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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Osprey Exos 58 Backpack > Test Report by Pamela Wyant

OSPREY EXOS 58 PACK

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Initial Report - March 5, 2009
Field Report - May 15, 2009
Long Term Report - July 14, 2009



Tester Information:

Name:  Pam Wyant
Age:  51
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight:  170 lb (77 kg)
Torso Length:  18 in (46 cm)
Hip:  42 in (107 cm)

E-mail address:  pamwyant(at)yahoo(dot)com
Location:  Western West Virginia, U.S.A.

Backpacking Background: 

Pursuing a long-time interest, I started backpacking five years ago.  In addition to day-hiking and weekend backpacking trips I try to do one longer trip each year.  A couple of years ago I began a project to section hike the Appalachian Trail (AT), accruing a little over 250 mi (400 km) so far.  My backpacking style always seems to be evolving somewhat, and I like trying different gear and techniques.  I can probably best be described as lightweight and minimalist; cutting as much pack weight as I can without sacrificing warmth, comfort, or safety

Initial Report - March 5, 2009


Product Information:

Manufacturer:  Osprey
Year of manufacture:  2009
Model:  Exos 58
Color:  Ember Orange/Grey
 
Large Pack:
Advertised weight:  Size L - 2 lb 10 oz (1191 g)
Measured weight:  Size L - 2 lb 9.8 oz (1186 g)
Capacity:  Size L - 3700 cu in (61 L)

Medium Pack:
Advertised weight:  Size M - 2 lb 8 oz (1140 g)
Measured weight:  Size M - 2 lb 8 oz (1134 g)
(slight variance in gram weight reflects weighing the pack in grams and converting to pounds/ounces)
Capacity:  Size M - 3500 cu in (58 L)

Recommended carry weight - 40 lb (18 kg) or under
Advertised Dimensions:  28 x 13 x 12 in (73 x 35 x 30 cm)

Dimensions as measured are more or less
consistent, depending upon where the pack is measured.

  Website: http://www.osprey packs.com/
MSRP:  Not Available
Pack front

Pack backProduct Description:

The Exos series is Osprey's foray into what I would consider the Ultralite pack market.  The pack has one large main compartment, a kangaroo or shove-it style front pocket, two side access front zippered pockets, two large mesh side pockets, a floating lid, and a hydration pocket.  Osprey has used very light weight materials in the pack's construction, which provides a low weight for a fully featured pack with a full suspension system.

The pack body and removable top pocket are made of 70 x 100 denier "Shadowcheck" nylon.  The bottom of the pack, while similar in exterior appearance, is made of a heavier 160 x 210 denier Window Ripstop Cordura.  The instruction manual that accompanied the pack states "These are high quality but lightweight fabrics.  Take extra care when using your pack to lengthen its life." 

The inside of the pack body has a slightly rubbery feeling to it, suggesting it may be at least water resistant.  The interior seams of the large main compartment are neatly bound with what appear to be nylon binding tape.  The interior features a very large hydration bladder pocket that appears to be made of silnylon, which runs the full width and nearly the full length of the pack's back.  Above the hydration pocket is a small nylon strap with a miniature quick release buckle.  This appears like it could be used to suspend a water bladder that has a slit or hole in the bottom, or to clip a key ring or headlamp in place to make it easy to find within the pack.  The hydration pocket appears so large and deep that I may find I need to rig a system of suspending my Platypus Water Bladder to make it easily accessible without having to partially remove the pack's contents.

Near the top of the back panel is an arched zipper that opens into the mesh suspension system.  I found I could slide my Platypus Water Bladder down inside the opening, but again I would need to rig some way of attaching it to the strap centered above the zipper since the Platypus does not have a slot to facilitate hanging it.  I tried putting a Nightlight torso pad inside the zippered area, but it would not fit.  At this point, I am not sure what useful purpose the zipper has, and I think I might prefer it be removed to save an ounce or two (25-50 +/- g). 

The only other feature on the interior of the pack is a screen printed copy of the 7 principles of Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics and reference to the Leave No Trace website and Osprey Packs website.   These are printed in both English and French on the back of the 5 in (13 cm) extension collar.  The extension collar cinches closed at the top with a relatively thick, but light nylon cord and a light two-hole oblong cord lock.   A metal grommet reinforces the entry hole for the cord, and the small area of the extension collar just beneath the metal grommet is reinforced with a double layer of fabric.

Inside the pack

Zipper inside the back - closed and open.



