The Osprey Ariel 65 Women's internal frame backpack strikes an excellent balance between lightweight design and load-bearing performance.
With a light weight design, custom features and load carrying capacity, the Osprey Ariel women’s 65 pack is sure to appeal to back packers, mountaineers, climbers who are looking for a pack that is going to carry a lot of weight comfortably and is going to give you a lot of features and an extremely custom fit.
The first thing to talk about with any back pack is the way it carries the load and the suspension system. So I am going to turn this pack around just to see what is going on behind the scenes here. The stand out feature of the Ariel series is the isoform hip belt and harness. So the hip belt and harness are swappable. You can put different size components on this pack. So the pack itself comes in a couple of different sizes and the harness and hip belt also come in different sizes. So you can get that perfect, custom fit. Someone who has a long torso and skinny hips, you can, you know, get a large pack with a small hip belt and, you know, all the different combinations that are in there. So really stand out feature with his series.
Again, with the suspension system there is a light wire aluminum frame that goes around the outside of the pack and that just comfortably transfers the load right to your hips, right where it needs to be.
You have Osprey’s airscape back panel and this has some mesh material. It has also got foam that allows that heat to escape from your back. So you are not going to overheat and, you know, you are going to be really comfortable, a really breathable back panel. With the breathability the isoform harness and hip belt also have really nice mesh. So that is going to allow perspiration to wick and it is going to allow you to breathe.
I do want to mention that there is also an adjustable back panel. So while the pack comes in different sizes, you can also adjust it with this back panel here. It is really easy. It is Velcro. So all you have to do is undo the Velcro and move the back panel up and down, so even more of a custom fit there. You can really dial it in for your torso length.
On the back you do have a hydration compatible sleeve. And this is actually accessed from outside of the pack. So you don’t have to open up the body of the pack, take your gear out in order for you to replace the hydration system that is in there. It doesn’t come with a hydration reservoir, but you can buy one separately.
Moving down to the hip belt, you have a hip belt pocket on either side, big enough for a cell phone or a granola bar, something you want to get your hands on quickly. There is an adjustable sternum strap here, a safety whistle on there. And one thing I do want to mention while we are at this side of the pack, they have stow on the go trekking pole loops. And it is something I really love about Osprey packs. You know, if you are hiking with your trekking poles and you want to just unload them for a little bit, you don’t have to take your pack off and attach them. You can just put the trekking poles right here on the stow on the go trekking pole loops and continue on your way.
There is really smart pockets and organization for people who like to organize their gear. Starting with the top lid you have a really nice open pocket up here on the top for items you want to get your hands on quickly like a first aid kit or lighter weight items. And this top lid is floating so you can adjust it up and down depending on the size of your load. Really great thing about this is that you can actually take the top lid completely off and use it as a hip pack. So a great feature there. It adds a lot of value if you just want to go on day trips or use this pack for shorter trips.
If I turn the pack around and just expose the top lid here you can see that folds back. And the top of the pack opens up really wide so this is a true top loading pack. You also have a J shaped zipper right here, so you can get into the body of the pack. But this is really easy to use. You can see I have got some gear in there and there is an internal compression strap. So if you don’t have it packed out completely you can really cinch down the gear that is inside. And you can see this pack being great for a guide or for someone that is thru-hiking where your load might be really big at one point and you need a lot of room, but this has a lot of compression straps in different place, so as your load gets smaller or if you are calling a smaller load, you can really cinch down the pack and your gear stays secure.
Moving to this J shaped zipper, this gives you really nice access into the body of the pack. So it is a little bit bigger of a pack and if I just set it down you can see how wide that opens. I can access stuff that is here on the bottom. I have just got a little stove in there and access stuff all the way up to the top. A really convenient feature you don’t have to take a lot of things out of your pack in order to get hands on what you want and this bottom compartment here is your typical sleeping bag compartment. That opens up really wide. You can see I have a sleeping bag in there. So there is a divider between the bottom sleeping bag compartment and the main body of the pack. But if you want, you can take that divider out and just have one big pocket.
Stretchy mesh pocket on the front where I like to keep an extra layer or a map, something I want to get my hands on quickly, something that is light weight.
On the side you have got really long, what I normally call water bottle pockets. Right here I have just tent poles in there. So you can see the depths of that pocket. You have got two entry points into this pocket, one from the top and one from the side. So if I show you I have got my water bottle in the other side. And this has just an angled entry. So it is really easy to just grab your water when you need it. You don’t have to take your pack off and reach into this deep pocket.
The other cool thing about this pocket is there is compression straps. There is.... you can put them underneath of this stretchy pocket. Or, as you can see on this side I have the compression strap on the outside. So, again, really versatile pack. You can compress it down and adjust the volume.
One of the things I love most about this pack is the versatility and the different ways that it can be used. So going through the little features that make a big difference, in the top you have got some webbing attachments. Working my way down here on the front there are two compression straps. So one thing they can do is just compress the volume of the pack down. But you can use these to attach a snow board. Or skis or snow shoes or anything to the front of this pack, so nice feature there. And on this pack in my opinion these are two curious little buckles, but if you really have a small load and you need to compress the pack down even more, these buckles right her are meant to reach over, buckle there and one down there. So that is what these two are used for.
Working my way down the pack even more, there is two nice really sturdy tool loops on the bottom. So just to give you an idea of how big those loops are, you have got attachment points up here. So any mountaineering tools, ice axes, things like that, you can attach them really easily there. And then I am working my way down to the bottom. There are two nice adjustable webbing loops.
All in all this is one of the most versatile packs. It has got extremely great customization. You can dial in the fit and once you know the fit of this pack, it is going to last you for a really long time and just continue to offer support and comfort in the back country.
It is the Osprey women’s Ariel 65 backpack.