10 Best Osprey Backpacks: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

Osprey backpacks are made for everyone. From students to extreme mountain hikers, Osprey’s line of guaranteed-for-life backpacks has size and functionality options for just about everyone. 

We’ve taken a look at ten of their most popular models of backpacks, reviewed and compared them to help you find the best Osprey backpack for your next adventure.

What Makes the Osprey Brand Popular?

Osprey is a popular brand not only because their backpacks are masterfully designed and super functional, but also because they're a brand that has built a relationship of trust with their consumers with over forty years of sales.

Their company motto is “Guaranteed Forever” and users can testify that it’s a true statement. Osprey with diligently repair or replace any backpack that doesn’t hold up to their brand standards.

Osprey backpacks are unique in that they want to sure that every person has the most comfortable fit as possible, and therefore they have different sizes of backpacks based not on how much they can hold but relative to the size of the person wearing the backpack.

Their goal is to fit every size, shape and gender with a custom-fit. From children’s backpacks and student book bags to mountain hiking and traveling and everything in between, there's an Osprey backpack to suit everyone’s needs. 

If that hasn't convinced you, check out this Forbes article about the declining sales of women's handbags and the spike in the popularity of women's backpacks, which shows that several Osprey backpacks are amongst the best sellers in the whole of the USA. They must be doing something right! 


Who are Osprey backpacks made for?

Osprey makes a backpack for everyone. A large amount of their bags are dedicated to specific sports use, and they specialize in backpacking, mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking.

Each bag is made with a specific use in mind. For example, their mountain biking bags are made as hydration packs so that the biker can drink while riding. Their skiing and snowboarding backpacks offer large, “glove-friendly” zippers for easy access while dressed for the elements.

However, despite being made for special purposes, you can use them for whatever you want. Lauren from Never Ending Footsteps uses a hiking backpack for her long-term traveling, and raves about it. 

Osprey offers special fits for men, women and children. They also offer packs that are backpack/child carrier combos. In addition to their sport-specific backpacks, fans of the Osprey brand will also be able to find classic commuter bags, backpacks for school, travel duffels and wheeled bags. 


osprey backpack reviews

What We Looked At

Materials

We’ve taken a close look at the make-up of each Osprey backpack, including what types of materials they're made from, how their fabrics hold up over time, and if they're waterproof or weather-resistant.

We've also taken a detailed look at the lining of the backpacks, their straps, handles, zippers, and any other added accessories. Most Osprey backpacks also include a special compartment for an internal “hydration reservoir” and we’ve also looked at how these stand the test of time.

Straps

Perhaps the most important feature of a backpack to a frequent user is how comfortable the straps are and how comfort lasts over a period of time. Most Osprey backpacks come with a built-in harness for comfort and a special hip belt that works to take the weight pressure of the backpack off your back.

When it comes to well-being, Osprey has always kept in mind that their hiking and climbing users will likely be wearing their packs for much longer than the typical backpack user.

Size

Osprey offers a variety of size backpacks, depending on their intended use. Smaller backpacks are usually considered day packs, whereas bags intended for longer hikes have extra compartments for items such as sleeping bags and can carry upwards of 90 liters.

Many of their packs also offer external clips for additional space to carry items such as hiking poles.

Compartments

The number of compartments available on each Osprey bag will vary, also dependent on the intended use. Most of their hiking backpacks offer a few main compartments with pockets inside for extra items.

Their 24/Seven series of everyday backpacks all include a dedicated compartment for a laptop or tablet, but most of their hiking backpacks don't have this option.

Style Options

Osprey probably has one of the largest varieties when it comes to style options and colors.

Warranty

All Osprey products are covered under what they call their “All Mighty Guarantee” policy. They promise that this includes any reason, any product, and any era.

They work with their customers to first repair the backpacks, and if for any reason they don’t believe they can they will replace it with a suitable alternative. 

