20 responses

  1. Robin Evans
    January 3, 2011

    I found that I was leaning further forward because of the centre of gravity issue. I also felt the frame was too rigid to be totally comfortable. The pack material tends to absorb a lot of water in rain as well.

    While there are many things Osprey have got right with this pack, these issues make it less than ideal for me. I can see that it would be good for hot weather with relatively flat terrain. Not a description of the UK most of the time!

  2. marco
    January 3, 2011

    Heavy pack, good review.


  3. Earlylite
    January 3, 2011

    I was speaking to a sales person at REI who does a lot of their backpack fitting. He said that the straps get very soft in hot weather and feel like ropes, ie. very uncomfortable. I couldn't verify it myself, but I could see it being true.

  4. Rob
    January 3, 2011

    Does it have the unusual bent "ventilation/platypus pocket" frame like some of the other Ospreys? I tried one of those and it (after I left the store and tried for real) would really hurt my back. This isn't a universal phenomenon as my son now uses it and is fine – as are a couple of my friends. But it is something to watch for.

  5. Earlylite
    January 3, 2011

    Yep – called a trampoline frame. They now make a lot of packs that don't use it….As you can see, I'm systematically reviewing every Osprey pack I can get my hands on.

  6. Ken_colby
    January 3, 2011

    Great pack Phil. I bought one the year after I tried Mt Whitney in the Sierras in snow with a Dana Design Terraplane (and about 65lbs). I was amazed at how – on the one hand it could handle so much gear, yet on the other hand forced me to make tough choices about what to take. It swallowed (albeit tightly) a bear canister, and supported a tent, pad, sleeping bag, etc. Bottom line – I live it!

  7. grumpyhighlander
    January 4, 2011

    I have put over 500 miles on my Exos here in Colorado and loved it on the CDT section through the Weminuche Wilderness last year and the year before. It performed perfectly in hot conditions in Colorado. The waist belt buckle had no problems

    ( I have used three different Exos packs without problems in this area, your buckle must be damaged or faulty, Osprey should be willing to replace it for you at no charge if that is the case. You can read their almighty guarantee online)

    I was very grateful to have the ventilated back panel. I am a very light hiker with a base weight of ten pounds so I did not feel like the pack pulled me back due to the airscape space, however to cooling effect of the breeze through the msh was most welcome. I us a sinylon cover for thunderstorms here in the rockies and a Tiso plastic pack liner on the interior. Yes I'm originally from Scotland where my pack was always getting soaked. I didn't see how the pack absorbed any more water than a Karrirmor or Berghaus as the material is actually lighter in most cases. the bottom line is that most pack are never waterproof! ( Disclaimer, I have done pack testing for Osprey ) In winter I use a heavier pack due to carrying heavier loads that are above the recommended weight for the Exos, that might be why the REI employee talked about the straps seeming to be soft as he was overloading the pack.

  8. Earlylite
    January 4, 2011

    Did I mention that the same REI guy tried to sell me an Osprey Variant that was obviously too long in the torso for me. Glad to hear that this pack worked out well for you.

  9. grumpyhighlander
    January 4, 2011

    Earlylite, sorry to hear about REI my experience has been that the staff are usually very knowledgeable but sometime people like to talk more than walk, if you know what I mean. The Variant is also a great all-round pack, I like it as it can carry a huge load of camalots for the desert in Utah when crack climbing and fit all my ice gear in when I go ice climbing in Ouray Colorado. I sometimes wish it was a bit larger as the belt and straps would be good for a larger load.

  10. Earlylite
    January 4, 2011

    I used to think so, but I find myself interrupting REI staff frequently when they are talking to customers and "simplifying" the options available, important trade-offs and details. I've turned into a terror customer, I guess.

    I'll be writing a review of the Variant in a few weeks. The 52 size is a very nice backpack but I wish they hadn't conflated the compression straps with the shovel pocket. It makes it awkward to use for carrying snowshoes. Other than that, it makes an awesome approach pack for winter climbers. We agree on that!

