The Osprey Renn 50 is a women’s-specific multi-day backpack with an adjustable and ventilated frame. Weighing just 3.31 pounds (53 oz), it’s lightweight, comfortable, and easy-to-use with plenty of pockets to stay organized. Priced at $155, it’s also surprisingly affordable considering how fully featured it is. If you’re on the market for an inexpensive backpack or you’re new to backpacking, the Osprey Renn 50 is a great value that will let you hit the ground running.
Specs at a Glance
- Price: $155
- Volume: 50L
- Gender: Women’s (the men’s version is called the Osprey Rook)
- Weight: 3.31 lbs (53 oz)
- Ventilated: Yes
- Adjustable: Yes
- Frame type: Internal
- Torso length: 14″-19″ (one size)
- Max recommended load: 30-35 lbs
- Material: 600d and 1000d pack cloth
Backpack Storage and Organization
In addition to the main storage compartment, the Osprey Renn 50 has a top lid pocket, side water bottle pockets, hip belt pockets, and a bottom compartment that holds an included rain cover.
The top lid is sewn to the pack and not removable. It has a single pocket, which has plenty of room for a map, key ring (a key fob is provided), basic first aid, hat, and gloves, etc. The top lid has some elasticity around the edges, which gives it a nice fit around the top of the pack.
The main compartment closes with a draw-string that is easy to cinch tight and pull open. The shape of the pack also makes it easy to see all the way down inside the pack, so you can locate gear quickly. There is an internal buckle/compression strap that cinches the gear (not an external strap that cinches across the top… but an internal one.) It is bright red, easy to find, and use.
The Renn has side stretch mesh water bottle pockets, in addition to an internal hydration pocket, if you prefer to use a reservoir and hose. My bottles fit easily into them and stay secure when I put it them from the top (vertically.) But when I put the bottle in the diagonal opening, the water bottles slip out when I lean forward. I find this true of many packs.
There’s also a sleeping bag hatch on the front of the pack so you can access gear at the bottom of the pack without unpacking the entire thing. There’s a shelf-like flap on the interior that folds down to create a sleeping bag compartment, but you can also fold it up if you want to treat the main compartment of the pack as a long continuous space. This “virtual pocket” is roomy enough to fit my sleeping bag and lightweight air mattress.
The hip belt pockets are surprisingly roomy with plenty of room for several snack bars, most smartphones, small cameras, etc. They have an interesting design where only part of the pocket is sewn to the hip belt, and the other end of the pocket is attached to the hip compression strap. This results in a larger, roomier, and easier to access hip belt pocket. (Get’s a happy face from me.)
The Renn does not have a front stretch mesh pocket, however, a feature that many backpackers like because it provides a place to store damp gear or dirty camp shoes to keep them away from the dry and clean gear inside your backpack. On the flip side, this does improve the pack’s durability because these pockets get ripped up on Osprey packs. The pack does not have a stow n’go trekking pole carry system either, although you can use the side water bottle pockets to carry your poles instead. I suspect that Osprey left these features, which are standard on its other backpacks, off the pack to keep the price low.
Backpack Frame and Suspension
The Osprey Renn 50 is a women’s backpack, which means that it’s available in a shorter range of torso lengths (14″-19″) with shoulder straps and a hip belt that are specifically designed to fit a female body. What’s that mean?
The shoulder straps are S-shaped so that they curve around women’s breasts rather than smashing them flat like J-shaped men’s or so-called unisex backpack straps. There’s more width at the collarbone and a shorter sternum strap that doesn’t pinch. The hip belt wings are also more flared on the tops and ends to wrap around curvy women’s hips and hip bones. In addition to the availability of shorter torso lengths (down to 14″), these simple changes go a long way to making the Renn fully female-friendly.
To sweeten the deal, the Renn is also an adjustable length backpack, so you can dial in your exact torso length. This is doubly important because the pack comes in one size, fitting torsos from 14″ to 19″, which is a big torso range spread.
