy as others here.
Review by Phoebe Smith
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2012