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ProView – Osprey Women’s Ariel AG 65

In August of 2017, I was headed to Iceland for a two-week trip camping and backpacking trip. I didn’t have a pack large enough for the trip and ended up borrowing a bright red Osprey Ariel 65 L from a friend. As a woman, it’s hard to get the chest straps right, the hips adjusted, and the shoulders correct. I’d hadn’t worn the pack more than a few minutes to quickly try it on, so the first day of the backpacking trip I was prepared for hip bruises and sore shoulders. After a long day of up and down hiking through some of the most diverse and intense landscape I’d ever seen we made it to the first campsite on the trail. The pack came off without a struggle. I didn’t have to peel the buckles off my body or rub away sore spots. My back felt great and as I looked out over the Iceland lake while stuffing my face with peanut M&M’s I smiled. Sounds ridiculous, but it felt like the backpack and I had become fast friends (who doesn’t get sentimental about good gear). Fast forward a year later — I’d been hired as a wilderness therapy backpacking guide and knew exactly what pack I would be buying for the job.

Osprey Women's Ariel AG 65

Product Description: For backpacking, thru-hikes and alpine expeditions, the Ariel AG Series has a pedigree like no other pack. We have set the bar for technical backpacking packs by combining Anti-Gravity technology with customizable fit and innovative features like our new convertible top lid to create a more capable and comfortable pack for long-haul load carrying on any multi-day excursion. When you need a pack that can carry heavy loads for up to a week, there is no better option than the Ariel AG pack. Size XS comes with a Small hipbelt and harness.

Price: MSRP: $310.00

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (4.8)

Summary

All in all my backpack feels more like a friend than a piece of gear at this point. I live and work out of it so it’s a kitchen, a seat, a pillow, and a closet all at once. I’ve had it for over a year and the only con is I’ve had one strap buckle break. It’s a reliable piece of gear that handles the wear and tear well and fits well with my daily life as a guide. Cheers to the trail!

Overall
5

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Easy to pack
  • Easy to adjust

Cons

  • Strap buckle may break with wear
osprey-ariel-65-review-dirtbagdreams.com
osprey-ariel-65-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Features/Durability

There is a bottom compartment that makes stuffing one’s sleeping bag a breeze, and then a zipper on the middle body of the pack so you don’t have to always dig in for gear from the top. Mesh pockets fit multiple different sized water bottles (although nothing bigger than 32 oz). The belt buckles have pockets giving one easy access to snacks, chapsticks, or sunglasses. The top-loader comes off completely and with a few snaps of a buckle and becomes its own mini day pack (with two straps, not just a sling across). I’ve had my pack for a year in mountains and high desert, through snow and sand and all the zippers are still intact.

Look/Style

The Ariel doesn’t sit high above my head. It’s a rounded top loader that is designed to stretch to fit more stuff without giving the appearance of an overstuffed pack. I chose a bright cherry red for my pack but it comes in blue and grey as well. 

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Hiking through two feet of snow, lighting in the woods, and desert dirt getting in its zippers, it’s still going strong. Apart from faded fabric, the pack is the same. It’s held up through all seasons.

osprey-ariel-65-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Fit/Function

It’s a women’s pack, so the hip belts have extra padding and the back support is smaller. The shoulder straps triangles are easy to adjust and make it customizable to all body types. I recommend going into a gear store beforehand and getting fitted. It’s a good idea to have a pro look at the way a small, medium, or large fits your body. 

osprey-ariel-65-review-dirtbagdreams.com

The Final Word

All in all my backpack feels more like a friend than a piece of gear at this point. I live and work out of it so it’s a kitchen, a seat, a pillow, and a closet all at once. I’ve had it for over a year and the only con is I’ve had one strap buckle break. It’s a reliable piece of gear that handles the wear and tear well and fits well with my daily life as a guide. Cheers to the trail!

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