The Osprey Aether 60 strikes an excellent balance between weight and load-bearing performance. Ideal for multi-day backpacking trips, the Aether 60 offers 3400+ cubic inches of storage capacity and comfortably carries up to 60 pounds!
Offering an excellent balance of lightweight design and load bearing performance, the Osprey Aether 60 is ideal for long weekends or extended backpacking trips. Let’s take a closer look at all of its features.
I am going to turn the pack around and take a look at its suspension system and how it carries the load. So Osprey is using their Isoform suspension system in the Aether 60. It is a nice, padded system that offers really good breathability and ventilation, but also an almost custom fit. So with the Isoform suspension system, as the name suggests, it forms to your body. So after a couple of wears the parts will start to break in and kind of mold to the hips and the shoulders of the wearer. So it really does offer an almost custom fit. It is a nice design. It is a nice feature and with that custom fit it still maintains its structure. So it is able to carry the load comfortably.
Now to maintain some of its structure we do have a LightWire alloy frame. So that is a nice, aluminum frame that goes around the perimeter of the pack. It has got an HDPE frame sheet in there, adds some structure as well, and a single, center stay, which is going to really increase the rigidity and transfer the weight down to the hips. So good design and good structure there.
Another fun feature about the Aether packs is that you can actually change out the parts or the components on these suspension systems. So you can completely remove the shoulder harness. You can completely remove the hip belt and get alternating sizes. So if you need a bigger or a smaller hip belt or if you need, you know, bigger shoulder straps or smaller shoulder straps, you can do that with the Aether series.
Now Osprey generally recommends to keep the harness the same size as the torso, but for a very broad shouldered or very narrow individuals, you can swap out those components. And the same goes for the hip belt.
So really nice suspension system there. You have got nice load lifters at the top, a sternum strap with an emergency whistle and the nice secure hip belt. So good ventilation, good, you know, comfort and support and nice breathability with that Airscape back panel. So that back panel offers really good mesh venting and nice foam padding there with some ridged design so it allows really good ventilation, really good breathability and quick drying materials, so great suspension system from the Aether 60.
I am going to turn the pack back around so we can check out how we access the Aether 60. So the Aether 60 actually has three different access points. There is the general top loading hood section. So this is a top loading pack. So we can remove this hood or flip that back and see that there is a nice, large opening in the top and that is where you are going to access the majority of your items.
Now if you are out on the trail and you need to access something quickly, that is not going to sit on the top of your pack, there is a front J shaped zipper that actually extends around the front of the pack. So we can actually access this pack from the front through this J shaped zipper. So we have got some really nice features there. You can get all the way inside. It is kind of a nifty access point.
And also at the bottom we have a lower sleeping bag compartment, which, again, is a separate pocket. There is a divider inside the pack that will separate the main compartment and the sleeping bag compartment, but if you just want to use this as a single pack, a single vast expansive opening, you can remove that layer and have one pocket instead of the separated pockets, so nice features, nice accessibility with the Aether 60.
Taking a look at some of the other pockets, we have got a front stretchy mesh pocket. It is really good to throw a jacket or an extra layer. I have got just a little wind breaker there now. On the sides we have got two stretchy mesh pockets on the sides as well, great for water bottles or other gear. I have got a water bottle in this one. They are very stretchy. There is actually some compression here, too, which really holds the items in place nicely. So we have got one of those on either side.
Other pockets, we do have a pocket up in the hood. So you can keep gear there. You know, it is easy access for books, guide books, maps, you know, any type of first aid accessories you may want to get your hands on quickly. So nice pocket there. And then again on the back we have got two hip belt pockets, one on either side. So those are excellent to store small items like your keys or your phone, maybe some snacks or granola bars.
Some of the other features that the Aether offers are a hydration sleeve. So there is a separated sleeve on the exterior of the back but behind the shoulder harness. There is a clip up here and you can actually drop the hydration sleeve that is sold separately, but you can drop that in right there and it does have a, you know, an access that you can weave it through your shoulder strap and attach it to your sternum strap if you would like. But it is a really nice feature, because it is not going to bother the internal components of the pack. So whatever you have got inside, in the event that your hydration bladder breaks or there is a tear in it and it leaks, it is not going to soak all of your items on the inside, because there is some separation between your gear and your hydration. So it is a nice sleeve there. It is a smart design.
We do have some side compression straps here. So on the top we have got a compression strap. And at the bottom we have also got a compression strap that goes over these stretch pockets. A neat feature about those lower compression straps is you can actually route them under the straps so they are out of sight. Keep your items a little bit more stream-lined, you know, prevent the straps from dangling on the outsides, so another nice feature there.
We do have some compression on the front as well. So these compression straps will go across the front and really tighten down any smaller load that you may have or if you just want to prevent your gear from shifting. There are two nice straps here to allow that to cinch down nicely. And another neat feature about these two straps that go across the front, they can actually extend all the way to this other side here. So there are these two kind of curious little clips on the side and they kind of confusing. So it is a very good question of what they are used for. This strap, if you have a smaller load in the bag can actually come off and extend and wrap all the way around to clip to those buckles and really compress a smaller load. So in the event that you are going ultra light or you are only going for, you know, one night, you can really compress the load with this pack with this buckles there, so that is a really smart design and it is something that is a little different, which is cool.
On the front we do have two tool loops with bungee attachments so you can keep your ice tools or your mountaineering axes, whatever you might want to have there. So nice features on the front. We do have some sleeping pad straps on the bottom here, so you can lash a sleeping pad to the outside if you need to. They do extend and they are also removable. So if you don’t need them, you can take them off completely and not have to worry about them.
One more thing that Osprey offers with this pack is the stow on the go trekking pole attachments. So if you are hiking and you don’t want to have to worry about putting your trekking poles back in the pack or attaching them to the outside, there is this nice attachment point here and this kind of gear loop on the bottom side here. So you can just stow your trekking poles nicely there. They rest easily under the arm. They stay out of the way, but they are easy to access quickly in the even that you want to use them, so very smart design and a smart feature there from Osprey.
One last fun feature about the Aether 60. The lid of this pack is actually completely re-movable and can be used as a small day pack. So it will completely come off. It has integrated straps on the inside and you can actually use that as a small lumbar style day pack. So it rests gently above the lower back and, you know, small items or if you just want to go on a day trip after you set up a base camp, it is a very nice feature there.
So there you have it. It is the Osprey Aether 60, a back pack with a plethora of features ideal for long weekends or extended backpacking trips.