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Osprey Exos 58 Review

Bordering on a true ultralight pack, this model is perfect for folks who are slimming down their kit but still want the comfort and support of a frame.
Osprey Exos 58
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $220 List | $219.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, comfortable for loads under 35 lbs, great pockets and features
Cons:  Average durability, not very adjustable
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 9, 2019
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64
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SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 16
  • Suspension and Comfort - 45% 5
  • Weight - 20% 10
  • Features and Ease of Use - 20% 7
  • Adjustability - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The Osprey Exos 58 secures a Top Pick Award for the best lightweight competitor. It is close to half the weight of many traditional backpacking packs and creeps closer to the weight of some frameless models. Despite its low weight, what sets it apart are its features and surprisingly supportive frame. These features are what makes this pack unique; it truly blurs the line between traditional backpacking packs and ultralights. Though it isn't as supportive or as feature-rich as several models in our review, it is relatively comfortable when carrying weights up to 35 pounds. When used at 30 pounds or below, we could hardly feel a difference between it and some of the much heavier models we tested.


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Osprey Exos 58
This Product
Osprey Exos 58
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award   Best Buy Award 
Price $219.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$269.95 at Backcountry
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$250 List$289.95 at Backcountry
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$199.95 at Backcountry
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Pros Lightweight, comfortable for loads under 35 lbs, great pockets and featuresShoulder straps are very comfortable, many awesome pockets, excellent ventilation, extra adjustable hip beltLighter weight, comfortable to carry for long periods of time, tons of useful pockets, good hip belt adjustabilityPacked full of features, great pockets, comfortable and solid ergonomic designGreat value, solid features, ergonomic shoulder straps and back-panel, versatile
Cons Average durability, not very adjustableNot as supportive for loads over 45 pounds, snow gets trapped in back panelCompression straps not effective if pack isn't full, external lid pocket isn't easy to search throughSlightly on the heavier side, not the best for super heavy loadsJust okay suspension and support, tall folks with 35+ pound packs won't find it as comfortable
Bottom Line Bordering on a true ultralight pack, this model is perfect for folks who are slimming down their kit but still want the comfort and support of a frame.This pack offers awesome comfort and above-average suspension for most backpacking loads.A sweet pack with lots of well-designed features and user-friendly pockets at a below-average weight.An extremely comfortable and feature-rich design that handles heavy loads, while only being marginally heavier than average.This light and versatile pack doesn't give up much in the way of features.
Rating Categories Osprey Exos 58 Osprey Atmos 65 AG The North Face Banchee 65 Osprey Aether AG 60 Osprey Volt 60
Suspension And Comfort (45%)
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Features And Ease Of Use (20%)
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Specs Osprey Exos 58 Osprey Atmos 65 AG The North Face... Osprey Aether AG 60 Osprey Volt 60
Measured Weight (pounds) 2.65 lbs 4.54 lbs 3.63 lbs 5.13 lbs 3.88 lbs
Volume (liters) 58 L 65 L 65 L 60 L 60 L
Access Top loading only Top + sleeping bag compartment Top + sleeping bag compartment Top + side access zipper + sleeping bag compartment Top + sleeping bag compartment
Hydration Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Materials 420D High Tenacity NylonACCENT210D High Tenacity Nylon Main body: 100D X 630D Nylon Dobby, Accent: 210D High Tenacity Nylon, Bottom: 420HD Nylon 210D nylon ripstop Main body: 210D Nylon Dobby Accent: 210D High Tenacity Nylon, Bottom: 500D Nylon Main body: 210D Nylon Double Diamond Ripstop, Accent: 600D Packcloth, Bottom: 600D Packcloth
Sleeping bag Compartment No Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you're looking for a super lightweight pack but aren't sure you want a fully frameless model, the Osprey Exos 58 is one of the best possible options. It features a frame, cozy shoulder straps, and a relatively robust waist belt. These attributes mean it is slightly heavier than a frameless ultralight pack but is WAY lighter than most traditional backpacking packs and significantly more comfortable than more minimally designed frame-less packs. Low weight aside, this model is simple, yet still keeps many nice features that go a long way toward making your backcountry trip more enjoyable.

Performance Comparison


This pack's weight and features keep it buoyed as a semi-ultralight contender amongst heavyweights.

The Exos 58 is our Top Pick for Going Light and Fast. At around 2.6 pounds  it still features a frame. This model truly blurs the line between ultralight packs and more traditional backpacking packs.
The Exos 58 is our Top Pick for Going Light and Fast. At around 2.6 pounds, it still features a frame. This model truly blurs the line between ultralight packs and more traditional backpacking packs.

Suspension and Comfort


The Exos 58 is surprisingly comfortable, especially considering its low weight. While it isn't quite as supportive or comfortable as the The North Face Banchee 65, it is also a pound lighter.