So even if you purchased an Osprey backpack when they first opened in 1974, they’ve still (literally) got your back covered.


10 Best Osprey Backpacks Reviewed

1. Osprey Packs Kestrel 38 Backpack

Osprey Packs Kestrel 38 Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Waterproof

No – Comes with Rain Cover

Number of Compartments

2 Main, other pockets included

Laptop Sleeve

No

Best For

Multi-Day Hiking

Size

S/M (36L) or M/L (38L)

Warranty

Yes - Lifetime

I really love how simple the Osprey Packs Kestrel 38 Backpack is. Made with one large compartment, and one sleeping bag compartment (with many other pockets and areas to attach items), this backpack is perfect for either a several-day hike or a several-week hike. The pack holds up to 38L (the large version).

Some of the other reviews I read noted that they used this pack as a carry-on item while flying and had no problems, and that the sleeping bag compartment was also perfect for storing shoes. It’s nice to see that a hiking backpack can be multi-purpose in that way.

My favorite feature of the Osprey Packs Kestrel 38 is the hip belt, which truly does take a lot of the weight off your back.

2. Osprey Men's Atmos 65 AG Backpacks

Osprey Men's Atmos 65 AG Backpacks

Quick Look - Bag Features

Waterproof

No – Comes with Rain Cover

Number of Compartments

3 Main, other pockets included

Laptop Sleeve

No

Best For

Multi-Day Hiking

Size

S (62L), M (65L), L (68L)

Warranty

Yes - Lifetime

The Osprey Men's Atmos 65 AG Backpacks is one of their newest designs and will truly make you say, “What haven’t they thought of??”. These packs can carry 62-68L and are well suited to the long-distance traveller.

It includes Osprey’s patented “Anti-Gravity” system, which is a breathable mesh lining along the back of the pack that's made to seamlessly mold to the user’s body, which makes this pack truly custom.

This pack is right up my alley, in that even though it can hold a LOT, it still comes with what they call a floating top, which is essentially a smaller pack that can be added on top. 

This pack is highly recommended for hikers traveling on their own. The sternum strap has a built-in safety whistle that can be used if ever the hiker is in distress and needs to call for help. See, I told you! What didn’t they think of?

If you're new to hiking and need a few more tips on the topic, check out this guide for beginners by an Osprey backpack user. 

3. Osprey Packs Talon 22 Backpack

Osprey Packs Talon 22 Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Waterproof

No

Number of Compartments

3 Main, other pockets included

Laptop Sleeve

No

Best For

Day Pack, Hiking or Biking

Size

S/M (20L), M/L (22L)

Warranty

Yes - Lifetime

One of the hardest things about picking out the perfect Osprey backpack is that they're all so highly rated and popular.

I think that the Osprey Packs Talon 22 Backpack would be the perfect choice for the person who's just beginning to get into hiking or who just takes short day trips.

It’s a well-rounded pack that will really give you a feel for what the Osprey brand is all about. I also love that this pack is super light-weight and has a built-in “Air-Scape” mesh panel that will help stave off back sweat on those hot days.

4. Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Waterproof

No

Number of Compartments

3 Main, other pockets included

Laptop Sleeve

Yes

Best For

Day Pack, School or Travel

Size

S/M (38L), M/L (40L)

Warranty

Yes - Lifetime

One of their more standard backpacks, the Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack is great weekend travel or for the everyday student trekking across campus. 

Unlike many of their other bags, the Farpoint has a laptop and tablet compartment to keep your items safe while in transit, however it’s not highly reviewed.

Other users have pointed out that the location of the laptop compartment has been an issue in the past, and that when the backpack is over-filled this compartment takes on a considerable amount of stress.

Some users have even mentioned cracked tablet screens. So, if using this pack, I would suggest minor caution in carrying too many items.

