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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Osprey Atmos 65 > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Osprey Aura 65 Women's Backpack
Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Page Contents:

Initial Report:
May 1, 2009

Tester Information

Name:
Gail Staisil
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Torso Length: 19 in (48 cm)       
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 19 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Product Information



Manufacturer
Osprey Packs, Inc
Website http://www.ospreypacks.com
Model Aura 65
Color
Baja Blue (also available in Brown Sugar)
Fabric
210D Twill Velocity Cordura, 160D X 210D Window Ripstop Cordura, Stretch nylon and mesh
Comfort Range
Up to 50 lb (22.68 kg)
Tested Size
Women's Medium (also available in S and L plus Men's sizes in the Atmos 65)
Volume
4000 cu in (65 L)
Manufacturer  Weight 3 lb 10 oz (1.64 kg)
Tested Weight 
3 lb 13 oz (1.73 kg)
Model Year 2009
MSRP NA

 

Initial Impressions and Product Description  Osprey Women's Aura 65L Backpack


The Osprey Aura 65 Backpack arrived in great condition without any noticeable defects. The quality of the workmanship is impeccable.

Although I had studied the owner's manual and other pack details on the company's website including the fact that the pack belonged to the Ventilated Series of packs, I was really surprised by the appearance of the open-air features (more later). Not having actually previously viewed the pack in person, I guess it's hard to really tell in photos how ventilated this pack really appears.

The pack had a few attached hang tags touting the company's guarantee, a tag relating that the owner's manual was inside the pack and a tag relating to the women's design features.

According to the manufacturer the Aura 65 L at 4000 cu in is designed "for overnight to week long trips and thru hikes". The manufacturer suggests it can be used for load levels from 10 lb to 50 lb (4.54 kg to 22.68 kg).

I was immediately taken with its beautiful color of Baja Blue. The outside of the pack features several fabrics including mostly 210D Twill Velocity Cordura. The pack is accented with the use of 160D X 210D Window Ripstop Cordura and coordinating stretch fabric. The Baja Blue-colored pack is accented with a touch of light gray ripstop and mesh. Inside the pack there are outdoor ethics or Leave No Trace principles printed in two languages on the inside of the collar.


Air Speed Suspension

AirSpeed Suspension
The Osprey Aura 65 was reportedly re-designed for 2009 to allow the backpanel to be closer to the body and still allow great ventilation.
The Aura 65 Pack features AirSpeed Suspension. It consists of an Osprey LightWire alloy aluminum hoop frame with twin cross struts that form an oval shape. This reportedly provides an excellent load carrying support. Over this lies the mesh backpanel. This 3D ergonomic backpanel is tensioned so that it is suspended over an inch (three centimeters) away from the hoop frame. The open mesh (large-patterned mesh) panel is bordered by four AirSpeed crescent-shaped openings on each side so that air can flow right through without any obstruction. I've never seen anything like this before so I am excited to see how it performs in the mid-to-high humidity environmental conditions that I encounter.


Floating Top Pocket


The top of the pack features a floating top pocket or lid. The pocket is attached at three points to the back of the pack, one by the means of a slider buckle and the other points are attached with webbing threaded through duckbill buckles. All of these points would have to be unattached to remove the lid and then to replace it, the steps would have to be reversed. 

The top lid features a rear-zipper opening with a handy semi-circular pull tab which are used on all
the major zippers of the pack. The inside of the lid features a clip to secure car keys or other valuables. As an additional bonus, there is also a very cool zippered-mesh pocket on the underside of the lid that measure almost 8 in (20.32 cm) square. What a neat idea!


Front Pockets
Easy-to-grasp circular zipper pull

The front of the pack features dual-vertical zippered front pockets. Although this pocket has a sewn-in divider in it, it does not extend completely to the top and bottom of the pocket. The zippers on the pockets feature circular-shaped zipper pulls that allow them to be easy to grasp. Overlaying the dual pockets is another pocket made out of stretch material. This shovel-type pocket has only a simple clip for the closure feature so it would readily accommodate anything that doesn't need to be protected from the elements.


