The updated Osprey Exos (men’s) and Eja (women’s) range of backpacks, available in 38, 48 and 58 liter sizes, are excellent-value all-around packs that prioritize comfort. As ever, Osprey offers three sizes for each model so you can pick a pack that fits your torso, thus improving fit, comfort and performance. The Exos and Eja also come with fully adjustable, cushioned hip-belts and shoulder straps to further optimize fit.
Designed for backpacking these packs are abrasion resistant, lightweight and stacked with convenient little extras like Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachments, side compression straps, ice axe attachments, a hydration reservoir compartment, front mesh pockets and stretch side pockets, loops and straps for external gear storage, a removable floating lid and a flap to keep your gear dry when the brain is removed.
Built on Osprey’s lightweight concave frames that increase airflow down the back, and with an a tensioned panel of bouncy, honeycombed mesh that contours to your back, the Exos and Eja are great for people who struggle to find comfortable packs or for those who have back problems. The excellent breathability also makes the packs a great choice for long approaches and strenuous hikes.
The Exos 48 is lightweight at 2 pounds 8 ounces, but the sturdier frame means that all the sizes can carry more weight than comparable ultralight models from other brands.
While the frame and backpacking-orientated add-ons mean these packs wont accompany you up a climb, they may well be your first choice for venturing to and from the crag or for heading into the backcountry, particularly if you find most backpacks uncomfortable or ill-fitting.
Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not been field tested, but is gear our expert testers think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice.