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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Osprey Volt 75 or Viva 65 > Test Report by Frances Penn

October 01, 2013



NAME: Frances Penn
EMAIL: oldhikergirl AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 57
LOCATION: Santa Ana, California
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

I have been backpacking for six years mostly on long weekends in Southern California with two or more 5-day trips per year in the Sierras. My total daypack weight, including food and water, is usually 15 lb (7 kg) and my total backpack weight, including food and water, is usually 26-30 lb (12-14 kg) depending on the need for a bear canister. I have recently converted to a tarp, bivy and quilt sleeping system instead of a tent. I have experienced all night rain, hail, heavy winds, camping in snow once, but mostly fair weather.



Manufacturer: Osprey
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US $199.00
Listed Weight: 3 lb 10 oz ( 1.65 kg)
Measured Weight: 3 lb 9.5 oz (1.60 kg)
Gear Capacity: 3967 ci (65 L)
Load Weight Range: 10-65 lbs (4-30 kg)
Colors available: Emerald Green, Plum Purple, both with gray accents

The women’s specific integrated custom fit Viva 65 backpack is designed specifically for backpacking trips and mountaineering expeditions. The Viva backpack is the women's specific version of the Volt 75 men's specific backpack. The large pack volume allows for long weekend or weeklong trips.

from website

There is only one women's size available in the Viva backpack in the 65 liter volume. The torso adjusts up to 5 in (7 cm) to fit women's sizes extra small to medium and torso lengths of 14-19 in (35-48 cm) and all sizes in between. The suspension uses a peripheral framing system that works in conjunction with an internal framesheet and spacer mesh covered padded lumbar and backpanel pads with a large hook and loop closure on the panels. The pack also has an adjustable sternum strap with rescue whistle buckle on the left buckle.

back panel and suspension-from website

hipbelt adjustments

The spacer mesh foam Fit-on-the-Fly™ hipbelt extends up to 3 in (13 cm) on each side to wrap around the hip bones for a custom fit for waist/hips from 26-42 in (66-107 cm). The hipbelt features zippered pockets on both sides large enough to fit my camera on one side and my sunglasses on the other side. The hipbelt uses the ErgoPull™ hipbelt closure system that allows the clip to be closed and the belt tightened by pulling each strap forward to tighten the straps. In the picture above, one side is shortened all the way and the other side is extended all the way to demonstrate the available sizing options.

top pocket with key clip

mesh zippered pocket under top pocket

There is a floating removable top pocket with an internal key clip and underlid zippered mesh pocket. The top pocket extends to accommodate oversized loads. The pack also has a 3-loop daisy chain on both sides of the pack front. The zipper pulls have circular flexible rubber covers on the cords.

hydration sleeve

The external hydration sleeve is located between the harness and backpanel. This sleeve is lined to protect the pack contents from spills and can be easily accessed without unpacking. There is a quick release buckle for external access and a small internal clip for the bladder.

red compression strap

There is a heavy duty red compression strap inside the top of the pack to stabilize the pack contents. Inside the pack, there are outdoor ethics or Leave No Trace principles printed in English and French on the inside top back area of the collar where they can easily be noticed. The pack utilizes a large drawstring with a closure on top of the red compression strap.

There are dual lower side V compression straps over the dual access mesh side pockets and dual upper side compression straps. These also provide external gear retention options.

sleeping bag compartment

Sleeping Bag Compartment
There is a wide mouth zippered sleeping bag compartment in the pack bottom with a drop down divider. The divider clips on one side can be released and the divider dropped down to make the pack one big compartment. Since sleeping bags may be different sizes, I placed the small blue plastic BearVault bear canister inside the sleeping bag compartment and zipped it halfway closed to demonstrate how much gear the bottom compartment can accommodate.

sleeping pad straps

The pack utilizes sleeping pad straps on the bottom outside of the pack. These straps fit my sleeping pad, but I prefer to carry that inside my pack. The straps are not long enough to fit around a bear canister, but they do fit my Crazy Creek chair folded in half.

closure on shoulder strap

pole handles in closure on shoulder strap

pole tips in lower strap

The Stow-on-the-Go™ attachment system for trekking poles uses an elasticized loop covered with plastic tubing below the side pocket on the bottom left side of the pack and a cord lock on the left shoulder strap to secure the poles without removing the pack.

The pack has a stretch mesh front pocket with a clip closure that bears the Osprey logo.

The pack has ice axe loops on each side of the pack bottom for additional tool carrying options.

The pack body is constructed of 210 denier nylon double ripstop and the pack base is constructed using 600 denier poly. Four cord loops serve as attachment points that are intended to attach the Osprey Daylite daypack for additional storage. These would also allow for additional external storage using straps or cord.

The pack comes with the All Mighty Guarantee that states Osprey will repair for any reason, free of charge, any damage or defect no matter when it was purchased. If Osprey is unable to perform a quality repair, the pack will be replaced.

Pack Care
Osprey recommends cleaning out the pack thoroughly after each trip. If the pack is wet, it should be hung to dry. The pack straps should be loosened after each trip. The pack should be washed occasionally.


Upon opening the package, I found the largest pack I have ever used in perfect condition. I especially like the unusual plum color with the gray accents. The pack included two hang tags and the owner's manual in the top pocket. One hang tag described the guarantee and the other tag listed all of the Osprey women's packs that are available.

There are so many features on this pack that I decided to read the owner's manual to determine how to use them as intended by the manufacturer. The sternum strap buckle whistle and the trekking pole quick stow harness features are new to me. Since this pack is the largest I have used so far, I wanted to see just how much the pack would hold. I put one large and one small BearVault bear canister in the pack on top of each other. I loaded the small bear canister in the bottom sleeping bag compartment and zipped it closed easily. I then placed the large bear canister in the top compartment of the pack. The pack swallowed them both and had lots of available room for more gear. I have four week long backpacking trips planned this summer. I am looking forward to fitting all of my gear, food, water and bear canister in the pack with extra space.

