Aether 85


Aether 85
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Aether 85
Manufacturer Osprey
Page By Hotoven
Page Type Apr 14, 2009 / Apr 15, 2009
Object ID 6046
Hits 3743

2009 Aether 85: Great Pack, Durable, Lightweight, and BIG!

This pack is a real treat. I Have used it quite a few times and am really satisfied with it. When buying it, I considered weight, size, durability, and price. Now this pack is a good size, coming in at 85 liters (around 5,200 cubic inches) it is considered a lightweight mountaineering pack. I almost got the Aether 70, but when considering future trips in harsh conditions, more supplies combined with older, slightly larger gear, this was the pack for me.

I also enjoy taking my friends backpacking. And when I get a green-horn to accompany me, all they have to carry is a day pack with their share of food, while I take most of the gear. Its better than my buddy going through the hassle of renting.


It comes with three main compression straps on the front, which enable you to reduce the size of the main compartment by quite allot. I have used it for short 3 day trips, along with extended trips, and a simple adjustment enables a quick volume change for a verity of backpacking trips.

The waist belt also is very nice. Once its molded (IsoForm CMâ„¢ hipbelt) to take the shape of your hips, the fit can not get any better. Once compared to other pack waist belts after the molding, there was no way I was going to buy another pack. This unique molding ensures comfort and satisfaction to the highest degree.

Its light weight is unmatchable, while other competitors produce smaller packs with less durability, but more weight. It can also carry up to 60 lbs with no problems, where as other packs of the same size generally max out at 50 lbs

Osprey was the first to invent the detachable lid, which comes off the top, and can be turned into a fanny pack once you take off the waist strap and thread it through the lid. I have used this feature many times. Either it be reaching the summit for a few hours and leaving my big pack behind, or just dropping off my heavy pack and carrying food and water to finish up a long backpacking trip, while picking up my pack later in a vehicle.

Some of the other small features would include the Airscape backpanel. This system helps with capillary stimulus. This makes your back less prone to sweat, and stimulates your back, to keep the blood moving smoothly instead of smothering it. That's what most packs end up doing, causing more sweat than normal the be generated.

It also has Side Carry Loops for your skies, or tent poles. An adjustable Sleeping Bag Compartment to fit a wide verity of sleeping bag sizes. It has an adjustable roof inside to keep your other belongings separate from your bag. Sleeping Pad Straps are also included on the bottom outside of the pack. On the very front, there is a very Stretchy compartment which can hold quite allot. It also has a little hole at the bottom to allow water to drain out if you just want to stick your wet tent in there instead of packing it inside to smell up and bring mold to your gear. Water bottle compartment are located on either side of the pack. They can hold 1 liter bottle with no problem. I never tried anything bigger.

This pack is a good all around pack, and can be used for many different trips given its versatility, and durability. I would recommend it to anyone who plans on using it for any kind of moderately lengthened backpacking or Mountain climbing trip.


Fit: Unisex

Frame type: Internal

Approximate volume: 5,200 cubic inches

Approximate volume - metric: 85 liters

Average weight 4 lbs. 13 oz.

Average weight - metric: 2.21 kilograms

Adjustable torso: Yes

Fits torso: 18 - 20.5 inches

Fits waist/hips: 30 - 34 inches

Material: Nylon double-ripstop

Frame material: HDPE/aluminum

Number of stays: 2

Number of pockets: 2 + main compartment

Access / Loading: Top

Sleeping bag compartment: Yes



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nhluhr - Jun 18, 2009 1:07 pm - Voted 4/5

Great pack
I have been using this pack for nearly a year now and am absolutely love the fit and comfort of it. Also, the feature set is almost perfect except for one tiny thing... no easy way to secure an ice axe or trekking poles at the top. The bottom loops are there but mysteriously missing at the top. I guess you're just supposed to wrap the lid straps around the shaft but i picked up one of those Arcteryx Axe Keepers to put on there... will probably sew it in place to make it more stable... or maybe I'll just sew on some shock cords or something.

xpda - Aug 14, 2011 11:27 am - Voted 5/5

This back is comfortable on long hikes, at least as comfy as a heavy pack can be. It has plenty of straps and etc. to tie things onto the outside.

Water bottle holders are deep enough to keep the bottles from bouncing out. There is an adjustable elastic loop I use to secure the top of the ice axe and/or poles. The top flap pocket is big enough to hold a decent size camera and lots of other stuff.

In addition to loading from the top, there is a zippered panel that lets you access the main compartment from the back. Very handy.

The only problem I've had is a clip on the breast strap isn't very secure. I'm not sure whether the pack supposed to be waterproof, but water will get into the top flap in heavy rain. A rain cover is a good idea.

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