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.
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'
From: woodswoman [mailto:woodswoman2001@...
Sent: Saturday, 2 May 2009 2:26 AM
Subject: IR - Osprey Aura 65 Backpack - Gail
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
Osprey Aura 65
Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan
Initial Report - May 1, 2009
Field Report (NA)
Long Term Report (NA)
Osprey Aura 65 Backpack
May 1, 2009
Name: Gail Staisil
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.
Osprey Packs, Inc
Model Aura 65
Baja Blue (also available in Brown Sugar)
210D Twill Velocity Cordura, 160D X 210D Window Ripstop Cordura,
Stretch nylon and mesh
Up to 50 lb (22.68 kg)
Women's Medium (also available in S and L plus Men's sizes in the
4000 cu in (65 L)
Manufacturer Weight 3 lb 10 oz (1.64 kg)
3 lb 13 oz (1.73 kg)
Model Year 2009
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!
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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