5. Osprey Packs Women's Kyte 36 Backpack

Osprey Packs Women's Kyte 36 Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Waterproof

No – Comes with Rain Cover

Number of Compartments

3 Main, other pockets included

Laptop Sleeve

No

Best For

Long-Distance Hiking

Size

XS/S (34L), S/M (36L)

Warranty

Yes - Lifetime

The Osprey Packs Women's Kyte 36 Backpack is by far my favorite style of hiking backpack with its slender and professional design.

I love that its sleeping bag compartment is at the bottom of the pack, which makes it much more comfortable to the user (and much, much less top-heavy). With the adjustable harness, you can be comfortable in this backpack all day long.

I feel like this bag is truly designed with women in mind, and the hip-belt even includes two of its own pockets which are excellent for storing smaller items that you’d like to have within reach (like a cell phone and a few granola bars).

6. Osprey Women's Ariel 55 Backpack

Osprey Women's Ariel 55 Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Waterproof

No

Number of Compartments

3 Main, other pockets included

Laptop Sleeve

No

Best For

Long-Distance Hiking

Size

XS (49L), S (52L), M (55L)

Warranty

Yes - Lifetime

The Osprey Women's Ariel 55 Backpack is for the woman who needs to carry a lot of stuff on her hiking trip. This thing is huge! It can carry up to 55L of cargo, including a sleeping bag and hydration pack. I would highly recommend this pack for longer trips of five to seven days.

It includes Osprey’s patented Anti-Gravity element, which essentially allows the bag to mold to your back for a completely customized fit.

The only thing I didn’t like about this bag is that it doesn’t come with the rain cover like many of the other hiking backpacks do. Osprey does carry a rain cover that you can purchase to fit this backpack, but it must be purchased separately.

7. Osprey Escapist 32 Daypacks

Osprey Escapist 32 Daypacks

Quick Look - Bag Features

Waterproof

No

Number of Compartments

3 Main, other pockets included

Laptop Sleeve

No

Best For

Day Pack – Biking or Hiking

Size

S/M (30L), M/L (32L)

Warranty

Yes - Lifetime

I love the Osprey Escapist 32 Daypacks for biking long distances. It's made of a super light-weight nylon fabric that won’t make you too sweaty, and it has compartments for all your belongings including a small compartment on the bottom that's perfect for an extra pair of shoes.

It’s ideal for bikers because it has a special lid-lock attachment for carrying your bike helmet, and it also has a blinker light attachment (which is huge for visibility when biking past sunset or in the rain).

It’s not as big as some of Osprey’s other packs but should easily be able to carry everything you need for a day trip.

8. Osprey Packs Raptor 14 Hydration Pack

Osprey Packs Raptor 14 Hydration Pack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Waterproof

No

Number of Compartments

1 Main – Other pockets included

Laptop Sleeve

No

Best For

Hiking or Biking

Size

One Size – 14L

Warranty

Yes - Lifetime

Once you've tried a hydration pack while hiking or biking, you'll never go back to a standard water bottle again – this I promise you! The Osprey Packs Raptor 14 Hydration Pack can hold 3 liters of water that are easily accessible through a bite-piece on the shoulder strap.

Its sleek design is great in that it won’t feel like you have a bag of water on your back that’s bouncing around while you’re moving. The backpack also has a couple of zippered pockets that will be plenty enough space to store your cell phone and wallet.

9. Osprey Packs Kid's Moki 1.5 Hydration Pack

Osprey Packs Kid's Moki 1

Quick Look - Bag Features

Waterproof

No

Number of Compartments

1 Main – Other pockets included

Laptop Sleeve

No

Best For

Hiking or Biking

Size

One Size – 1.5L

Warranty

Yes - Lifetime

Getting your child an Osprey Packs Kid's Moki 1.5 Hydration Pack will be so much easily than lugging their water and snacks along on a day hike or biking trip.

These packs can carry 1.5L of water to keep your young one hydrated on the go. And you don’t need to be an athlete to make use out of these packs!

