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Gear Review - Osprey Aether 85 Intro: When it comes to packs, you want something comfortable. It needs to be well made, rugged and have useful features. I’ve owned the Osprey Aether 85 for some time now and wouldn’t change it for anything else. Here is my break down review of the pack: Comfort: - I find it to be extremely comfortable even when its full to the brim tipping 60lbs. At 40lb I can hardly tell I have it on, it does an extremely good job of distributing the weight on my hips and shoulders. At the end of a long day I don’t get that soreness on my shoulders that I’ve gotten with other packs. It has plenty of adjustments to make sure you get the perfect fit. Quality: - The quality of the pack is great. Overall the stitching on the seams is good and the zippers function flawlessly even when the pack is stuffed, it is easy to open and close. Where you can really tell the quality is on the shoulder straps, waist straps and back padding. The straps are well padded and thick as to not dig into your skin while carrying heavy loads. Also the back padding has webbing and allows for great breathability so you’re not building up a ton of sweat in your back. Features: - Mountaineering packs shouldn’t have too many pockets or compartments but it should have the right ones. The Osprey Aether, has very convenient features that make for a very practical pack. (1) The zippered pockets on the waist straps allow for storing any thing from lip balm to sunscreen or a Go Pro camera. It allows for quick reach of items that you may need frequently with out having to take of the pack. (2) It also has secure loops on each side of the pack to store 2 ice axes or tools in a safe way where it wont poke you or anyone around you. (3) The straps at the bottom of the pack let you strap in your sleeping pad nice and tight. (4) It has a water bottle holder on each side for quick access. (5) The top is a removable 15L summit pack, once you remove it from the main body it has two straps that allow you to throw it over your shoulder or even wear it like a fanny pack! (6) Lastly the front of the pack has a mesh layer that can be used to store anything you wouldn’t want to get mixed in with the rest of your gear…like…poop bags. (There are more features to the pack but for me these are the most important.) Ruggedness: - If this pack lacks in anything, its in the fact that its not waterproof. If you are typically climbing in snow, you have to be careful how you lay it down or your gear will end up damp. Other than that, it is build like a tank in every other aspect. Mines has been thrown on rocks, dirt, gravel, snow and glacier and its still good as new. No rips or tears anywhere. Final thoughts: - This pack earns 5 stars in my book. I consider its built very solid and useful for anything from back packing to mountaineering. Its large enough to hold enough gear for multiday expeditions and very compactable for short trips. Its adjustability makes it suitable for heavy loads and comfort that last for hours on end. Whether its scrambling up rocks or slogging up a snow field this pack will perform great. Its worth every penny! You can't read more articles on my blog www.brandonclimbs.com
For Sale is a 30L Cilogear worksack in their indestructible Woven/Non-Woven Dyneema fabric. This is an amazing pack that is purpose made for the fast and light alpinist being lightweight and fully strippable including top lid, straps, waist belt and removable bivy pad. These sell for $500 new on Cilogear's website. I am selling this one for $450 Canadian Dollars ($350USD) shipping not included. There is no visible wear but there is some slight discoloration of the white fabric on the bottom of the pack and the top lid from being set on the ground. This pack is the "Normal" size from Cilogear. Link: http://www.cilogear.com/3004.html
I've owned a Cold Cold World Chernobyl for the better part of 20 years that is finally calling it a day. I'm looking for a replacement pack pretty much for winter day trips. Whilst the CCW pack was outstanding, I seek something with a little more back support, either a plastic sheet or AL stays. If Black Ice Podsacs were still available I would jump on the chance to buy one, but unfortunately they are long gone. I've drooled over Hyperlite ice packs but am hesitant because of the horrific cost as well as the durability, abrasion resistance of the dyneema (cuben fiber) material. Any thoughts, comments, first hand experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!