  11. grumpyhighlander
    January 4, 2011

    Yes they should be stitched to the side before the pocket and a separate buckle to compress that area, as a continuation of the strap with independent adjustment would help. Also the lid pocket drops the contents out if opened with the lid flipped over. This is due to the bad placement of the zipper (Pet peeve!) However this is being designed out of packs as production changes.

    Yes you have turned into a terror customer as you are more qualified than the staff, perhaps it's time for you to moonlight as a consultant. !?

  12. miska
    January 5, 2011

    My girlfriend got this pack and it is really nice. I love the features and layout and it's slightly wider than my REI flash 50 so you can fit a bear canister sideways down in the bottom of the pack which is very handy. Unfortunately it absolutely kills my back and the curved frame feels weird like it's putting the weight way further out from my center of gravity than other packs and hanging/pulling on my shoulders. I couldn't get this as my day to day pack but if you're the type of person who it fits, it's nice.

  13. juan blas
    June 18, 2011

    i love this pack no complaints nothin

  14. Kimberlie Dame
    July 18, 2011

    I used this pack on all 819 miles of the Arizona Trail and had that very same irritating hip belt buckle popping apart.. really no fun.. I also had a difficult time getting enough weight on my hips away from my shoulders… Other than that, the pack served its purpose well and endured much rugged desert mangling without becoming damaged.

  15. beau
    June 30, 2012

    I love this pack. I retired my old friend…my osprey crescent 110 to get some serious weight reduction. My base weight is now 18 pounds. The expos 58 is a great pack. I backpack mostly in AZ and the ventilated suspension system is awesome. The suspension system has another side benefit…you can put the water badder in the air space to get more room out of the pack. The other benefit is the cool water against your lower back. :)

    Since the load is less, the weight distribution away from you center of gravity (suspension system) is not as big a deal and can be managed by making sure all the side compression straps are very tight. Once that is done the pack feels very compact.

    My only complaint is the wimpy front buckle and the narrow belt strap.

    The pack is light, durable and holds gear well. If it lasts as long as my 110, then it will be, almost, a miracle pack.

    • Earlylite
      June 30, 2012

      I can see how a ventilated backpack would be handy in the southwest – I’m sitting in Texas as I write this in 100+ temperatures! I can also see you point about the suspension system – doesn’t matter as much for lighter loads. That’s probably true.

    • Beau
      August 26, 2012


      I still like the exos….but I have decided to go with the arcteryx altra 75 as my primary. The belt and shoulder straps just are not cushy and stable enough on the exos at 32lbs. The belt does not transfer the weight to hips as well as I wish it would. The altra adds two pounds to exos but the weight is added in the right areas…the belt and shoulder straps. Both are great packs, the exos works the best under 30lbs.

  16. Spyros
    July 23, 2013

    The problem with packs that have a frame like this, is that the internal space of the pack is somewhat divided in the middle of it, because of the shape. For example if you put a 2-litre bladder, it is very difficult to push down a sleeping pad or a sleeping bag because in the middle the pack gets much narrower because of the framse shape.

  17. Corn Dog
    July 25, 2013

    I have used this pack for over a year now, logging some 400+ miles with it. For me, it’s a great pack. The size large fits me perfectly. I sometimes forget I have it on when I’m on the trail (my base weight is 15 lbs.; add food for 3-4 days and water and it still is under 25 lbs.). I have never had an issue with the hip belt coming unbuckled. I think this pack evenly distributes the load between hips, back and shoulders.

  18. JearBear
    November 7, 2013

    A friend of mine bought this pack when he found it on sale at a resale store. When not fully packed with gear, I liked the trampoline suspension, but I can see how it would cause uneven distribution or cause one to lean farther forward leading to neck pain. The trampoline suspension is incredibly innovative and it is interesting to see a commercial company trying these things out.

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