Price: R4999 (at time of writing)
Dimensions: 85H x 40W x 34D
Access points: Top, front, sleeping bag compartment
Material: Main body (210D Nylon); Bottom (500D Nylon)
The Aether AG for men and Ariel AG for women, is Osprey’s top-tier, technical backpack series that comes in a range of sizes: 60L, 70L and 85L for men and 55L, 65L and 75L for women.
I’ve had this pack for over a year now and used it on multiple weekend and multi-day trips.
The AG (Anti-Gravity) technology used in the new range of Osprey packs is extremely comfortable. It features a continuous, suspended panel of lightweight mesh extending from the upper torso through the lumbar area, which distributes the weight evenly across your back. The hip belt also moulds around your waist taking the weight of the pack with ease, lifting it off your shoulders.
Even after hours of continuous boulder-hopping on kloofing trips, the pack remained as comfortable and correctly fitted as when I first put it on in the morning.
The pack is very robust. I’ve used it on a 5-day kloofing trip, with all-day boulder hopping, swimming and odd scrambles, as well as the 6-day Amatola trail and multiple weekend hikes in between, and the pack still has no scuff marks, damages or any real sign of wear.
In addition to its durability, Osprey’s well-known All Mighty Guarantee on their backpacks worldwide gives you total piece of mind when buying a pack that you know will last a long time.
The Aether and Ariel series packs come in different sizes which allows for a very specific fit. Within each size you still have the option of extending or shortening the harness as well. Combined with gender-specific harness shapes and the IsoForm CM hipbelt, the Aether 70 AG is the most comfortable and best fitted pack I’ve worn yet.
The Aether and Ariel series is “packed” with features:
- Removable lid: The lid of the pack can be removed, changing into a small backpack, which is great for short hikes from camp, or using it to carry your toiletries for a bath in the river.
- Hipbelt pockets: The pockets on the hip belt are a great size which can easily fit your action camera and snacks for the day and they’re easy to open.
- Stretchy stuff-it pouch: The stretchy pouch on the front of the pack is very handy for having the necessities like a rain jacket close by yet secured.
- Dual access side stretch mesh pockets: The secondary forward-facing opening on the pockets allows you to access your own water bottle from the front, as opposed to the traditional single top entry side pockets.
- Stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment: Store your trekking poles while you hike for those technical sections that require more freedom of movement
- Additional main compartment access: Get to those hard-to-reach items without unpacking your whole bag.
If you are a regular hiker that demands a lot from your gear, this the pack for you! Despite being on the heavier side for its capacity and quite expensive, it is a very high quality pack that will last you a few decades, with all the features you might ever need. Highly recommended!
For more info, check out the Osprey Website.