Reviews You Can Rely On

Osprey Aura AG 65 Review

This pack has stood the test of time year after year with its unparalleled ventilation, comfortable straps, and a full range of adjustable features
Osprey Aura AG 65
Credit: Osprey
Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $325 List | $324.33 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, plush padding, highly adjustable, good number of pockets, easy-to-remove top lid
Cons:  Large, spring-loaded waistband is hard to get into, suspension can feel bulky, expensive
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Madison Botzet ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 23, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 13
  • Comfort and Suspension - 45% 8.0
  • Organizational systems - 20% 7.0
  • Weight - 20% 5.0
  • Adjustability - 15% 9.0

Our Verdict

The comfortable Osprey Aura AG is a long-time crowd pleaser for women's-specific backpacking packs. This pack offers versatile adjustments which accommodate and cradle nearly every body type. The Aura offers a unique sliding torso adjustment to fine-tune your fit, even on the go. Summertime sweat and the associated chafing are mitigated by the breezy back panel, ventilated hip belt, and plush yet breathable shoulder straps. We like the multitude of large pockets with wide openings for organizing equipment and providing quick, convenient access on the trail to your essential gadgets.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Osprey Aura AG 65
This Product
Osprey Aura AG 65
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $324.33 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$214.52 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$179.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$280 ListCheck Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
74
75
73
72
62
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Comfortable, plush padding, highly adjustable, good number of pockets, easy-to-remove top lidStable and sturdy, very comfortable, adjustable, spaciousUltra comfortable, roomy, inexpensive, durable, can fit a bear can horizontally, low center of gravity, airy mesh frameComfortable, lightweight, supportive suspension, simple design, large pocketsUltralight, large stow pockets, comfortable even when fully loaded
Cons Large, spring-loaded waistband is hard to get into, suspension can feel bulky, expensiveHeavy, overbuilt for lighter missionsNot many bells and whistles, set torso adjustment points, no back stash pocketNon-ventilated back panel, fewer organizational featuresMinimal padding, fixed torso length, side pockets hard to load
Bottom Line This pack has stood the test of time year after year with its unparalleled ventilation, comfortable straps, and a full range of adjustable featuresThis pack provides unparalleled comfort and support for heavy loads with an excellent feature setThis simple pack combines comfort, volume, and price; it will take you anywhere and won’t break the bankA durable, straightforward bag with all the right pockets and suspension that will keep your back, hips, and shoulders comfortable all dayThis super-light pack gets our award for Top Pick in Ultralight Design; it's made for the thru-hiker, and women who want to go light to go fast
Rating Categories Osprey Aura AG 65 Gregory Deva 60 Osprey Renn 65 Ultralight Adventur... Osprey Lumina 60
Comfort and Suspension (45%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Organizational systems (20%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
5.0
Weight (20%)
5.0
5.0
7.0
9.0
10.0
Adjustability (15%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
3.0
Specs Osprey Aura AG 65 Gregory Deva 60 Osprey Renn 65 Ultralight Adventur... Osprey Lumina 60
Measured Weight 4.5 lbs 4.7 lbs 3.6 lbs 2.7 lbs 1.8 lbs
Volumes Available 50, 65 liters 60, 70 liters 50, 65 liters 68 liters 45, 60 liters
Organization Compartments Lid, front pocket, side pockets, dual front pockets, hip belt pockets, main compartment Lid, front pocket, hip belt pockets, 1 water bottle compartment, main compartment Lid, side pockets, hip belt pockets, main compartment Side pockets, front pocket, hip belt pockets, main compartment Lid, side pockets, front pocket, main compartment
Access Top, side, bottom Top, side, bottom Top, bottom Top Top
Hydration Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rain Cover Included No No Yes No No
Women's Specific Features Women's specific fit Slim profile and women’s-specific Response A3W Suspension Women's Specific fit S-Curve Shoulder Straps Women's specific fit and sizing
Sleeping bag Compartment Yes Yes No No No
Bear Can Compatible Yes - Vertical Yes - Vertical and Horizontal Yes - Vertical and Horizontal Yes - Vertical Yes - Vertical
Main Materials Nylon 210D 40% Recycled Nylon & 420D 45% Recycled Nylon with PFC-Free DWR 600D polyester 500 Cordura 30D Cordura Silnylon Ripstop
Sizes Available XS, S, M XS, S, M One size, with adjustable torso S, M, L, XL, Kids XS, S, M

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Osprey Aura 65 is one of our favorites because of its comfortable women's-specific design. We appreciated the Anti-Gravity suspension system, which provides plenty of breathability on long days in the backcountry and even wraps around your hips to make sure that they're ventilated too. The Aura scores well across the board because of its ability to fit many body types, its premium comfort features, and its classic organizational systems. It is an admirable, all-around comfortable pack for many different users.