The Kid’s Moki pack is also perfect for day trips to the zoo, amusement park, or anywhere else a child will be spending a long day.

Their super bright colors offer a great deal of visibility, and should you be traveling in the dark there's also a light attachment available.

10. Osprey Youth Jet 12 Backpack

Osprey Youth Jet 12 Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Waterproof

No

Number of Compartments

1 Main – Other pockets included

Laptop Sleeve

No

Best For

Hiking or Biking

Size

One Size – 12L

Warranty

Yes - Lifetime

If your child is ready to start carrying their own gear on day hikes, the Osprey Youth Jet 12 Backpack is a great place to start them off. The pack itself weighs less than a pound, and full it carries about 12L (which aims to NOT put too much stress on your little one).

This backpack is perfect for carrying an extra pair of clothes and snacks and can even hold up to a 1.5L hydration pack, but I wouldn’t recommend this backpack for school use.

Because of its size and lightweight nature, the backpack isn't large enough to hold a standard size folder and wouldn't hold up well to carrying heavy books.


How Do These Models Compare

Size

Osprey backpacks vary greatly in size, from a pretty standard 15L to upwards of 90L for their adult bags. When choosing the model that's best for you, it’s important to consider both what you’ll be using the bag for and how much you'll need to carry with you.

If you plan to travel with your Osprey bag, you'll need to make sure it fits the carry-on requirement of the airline you’re traveling with.

If you intend to check an Osprey bag at the airport, they would prefer you put a protective covering on the bag to protect against damage to the straps and loose pieces.

Price

The price of an Osprey brand bag is on the higher end of the backpack spectrum, with children’s backpacks starting at about $50 and adult backpacks running as high as $500.

Daypacks are often the cheaper route because they don’t have the extra compartments for sleeping bags and extra cargo.

When considering cost, it’s important to make sure the bag you’re looking at has all the elements that you will need for its intended purpose.

A more expensive bag may have added elements that you don’t need, and a cheaper bag may not have all the elements you need, so price is not necessarily a prime factor in choosing the right bag.

Functionality

When it comes to functionality, Osprey really does have the user in mind. That’s why some of their bags have rain covers, some of their bags have room for hydration packs, and some of their bags have laptop sleeves.

Their brand isn't one-size fits all, and it’s important to look at all your options when finding the right Osprey bag for you. All their bags are made to stand up to the test of time and are protected under their lifetime warranty.


osprey backpack

Frequently Asked Backpack Questions

Are Osprey backpacks good quality and durable?

Yes, Osprey backpacks are made of durable nylon material that's covered by their lifetime guaranty. If an item is found to be of poor quality, they will repair or replace it no matter what.

Where are Osprey backpacks made?

Osprey backpacks are made in Vietnam. Prior to the year 2000, the backpacks were made in the United States.

I need a large backpack. Will this brand be good for me?

Yes, Osprey backpacks come in a variety of sizes, with some holding up to 90L.

How do I size a backpack for me?

The Osprey website has a video regarding how to custom-measure your body for the perfect Osprey fit. Many local retailers are also willing to measure for fit.

Can you take this backpack + a carry-on bag on airplanes?

Typically, you may carry one item that fits in the overhead bin and one item that fits under your seat. It’s always best to call your airline prior to flying to get an exact answer as each company’s policy can vary.

How do you wash or clean an Osprey backpack?

The Osprey website offers details instructions on how to properly care for your backpack.

Where can you buy backpacks at cheap prices? Amazon offers a wide variety of Osprey backpacks for competitive prices. 


Conclusion

Osprey has been a trusted brand of backpack, especially for outdoor sports, for over forty years.

Their website boasts a backpack for every suitable need, and they even offer a short Packfinder Quiz to help customers locate the perfect backpack for the occasion they seek.

We’ve looked at many of the Osprey models to help you determine the type of backpack for your next journey.

Images via: https://www.osprey.com/

  • Updated October 5, 2019
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