Top fasteners

Top fastening system

A 3/4 in (2 cm) wide orange-red nylon strap with two quick release buckles runs through a simple slide buckle attached via a small piece of nylon webbing to the base of the extension collar in the front of the pack.   One quick release buckle is used to attach the strap over the top of the main compartment to the back of the pack, where it can be tightened to compress the pack.  The other buckle attaches to the shove-it pocket.   Although the end of the strap connecting this buckle is stationary, adjustment can be made by moving the strap through the slide buckle.

The kangaroo style front pocket is made of a stretchy tightly woven material, and has a small, reinforced drain hole in the bottom.  It is imprinted with a patterned screen print design that incorporates the Osprey logo and the name of the pack model.  Along each side of the shove-it pocket are two loops of cord that could be used to lash items onto the pack, or to use a piece of cord to further compress the pack in the case of a lighter load.  A third loop is positioned above the pocket on each side.

Two very thin (1/4 in/0.6 cm) tool loops are located at the bottom of the shove-it pocket. Two elastic bungee 'clove-hitch' style tie-offs are located above the shove-it pocket.  These feature a Y shaped grip imprinted with the Osprey logo on one end, with the doubled bungee cord looping under the grip.  On the other end is a small oblong grip and a cord lock similar to the one on the extension collar.  This looks like it would make it very easy to attach an ice ax.  Since I've never had the pleasure of needing an ice tool, I will see if they prove useful for anything else.

Tool tie-off and zipper pull

Tool tie off (left), next to top of shove it pocket; zipper pull (right)


Also at the bottom of the pack are two 'sleeping pad' straps of the same thin webbing, with miniature 'duckbill' slide buckles for adjustment.

On each side of the pack are two 15 in (37 cm) long zippers that open large pockets located behind the shove-it pocket.  These pockets appear ample enough to swallow a lot of items that I like to keep relatively handy, such as toilet paper, first aid kit, survival kit, and rain gear, and appear to be a handy place to store maps.  The lining of these pockets appear to be a lighter fabric than the pack body, and do not have a rip-stop style grid.

The mesh pockets on the side of the pack are cavernous compared to most other packs I have used, and are accessible from both the front and side.  They are approximately 8 in (20 cm) high near the pack back and 11 in (28 cm) high near the front.  Having them accessible from the side may prove somewhat limiting in the type of items that can be carried there, as small items could easily fall out.  Then again, this may not really prove to be a problem since I don't normally carry small items in those type of pockets anyway as the items can easily fall out when the pack is set down.

One of the interesting features of this pack that is quite different is the "inside/out" compression system that runs along the sides of the pack.  This system consists of the thin 1/4 in (0.6 cm) nylon webbing which passes through tiny plastic rings attached to the pack sides in a lacing style pattern.  The straps are in two sections, with a 'duckbill' buckle adjustment at the top of each section to tighten the straps.  The really neat feature is that the bottom strap can either be passed through the mesh pocket on the inside, or by flipping the plastic ring through a small reinforced hole in the mesh, it can be passed outside the mesh pocket.  The best of both worlds!

Inside out compression system

The inside/out system - the pack shipped to me with one side set up each way

On the left side of the pack is the "Stow On The Go" trekking pole attachment system.  This system consists of a fixed elastic bungee cord at the bottom of the pack side, encased in clear tubing for protection, and an adjustable bungee with cord lock fastener attached at the base of the padded shoulder straps.  At any time that a trekking pole user wants to stow the poles, the basket ends are inserted through the fixed bungee, and the handle ends passed through the adjustable bungee which is then tightened.  This allows the poles to be out of the way of the hiker without having to remove the pack to store them, and also makes them easily accessible when needed again.

The frame of the pack consists of  a stiff white rod made of "6061-T6 aluminum" that is contour shaped and is clearly visible along the perimeter of the pack.  It is molded so that the pack sits slightly away from the wearers back.  One of the cool looking features of this pack is that the flashy looking orange-red and silver nylon back panel of the pack bag is visible through the large opening mesh back panel of the frame.  A pack with bling!

But the main purpose of the mesh isn't bling, it's ventilation.  Osprey terms this "AirSpeed Suspension".  As in air can speed through the suspension, hopefully keeping my back much cooler than a more traditional heavily padded back panel.

There is not much guessing about what the shoulder strap padding is made of - it is clearly visible through the mesh fabric that covers both the front and back of the straps.  This is the first pack I've ever seen that uses only mesh, reinforced at the edges with nylon webbing trim, for shoulder strap fabric.  The padding is slotted closed cell foam.  It seems there should be a lot of ventilation between the mesh and the slotted foam.  The shoulder straps have thin, yet traditional style 'load-lifter' straps of 1/2 in (1.3 cm) webbing to help shift the pack weight either onto or away from the shoulders.