Hipbelt and Harness


The sewn-in hipbelt on the Aura 65 is canted slightly upward to reportedly best cup the hips. It features a ErgoPull closure that offers a mechanical advantage. The webbing should be loosened to engage the buckle and then by evenly pulling both loose ends of the webbing towards the center, a nice fit is accomplished. The backside of the hipbelt is covered in open mesh so the inner perforated waffle foam is visible. The outer surface of the hipbelt features roomy 3D mesh pockets on each side complete with zippered openings.

The sewn-in harness is also specifically designed for a women's torso. The BioStretch Harness has a narrower profile and features mesh covered perforated waffle foam. The chest strap features a built-in whistle on the buckle.


Hydration

Like most packs offered by major manufacturers, the Osprey Aura 65 also offers several options for carrying water. There are two options for a hydration bag in that there is a sewn-in pocket inside the pack for such purpose but as an alternative it can also be stowed in the backpanel cavity or airspace by unzipping the backpanel closure. There are also two ports on the exterior of the pack for hydration tube exits. With that said, I normally use 1 quart/1 liter bottles for hydration so I am thrilled that the side stretch pockets are large enough in width and height (approx 7 in X 11 in/18 cm X 28 cm) to accommodate those.


Sleeping Bag Compartment and Ice Axe Loops
Y-Clip attachment for ice tool
The lower front side of the pack also features a zippered sleeping bag compartment with a removable divider. Although it is called "removable" it just means that one side of it can be released from the straps to make the inside of the pack one big compartment instead. The opposite long edge of the compartment is sewn in place. This is a feature that I ordinarily don't use because I normally line my pack with a contractor bag to make it completely waterproof. However I will take at least one trip where I use the divider for its stated purpose. There are also removable sleeping pad straps. The straps are each about 19 in (48 cm) long so they could accommodate most rolled-up pads.

As is standard on many packs there are ice axe loops with tie-offs. Each of the latter features a clove hitch-style bungee with Y-Clip allowing an ice tool to be fastened with a cordlock. The cords fit neatly into notches in the Y-Clip to secure. The clip is an exclusive design to Osprey.



Innovative FeaturesCompression strap over pocket
Harness attachement for handles of poles
The Osprey Aura 65 has some uncommon features including the Stow-on-the-Go Attachment System and the Inside/Out compression strap option.

The Stow-on-the-Go Attachment System essentially allows me to stow my trekking poles while wearing my pack. It features an elasticized loop covered by tubing beneath the side pocket on the left side. The basket end of the poles can be inserted into this by pulling the loop away from the pocket.

The handles of the poles are then inserted into a loop located on the left side of the harness. The loop features a cordlock that is cleverly hidden under a fabric patch that has an icon of trekking poles on it. By operating the cordlock, the loop can be adjusted to secure the poles. To release the poles the order just needs to be reversed.
Elastic for stowing the bottom of  trekking poles
The InsideOut Compression System is something that I have been dreaming about for years! It essentially allows the side compression straps to be used over the side pockets or under them.

There is a hole located on each lower side of each pocket so that the webbing can be used either over or underneath the pocket. To change the location I needed to un-thread the webbing from the buckle and reposition the buckle and webbing on the side preferred.
Although this is not a tedious task I do wonder why the manufacturer didn't use small quick-release buckles instead. Because I love to use unobstructed side pockets for water bottles I am real excited about this feature.

 

Trying it Out


The Aura 65 is the women's version of the Atmos 65 Pack. Osprey has specifically designed the Aura to accommodate a women's body. There are actually three sizes available for women. Due to my specifications I fit into the size Medium model. It fits perfectly. My 19 in (48 cm) torso measurement is right in the middle of the specs for this size which are 18.5 to 20 in (46 to 52 cm). I filled the pack with about 20 lb (9 kg) of weight and quickly adjusted the waistbelt and harness. The waistbelt with its ErgoPull feature was so easy to adjust by loosening the straps and pulling them both towards the center. I further examined the Stow-On-The-Go Attachment System and found it was quite easy to stow my poles.

The Owner's Manual explains many features of the pack. Further information such as sizing and how to correctly load the pack are offered on the website.


Care


Osprey has an impressive guarantee policy. They will repair free of charge any damage or defect to a pack no matter when it was bought. If the pack can't be repaired they will replace it. I found many care guidelines on their website and I would especially complement them on being thorough. They recommend removing stains with mild detergent and then rinsing and let to hang dry away from sunlight. They recommend washing a pack often in a bathtub or large sink in the same manner. It is suggested to use several care products by Nikwax such as TechWash for cleaning, Tent and Gear Proof for water resistance and UV Proof for sun protection.
 