The adjustment system is designed to raise or lower the shoulder pads, relative to the fixed hip belt, which is how you adjust for torso length. The shoulder pads are attached to metal rods that slot into loops set along the frame in a kind-of wishbone formation, which is how you adjust their height. This is a new Osprey adjustment system.
In addition to being adjustable, the Renn is also ventilated, with a suspended mesh back panel that allows for superior airflow behind your back to help dry perspiration. The ventilation cavity is not as deep as it is on some of Osprey’s other packs, so it doesn’t interfere with internal storage, but still provides plenty of airflow.
The Renn has a lightweight wire frame that runs along the perimeter, with a reinforced center bar that adds rigidity to the pack. I found the load transfer to the hip belt quite exceptional, taking the pressure off my shoulders and placing it on my hips, even when I loaded the pack up with extra gear and water. The fully loaded pack is surprisingly very well-balanced. Both on my body, and when I put it on the ground: it didn’t tip forward or backward. The weight “moves with me” when I hiked, stepped, or crossed a rocky stream bed. The Renn 50 really has a nice feel and fit.
External Attachment Points and Compression
The Renn has one compression strap that runs above each side water bottle pocket and can be used to stabilize your load or help shrink the pack volume. These straps are also useful for securing longer items, like trekking poles or tent poles to the side of your pack so they don’t fall out of side pockets.
There are sleeping pad straps at the base of the pack, which is a nice feature for carrying bulky objects so they don’t take over the packs closed storage. Many pack makers have dropped such straps from their packs, but they’re really quite handy and an added bonus.
In addition, there are gear loops located around the front of the pack and on top of the lid, where you can attach additional items with webbing straps or cord. For example, since there’s no front stretch pocket, I carabiner Crocs to these loops to carry them more easily.
Comparable Lightweight Women’s Backpacks
|Women's Make / Model||Frame: Torso Range||Weight||Colors||Price|
|Osprey Eja 58||Fixed: 14-21"||42 oz||Grey, Blue||$220|
|Osprey Eja 48||Fixed: 14-21"||41 oz||Grey, Blue||$200|
|Osprey Tempest 40||Adjustable: 13-20"||38.1 oz||Magenta, Black||$160|
|Osprey Lumina 60||Fixed: 15-21"||31.2 oz||Grey||$270|
|Osprey Lumina 45||Fixed: 15-21"||28 oz||Grey||$250|
|REI Flash 55||Fixed: 16-18"||43 oz||Grey, Olive Oil||$199|
|REI Flash 45||Fixed: 16-18"||41.5 oz||Grey, Pumpkin||$159|
|Granite Gear Crown2||Fixed: 15-21"||34 oz||Grey, Black||$200|
|Gregory Octal 58||Fixed: 14-20"||41 oz||Grey, Blue||$210|
|Gregory Octal 45||Fixed: 14-20"||40 oz||Grey, Blue||$190|
|Gregory Amber 44||Adjustable: 14-20"||44 oz||Red, Teal||$160|
|Exped Lightning 60||Adjustable: 14.2-20.9"||40 oz||Black, Terracotta||$229|
|Exped Lightning 45||Adjustable: 14.2-20.9"||38.8 oz||Black, Terracotta||$199|
|Kelty Redwing 50||Fixed: 14.5-18.5"||42 oz||Black, Teal||$130|
|Mountainsmith Scream 55||Fixed: 14-17"||42 oz||Grey||$160|
The Osprey Renn 50 is a well designed, easy to use backpack with enough features and pockets to stay organized, but simple enough that you don’t need an owner’s manual to figure it out! The pack is well suited for overnight and weekend trips and great for first-timers or those newer to backpacking because it is so user-friendly and affordable. My favorite features of the pack were the super-easy torso adjustability and overall fit/feel/balance of the pack when loaded. The only drawback was not having an outside stash pocket for rain gear.
Disclosure: The author purchased this backpack.