The left shoulder strap has one elastic strap near the top and a small stretch woven pocket that will fit a cell phone, energy gel packets, or possibly a small GPS.  The right shoulder strap has three elastic straps.  These straps can be used to help route a hydration hose or could possibly hold small items such as a pinch style flashlight.

The 3/4 in (2 cm) sternum strap passes through one of four slots on each side of the shoulder straps and is held in place by a plain oval buckle.  The buckle can be turned sideways and passed through the slot with a little effort, allowing the user to choose which slot they want to use for their particular choice in fit.  The sternum strap fastens off center (to the right side) with a quick release buckle with incorporated whistle.

Sternum strap and shoulder harness pocket

Sternum strap, shoulder harness pocket

On each side of the top of the pack back is a hydration port.  These are nicely made, with the top overlapping the bottom so that water won't drip into the opening if it's raining.

The hipbelt is made fairly similar to the shoulder straps, consisting of mesh covered foam reinforced with nylon webbing at the edges.  The part nearest the pack also is reinforced with ripstop nylon on the front side.  Each hipbelt has a roomy mesh pocket with a full length zipper.   The hipbelt fastens with the thin 3/4 in (2 cm)  nylon webbing, in  Osprey's ErgoPull fashion.  This is a V-shaped system that results in pulling the strapping toward the center of the body, rather than away from the center in the manner that most traditional hipbelts adjust.  The adjustment was very intuitive for me to use the first time out, and it seems like I may be less likely to over tighten it as I sometimes tend to do with other hipbelts.

All zippers on the pack have light weight, but easy to use pulls that consist of thin nylon cord with a bit of rubbery tubing materials at the center, making them easy to grasp.   Unlike some pulls that simply provide a place to grab the pull, I can slide my finger easily into the pull, making it less likely for it to slip loose.

The final feature of the pack is the removable top lid.  The top lid is primarily orange-red in color with grey trim.  It attaches to the back of the pack with one 3/4 in (2 cm) strap in the center that passes through a slide buckle, and two 1/4 in (0.6 cm) straps that pass through both webbing loops and miniature 'duckbill' buckles to the sides.  The top pocket fastens over the front of the back with quick-release buckles attached to long adjustable nylon straps that can be further used to compress the pack as needed.

Two nylon loops are located on each side of the top lid, which could be used to lash items on top of the pack.  A zipper on the top of the lid provides access to a large storage pocket.  There is also a generous zippered mesh pocket on the underside of the top lid.

Trying it out:

I ordered a large size pack due to the hip size listed on the manufacturer's website, although my torso size fell more into the medium or even small category.  That turned out to be a big mistake because the large is much too big for my torso, with the shoulder straps connecting to the pack back about the level of the top of my ears.  The hipbelt is pretty generous, so the next size down should work well.  I have contacted customer service and arranged to have the large pack exchanged for a medium, which was an easy and courteous process. 

Not wanting to risk damaging the pack or getting it dirty, I have not tried packing it yet, or tried out the 'Stow On The Go System', so information on how that goes will have to wait until my field report.

Preliminary Impressions:

Other than having ordered the wrong size, I am really impressed with the Exos 58 so far.  It feels featherlight when I hold it, and it is hard for me to believe that a pack this light has so many features.  I look forward to getting the right size so that I can load it down and try it out.

The only concern I have at this time about the pack is that the buckles and straps are relatively small, and the rings that hold the inside/out compression straps in place don't look very robust.  Hopefully they will prove to be strong for their size and prove that I have nothing to be concerned about as far as durability.

Field Report - May 15, 2009

Exchange Information:

Shortly after my Initial Report I returned the Large size Exos to Osprey in exchange for a Medium.  Osprey's customer service department was polite and helpful, giving me an RNA (return authorization) number to write on the outside of the box and stating that I could return the pack by any shipping method.  Since the United States Postal Service is most convenient  for me, I used parcel post mail.  I expected it would take at least two weeks for the exchange using the slower mail service, however at the end of that period I still did not have the exchange.  I put a quick call into customer service who checked on the order for me, and assured me it was on its way.  A few days later I received the exchange pack.

I was happy to find it was a much better fit in the torso.  The hipbelt is of adequate size, but just barely.  I would be happier if the pull straps were just a bit longer.  I actually think I could wear a small size in the torso, but not in the hipbelt.