Performance Comparison


Osprey Aura AG 65 backpacks womens - the osprey aura remains one of our favorite packs year after year...
The Osprey Aura remains one of our favorite packs year after year for its versatile features, highly adjustable fit, and superior ventilation.
Credit: Jeffrey Mogavero

Comfort and Suspension


A unique suspension design brings a high degree of comfort to the Aura AG. A single mesh backing stretches the span of the back panel and connects continuously through the hip belt. It is a soft, perforated panel that offers incredible breathability. The hip belt is tough to get on, although it does loosen up a bit over time and the angle of the counter within the belt itself caused issues.


The Anti-Gravity (AG) suspension system is the star of this pack. Past models of the Aura featured mesh back panels that contributed to breathability and conforming support. The AG takes it to the next level with Exoform padded shoulder straps, a seamless stretch mesh back panel that wraps onto the hip belt, and an adjustable harness that features reinforcing load lifter bars. The pack has an incredibly lightweight perimeter frame. The continuous design of the back panel with the hip belt offers another degree of stability and support. It manages varying weight loads well.

Osprey Aura AG 65 backpacks womens - the continuous well-ventilated mesh of the aura ag offers a unique...
The continuous well-ventilated mesh of the Aura AG offers a unique hugging fit at the same time as it delivers some of the best breathability.
Credit: Madison Botzet

The hip belt design is a unique aspect of the Aura. Unlike most packs where the hip belt moves independently from the rest of the bag, the Aura's hip belt fits into the back panel in one integrated design, which restricts the hip belt from having a full range of motion outward. This seamless construction that makes the hip belt hug you so nicely, creates a challenge when trying to get into the belt. You have to manually pull the hip belts open and wedge yourself between them. Some of our testers found that the hip belt sits higher in the front than in the back, causing the frame to dig into the derriere of curvier women, while the front of the hip belt rides up high and can dig in and pinch the belly. While some testers experienced this issue, most found the hip belt to be extremely comfortable once situated.

Another awesome thing about the Aura is that the shoulder straps fit well to a woman's shape and ventilate via loosely woven layers of mesh and padding. The yoke of the shoulder harness runs a bit on the narrow side and might not be the best fit for women with broad shoulders.

Osprey Aura AG 65 backpacks womens - one of the most comfortable and adjustable packs we've tested, the...
One of the most comfortable and adjustable packs we've tested, the Aura's shoulder strap padding extends to provide more coverage for broader chested ladies.
Credit: Jeffrey Mogavero

One concern we have with the Aura AG is how it handles heavier loads over 40 pounds. Because of its superb breathability, the suspension system is designed to sit away from your back, as opposed to most stabilizing designs that rest the bulk of the weight against your back. Therefore, we noticed that the top of the pack shifted around when scrambling over uneven terrain, crossing logs, and bending over to pick up trash we found on the trail. Also, when loaded down, the back of the hip belt slips down on some testers, causing some discomfort.

Weight


At 4.5 pounds, this pack certainly isn't the lightest in our lineup, but when you want the Cadillac of backpacking packs, all the bells and whistles add up.


A lighter pack generally doesn't have features such as a sleeping bag compartment, a top lid, and zippered organization pockets. Lighter packs also usually have a slimmed-down suspension system that ends up being less comfortable while heavier packs generally have more comfort features. It's no wonder that the Aura is heavier, as it is the cream of the crop comfort-wise.

Osprey Aura AG 65 backpacks womens - an update from the previous version, the zipper is now smaller on...
An update from the previous version, the zipper is now smaller on the lid so it's harder to access your stuff. It's still a big lid though with plenty of space for your gear.
Credit: Jeffrey Mogavero

Organizational Systems


We regard the Aura AG highly for its organizational features. The well-placed pockets offer easy access to your gear while on the trail and the compartments separate trail gear from camp gear so you can easily set up camp without having to unload the entire pack.


The Aura maintains a variety of useful features without being excessive. The majority of the pack's features are made up of the main body, the two zippered pockets on the outside, and the one large mesh stow pocket. Though it provides a lot of options for storage, it is relatively simple and easy to use, which we appreciate.

