The Osprey Exos 58 is a very lightweight backpack that’s obviously made for backpackers. Weighing a mere 2lbs 8 oz in a size medium, this pack has a lot of features that work well together, and provide both comfort and value. I am surprised by the sheer quantity of features that Osprey has been able to include on this pack, including their trademark ventilated trampoline suspension system.
Here’s a quick rundown of the Exos 58 feature list:
- 58 liters (3,539 cubic inches) of pack capacity, centered around a central compartment.
- Extension collar with a large outer pocket, including key ring clip, and a mesh internal pocket
- Four webbing attachment points on top of the extension collar
- The extension collar is completely removable if desired
- Upper and lower side compression straps that do not interfere water bottle access.
- A shovel style rear pocket large enough for a rain shell but too small for a climbing helmet.
- Mesh covered shoulder straps and hip belt to improve breathability
- Shoulder pad and hib belt cutouts to reduce weight
- Gadget sized elastic pocket on the left shoulder strap
- Hiking pole loop on the shoulder strap for stowing poles when standing around
- Trampoline style metal frame which provides superior ventilation
- Ajustable sternum strap with four different heights settings
- Emergency whistle included on the sternum strap
- Dual internal hydration hose ports in the main compartment, including a hydration reservoir hang loop
- Elastic hydration loops on the shoulder straps
- Load lifters to the pack frame for better control
- Dual ice axe loops at the bottom of the back, including cord locks higher on the pack to secure their handles
- External webbing at the bottom of the back to attach a sleeping pad or tent.
- Draw string closure on the main compartment, including a top compression strap and
- Use of lightly colored fabric to improve internal compartment visibility
- Internal hydration pocket and zipper access to trampoline frame for additional storage close to wearer’s core
- Two side mesh pockets that provide additional storage and hold water bottles that can be accessed and replaced while wearing the pack.
- Two external, half-moon shaped pockets with zippers on the back of the main compartment but underneath the shovel pocket that can still be used to store gear even when the main compartment is full.
- Lots of external attachment points on the back of the pack, as well as the ability to thread webbing around the front frame stays to hang additional gear
- External loop at the bottom right side of the pack for hanging climbing equipment such a carbiners and screws
- Two large mesh zippered pockets on the hip belt.
- Webbing based hip belt adjustment system.
- Pre-cut drainage hole at the bottom of the shovel pocket.
Exos 58 Likes
An a evangelist for lightweight backpacking, I am excited to see that a major manufacturer like Osprey Packs is bringing lighter and lighter backpacks to market. Weighing under 3 lbs, the Exos 58 is a great way for hikers to experience the benefits of a lighter weight backpack that is still loaded with features found in much heavier, higher volume backpacks.
Here are the key features that I like on the Exos 58.
- Light colored fabrics make it easy to find gear in the main compartment
- Water bottles are accessible in side pockets while wearing the pack, and the zippered pockets on the back of the pack are usable even if the main compartment is full of gear.
- Camelback style hydration reservoirs can be hung inside the trampoline frame increasing comfort and positioning water weight over your hips, closer to your center of gravity.
- There are lots of external attachment points on the back, sides, and top of the pack.
- It is possible to carry snowshoes along the sides of the pack using compression straps and side mesh pockets to position the extra weight over your hips. I prefer to carry snowshoes this way.
Exos 58 Dislikes:
While the Exos 58 is better designed that a lot of other Osprey’s lower end packs, there are some things about it that turn me off. My biggest criticism has to do with the fact that many of Osprey’s Packs have non-detachable hipbelts, that can make it difficult to find a size that matches your torso length and hip circumference.
For example, if you have a torso that is between 18.5 inches and 20 inches long, you can only get a Exos 58 hip belt in a size small (<31″) or a size medium (30″-34″). Moderately chubby people can’t get a good fit with this pack. That doesn’t make any sense to me. This is a big segment of the population.
Here are some other things I don’t like on the Exos 58:
- The hip belt buckle does not stay closed and pops open 75% of the time. This might have been a manufacturing defect with my Exos 58, but I find the plastic connectors and hip belt systems on many expensive Osprey Packs to be under-built and cheesy.
- The shape of the trampoline frame pushes the center of gravity of your gear farther away from your hips. To mitigate the feeling that you’re being pulling backwards, you need to pack heavier items higher in the main compartment, making the pack feel top heavy, and reducing your lateral control over its momentum.
Honestly, I can see why people might really like the Exos 58. It is a very comfortable pack to wear, it has a lot of nice features, and if you can get one in a size that fits you properly, it’s a good value. But when it comes down to it, I’m not a big fan of trampoline suspension systems. The added ventilation benefits are insignificant when compared to the load distribution negatives. Some people love trampoline frames, regardless. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
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