The medium pack weighs about 2 oz (57 g) less than the large one, and holds about 200 cu in (3 L) less.  I have added the information about the medium size pack to the product information box in my initial report above.

Field Conditions and Use:

In mid-April, shortly after receiving the replacement pack, I went on an overnight backpacking trip, where a friend and I taught beginner backpacking.  Since we were teaching I loaded a few extras over what I would normally carry, such as a water filter in addition to my SteriPEN and back-up purification tablets, a heavier first aid kit, a large tarp that could be used for a group hang-out area in case the predicted rain came through, and a few assorted odds and ends.

I also carried my Double Rainbow Tarptent instead of my hammock since my co-instructor and I shared it as our shelter.  She carried our stove, so that is one item I did not pack.  Other items I carried included a regular size NeoAir mattress, a full length Gossamer Gear ThinLight, a light weight sleeping quilt, insulated pants & jacket, wool base layer pants and top, DriDucks rain jacket and chaps (the pants became chaps when the seat ripped!), camp shoes, a Nalgene, extra water/water bladders, and the normal assortment of odds and ends - gloves, hat, toiletries, duct tape, knife, etc.  My pack was around 28 lb (13 kg) fully loaded.

The trail started with a steep decline over a mile (1.5 km) or so, then some gentle ups and downs to camp approximately another mile (1.5 km) along.  The next day the trail started off with a bit more gentle ups and downs.  We took a short side trip sans packs to a nice overlook, and then began the very steep quarter mile (0.5 km) trip up out of the valley area we had camped in.  Overall the trip was only about three miles (5 km).

Experiences and Conclusions:

What really surprised me about this pack is how much it holds.  It seems much larger than the stated 3500 cu in (58 L), which really surprised me since I knew a friend who raved about her Osprey Ariel pack, but I had not liked the way the curved back of that pack took up a lot of space and made it difficult to pack, having watched her struggle with it a number of times.  I expected something of the same with this Exos pack, but it swallowed my gear and said "Got any more?". 

As I am writing this report, the pack is sitting in my bedroom nicely packed with gear, 3 days food (and a little spare), and 2.5 L of water, awaiting my week-long Appalachian Trail adventure which I leave on tomorrow morning.  Since I plan on re-supplying half way or so through, I did not have to carry the full week of food, but I am quite sure there would have been plenty of room in the pack if I wanted to carry enough to last the entire trip.

The only problem I am really having with the pack is that I don't really fill up all the pockets when I pack, having been used to a simpler pack without as many pockets and features.  I am slowly getting used to this though, and becoming very organized at what goes where.  The flat pocket under the lid was one I particularly had no idea of what to store there, but for this trip I have figured out it is a good place to place my spare camera card to have it secure yet easily accessible, and a safe, fairly padded (and accessible) place that I can carry my cell phone in case of emergency.  The large side zippered pockets have worked out to be good places to carry my first aid kit and SteriPen on one side, and maps and toilet paper on the other, so that these items are handy when needed.  Once I get more used to a packing system I think it will be easier, but for now I sometimes forget what I put where and have to dig around a bit to find what I need.

The large front "shove-it" style pocket has been a great place to carry my tarp and pack cover, although I have some fear that they may pop out since the pocket snugs up pretty tight and puts pressure on things, even though it is very elastic.  I tried carrying a Nalgene in there for part of my overnight hike, and it popped right out.  Since my pack cover has a small carabineer and my hammock tarp has a small glove hook, I've fastened these into a mini-caribineer I attached to one of the cord loops just above the edge of the shove-it pocket.  I will be monitoring whether the slippery silnylon pack cover and tarp want to slide out of the pocket on my upcoming trip, or whether my fears are unfounded.

One thing that concerned me when I first loaded the pack for my overnight trip and tried it on was that the back of the shoulder harness seemed to sit right against my neck.  I was afraid that it would rub my neck and make it raw and sore, but this did not prove to be the case.  It may have helped that I wore a light weight shirt with a collar.  On my upcoming trip I plan to wear the collared shirt over a tank top and will try to carry the pack at least a few miles without the collared shirt to monitor how the neck feels without a collar in place. 

I was very happy with the way the pack fit and carried, and did not experience any problems such as soreness or back-ache.  I'm looking forward to testing the pack's mettle on my upcoming longer trip.

