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Whether you have aspirations to walk the entire Appalachian trail or you're trekking through Nepal, the Osprey Xenith 88 Backpack has the packing space, support, and comfort to handle the task. The LightWireHD frame transfers weight to the hips so you can haul up to 70 pounds of gear, and the BioForm CM waist-belt can be custom heat molded for a fully personalized fit. Dual curved side zippers allow you to quickly access gear without dumping everything out, and the removable lid doubles as a day pack when you want to leave the bulk of your gear at camp.

  • LightWireHD peripheral frame gives the pack structure and effectively transfers the load to the hip-belt
  • Single 6061-T6 aluminum stay provides enough support to comfortably carry loads between 40 and 70 pounds
  • BioForm CM hip-belt and harness provide supportive cushioning and are fully adjustable for a custom fit
  • BioForm CM hip-belt can be custom heat-molded at CM-Certified Osprey retailers
  • Highly breathable mesh spacer on the back panel provides enough ventilation to keep you dry and comfy on the trail
  • Top access makes for easy packing
  • Dual side-access zippers allow you to grab gear without dumping everything out
  • Detachable top lid has a built-in waist-belt which allows it to double as lumbar pack
  • External hydration sleeve protects the inside of the pack from spills and allows you to hydrate on the go (reservoir not included)
  • Two zip front pockets keep frequently used items close at hand
  • Front mesh stash pocket is ideal for a rain jacket or puffy
  • Dual waist-belt pockets provide on-the-go access to lip balm, bug spray, and other essentials
  • Sleeping bag compartment with divider allows you to quickly pack sleep gear
  • Removable sleeping pad straps provide a secure exterior attachment point
  • Dual compression straps help to balance the load
  • Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachments allow you to quickly secure poles when not in use

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Here's what others have to say...


My Go-To Pack, Totally Worth the $$$

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

It’s not easy to justify spending $360 on a backpack, but for several years now I have lived out of a backpack. Therefore, I need a roomy pack with the plushest suspension system I can find. This pack strikes a great balance between durability, organizational features and weight.

At the end of the summer guiding season in 2013 I moved my entire life into this pack and hitchhiked into the Sierra. It swallowed: a Hennessey Hammock, a single trad rack and rope, a absurdly huge sleeping pad, a 20 degree down bag, a small but sufficient wardrobe, a few days dry rations, 3 liters of water, a 13” laptop, a DSLR camera and a tripod strapped to one side with cruiser skateboard strapped to the other (and a lot of other superfluous stuff I’m sure). Maxing out at 87lbs, it wasn’t comfy, but it carried (see pic). Fast forward 2 years and I am still using the pack on a weekly basis, albeit not with such a tremendous burden.

With proper packing at 60 lbs or less this pack melds with your back and carries like a dream. I feel like I become one with the pack. In fact, I have been spoiled so much by the Xenith that I opt for it even when I only need 60 liters of capacity (plus I love the massive brain and hipbelt pockets). Dare I say all other packs are inferior? The shoulder straps and hipbelt are interchangeable and replaceable, which shows that Osprey really did make this pack for the long haul. After a lot of heavy use I still have a fair bit of life left in the original foam, but I bet it will be paradise when I finally do change them (I chose not to heat mold because that accelerates wear). For a skinny 6’1” guy like me, I can get the large pack for my torso length and use the medium hipbelt for my 33” waist. Other large (size not volume) packs have a waist belt that is too large to cinch down to my dimensions, thus carrying the bulk of the load on your hips is impossible.

The layout of this pack is similar to much of the Osprey family, just bigger. The double brain pockets are great for organization (the bigger one can hold a standard sized Frisbee just to give you a sense of scale). The brain also detaches and works well as a day pack or a parcel you can leave behind on out-and-backs (or in a safe at the hostel). It uses the same size buckle as the pack's waist belt, which could really save your trip (if you happened to shatter the buckle by slamming it in a car door after a long day of hitchhiking to start a through hike...not speaking from experience or anything).

I have had to replace a couple buckles and a few times I have tried to cram too much in the front pockets and the zipper split. No worries though, I just traced it back down and the zipper was as good as new. I did find that the sticky texture on the back panel to wore off very quickly. There really isn’t a need for it and it just becomes nano garbage in the wilderness. I would also add sleeping bag straps that go around the entire bottom of the pack. I like to strap my sandals there. It helps protect against sharp rocks and makes me less hesitant to set it down in dirty urban areas while traveling. You could shave some weight by eliminating one of the side access zippers. I don’t find them particularly handy, but I am sure many people use them.

No major gripes or disappointments. The Osprey Xenith delivers in spades!

Follow my adventures up the mountains, down the canyons and around the globe @Frazier_Far_Out

My Go-To Pack, Totally Worth the $$$

What a killer review! You know that with anything that needs a repair, Osprey will handle it FREE!! We have you covered. Thank you for taking the time to write!

Osprey Rep

Awesome Pack!!

Awesome Pack!!

Took this pack on a backpacking trip in the North Cascades National Park and it was great held everything I needed!

