- Customizable sizing allows for the perfect fit
- 65 liters is a good mid-range size for anything form a weekend to a week long trip
- At 4 lbs 8 oz this pack is a little heavier than I think is reasonable.
- It is difficult to access the water bladder compartment.
- The pack is very comfortable to wear.
I have been borrowing my brothers' packs for years.
This year, for my 23rd birthday, almost exactly 6 months ago, I got my very own backpacking pack. The Ariel 65, made by Osprey. After a thoroughly exhausting search through the REI stock I settled on the Ariel 65 for the following reasons:
- Size- 65 liters is as much as I ever want to carry. While I'm on the trail I will never be more than a few days away from town. My rule of thumb, having used many varied packs over the years: you will fill whatever space you have, so buy as small of a pack as you feel comfortable with.
- Ultra Customizable sizing- If you are purchasing a backpack be SURE you are buying the right size. The Ariel 65 allows you to have a separately sized harness and belt. I used a small frame, medium harness and medium belt, as sized by the backpack specialists at REI.
- Organization- I know, I know, more features like pockets and dividers add more weight. BUT, it can also add a level of comfort and convenience. The top of the pack separates and becomes a fanny pack. (my family always called them butt bags but I have recently been informed NO ONE else calls them this, anyone want to confirm this for me?)
- Color. I love the colors that Osprey packs come in. They have great gem tones.
I've used my pack on two one nighters, and a two nighter in the Sierras since I got it and so far I'm pretty happy. It is heavier than I would prefer a pack to be, weighing in at 4lb, 8oz. The hydration pocket is not readily accessible, and is nearly impossible to get a bladder into if the pack is actually full.
All that being said, it's working for me for now. I have a over a year before my planned departure and I have many trips between then and now. REI's return policy is pretty golden so I think I will continue using it until I decide if these factors will make or break the pack for me in the long run.
In Summary: I would recommend this pack to people going on short trips who don't need to access their hydration bladder frequently. Honestly, if the bladder compartment became more accessible I would be pretty happy with the pack. That being said, bladders are never easy to wrangle. And I'll admit, I have developed a bit of a sentimental attachment. Still, in the future I think I'll have to find a lighter pack with less of the organizational features.