Summary:

The Exos 58 is an amazingly roomy pack for its stated capacity and weight.  The many pockets provide lots of opportunity to organize gear.  The fit seems to be on the generous side, with the exception of the hipbelt.  Since the pack does not have exchangeable parts, I would like to see longer pull straps on the belt, in order to better fit those of us (like me) with larger waistlines.

So far the pack is very comfortable to carry and easy to pack.

More to come:

At this point I probably need to quit writing, and get some sleep for my upcoming trip tomorrow, so this concludes my Field Report. 

Long Term Report - July 14, 2009

Field Locations and Conditions:

As anticipated in my field report, in mid-May I used the Osprey Exos 58 on a section hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in North Carolina, from Winding Stair Gap to Fontana Dam (approximately 58 mi/93 km in 6 days).  Daytime temperatures ranged from around 45 F (about 7 C) to around 85 F (about 29 C), with night temperatures about 35 F (2 C) to around 55 F (13 C).  The first day and early night were rainy and windy, and after that weather conditions were dry and mostly calm with light breezes from time to time.   Terrain was rugged, with lots of rocks and roots and significant elevation changes (from a low of about 1700 ft/500m to a high of about 5300 ft/1600 m, and lots of ups and downs in between those extremes).  It seemed I was always either going straight up or straight down!

Rough and rugged trail

The trail was rough and rugged at times ...

Experiences and Conclusions:

Along the trail on day 5The pack's performance was excellent on the trip.  The light weight of the pack helped me keep my beginning pack weight to 20 lb (9 kg) even with a little more than 3 days worth of food and 2.5 L of water, and the pack was very comfortable to wear.  Even in the rugged terrain it felt well balanced, and I did not experience any soreness at all.  (Well except my aching leg muscles from not being in top hiking shape and sore toes from a pair of shoes I was testing, but neither of those were from the pack.)  While carrying the pack, I wore a wool camisole top, either alone or with a light weight nylon shirt over it.  Even when wearing the camisole alone, the packed carried comfortably, with no chafing.

I was also very pleased with the ventilation that the pack's design allowed.  Although I was often hot and sweaty on the uphills, it was from a combination of the warm weather and exertion, and my back never felt excessively hot under the pack.  Most of the time I actually had more sweat on my face and upper chest than I did on my back, which is a nice change from packs designed with heavier padding that lays against the back and causes a lot of sweat and allows little to no evaporation.  I feel that Osprey has achieved a nice balance with this pack -  the design allows great ventilation and good evaporation of any sweat, and yet it rides close enough to the back to allow good stability and carrying comfort.

The Stow On The Go system came in handy to allow me to quickly store my trekking poles for a couple of short rock scrambles.  It was a little awkward to find the lower attachment and pass the pole baskets through it, but I think that would get better with more use.  It was reassuring to have the poles securely stored away instead of using my usual method of tossing the poles to the top of the scramble and hoping they don't roll off the side of the mountain!

The pack was easy to take off and put on.  As normal, I did need to loosen the shoulder straps a bit to make the process more comfortable, but I normally did not have to loosen any other straps.  I found the load lifter straps handy to slightly change the way the pack rode, snugging them tighter to shift a little of the pack weight away from my hips on long uphills, and loosening them up to take the weight off my shoulders/torso for the downhills.  I did not have any trouble with any of the adjustment straps slipping - they all stayed nice and secure once adjusted.  The small hipbelt buckle was a little difficult for me to find by feel at some times, resulting in a little quick searching.  I also discovered that it only fits on one side, so if I got the belt twisted and the wrong side was out, it would not stay fastened and I knew to re-check it.  For such a small buckle, it seems pretty sturdy, and doesn't show any signs of wear or stress cracks so far.  One improvement I would suggest is to make the hipbelt webbing straps slightly longer to give a wider range of fit.  Excess strapping can always be trimmed if too long, but it is difficult to add webbing for those of us with larger waists and shorter torsos, and a little extra length would have made the hipbelt easier for me to adjust when needed.

One slight nuisance was the ladder lock adjustment on the back of the top lid, which requires actually moving the strap through both sections of the buckle to adjust it, rather than merely lifting one end of the buckle and tugging to pull the webbing through, which has worked on other packs I have owned.  Another slight nuisance was that the side compression straps do not have a quick release buckle.  I carried my Croc camp shoes in one of the side pockets, and I like being able to run the compression strap through the back strap of the shoes to make sure I don't lose one if they pop out of the pocket while I'm hiking.  It was a bit of a nuisance to have to unthread the strapping to do this each time.  A small quick release buckle near the top of the side pocket on at least one side would be a welcome addition for me for when I want to secure the straps through small items like the camp shoes, a stove stuff sack drawcord, or similar items.

