In most things, my allegiances are split. I have many different brands of running shoes; I wear many kinds of jackets. But not when it comes to packs…
Why? I love Osprey packs. Believe it or not, I presently own all of these, from largest to smallest:
– Osprey Argon 85
– Osprey Atmos 65
– Osprey Atmos 50
– Osprey Exos 46
– Osprey Raptor 14
– Osprey Viper 7
Perhaps this is a ridiculous list — is there a 12-step program for this? — but each has its place in my toolkit. From overnight backpacking trips to weeklong treks, for weeknight mountain biking, for long approach hikes to technical wetsuit caves, for me Osprey always rises above the competitive options.
Why? I’ve owned other brands of packs, of course, and even have a few still kicking around the house somewhere. First and foremost, Osprey just fits me the best. Beyond that, it just seems to me that these packs offer the best balance of durabilty, comfort, light weight and function presently available.
The Atmos packs and Exos pack are my go-to choices for hiking; while these are sold as lightweight packs, I think they are simply the best backpacking packs out there for all-around use. The ventilated AirSpeed suspension is without equal in tropical climates, and both are packed with useful features.
The Argon 85 is more of an expedition pack for me, and I routinely load it up with wet or muddy caving & canyoneering gear. It just loves the abuse. As for the hydration packs? The Raptor 14 is a great pack for day hikes or photo trips; the Viper is on my back every single time I ride my mountain bike.
I’ve attached some photos (one each from Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall!) and created a Flickr set from trips we’ve taken over the past 2 or 3 of years with our Osprey backpacks. Hope you like them.
You’ll notice that my wife is featured in most of the photos; this is because she’s tall enough that we’re both an Osprey size “L” torso. That means, when we’re backpacking, I can wear the Atmos 65 and give her the 50, or wear the 50 and give her the Exos 46!
Shop the full line of Osprey backpacks at Rock/Creek …and drop me a line if you need advice! ~Jeff