So far, I must say I am real excited about the many fine features of the Osprey Aura 65 especially the ventilation attributes. Although I have extensively used two other Osprey Packs in the past, the new technology and features are impressive. I'm looking forward to the next four months of testing it in spring and summer conditions that should bring a wide variety of temperatures, precipitation and humidity. I have numerous trips planned where I will be carrying various amounts of weight. It will be interesting to test its comfort in these variable conditions.

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Field Report:

July 14, 2009

USA Locations and Conditions

During the field test period, I have worn the Osprey Aura 65 Backpack during three backpacking excursions for a total of thirteen trail days. The first trip was a two-day trip to the Fox River Pathway and the next was a two-day trip to the Craig Lake Wilderness/North Country Trail. Both trails are located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The third trip was a nine-day island trip to Isle Royale National Park in the middle of Lake Superior, Michigan. Locations ranged from and included boreal and deciduous forest communities, backcountry lakes and more. Elevation ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to approximately 1400 ft (427 m).


Trip 1- May Solo Backpacking Trip:


Location: Fox River Pathway - Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 17.5 mi (28 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days/2 nights
Pack Weight: 28 lb (13 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Mostly sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 25 F (-4 C) to 51 F (11 C)


Trip 2 - Early June Backpacking Trip:

Location: Craig Lake Wilderness/North Country Trail - Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Type of Trip: Trail, bushwhack
Distance: 6 mi (10 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days/1 night
Pack Weight: 26.5 lb (12 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, rain
Precipitation: 0.52 in (1.35 cm)
Temperature Range: 31 F (-1 C) to 58 F (14 C)


Trip 3 - Late June Solo Backpacking Trip:

Location: Isle Royale National Park, an island in Lake Superior - Michigan
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 75 mi (121 km)
Length of Trip: 9 days/8 nights
Pack Weight: 39 lb (17.69 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Fog, light rain, mostly sunny, cloudy
Precipitation: 0.14 in (0.36 cm)
Temperature Range: 44 F (7 C) to 86 F (30 C) 

Performance in the Field

The first two journeys
My trusty knife attached with the use of ice axe clips
During my first two trips wearing the Osprey Aura 65, I quickly became enamored with its fit and comfort. I was only carrying between 26.5 lb (12 kg) and 28 lb (13 kg) but I didn't have any adjustment or comfort issues.

The first trip covered a fair amount of distance (17.5 mi/28 km) in two days time. The weather was cool and the nights were below freezing. I packed a great deal of warm stuff including my 0 F (-18 C) sleeping bag that was very appreciated both nights. I had plenty of room for my bulky gear.

Because this trip was in a remote area where I seldom ever see another human being and the fact that I was solo, I carried a large knife. I normally wear my survival knife on my belt in such surroundings but I instead decided to attach it to one of the ice axe's Y-Clips as the knife is in a sheath with a top loop attachment that usually goes around my pant's belt. The bottom section of the sheath was attached with several half-hitch knots to the ice axe loop on the same side.
Tester wearing the Aura 65 on its maiden journey
The second trip was sort of a crazy trip as although our intentions were to use a little used section of trail, my friend and I mostly ended up bushwhacking. The pack stayed close to my body and didn't sway when maneuvering around obstacles including tons of tree branches and swamps. The ErgoPull buckle never slipped and I only adjusted it when I removed and replaced the pack on my body. The ErgoPull belt is a perfect size without excessive extra webbing. I have worn the belt over several layers and have extra room to even make it bigger for bulkier clothing.

During the second trip, although the weather wasn't particularly warm with a high of 58 F (14 C) there was still a great deal of humidity in the air due to impending rain. I immediately noticed how comfortable my back stayed even though I was wearing several layers. Usually whenever I wear most packs the back of my shirt gets wet from direct contact with the padded backpanel. I was so impressed with the AirSpeed feature that I wanted to jump for joy (but I didn't have the energy). What a difference that feature makes!

During this trip (and the previous one) I used the zipped lower section of the pack for its intended purpose of storing my sleeping bag. I was still carrying a 0 F (-18 C) down bag (due to cold night conditions) on this trip so it fit in quite nicely. I was even able to stuff in a ground cloth for use under my bivy as well in that section. The sleeping bag was easy to remove and replace without disturbing the rest of the pack's contents.