I had ample room inside the pack for all my gear, food, and water; enough that I did not have to repack particularly carefully in order to make it all fit, which is especially nice when putting in long days.  Although my highest mileage day was about 13 mi (21 km), most days I hiked from around 8 am to 6 pm, due to keeping a slow pace on the steep terrain and taking several breaks throughout the day to rest up and give my sore toes a break.  So it was nice not to have to make sure I repacked everything the same way, or find that I hadn't compressed my insulated items enough - the pack body was big enough this simply was not a problem, even with a full load of food.

Stowed in a shelter during break timeI did not find I needed to use the sleeping pad straps since the pack is generously sized and I was using an air mattress that rolled up small.  I pretty much put all the rest of the storage areas to good use.  In the top lid I stored my rain gear.  I found the mesh pocket under the top lid a great place to securely store my cell phone, an SD card for my camera, and a list of emergency phone numbers.  In one side pocket I stored my camp shoes (and trekking poles when transporting the pack), and in the other I stored a 0.5 L bottle of water.  In one hipbelt pocket I carried a pair of sunglasses in a large case (more on that later), and in the other I carried a bandanna and occasionally some snacks.  In the rear shove-it pocket I carried the tarp from my hammock and my pack cover.  The long pockets under the shove-it pocket were handy for maps and a supply of toilet paper on one side, and a Steri-PEN Journey and my emergency/first aid kit on the other.  These pockets were very easy to access any time I needed to pull a map out for a quick check or to treat water trailside without unpacking a lot of items.  The body of the pack held everything else - light weight sleeping quilt, NeoAir mattress, hammock body, a 1/8 in (0.3 cm) thick Gossamer Gear ThinLight pad, JetBoil PCS stove, insulated jacket and pants, long john pants and top, spare socks and undies, light weight gloves and hat, a ZipLoc square that I use as a bowl and small sink for putting in my contacts, a few assorted toiletries, and food and water.

I found everything stayed in place in the tight, yet stretchy shove-it pocket without shifting around or popping out, even though this had been an earlier concern.  I had taken the precaution of attaching these items via glove hooks or mini-carabiners to a cord loop on the body of the pack, but I don't think this was really necessary.

The pack got pretty dirty looking, especially on the light grey shove-it pocket, since I wasn't particularly careful where I tossed it down when I took rest breaks or made camp, but a quick washing when I got home took care of that, and the pack pretty much looks as good as new with the exception of a dime-sized hole that developed in one hipbelt pocket.  This occurred on day 2 of my trip, and it was the same pocket I used to carry the large sunglass case.  The case was a tight fit in the pocket, and I'm not sure if it scraped on a rock or simply gave way from the strain of the large case.  The hole didn't seem to get any larger over the rest of the week, but I will probably repair it by using some fray-check fabric glue and sewing the edges loosely together.  A slightly stretchier mesh, perhaps with a tighter weave, might be an improvement to the hipbelt pockets that would allow a little more 'give' when bulkier items are stored.

The pack was easy to wash, which is something I like to do often to get the pack smelling fresh and to remove salts that might discolor the fabric or attract small rodents to chew on my pack at night.  I simply filled the bathtub up with water, added some Woolite, and swished it around.  I did have the unfortunate experience that the oval cross piece of the frame fell out as I was washing the pack.  It was a bit of a struggle due to having to work from the small openings in the side of the back suspension panel, but I was able to get it back in place, and so far it has stayed in place while being tossed around from place to place at home (I store it on top of a pile of totes I've accessed a few times), but I haven't yet had it out on another trip.  I was a little surprised that the cross piece seems to be merely held in place by tension against a couple of small fabric flaps, rather than being spot-welded to the frame.  I'm not sure how essential this piece is to the overall stability of the pack, so I hope it doesn't pop out on the trail somewhere where it might easily be lost.

Summary:

The Osprey Exos 58 pack strikes a nice balance between light weight and full features, including a nicely ventilated back panel, good suspension system, and loads of storage pockets.  I see some small room for improvement (longer straps on the hipbelt, quick release buckles on the side compression straps, and a more secure way to fasten the cross piece to the frame), but overall I think it's a great pack for my needs.

Things I like:

Roomy
Light
Well ventilated back
Comfortable to carry

Things I don't like:

Light grey fabric shows dirt easily
Cross piece of suspension not securely fastened
Mesh hipbelt pocket developed hole
  
Thanks to Osprey and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to test the Exos 58 pack.


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