Osprey Aether 70 / Ariel 65

This backpacking rucksack can be used for a wide variety of loads and still maintain great performance. At 2070g it’s lighter than most. I liked the unique compression system that allows the front to be compressed, making the sack very stable even when only half full. I also liked the stretch pockets and stretch wand pockets. Side compression straps with quick-release buckles are provided, and a pair of trekking poles are rock solid when stowed on the side of this sack. The lid can be raised to allow extra capacity or it can be removed and turned into a waistpack. Airflow is good around the back too. You can even have the hipbelt moulded to your body. I’ve used this for many years as a day sack, for scrambling and light backpacking. But do you need a lid that converts to a waistpack? Would you prefer a floating lid design that has a baffle to ensure water does not creep into the main compartment? There are no side pockets either, and other sacks are definitely better for heavy loads and durability.


Capacity: 70 litres (men’s Aether); 65 litres (women’s Ariel)
Materials: 210d double ripstop, 210d Oxford nylon, 500d Kodra 2-way stretch woven nylon with Lycra, 500d stretch power mesh
Features: Airscape raised foam back panel; Isoform hipbelt; Straightjacket compression system; lid converts to waistbelt; twin compartments with top and base entry; stretch front and side pockets; side compression/ski/accessory security strap; hydration system-compatible
Weight: 2070g (men’s Aether)
Made in: Vietnam
Stores in UK: 90

Verdict: Superb if you want one sack for day walks and light to medium loads when trekking hut-to-hut or backpacking over shorter trips.