Despite its low weight  all of our testers loved its super cushy shoulder straps. As long as our loads weren't too heavy (less than 40 lbs)  they were super comfy.
Despite its low weight, all of our testers loved its super cushy shoulder straps. As long as our loads weren't too heavy (less than 40 lbs), they were super comfy.

The fabric on the inside of the Exos 58 waist belt is cozy. Despite some initial skepticism, we discovered that the shoulder straps were quite comfortable as well, even with minimal clothing on. The padding is beefed up in the area of the shoulder strap that runs over the top and front of your shoulders, as this is the area that bears the majority of the weight.

The Exos 58 is a surprisingly comfortable pack  especially considering its 2.6 lb weight. It's fantastic carrying up to 30 lbs  and decent to 40 lbs  but we wouldn't want to carry much more than that.
The Exos 58 is a surprisingly comfortable pack, especially considering its 2.6 lb weight. It's fantastic carrying up to 30 lbs, and decent to 40 lbs, but we wouldn't want to carry much more than that.

This contender lives between the world of ultralight frameless packs and traditional backpacking packs. It is easily more comfortable to carry the 30-40 pound loads that a majority of backpackers will end up with than with a similar but frameless model.

Osprey dramatically tapers the thickness of their shoulder straps in this model. In this photo  you can see how much thicker the shoulder strap is where it is likely to make contact with your body but how much less padded it is further down. This design reduces weight and bulk  while also increasing breathability (by not having a bunch of excess padding where you don't need it).
Osprey dramatically tapers the thickness of their shoulder straps in this model. In this photo, you can see how much thicker the shoulder strap is where it is likely to make contact with your body but how much less padded it is further down. This design reduces weight and bulk, while also increasing breathability (by not having a bunch of excess padding where you don't need it).

This pack is well-ventilated as well. From its perforated shoulder straps to the space behind the back panel, this pack kept us cool on our midsummer testing trips, making the Exos 58 ideal for use in warmer climates. It's also an excellent option for people who just run on the warmer side. We tested this pack mountaineering on glaciers but didn't get to use it in actively snowing environments.

In this photo  you can  see the thicker foam in the large mesh tapering down as the shoulder strap wraps downward.
In this photo, you can see the thicker foam in the large mesh tapering down as the shoulder strap wraps downward.

Despite its low weight, this pack still features a relatively robust suspension. It is excellent for loads up to 35 lbs, but beyond that, most of our testers felt that this pack was less capable and comfortable. It has a pretty stout aluminum frame but doesn't quite have the stiffness necessary in its hip belt or shoulder straps for heavier loads. That said, when carrying 25-30 pounds, we couldn't even notice a difference compared to more substantial options like The North Face Banchee 65 and Gregory Paragon 68, which consistently felt better with pack weights above 35 pounds.

Features and Ease of Use


The Exos also has many features that make it easier and more convenient to use.


One of our tester's favorite features is the stretchy mesh beavertail pocket on the back. The pouch is secure, and we found all sorts of uses for it, from all kinds of small items that we wanted to keep easily accessible or to keep smelly clothing or garbage away from the rest of our stuff. It was also great for unusually shaped items, like flip flops or a frying pan.

We loved the stretchy mesh pocket featured on the back of the Exos 58. It was a great place for wet items (which the mesh allowed them to continue to dry)  stinky garbage that we didn't want inside our pack  or our favorite item - flip flops.
We loved the stretchy mesh pocket featured on the back of the Exos 58. It was a great place for wet items (which the mesh allowed them to continue to dry), stinky garbage that we didn't want inside our pack, or our favorite item - flip flops.

The "Stow on the Go" system was a little gimmicky. It's a way of attaching the trekking poles to the pack via a stretchy band near the bottom of the pack and an attachment on the shoulder strap; this feature was not as useful as we thought it would be. While practical for short distances, most testers who needed to stow their poles on their pack for more than 10 minutes just stored them on the side where they are more secure. The stretch mesh side pockets are decently sized, comfortably fitting a couple of protein bars or a small point-and-shoot camera.

The top zippered pocket featured on the Exos 58. This pocket sported a fairly narrow entrance that made looking for things slightly harder than average  but we found that the bright yellow colored interior helped.
The top zippered pocket featured on the Exos 58. This pocket sported a fairly narrow entrance that made looking for things slightly harder than average, but we found that the bright yellow colored interior helped.

The lid of the pack wasn't as easy to use as other models, primarily because it wasn't as easy to search through. It features one small pocket on the top of the lid and a full-sized mesh pocket underneath. All of our testers loved the mesh pocket which was easy to see into, but the top lid pocket has a narrow opening. The one thing the top lid had going for it was its beautiful bright yellow colored interior which helped with searching for lost items.

