Osprey Exos 34 Backpack
I recently used this pack on a bonsai weekend summit of Cloud Peak in the Big Horn mountain range in northern Wyoming. Overall the pack performed very well distributing weight evenly across my hips and shoulders. To be honest, after coming down from the summit I was dreading filling it up with the rest of my gear and putting it on, however, when I put it on it felt like it wasn't even there which was a welcome relief. My gear list included the following: Sierra Designs pyro sleeping bag, Sierra Designs Lightyear 1 tent, JetBoil, Katadyn Pocket water purifier, food, water, clothes, etc. Compared to my normal bag (Osprey Aether 85) the Exos carried well, ventilated better, and was obviously much lighter. As others have said it is certainly not meant for heavy loads and I wouldn't consider my list of gear to be in the "ultralight" category but I can say that the lighter weight helped me bust out 9.5 miles in 4 hours to make camp before sunset. Some people have said that they feel the 25 pound mark is the limit for this bag but I think you could carry 35. Obviously you have to take care when shouldering and tightening straps down but I believe it will hold up to many years of use. Overall Pros of the bag in my opinion are the following: light weight, small straps, ventilation system, hipbelt pockets, stretchy front pocket and the top lid (I like how when you tighten down the main straps the lid does not become unopenable). The only thing I wish it had was a bottom compartment access as there are certainly times when one wants to get something on the bottom and not unpack the whole bag. The only other thing that I don't like is the stow and go trekking pole attachment........I never use it, it's a good design I just don't like it. Overall another great product from Osprey, they have certainly earned my business with their superior products and thoughtfulness that goes into each and every item that they sell.