Great review - Thank you! The women's version, called the Xena, works just as well! It is the most cushioned comfortable pack that Osprey makes!

Osprey Rep

Stupid question I guess but I went to the end of the comments and noted the "zenith" vs. "xena" pack. Since all comments are from men, here I come with it: is the Xena, the female version?


Awesome Pack

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

I have really only been backpacking with this pack one time but I've used it several times on overnight winter camping trips. It is a little big for that, obviously being it is an 88 liter pack, but i typically have to carry all of the gear because my friends don't own backpacks. I also have used this pack while alpine touring to a campsite. However, this pack is by far the most comfortable pack i have ever used. It fits great, and is awesome at evenly distributing the load. The material feels very durable, and has held up extremely well so far. Perhaps one of the greatest features this pack has is its removable lid that can be used as a waist pack. I understand that most packs have this feature, however, the Xenith's lid has a built in pad on the inside of it, which makes it extraordinarily comfortable when using it as a waist pack. It worked great to shove some gear in and make short trips to the summits of some spur trails off the main trail. Just hide your pack in some bushes and pray no one steals it! So far my only complaints about this pack is 1)that the hip belt is very big, and i barely have enough strap to get it as tight as i need it. however, this can easily be solved by eating more and not being such a stick... lol so still nothing really against the pack 2) When the pack is packed full, it can be very difficult to remove your water bottle from the sleeves on the sides of the pack by yourself. And its even harder to put it back in! besides that i have yet to see any flaws with this pack! The only reason i gave it 4 stars instead of 5, is because i haven't had the opportunity to REALLY test this pack yet, so i don't feel like i can call it a 5 star pack until i take it on a 10+ day trip and see how it holds up. I'm planning an extended trip to the Winds this spring, so i will get on and edit this review after i gain some more experience with the pack!


Perfect backpack

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

This is really amazing backpack. I've used it for 12 days trip to Altay mountains in the South of Siberia. I'm 178 cm. and took XL and it fitted perfectly. The backpack is very roomy, it was filled for about 80% for entire trip (cloth, sleeping bag/pad, 3-person tent, personal belongings, food). The weight at the beginning was 25-30 kilo but the pack is so comfortable and distributes the weight so properly that I had no problems with that.

The is just one point Osprey could did better - front pockets: the volume of the pockets directs inside the backpack and when the backpack filled tightly it takes some space of the pockets that make the access to pockets not free as I wish. I would prefer to have these pockets "external".

Does this pack have side mesh pockets for water bottles?

If my height is 190 cm / 6'2 what size is...

If my height is 190 cm / 6'2 what size is best to take? L or XL?

Hey Alexey,

Packs are measured by torso length which is from the C7 vertebra (that bump where your shoulders and neck meet) and your hip-shelf (the very top of your hipbone). Torso sizing is as follows: M (18 -21 inches) L (20-23 inches) XL (22-25 inches)

Hi Alexey, I'm 178 and used XL without any problems. I've just set up the harness to the lowest possible position and it fitted fine for me.

What is the difference between the Xenith...

What is the difference between the Xenith and Aether packs?

Best Answer


The biggest difference is that the Xenith packs are a bit stronger than the Aether. The materials are a little more robust. The Xenith 88 has a maximum recommended load of 70 lbs while the Aether 85 max is 60 lbs. If you are looking to carry heavier loads the Xenith is for you. That being said, I own the Aether 70 and it is more than enough pack for me on anything less than a 10 day backcountry trip.


Great pack!

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

This is simply an awesome pack. I've done so large climbs with it and it is perfect balance between weight and size. I've had other packs that were 105s. . . I find that if I am paying attention to my pack, this is big enough for all the climbs I plan to do. Plan to use this (with a sled and duffle) for Denali. Dont think I'll have any problems.

Great pack!

Comfortable but not perfect features

  • Gender:Male
  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

The pack is comfortable to wear. I wore it with about 80lbs in it over extended hikes and the pack is fairly comfortable and adjusts well. this is the most important thing in a pack and it does well at that.

What I didn't like about it comes down to small details that may not matter to everyone.

First, the sleeping pad straps were too short for me. I had to lengthen them all the way and really press on my closed cell foam pad for it to close. It was a pain having to do that under the rain.

Second, while you have your sleeping pad on there, it becomes really hard to get the ice-axe out of its loop. You have to flip the axe over and tilt it while trying not to harm your sleeping pad. Maybe this would not be a problem if the straps for the pad were longer and easier to close (just unclip the pad in that case)

Lastly, the pockets on the hip-belt are not very practical. For me they were slightly on the back of my hips and I couldn't really see them or access them easily.

Overall, it's a good pack, but if you put a lot of value on these small details, then maybe it's not for you.

I'm looking to replace my old Argon 70....

I'm looking to replace my old Argon 70. But it comes down to this:

Will the Xenith carry skis or splitboard in an A-frame?

I recently purchased this pack, and its not designed to carry skis period, however i feel that you could carry them in an A-frame style using the adjustment straps on the sides of the pack. i haven't tested it because my skis don't have bindings, but I'm fairly sure it would work! This is probably of no use to you now almost two years later, but oh well!