< Go to Backpacking Packs - Men's

Hands-on Gear Review

Osprey Volt 60 Review

Osprey Volt 60
Best Buy Award
Price:   $180 List | $179.95 at CampSaver
Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Great price, incredible value, solid features, below-average weight, comfortable and ergonomic shoulder straps and back-panel, versatile
Cons:  Ok suspension and support, one size fits most works well, though taller folks with 35+ pound packs won't find it as comfortable
Bottom line:  The Volt 60 is a great all-around pack that doesn't give up much in the way of features; it's also light and versatile.
Editors' Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Osprey

Our Verdict

Not only is the Osprey Volt 60 our new OutdoorGearLab Best Buy winner, but we think that even price withholding, it's a rad pack. It is big enough for most backpackers going on 2-5 day long trips (longer if you pack lighter) and it has all the features that many backpackers are looking for - without many of the "extras". The Volt 60 is a top loading design with a sleeping bag compartment, external stretchy mesh pocket, a lid with a pair of zippered pockets, and a handful of smaller features. It's slightly lighter than average at 3 lbs 14 oz, and is one size fits most. We felt the Volt 60 had a respectable suspension, well-designed ergonomics, and comfortable shoulder straps. All this for a below average $180. Overall, we found this pack to be our favorite for the price and it was higher performing than several of the more expensive models on the market.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Backpacking Packs of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Tuesday
May 16, 2017

Share:
The Volt 60 is easily our Best Buy Award Winner. For $180, we just don't think you can find as solid of an all-around backpacking pack that will provide the same level of comfort, suspension, and durability. It's even slightly lighter than average while still sporting our review teams' favorite features that they look for in a backpacking pack.

Performance Comparison


The chart below highlights the Volt's Overall Performance score, allowing you to compare all of the contenders overall score.


Comfort


The Volt 60 is an exceptionally comfortable backpacking and mountaineering pack; it is certainly more comfortable than nearly any other packs you'll find in its price range. This contender is constructed with high-quality foam and has excellent ergonomics in its back-panel, as well as shoulder straps that give it an above average overall fit.


While the Volt is not quite as comfortable as packs like the Osprey Atmos 65 AG, Gregory Baltoro 65, or the Arc'teryx Bora 63 AR, it's comparable to The North Face Banchee 65 and is more comfortable than the Osprey Exos 58 or REI Flash 65.

The waist belt featured on the volt with reverse pull buckles. While the Volt's waist belt wasn't anything spectacular  we did find it surprisingly comfortable and supportive - especially considering the Volt's $180 price tag.
The waist belt featured on the volt with reverse pull buckles. While the Volt's waist belt wasn't anything spectacular, we did find it surprisingly comfortable and supportive - especially considering the Volt's $180 price tag.

Suspension


The Volt 60 has a decent suspension, though it isn't outstanding; however, we did find the suspension to be better than nearly all models in the sub $200 price range. Our testers thought the Volt 60 was good for loads up to around 40 lbs. Above that weight, we felt like some of the beefier packs like the Gregory Baltoro 65 or the Arc'teryx Bora AR 63 handled the weight better. For loads of 30-35 lbs, our testing team could hardly notice a difference in the relative support of each pack's suspension.


What really stood out to us though is how well the Volt 60 compared to other packs in its price range. Taking home a 7 out of 10, our testing team felt the Volt certainly handled loads better than the REI Flash 65 or Osprey Exos 58. On the other side of the spectrum, the Volt didn't handle heavier loads or provide quite as much support as the Osprey Aether AG 60, The North Face Banchee 65 or the Gregory Paragon 68. Cream of the crop scorers in this metric includes the Arc'teryx Bora AR, Gregory Baltoro 65, and Osprey Xenith 75 - perfect 10 out of 10s (and on the more expensive end of the price range).

Adjustability and Fit


The Volt 60 is a one-size-fits-all design that our review team felt was executed extremely well, earning a perfect 10 out of 10, securing a spot in the top of the line-up. Not only does the Volt have a fair amount of vertical adjustment for the position of the yoke (shoulder straps), but the waist belt also features six inches of waist belt adjustability to dial in the right fit - regardless of a person's size or shape. This also maximizes padding on the wearer's hips.


