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IR - Osprey Aura 65 Backpack - Gail

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  • woodswoman
    Hi Mark, Here is my IR for the Osprey Aura 65 Backpack. There are so many features so it is a rather long report. Have fun editing! Thanks, Gail HTML:
    Message 1 of 2 , May 1 11:26 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Mark,
      Here is my IR for the Osprey Aura 65 Backpack. There are so many features so it is a rather long report. Have fun editing! Thanks, Gail


      HTML:

      http://tinyurl.com/ctzk6z

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

      Page Contents:

      Initial Report - May 1, 2009
      Field Report (NA)
      Long Term Report (NA)

      Initial Report:
      Osprey Aura 65 Backpack
      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

      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 it's 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


      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

      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

      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. 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 Features

      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.

      The InsideOut Compression System is something that I have been dreaming about for years! It essentially allows the 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.


      Pros So Far

      * Ventilation features such as AirSpeed
      * Quality construction
      * Removable top lid
      * Waistbelt pockets
      * Side stretch pockets are high and wide enough to hold 1 qt bottle
      * ErgoPull Belt easy to adjust
      * Attractive color and design
      * Easy-to-grasp zipper pulls


      Cons So Far

      * Would like to see the use of quick-release buckles on top lid and side compression straps

      Tester Remarks

      Thanks to Osprey and BackpackGearTest for this fun opportunity to test the Women's Aura 65 Backpack. This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be appended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for more information.

      Top of Page
    • Mark McLauchlin
      G Day Gail, Nice report, I really liked the images you took, well done. Just a few to correct and all yours to upload. See you in the FR. Cheers Mark Comment:
      Message 2 of 2 , May 4 5:37 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        G'Day Gail,

        Nice report, I really liked the images you took, well done.

        Just a few to correct and all yours to upload.

        See you in the FR.

        Cheers
        Mark

        Comment: You have the title of the report "Osprey Aura 65 Women's Backpack"
        then note the same again at the start of the body of the report, little too
        busy, I think you should drop one.

        EDIT: "Stow On The Go"
        >Stow-on-the-go as per manufacturer, change in a few places.

        EDIT: "allows the the side compression"
        >remove one 'the'

        -----Original Message-----
        From: woodswoman [mailto:woodswoman2001@...]
        Sent: Saturday, 2 May 2009 2:26 AM
        To: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
        Cc: mark@...
        Subject: IR - Osprey Aura 65 Backpack - Gail


        Hi Mark,
        Here is my IR for the Osprey Aura 65 Backpack. There are so many features so
        it is a rather long report. Have fun editing! Thanks, Gail


        HTML:

        http://tinyurl.com/ctzk6z

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

        Page Contents:

        Initial Report - May 1, 2009
        Field Report (NA)
        Long Term Report (NA)

        Initial Report:
        Osprey Aura 65 Backpack
        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

        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 it's 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


        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

        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

        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. 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 Features

        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.

        The InsideOut Compression System is something that I have been dreaming
        about for years! It essentially allows the 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.


        Pros So Far

        * Ventilation features such as AirSpeed
        * Quality construction
        * Removable top lid
        * Waistbelt pockets
        * Side stretch pockets are high and wide enough to hold 1 qt bottle
        * ErgoPull Belt easy to adjust
        * Attractive color and design
        * Easy-to-grasp zipper pulls


        Cons So Far

        * Would like to see the use of quick-release buckles on top lid and side
        compression straps

        Tester Remarks

        Thanks to Osprey and BackpackGearTest for this fun opportunity to test the
        Women's Aura 65 Backpack. This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report
        will be appended to this report in approximately two months from the date of
        this report. Please check back then for more information.

        Top of Page
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