Super Loader - Carried Nine Days of Supplies
Aura 65 on Day 7 of 9-day journey (on the Feldtmann Trail)
I thought the next trip with the Aura 65 would test it to its size limits. I packed for a nine-day solo trip to Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. Although the pack has plenty of capacity I wondered if the pack would hold the bulk of all the contents. Isle Royale has an average high of 68 F (20 C) in the month of June so I prepared for nights that possibly could be below freezing by taking a 30 F (-1 C) sleeping bag.

I also brought an insulated light down jacket, a stretch hoody and had other layers to adapt to the climate including a full rain set. Even with nine days of food, cooking equipment, sleeping bag, small tent and more the pack adapted well to all the contents.

I decided to use the sleeping bag compartment for the tent body along with ground cloth, first aid kit, water filter, book, journal and more. These were items that I could possibly need while hiking or in the case of the tent body I could conveniently access it if it was raining (and not get the items inside the rest of the pack wet).

I carried two three-quarter length pads for comfort on this trip, one inflatable Therm-a-Rest inside my pack and the other (a Z-Lite) was carried outside the pack encased in a silnylon bag and secured with the carrying loops. I love the length of the carrying loops as they easily accommodate that pad and there is not extra long dangling webbing to deal with.

The pack body is very roomy. Even with all my equipment and such for a nine-day trip I still had room for an extra item or two. My total pack weight for this trip was 39 lb (17.69 kg) including a quart and a half of water (48 oz/1.42 L).


Love, Love, Love, the AirSpeed Backpanel
The rugged Rock Harbor Trail at Isle Royale National Park
 The big perk during this trip was again the ventilation provided by the AirSpeed backpanel. The weather quickly turned on the first day from normal June temperatures to unseasonable highs during the rest of the trip. The temps were primarily in the 80's (27 C) with a high of 86 F (30 C).

Perhaps those temperatures don't sound hot to a lot of people who live in warm climates but my body wasn't acclimatized to those temperatures as the spring had been cold up to then (50 F to 60 F/10 C to 16 C). Even though I sweated my way across the island, my back remained comfortable and my shirt stayed visibly dry. Several people that I met on the trip immediately noticed that unusual feature on the pack and I expounded my delight with it to them.

The way the backpanel is constructed with the mesh backpanel stretched tightly on the aluminum hoop frame gives full support to my back and the difference in weight load carried is barely noticeable.

The terrain at Isle Royale is very rugged, tons of rocks and roots. Having a backpack that fits comfortably makes progress a lot more fun. Most days were typically about 8 to 10 mi (13 to 16 km) days with the longest day being close to 12 mi (19 km).


Plethora of Pockets

Prior to testing the Aura 65, I had been using a minimalistic pack during the last few years. Although that pack weighs about half of the weight of the Aura I wondered if I would have trouble getting used to a pack with so many features again. There is a host of storage pockets on the Aura so I had to rethink my strategy for storing my gear. Needless to say, the process was easy and I have quickly come up with the perfect arrangement for my gear.

The back pockets which consist of two vertical pockets have quickly become the home for my rain pants, rain jacket, gloves, rain mitts and more. The shovel type pocket holds my rain cover, my extra hydration equipment such as an empty 3 L (2.85 qt) storage bag for clean water and a large 3 gallon (11.36 L) ZipLoc brand bag for hauling water.

The top pocket has become the home for maps, bug shirt, bug net, hat, lunch and snacks. One of my favorite pockets on the Aura is the simple zippered mesh pocket underneath the hood of the pack. This easily holds my ID and other relevant papers, keys, and other items that I don't need during the trip itself.

Siskiwit Bay- Day 6 camp at Isle Royale NPThe stretch side pockets are tall and wide enough to hold my 1 qt (0.95 L) bottle and my pint (0.47 L) size flask-type bottle. About the only thing that I don't like about the side pockets is that they have side openings in theory to reach a water bottle while hiking. This is just too difficult of a task for me to perform flexibility-wise so I normally take my pack off to have a rest and drink. Since going fast is not my style, I welcome these breaks!

The side opening of each pocket is a bit risky for the possible loss of smaller items. I've even had my pint (0.47 L) size flask come out of it. Luckily it happened when I set my pack down to rest. I would not use those pockets for things like a rain cover or other items that could easily be lost. I have secured the Inside/Out Compression strap in the outer position on this flask to make it more secure. The straps and buckles on this system are easy to use but a quick-release buckle would even be easier!

The mesh pockets on the belt have been handy for lip balm, sunscreen, bug dope and my Gorillapod (tripod) for my camera fits neatly into one of them. I sometimes throw in a trail bar as well in case I want to eat on the fly but I usually stop anyway for breaks. These pockets have a stiffening wire to make them three-dimensional. I'm not sure that feature is really necessary but I suppose it makes removing and replacing items  from the pockets easier (I have similar pockets on several of my packs that are not structured in that way and I haven't had any issues using them).

The circular zipper pulls on the pockets of the pack have made grasping them so easy. Although I haven't needed to wear gloves (while hiking) on these trips I can only imagine that they would most likely be easy to use while wearing gloves.

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Long Term Report:

September 26, 2009

USA and Canada Locations and Conditions

During the long term period, I have worn the Osprey Aura 65 Backpack during seven more backpacking excursions for a total of twenty-six additional days. Total days and miles backpacked for the entire testing period are 39 days and almost 285 miles (459 kilometers)! As stated below, trips were in two countries: Canada and the USA. Locations ranged from and included sub-alpine and boreal forest communities, islands, lakeshore trails and more. Elevation ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to 8235 ft (2510 m).  


Trip 4 - Mid-July Backpacking Trip:

Location: Skyline Trail - Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 27.3 mi (44 km)
Length of Trip: 4 days/3 nights
Pack Weight: 38 lb (17 kg), Carried all common gear for two people
Sky and Air Conditions: Mostly sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 45 F to 91 F (7 C to 33 C)


Trip 5 - Late July Backpacking Trip:

Location: Rockwall Trail - Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada
Type of Trip: Steep trail (vertical gain 8530 ft/2600 m, vertical loss 7382 ft/2250 m)
Distance: 34.2 mi (55 km)
Length of Trip: 5 days/4 nights
Pack Weight: 41 lb (18.6 kg), Carried all common gear for two people
Sky and Air Conditions: Sun, clouds and thunderstorms
Precipitation: Rain 0.89 in (22.5 ml)
Temperature Range: 43 F to 81 F (6 C to 27 C)


Trip 6 - August Solo Backpacking Trip:

Location: Grand Island National Recreation Area - Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 10.4 mi (17 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days/1 night
Pack Weight: 21 lb (9.5 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 59 F (33 C) to 82 F (46 C) 


Trip 7 - Late August Backpacking Trip:

Location: Isle Royale National Park - an island in Lake Superior, Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 40.6 mi (65 km)
Length of Trip: 6 days/5 nights
Pack Weight: 32 lb (14.5 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Heavy rain, clouds, sunny
Precipitation: 2.14 in (5.44 cm)
Temperature Range: 39 F (4 C) to 73 F (23 C)


Trip 8 - Early September Solo Backpacking Trip:

Location: Grand Island National Recreation Area - Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 13.3 mi (21.4 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days/1 night
Pack Weight: 26.5 lb (12 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny!
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 54 F (12 C) to 81 F (27 C)


Trip 9 - Mid-September Solo Backpacking Trip:

Location: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 42.4 mi (68 km)
Length of Trip: 4 days/3 nights
Pack Weight: 31 lb (14 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, sunny 
Precipitation: None 
Temperature Range: 36 F (2 C) to 75 F (24 C)


Trip 10 - Late-September Solo Backpacking Trip:

Location: Grand Island National Recreation Area - Michigan, USA
Type of Trip: Trail/Bushwhack
Distance: 18 mi (29 km)
Length of Trip: 3 days/2 nights
Pack Weight: 27.5 lb (12.5 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, sunny 
Precipitation: None 
Temperature Range: 44 F (7 C) to 73 F (23 C)

Performance in the Field

Varying Loads
The fully loaded Aura 65
During the long term period I wore the Aura 65 on seven more backpacking trips. The most weight carried was 41 lb (18.6 kg) and the least was 21 lb (9.5 kg). The Aura was comfortable regardless of the weight. The hip belt is an extremely comfortable ventilated belt and I have experienced ZERO pressure points or tender spots. The contoured base of the belt rests so nicely on my hips.

