The Osprey Volt 60 is a Best Buy Award winner, but even if you set its price point aside, it's a rad pack. It is big enough for most backpackers going on 2-5 day trips. It also has all the features that many backpackers are looking for without many unnecessary extras. It has a top loading design with a sleeping bag compartment, an external mesh beavertail pocket, a lid with a pair of zippered pockets, and a handful of smaller features. We feel that this pack has a respectable suspension, well-designed ergonomics, and comfortable shoulder straps. Overall, this pack is our favorite for the price, and it outperforms several more expensive models on the market.
Osprey Volt 60 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Great value, solid features, under four pounds, ergonomic shoulder straps and back-panel, versatile
Cons: Just okay suspension and support, tall folks with 35+ pound packs won't find it as comfortable
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This pack performs consistently across the board. Though its price point keeps it from the top tier, we still love how it carries.
Suspension and Comfort
The Volt 60 is a very comfortable backpacking pack — certainly more so than other packs in its price range. This contender features high-quality foam, and its back panel and shoulder straps offer excellent ergonomics, which make for a comfortable carrying experience.
While the Volt 60 is not as comfortable as packs like the Osprey Atmos 65 AG, Gregory Baltoro 65, or premium Arc'teryx Bora 63 AR, it's comparable to The North Face Banchee 65 and is more comfortable than the Granite Gear Crown2 60 and Osprey Exos 58.
The Volt 60 has a decent suspension, though it isn't outstanding. Our testers think that the Volt 60 is suitable for loads up to around 40 pounds. Above that weight, the beefier packs like the Gregory Baltoro 65 or the Arc'teryx Bora AR 63 handle the weight better. However, for lighter loads, our testing team hardly noticed a difference in the support offered by this pack and we wouldn't hesitate to take it out on trips with loads 35 pounds or less.
What stands out is how well the Volt 60 compares to other packs in its price range. It indeed handles loads better than the Osprey Exos 58 and Granite Gear Crown2 60.
Features and Ease of Use
The Volt 60 has a fairly basic design, while still boasting a majority of the features that most backpackers want. It sports things like stretchy one-liter water bottle pockets, a stretchy beavertail 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.
We like that it has a zippered pocket on both the top and the bottom of its lid, but don't like its external pocket as much as other models. Because of the lid zipper's location along the side, it's harder to see and find items — particularity when the lid is full.
The zippered pocket underneath the lid is mesh, which makes it easy to see everything in the pocket. However, it is worth noting that this pocket isn't unusually large. The hip belt pockets on this pack are huge and are among the more functional we tested, due in part to their size and how easily they are to open and close while hiking.
The sleeping bag compartment sports a removable divider and the outside straps are big enough for most closed cell foam sleeping pads. Our review team appreciated the daisy chain-like lash points that made strapping oddly shaped items to the back of the pack or the top of the lid straightforward.
All of our testers loved the stretchy beaver-tail pocket on the back of the pack and used it on every trip. It is an excellent place for a wet rain jacket (as the mesh allows it to dry) or a pair of flip-flops.
The Volt 60 weighs in at just under four pounds (3 lbs 15 oz), making it lighter than many bags of similar volume. While hardly ultralight, this pack is adequately light weight, especially among backpacking packs. We do think it's worth noting that the Gregory Paragon 68 is 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 an actual 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 pounds 8 ounces 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 more massive (30+ lbs) loads.
Adjustability and Fit
The Volt 60 is an extremely well-executed one-size-fits-all design. Not only does it have a fair amount of vertical adjustment for the shoulder straps, but the waist belt also features six inches of adjustability. This capability also helps you maximize padding on your hips.
The shoulder strap adjustment is similar to Osprey's other models, where the shoulder straps are attached to a large velcro flap. The flap tucks underneath the back panel. Unlike other Osprey models, this pack features multiple gaps to pass the shoulder straps through. This arrangement means the pack's length can adjust without the pack "sagging" backward. In our testing, we found this to be exceptionally useful.
We had testers that ranged from 5'6" to 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 leave the back panel. Folks taller than 6'2" who plan to carry heavier loads, you will be better suited to a frame pack that comes in multiple sizes.
The Volt 60 isn't just a price point pack. It excels on trips from short overnighters to extended stays in the backcountry. It is still light enough and has the right feature set to let it pull double-duty for some 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 loads over 45 pounds, but as long as you don't pack too much, the Volt 60 should do the trick.
This pack is of great value. While it certainly isn't the best pack on the market, at $200, it's tough to beat. If you're on a budget and looking for an exceptional pack to keep up with your adventures, this is the ticket. There are cheaper packs, but they are sure to be missing something that this pack doesn't.
The Volt 60 is an above average backpacking pack at a below average price. Despite its 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. It is also an excellent option for mountaineering, multi-day ski touring, or travel.
— Ian Nicholson