The Osprey Volt 60 is our Best Buy award winner, but even if you set its price point aside, it's a rad pack. This pack is big enough for most backpackers going on 2 to 5 day long trips (longer if you pack lighter). It also has all the features that many backpackers are looking for — without many unnecessary 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, this pack is our favorite for the price, and it outperforms several of the more expensive models on the market.
Osprey Volt 60 Review
Cons: Ok suspension and support, one size fits most works well, though taller folks with 35+ pound packs won't find it as comfortable
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Our Analysis and Test Results
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 made with high-quality foam, and its back panel and shoulder straps offer excellent ergonomics, which give it an above average fit 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.
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, the beefier packs like the Gregory Baltoro 65 or the Arc'teryx Bora AR 63 handle the weight better. For loads of 30 to 35 lbs, our testing team hardly noticed a difference in the relative support of each pack's suspension.
What stands out is how well the Volt 60 compares to other packs in its price range. The Volt certainly handles loads better than the Osprey Exos 58. On the other side of the spectrum, the Volt doesn'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 include the Arc'teryx Bora AR and Gregory Baltoro 65.
Adjustability and Fit
The Volt 60 is a one-size-fits-all design that is executed extremely well. Not only does the Volt have a fair amount of vertical adjustment for the shoulder straps, but the waist belt also features six inches of adjustability. This 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 is tucked underneath the back panel. Unlike other Osprey models, the Volt features multiple gaps 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.
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" and who plan to carry heavier loads, you might be better suited to a frame pack that comes in multiple sizes.
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, this pack is adequately light weight, especially among all-around backpacking packs. There aren't many packs that are lighter (especially for the price). 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 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.
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 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 has 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 pocket as much as other models like the Arc'teryx Bora AR 63. Those models have zippers on the top of their lids, instead of on the side like the Volt. Because of the zipper's location along the side of the lid, 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 particularly 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 easy they are to open and close while hiking along the trail.
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 easy.
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. While this pack earned a top score, the Osprey Atmos 65 AG, The North Face Banchee 65, and Osprey Aether AG 60 outperformed it.
The Volt 60 isn't just a price point pack. It excels on everything from short overnighters to extended stays into 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 or 50 pounds, but as long as you don't pack too much over that, the Volt 60 works well for most trips.
This pack is an unbelievable value. While it certainly isn't the best pack on the market, you'd have a difficult time finding a better pack for $180. 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 Volt 60 is an above average all-around 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.
Other Versions and Accessories
Osprey also makes a 75L model called the Volt 75. It is more or less the 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