The terrain in which I used the backpack varied considerably from mountainous terrain with tons of descents and ascents to slightly hilly turf. Much of the travel was in rocky terrain and a bit was in plain sand. Most of the travel was on established trail while some was bushwhack. The Aura handled the loads well over the different types of terrain and surfaces.

 

Capacity
/Pockets

I have found the Aura 65 to hold as much gear as I'd like to carry. I have used the pack for as long as nine days of supplies (during the field period) to as short as two-day trips. On two of the trips I carried common gear for two people (nine days). The pack seems to swallow up gear and at no time did I feel that it was maxed out for capacity.

I absolutely love the outside zippered pockets on the back side of the pack as that has become the home for quickly needed items such as rain gear and pack cover. The stretch pocket has become the storage of choice for water treatment and things I might need to access without opening the pack such as maps. The other neat pocket that I continue to love is the small zippered pocket on the bottom side of the hood. It is there that I safely stow things I don't need during the trip such as ID, funds, keys and sometimes my cell phone (if I take it).


Ventilation Extraordinaire!!

I feel that the AirSpeed ventilation system has been the major key to my comfort during many of my trips. Although this has been an unseasonably cold summer here and in Canada, for some reason most every time I backpacked this summer the temps were much higher than normal. I experienced te
mps into the 90's (32 C) and mostly into the 80's (27 C) with mid-high humidity. I mostly avoided bugs biting my back through the open mesh ventilation system by wearing tightly woven shirts (not knit shirts). These are the types of shirts I wear anyway during high bug season.


Suggestions

Although I am totally happy with most features of the pack I do have a few minor suggestions for improvement (also mentioned in the field report). One would be to remove the side openings on the side pockets. The fit is very snug for a 1 L (1 qt) bottle and there isn't any way that I can pull it out of the side pocket and replace it while on the fly. The side openings are also seemingly risky for storing other objects as they could inadvertently fall out without knowing. I also have a preference for the substitution of quick release buckles on the Inside/Out Compression System straps. Such buckles on the compression straps would make for a quicker change from one system to the other.

Because my habit is to use poles all the time or none of the time (for short trips) the Stow-On-The-Go feature wasn't that useful for me. This is more due to my style and probably would be advantageous to those who carry their poles some of the time (such as walking down a two-track or something similar).


Durability/Care
Tester hiking Skyline Trail, Jasper National Park, Canada
The Aura 65 has seen some grimy conditions over the course of 39 days in the field. It is soiled especially noticeable on the back stretch pocket. I tried to spot clean it but it needs more work so I will have to do a major pack wash soon. The covered wire on the bottom corners of the pack belt are fuzzed but not really frayed.

Just an additional note about the Osprey's durability and portability. The Aura was flown to Western Canada from Michigan, USA in a small single engine plane with lots of other cargo. It made its return flight on a commercial carrier. The pack has also been stowed (fully packed) in the cargo area of a 165 ft (50 m) ship during four crossings of Lake Superior (6 hours each time) as well as been transported on smaller ferries to nearby islands (six short trips). In addition, it has been towed in the back of my vehicle countless times. It has handled all the transportation issues fine in addition to all the days of backpacking. It collapses easily when needed and the belt doesn't stick out awkwardly for transport.



Final Appraisal - Major "A+"


My opinion of the exceptional performance of the Aura 65 has not changed since the field test period. If anything I am even more sold on its ability to handle any type of trip in comfort. After spending 39 days wearing the pack I have a definite solid feel for its attributes. So in conclusion I can honestly say that the Aura 65 has been the most comfortable pack I have ever carried for all size loads! Although I own packs that weigh far less than the Aura, they are not comfortable with loads over 30 lb (13.6 kg). I will continue to use the Aura 65 for most of my future backpacking trips.

 

Pros 

  • Ventilation features such as AirSpeed 
  • ErgoPull Belt (comfortable, ventilated and easy to adjust)
  • Easy to pack/many compartments

Cons 
  • Would like to see the use of quick-release buckles on the side compression straps
  • Would like to eliminate side openings on the side stretch pockets

Tester Remarks 

Thanks to Osprey and BackpackGearTest for this fun opportunity to test the Women's Aura 65 Backpack. This concludes my Long Term Report Report and the test series. 

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