This photo shows the secondary mesh zippered pocket located underneath the lid of the pack. Our testers liked the mesh  as it was easy to see and find the contents of the pocket.
This photo shows the secondary mesh zippered pocket located underneath the lid of the pack. Our testers liked the mesh, as it was easy to see and find the contents of the pocket.

There is a narrow strap at the bottom of the pack that works great for a 3/4 length closed cell foam pad but isn't quite long enough for most full-length (6 foot) ones. For early season hikers or just folks enjoying the occasional mountaineering trip, we appreciated the pack's single ice axe loop that we felt only helped add to the pack's versatility.

The uniquely designed lower strap on the bottom of this pack features compression straps on each end. At first  our users were pretty unimpressed with this feature. However  after using these pack for several nights  we learned to appreciate its versatility (and it was long enough for most 3/4 length closed cell foam pads).
The uniquely designed lower strap on the bottom of this pack features compression straps on each end. At first, our users were pretty unimpressed with this feature. However, after using these pack for several nights, we learned to appreciate its versatility (and it was long enough for most 3/4 length closed cell foam pads).

Weight


At 2 pounds 10 ounces, this pack is almost half the weight of another top contender, the Arc'Teryx Bora AR 63, and a couple of pounds lighter than the Osprey Atmos AG 65.


For folks whose primary concern is weight but can't entirely ditch the support of a frame, look no further. You sacrifice a little bit of durability to get such a light package, but not much, and we found this wasn't a big deal at all on trips where the user is traveling primarily on trails.

Part of how Osprey made the Exos 58 so light is by utilizing several much smaller than average buckles and straps throughout the pack. Despite their size  we never found them difficult to use.
Part of how Osprey made the Exos 58 so light is by utilizing several much smaller than average buckles and straps throughout the pack. Despite their size, we never found them difficult to use.

The Exos 58 has a super light frame and a relatively minimalist design. It also has several smaller-than-normal buckles and compression straps. In our testing, we didn't find that these buckles were much harder to use than traditional-sized clips.

A design to help further save weight for an entire trip or for a summit push is this model's lid is removable. Osprey takes this design one step further by incorporating a nylon flap (which Osprey calls the FlapJacket) to cover the primary opening on your pack  which keeps it more secure and protected from the elements.
A design to help further save weight for an entire trip or for a summit push is this model's lid is removable. Osprey takes this design one step further by incorporating a nylon flap (which Osprey calls the FlapJacket) to cover the primary opening on your pack, which keeps it more secure and protected from the elements.

This model also offers several features that make stripping down the pack to an even lighter weight reasonably easy, including a removable lid.

The Exos features a trampoline-style suspension. This design helps keep its wearer a little cooler and more evenly distributed the weight across your back as long as you aren't carrying too much weight. For being so light  this model has a surprisingly good suspension system  and is quite comfortable for most people carrying 35-40 pounds.
The Exos features a trampoline-style suspension. This design helps keep its wearer a little cooler and more evenly distributed the weight across your back as long as you aren't carrying too much weight. For being so light, this model has a surprisingly good suspension system, and is quite comfortable for most people carrying 35-40 pounds.

Adjustability and Fit


While this pack is not technically adjustable, it does come in three sizes, which means you can likely find a pack that fits you well. We find most people shorter than 5'4 or taller than 6'4 may not be able to find an Exos 58 that fits just right.


Best Application


This award winner is perfect for backpackers who are either already in the world of ultralight hiking or just getting into it. While certainly heavier than most ultralight frameless backs, it isn't by much, and it is far more comfortable for folks who don't have their pack weight down to below 20 pounds yet. It's also a great option for those who want to go super light, but desire a more comfortable pack with a frame and more robust padding. It's a prevalent model (along with its smaller volume counterpart) for thru-hikers on the PCT and AT. The Exos 58 will work well for most people hiking 2-6 days.

This award winner is perfect for backpackers who are either already in the world of ultralight hiking or just getting into it. The Exos is a perfect option for those who want to go super light  but simply desire a more comfortable pack with a frame and more robust padding than a true frameless utralight model.
This award winner is perfect for backpackers who are either already in the world of ultralight hiking or just getting into it. The Exos is a perfect option for those who want to go super light, but simply desire a more comfortable pack with a frame and more robust padding than a true frameless utralight model.

Value


At $220, the Exos 58 is on the less expensive end of the spectrum among packs in our review. Most folks looking at the Exos 58 might consider other packs we've reviewed; it comes down to what a user needs and wants from their pack. But if you know that you have a lightweight load, then this pack is a great choice and a great value.

Conclusion


This model lives in a world in between traditional backpacking packs and ultralight packs. We included it in our review because it features a frame and is quite comfortable for most folks that are going on a common backpacking trip. If you need the ability to carry weight greater than 40 pounds regularly but still want a lightish pack, there are burlier models out there, but for lighter loads, this pack is a dream.


Ian Nicholson