This pack offers a simple set of features at a good price point. Its suspension system across the back is robust but lacks a lot of the comfort of cushier models in the shoulders and waist belt. We generally found the features of this pack felt a little stiff and its form a little bloated. Its lower weight is a plus, but we think there are better options out there for the average loads this pack is designed to carry. It didn't fail in any specific regard, but it also didn't overly impress us.
As you can see from the chart below, the Osprey Rook 65 lands in the lower tier of overall scores because of its average performance across the board.
This inexpensive pack can go the distance with smaller loads.
Suspension and Comfort
This model is in the middle of the pack for comfort. The shoulder straps are ergonomically shaped, but they don't offer quite enough padding, and the fabric on the underside of the waist and shoulder straps is abrasive after a few miles.
It carries 30-40 lbs by design. It takes small loads well, so if overnights are in your future, this could be one to consider. In practice, however, we found that carrying comfort began to diminish after about 35 pounds. For a pack that can stand up to a little more weight and offers a little more comfort, we recommend the Osprey Volt 60.
The trampoline suspension evenly distributes weight across your back and keeps the pack away from your body for good ventilation on hot summer days.
We appreciate the effort put into the suspension on this budget pack, but there are better options out there. The airspeed back panel provides superior ventilation, and the wire frame does do an excellent job of transferring the load to the waist belt, so it's a practical design, we just didn't find the waist belt to be particularly comfortable. For a much more robust suspension system, we would recommend the Osprey Aether Pro 70.
Features and Ease of Use
In the spirit of its minimalist muses, this pack comes with a basic feature set. It has two mesh water bottle pockets with 'on the move' side access. The sleeping bag compartment zipper makes it easy to grab something from the bottom of the pack mid-hike. There is a flap on the inside of the main compartment which can separate the bottom from the top which is helpful if you have a wet bag or a tent that you need to keep separate from the rest of your gear. The side compression straps on the top and bottom are handy for trekking or tent poles, and there is also a separate set of straps that could be nice for a foam sleeping pad.
This pack has pockets that enable you to grab your bottle while on the move.
We found that the lid was a tossup. On the one hand, its narrow opening means that gear isn't spilling out all over the trail. On the other hand, it's just difficult to see into the pocket to get what you are after. Because the lid integrates into the main body of the pack, the opening is rather tight as well making for much more of a fishing expedition than we would want from a lid. If you are looking for a feature-rich model, check out the Osprey Aether AG 60 or Gregory Baltoro 65.
The lid is unfortunately difficult to get into and search in.
This sub-four-pound model is one of the lighter packs in this review. However, we found ourselves wanting a little more 'weight value' — that is, we think there should be more here for what it weighs. It is only marginally lighter than the Osprey Aether Pro 70 and Gregory Paragon 68, which are both packs with larger volume and way more capability when it comes to suspension and toating larger loads.
Adjustability and Fit
The adjustability of this pack is adequate for most people but also limited in some ways. It comes in one fixed size with a 4" range on the torso, which is pleasantly simple to adjust. There is no 'like super glue' velcro to separate, just a peg on each side that pops out of a webbing loop, enabling the shoulder straps to slide up or down. The sternum strap similarly has discrete cord loops that secure it at different heights on the shoulder straps.
On each side of the back of the pack, you can see green loops that allow the wearer to adjust the height of the shoulder straps.
On the flip side, our testing revealed that our particularly skinny reviewers had trouble cinching down the waist belt. They just about ran out of strap before they could get it properly secure.
We found that the one-size-fits-all is actually one-size-fits-most. Some testers ran out of waist belt to tighten before the pack weight was distributed properly.
The Osprey Rook 65 is a good choice for lightweight, no-frills adventures. We would take it on an overnight or a trip on a nice summer weekend.
We like this pack for overnights and light load trips.
At a very reasonable $165, the biggest selling point of this pack is its price. It lacks some of the features and performance that we have come to be spoiled by with some other models. However, if you aren't thrilled with the idea of dropping more money than you have to, this model could be worth a look.
This budget pack will get you from start to finish, but you won't necessarily get there in style. Its basic feature set feels minimalist, but it doesn't come at a minimalist weight. If your bottom line is your top priority, this is the least expensive pack in our review; however, we would personally spend a few extra dollars on the Osprey Volt 60 to get more from our purchase.