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Osprey Aether 30 and other roll top packs
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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Osprey Aether 30 and other roll top packs on 01/02/2011 19:26:35 MST Print View

I "discovered" an Osprey Aether 30 pack this weekend and couldn't resist. From what I can find it is a smaller version of the Aether 45, but is unlike the other packs in the series. It has a roll top and mesh side pockets, a web on the front for compression/gear hauling, and a sleeve between the back panel and the pack body for a hydration bladder. It has a padded back and shoulder straps, a sternum strap and and unpadded hip belt.

At first look, I thought it was a waterproof design. The roll top will help keep water from entering the top, but all the seams are untaped. It does make for a simple and strong closure that is resistant to dust and moisture and can be adjusted for volume. I would use a liner for wet weather.

I was looking for a light and simple day pack in the 30L range. I do like side pockets for water bottles-- I don't like stashing bladders in the same compartment with electronics and cameras. Osprey should have put some grommets in the bottom of the hydration sleeve in case it gathers rainwater or has a reservoir leak. It is not a SUL pack at 29oz, but I can live with that for a day pack.

Osprey Aether 30 backpack

Another roll top pack that has caught my eye of late is the Outdoor Research Drycomp Ridge Sack that is a 16.4oz, 34L waterproof pack with a big front pocket. I've been waiting to catch the bargain on one.

Another OR roll-top is the Dry Peak Bagger. It is 27L and only 9.2oz. I think those who like the old GoLite Ion would see the potential in this one. I want one with side pockets, but it does have a big pocket on the front with a sleeve for an ice axe. MSRP is just $55. It's a winner if it isn't too uncomfortable.

gavin wenyon
Aarn Packs on 01/03/2011 02:45:51 MST Print View

You might also like Aarn packs. Most of them have a built-in waterproof liners and roll top enclosures. They have two different series of packs, stronglights and ultralights. I think the Featherlite Freedom is right up your alley. I've used it a few times and found the performance very comparable to my talon 44.Blue Mtns, Aus

Edited by gavin123 on 01/03/2011 03:46:10 MST.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
roll top on 01/03/2011 02:45:51 MST Print View

i love my alpha 25... 33 oz, take out the built in rain cover and its around ~31 oz, take out the foam pad and its even less ... its big enough for short trips, ice/rock climbing daytrips, etc ... has a shovel/snowshoe flap that adds to the durability when chimneying

back panel is very comfy ... cost me $60

what i really want is a MLD newt with axe loops, top rope strap and side straps for gear carry ... lol

Edited by bearbreeder on 01/03/2011 03:05:46 MST.

Josh Newkirk
(Newkirk) - MLife

Locale: Australia
+1 on aarn packs on 01/03/2011 09:04:00 MST Print View

Not the lightest packs in the world but some of the most comfortable.

Charles Compton
(tyemax2) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Aether 45 on 08/17/2013 10:34:48 MDT Print View

I've had the Osprey Aether 45 10 years or so. I love the roll top design. The pack has been a go to favorite for backpacks to techinical day trips.
Boreas has the buttermilk series which is similar to the old Osprey design.