When fully loaded, this pack is amazingly comfortable on my hips. The suspension system is well padded and allows for adjustment on the trail. Being able to move the hip belt higher and lower on my hips while hiking is a great option for me. Sometimes I like the hipbelt to be above my hips and sometimes I prefer it below my hips, in addition to the usual location wrapped around my hip bones. With the adjustable hipbelt extender pieces, these adjustments can be made on the trail with ease. The ability to move the hipbelt to relieve pressure points during a long trip carrying a heavy pack is a great feature.

Having the four small loops on the outside of the pack provides the ability to attach any number of items to the outside of the pack easily. I can't imagine that I would need the extra storage a daypack would provide considering the large volume of this pack, but there may be times when this is a necessity on longer trips.

Initially the trekking pole quick stow system feels like the poles might be uncomfortable while hiking. I will pay close attention to this detail during my testing.


Considering that Osprey skipped pricey features found on many of their packs and focused on comfort and durability, this pack is a great value with a lot of very useful features. Now everyone can afford the comfort of an Osprey pack. I can't wait to load it and take it out on the trail.



Trip #1:
Location: Cedar Glen campground in the Baldy area, California USA
Elevation: 6,000 ft (1,800 M)
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Trail Conditions: dirt trail with some steep rocky sections
Temperatures: 50 to 85 F (10-29 C)
Weather: partly cloudy with light drizzles and fog the first night, sunny then cooler and windy the second day
Weight carried: 26 lb (12 kg) to start up the trail to camp carrying two bear canisters inside the pack for the group with plenty of room to spare
Total trip mileage: 18 miles (29 km)

on the way to Cedar Glen campground

Trip #2:
Location: Yosemite, Hetch Hetchy area, California USA
Elevation: 6,600 ft (2,000 M)
Trip Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
Trail Conditions: dirt trail with a lot of steep rocky sections
Temperatures: 50 to 105 F (10-58 C)
Weather: the first day hiking to camp was a scorcher at 105 (58 C), each day thereafter was slightly cooler and the nights would finally cool down by early morning
Weight carried: 33 lb (15 kg) to start up the trail
Total trip mileage: 42 miles (68 km)

on the dam at Hetch Hetchy

Trip #3:
Location: Cottonwood Lakes area by Mt. Langley, California USA
Elevation: 11,100 ft (3,400 M)
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 40 to 60 F (4-15 C)
Weather: sunny, one afternoon rain storm with pea sized hail for 5 hours, cool nights
Weight carried: 33 lb (15 kg) to hike in to camp
Total trip mileage: 18 miles (29 km)

packed for the trips


This pack performed well in the field. It is large enough to carry everything I have needed on my various trips. I like that the main compartment is large enough to swallow up a bear canister along with the rest of my gear and still have room for more. The back is padded enough so that I don't feel the bear canister inside the pack against my back. I would prefer to carry the bear canister outside the pack but that is not an option with this pack. The bottom straps are too short to go around a bear canister since they are intended to carry a sleeping pad.

The bottom section of the pack is large enough to accommodate my sleeping bag and tent. It is also large enough to accommodate a small bear canister. I have left the compartment separator in place during my test. I pack my gear in waterproof Ziploc bags or compression sacks so there is no need to line the backpack with a trash bag. This option is available if the bottom separator sheet is released. I have used the bottom external sleeping pad straps for my Crazy Creek chair which fits perfectly in the straps. The sleeping pad I use is small enough to fit inside my pack. I like that the hydration pocket access is outside the main pack compartment. This makes for easy access for packing and refilling while on the trail. This also protects the pack contents should leaks occur.

The pack material is durable and shows no sign of wear. The plum color shows no sign of fading from sun exposure. The hip belt pads fit me well and make the pack very comfortable to carry. I like the small pockets on the hip belt. I usually carry my camera in one of the pockets and snacks in the other pocket. The shoulder straps contour to fit my shoulders.


This pack fits me well and carries everything I could imagine needing while out on the trail. I will continue to use it for my future trips.



Trip # 4:
Location: South Lake Trailhead to Bishop Pass, California, USA
Elevation: 12,000 ft (3,600 M )
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: dirt trail with a lot of steep rocky sections
Temperatures: 50 to 75 F (10-24 C)
Weather: cool and windy mornings with sunny afternoons
Weight carried: 33 lb (15 kg) to start up the trail
Total Trip Mileage: 15 miles (24 km)

My friends and I were each carrying a large bag of food for a resupply to our friends hiking the John Muir Trail. We carried in our backpacking equipment along with the resupply food, dropped our gear in camp and then met them at the top of Bishop Pass to deliver the food. We then returned to finish setting up camp, relax and have dinner. We returned to the trailhead the next day with much lighter packs.


This pack has continued to fit me comfortably and perform well in this portion of the test. I have not been able to completely fill the large volume of this pack, even though I have used it for week long trips requiring a bear canister. This pack fits nicely into my gear closet as the largest pack I could imagine needing for any future trip. The great plum color makes my pack easy to recognize among the neutral colored packs my friends carry.

This pack can accommodate more gear than I prefer to carry. No matter how full the pack is, it rides comfortably close to my back with minimal movement.


I like how well this pack rides whether filled to capacity or not. The many adjustments allow this pack to be versatile for many different types of trips. I will continue to use this pack on trips that require a large capacity pack.

This test series is now concluded. Many thanks to Osprey and for the opportunity to test this awesome backpack.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

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