The shoulder straps high adjustment is similar to Osprey's other models, where the shoulder straps are attached to a large velcro flap. The flap is tucked underneath the back panel; unlike the other Osprey models, the Volt features multiple gaps that are used to pass the shoulder straps through. This means the pack's length can be adjusted without the pack "sagging" backward. In our real world testing, we found this to be exceptionally effective; while we think the Volt would fit a greater range of users, we had testers that were 5'6" and 6'1" fit this pack fantastically. We do think that for taller folks, the Volt 60 might pull back a little more because of where the shoulder straps are leaving the back panel. For folks that are taller than 6'2" and who plan to carry heavier loads, you might be better suited using a multiple sized frame pack.

The Volt is only offered in one frame size  but it does offer an immense amount of adjustment to help with its one-size-fits-most design. Overall  we felt it would fit most people from around 5'5" and 6'2" - depending on their frame size.
The Volt is only offered in one frame size, but it does offer an immense amount of adjustment to help with its one-size-fits-most design. Overall, we felt it would fit most people from around 5'5" and 6'2" - depending on their frame size.

Weight


The Volt 60 weighs in at just under four pounds (3 lbs 15 oz), making it lighter than average among bags of similar volume. While hardly "ultralite" in the ultralight world, this pack is adequately light weight, especially for all-around backpacking packs. In fact, there weren't many packs that were lighter (especially for the price). We do think it's worth noting that the Gregory Paragon 68 as a fairly similarly designed pack that is even lighter (3 lbs 9 oz) and is a similar price range, ringing in at $250.


If you aren't ready for a true ultralight pack because you still want a frame, be sure to check out our Top Pick for Light Weight, the Osprey Exos 58. It weighs 2 lbs 8 oz, the lightest in our line-up, but still has a frame and many of the features that are common in backpacking packs. It doesn't have much in the way of length adjustment and isn't anywhere near as supportive or comfortable when carrying heavier (30+ lbs) loads.

The Volt features mesh water bottle pockets on either side of the pack that have two openings. One opening is on the top for carrying oddly shaped items like tent poles and there is also an opening towards the front of the pack  which makes retrieving and stowing a water bottle far easier while wearing the pack (and without any assistance).
The Volt features mesh water bottle pockets on either side of the pack that have two openings. One opening is on the top for carrying oddly shaped items like tent poles and there is also an opening towards the front of the pack, which makes retrieving and stowing a water bottle far easier while wearing the pack (and without any assistance).

Features and Ease of Use


The Volt 60 consists of a fairly basic design, while still boasting a majority of the features that most backpackers look for and earns an 8 out of 10. It sports things like stretchy one-liter water bottle pockets, a stretchy "beaver tail" pocket, dual zippered hip belt pockets, ice axe loops, lower sleeping pad straps, zipper pockets on either side of its lid, and a sleeping bag compartment and access zipper. While the Volt doesn't have a ton of extra "bells and whistles", we found that it does feature all of the important ones.


We like that it has a zippered pocket on both the top and the bottom of its lid, but don't like the Volt's external (top) pocket as much as other models like the Arc'teryx Bora AR 63. Because of the zipper's location across the side of the lid, we found it was harder to see and subsequently find items - particularity when the lid was full.

The primary zippered lid pocket featured on the volt. The Volt also features a much smaller zippered mesh pocket underneath the lid. Overall  the pockets were average for accessibility  but our review team appreciated them never the less as they helped us stay organized and minimized losing small items.
The primary zippered lid pocket featured on the volt. The Volt also features a much smaller zippered mesh pocket underneath the lid. Overall, the pockets were average for accessibility, but our review team appreciated them never the less as they helped us stay organized and minimized losing small items.

The zippered pocket underneath the lid is mesh, which made it easy to see everything in the pocket; however, it is worth noting that this pocket isn't particularly large. The hip belt pockets on this pack are HUGE and are among the more functional, largely due in part to their size and how easy they are to open and close while hiking along the trail.

