Gear Review

4 5

Wanted to like it

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Confession: the pack never made it out the door. Just loaded it up, walked it around a bit in the house, and discovered the fatal flaw.

I actually like the design. The packbag cut is carefully designed to keep the load close to the back. The adjustment system is clever and seems to work. I can't tell yet whether the velcro will hold against a 40 lb load, but I'm betting it will. The "wire" frame looks flimsy, but my wife has the Viva 50 and says it floats 35 lb just fine. There's a large mesh pocket on the back and a pocket on each side. Very usable and very nice. Straps are well-cut, nicely padded, and the hipbelt has a pocket each side. Nice for snacks, compass, camera, etc.There's also a clever system for temp stowing of trekking poles. I used similar system on my Talon 33, and can be quite useful for stretches where you need your hands but don't want to fully stow the poles. Overall, nicely done.

Little annoyances. I don't think a pack this size needs a sleeping bag compartment or opening. Osprey might argue the shelf adds structural support inside the packbag - a fair point. but the opening is too small for me to load my 20 deg down bag, so seems too small to me. Top lid floats for overloading (good) but doesn't detach from the pack (bad). And there are too many (my opinion) strap snubbers and other widgets on the pack, but that's just me. Fact is the pack is pretty light for its volume (< 4 lb), and if you're annoyed by the features there's always the razor blade and butane lighter approach...

OK, the fatal flaw: I thought it was the hipbelt length - too short for my hips. However, the Osprey guys have come up with a clever way to adjust the length of the hipbelt pads, so no worries. No, the fatal flaw is that the pack is just too small for my planned loads. If it fits you and your loads the Volt 60 is a very nice pack. I'm trying the Volt 75 next...