Osprey Aura AG 65 backpacks womens - though we wish this was a u-zip, the side zip access to the stuff...
Though we wish this was a U-zip, the side zip access to the stuff inside our pack is pretty nice too.
Credit: Jeffrey Mogavero

Although the main compartment appears to be too slim and curved to fit a lot, it is even able to fit a bear canister vertically with a little room to pack around. A bear can will also fit horizontally in the very bottom of the pack but we don't recommend packing it there, as your heaviest items, like food, should be higher up in the pack. The main compartment has top and bottom access; the top cinches closed with a drawstring and has a small cover of fabric for trips where you remove the lid. When the lid is installed, this flap of fabric becomes unnecessary and can feel like it's just in the way. The bottom compartment is ideal for a sleeping bag and has a detachable internal separator to allow the main compartment to function as one or two chambers.

Osprey Aura AG 65 backpacks womens - we love the stretchy mesh pocket on the outside of the pack.
We love the stretchy mesh pocket on the outside of the pack.
Credit: Jeffrey Mogavero

Our favorite pocket on the pack is the large mesh outer pocket. It stretches out to accommodate extra layers but remains tight against the pack when empty. We love how the mesh and fabric integrate, adding to the durability of the mesh pocket, without compromising volume (you can fit a helmet in there). Behind this pocket are two surprisingly spacious zippered pockets. These should be loaded after the main body of the pack is packed, or it can be tough to load.

The top lid has two zipped pockets: a small one on top for storing identification, camera batteries, and other small necessities and a larger one that has enough room for layers, lunch, and more. The zipper is a bit on the shorter side. But, when combined with the light color of the fabric, it makes it easy to find what you stashed inside.

Osprey Aura AG 65 backpacks womens - the hipbelt pockets were so spacious we could fit two cliff bars and...
The hipbelt pockets were so spacious we could fit two Cliff bars and a satellite messenger with room to spare.
Credit: Jeffrey Mogavero

Another great feature is that the hip belt pockets are huge. A smartphone easily fits along with snacks and lip balm. What's even better is that you get two hip belt pockets that are both spacious.

Osprey Aura AG 65 backpacks womens - we love the horizontal access of water bottles on this pack...
We love the horizontal access of water bottles on this pack. However, we recommend using a shorter rather than longer bottle so that it doesn't hit your elbow.
Credit: Jeffrey Mogavero

Finally, the side water bottle pockets fit tall, narrow bottles well while a Nalgene-type bottle fits a little snugly. It is easy to access bottles with a vertical and horizontal entrance. While in the horizontal position, the taller bottles get in the way of your elbows, while wide, short bottles are hard to get in and out.

All of these pockets are great and give you plenty of options for storage, but make sure you have your systems dialed or you'll be zipping, flapping, and digging to figure out where you left your water filter, toilet paper, and headlamp.

Adjustability


The Aura stands out for its incredible adjustability, once again earning high marks in this metric.


The suspension system has a sliding range of adjustment in the torso length, and it only takes a few seconds to move the shoulder straps. This model comes in three torso sizes yet still offers three and a half inches of torso adjustability within each size which makes it even more forgiving of a pack.

Osprey Aura AG 65 backpacks womens - the sliding torso adjustment on the aura ag is one of the easiest to...
The sliding torso adjustment on the Aura AG is one of the easiest to change and is stable due to being attached to the back on both sides rather than just in the center.
Credit: Jeffrey Mogavero

The added ability to elongate the hip belt helps backpackers with fuller hips and provides an even greater range of fit options. The hip belt has one of the largest ranges of functional adjustability we have tested - it can adjust from 24 inches to 52 inches. What truly makes this belt stand out is that not only is the webbing extendable, but it has seven inches of adjustable padding. For women with larger waists, it can be extremely frustrating and uncomfortable when the hip belt padding ends behind your iliac crest. For tall women with small waists, a pack that fits both your torso and your hips is hard to come by. The Aura's impressive range of adjustability makes it a great option for pretty much everybody.

Osprey Aura AG 65 backpacks womens - the hipbelt padding is adjustable and extends pretty far to get a...
The hipbelt padding is adjustable and extends pretty far to get a customizable fit.
Credit: Jeffrey Mogavero

Value


The Aura's price tag is what we'd expect considering its comfort, breathability, and long-standing popular design. While it's not inexpensive, you get all the things that the backpacking world has come to love about Osprey packs: advanced suspension technology, lasting comfort, and quality.

Conclusion


The Osprey Aura AG 65 has not only stood the test of time but is a consistent standout favorite year after year. We love the breathable, hip-cradling comfort of this pack that manages to feel like a bear-hug while at the same time being practical and durable.

Madison Botzet
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More