The Volt features large  zippered pockets on either side of the waist belt. We found this pockets to be a very convenient place to store snacks  sunblock  or a camera. The Volt's design was among the easiest to zip and unzip while hiking and our review team found them to be secure  never opening on their own  with the fairly deep design keeping items inside while we were retrieving something.
The Volt features large, zippered pockets on either side of the waist belt. We found this pockets to be a very convenient place to store snacks, sunblock, or a camera. The Volt's design was among the easiest to zip and unzip while hiking and our review team found them to be secure, never opening on their own, with the fairly deep design keeping items inside while we were retrieving something.

The sleeping bag compartment sports a removable divider and the straps that are located on the outside are big enough for most closed cell foam sleeping pads. Our review team appreciated the lash points (daisy chain-like loops) that made strapping oddly shaped items to the back of the pack or the top of the lid easier.

One of our favorite features of this pack is its stretchy beavertail style pocket. This pocket is mesh and is a great place to dry items out. It's stretchy enough for oddly shaped items like flip-flops or a fuel bottle. It was a great place to store items that you wanted to be easily accessible  like a waterproof jacket or windbreaker.
One of our favorite features of this pack is its stretchy beavertail style pocket. This pocket is mesh and is a great place to dry items out. It's stretchy enough for oddly shaped items like flip-flops or a fuel bottle. It was a great place to store items that you wanted to be easily accessible, like a waterproof jacket or windbreaker.

All of our testers LOVED the stretchy beaver-tail pocket on the back of the pack and used it on every trip. It is a great place for a wet rain jacket (as the mesh allows it to dry) or a pair of flip-flops. While this pack earned a top score, the Osprey Atmos 65 AG, Osprey Xenith 75, The North Face Banchee 65, and Osprey Aether AG 60 earned perfect 10 out of 10s for this metric.

The Volt features two straps above the sleeping bag compartment for a sleeping pad or other oddly shaped items. While this feature is small  it remains a nice feature to have. We particularly liked how long the Volt's straps are and found they were able to fit around any sleeping pad (something that can't be said about the majority of backpacking packs).
The Volt features two straps above the sleeping bag compartment for a sleeping pad or other oddly shaped items. While this feature is small, it remains a nice feature to have. We particularly liked how long the Volt's straps are and found they were able to fit around any sleeping pad (something that can't be said about the majority of backpacking packs).

Best Applications


The Volt 60 isn't just a price pointed pack. Not only is it a solid backpacking pack in its own right, it will excel from shorter single night trips to extended stays into the backcountry. It is still light enough, and has the right feature set to let it pull some double-duty for mountaineering trips or overnight ski tours (we were surprised at how well it moved with us while skiing). It doesn't perform quite as well as other models with super heavy loads in excess of 45 or 50 pounds, but as long as you don't pack too much over that, the Volt 60 works well for most trips.

Value


This pack is an unbelievable value. While it certainly isn't the best pack on the market, we think you'd have a difficult time finding a better pack for $180. In fact, our testing determined that it's comparable in many categories to other models that are much more expensive. If you're on a budget and looking for an exceptional pack to keep up with your adventures, this might be the ticket.

The sleeping bag compartment featured on the Volt. There is an optional divider which we rarely found ourselves using. We did like this sleeping bag compartment access particularly because there is no side zippered access  making this compartment the easiest way to access the bottom of the pack (without completely emptying it).
The sleeping bag compartment featured on the Volt. There is an optional divider which we rarely found ourselves using. We did like this sleeping bag compartment access particularly because there is no side zippered access, making this compartment the easiest way to access the bottom of the pack (without completely emptying it).

Conclusion


The Volt 60 is an above average all-around backpacking pack at a below average price. Despite the low price, this pack doesn't give a lot up in the way of features. It's also lighter than average among similar volume models on the market. It isn't the best pack for monster loads, but for more moderate pack weights, its design and fit make it a good choice for a wide-range of uses beyond - even beyond backpacking. We felt it was an excellent option for mountaineering, multi-day ski touring, or travel.

Other Versions and Accessories


Osprey also makes a 75L model called the Volt 75. It is more or less the exact same pack with a nearly identical design feature-wise but at a larger volume. It weighs 4 lbs 1 oz and costs: $200.
Ian Nicholson

  • Share this article:
You Might Also Like

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 16, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used the Osprey Volt 60?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
 
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
CampSaver $179.95
Backcountry $180.00
REI $180.00
Compare prices at 5 sellers >

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.


Follow Us


Unbiased.