Gear Review

2 5

Hip Belt Needs to be Redesigned

I was hoping this pack would be my pack for doing a long thru-hike this summer. Supposedly Osprey revamped this pack from previous years to allow for more weight carrying. Their website indicates max loads from 35 to 45 lbs. Backcountry.com indicates up to 35 lbs. I gave the pack a few trial runs with up to 35 lbs and anticipated going higher.. At first the pack seemed great, but when I went for a 16 miler one day with 35 lbs, the hip belt became unreasonably uncomfortable after about 5 hours. The hip belt design on this pack seems to be a total afterthought in comparison to the rest of the Airspeed suspension design. The hip belt design creates pressure points where the hip belt meets the back of the pack. Otherwise the Airspeed suspension system worked great at minmizing back sweat. The rest of the pack seemed great, but unfortunately for me the pack ended up ebing uncomfortable, maybe because my bodytype is very thin. YMMV

Responded on

They actually redesigned it to be more adjustable for different body types--adjustable torso length as well as adjustable in hipbelt size. They also brought the load a little closer to the back to give a better balance as well as carry the load more stably--not to carry a greater load.

Sorry to hear you had such awful pressure points where the belt met the pack, I've had that happen to me with the 2010 version but Osprey was reducing that issue for the 2012 version so I am shocked you had this experience. If you do indeed have the 2012 version of the pack, maybe the sliding adjuster on the hipbelt is moved too far inside the hipbelt (as it should be if you are incredibly lean) and that is creating too much bulk at that area, resulting in pressure points?

Responded on

I had the 2012 version of the pack. I'm not sure what you mean by the hip belt being adjustable. Sure it has the typical webbing at the front to adjust for waist size, but it's not like you can swap out the hip belt for larger or smaller sizes similar to what you can do for other brands like Arcteryx or Granite Gear. It's impossible to swap belts here since the hip belt consists of flaps sewn directly to the back of the pack. The pressure I was feeling on my lumbar was coming from the change in thickness from the back panel to the hip belt. My girlfriend has an earlier 2009 Aura, women's version of the Atmos, and it has a thinner hip belt which shouldn't cause this.

I honestly think it's just bad hipbelt design.

Responded on

I uploaded a detail of the hipbelt. There should be a velcro'ed insert inside your hipbelt that slides in and out (once unvelcro'ed) to give you more or less hipbelt.

So no, there is not removable, interchangeable hipbelt. But yes, the hipbelt is adjustable in that you can extend it bigger or shorten it down...

Responded on

If your hip belt is not adjustable, then you have a 2011 model like mine.