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Osprey Eja 58 Review

The Eja 58 is Osprey's new, women's specific version of the popular Exos, and is made for light travel in the backcountry.
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Price:  $220 List | $216.16 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, nice large external pockets, good suspension
Cons:  Lots of extra straps, narrow shoulder straps
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 8, 2019
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 17
  • Comfort and Suspension - 45% 7
  • Organizational systems - 20% 7
  • Weight - 20% 9
  • Adjustability - 15% 8

Our Verdict

Osprey took their award-winning, ever popular Exos and designed it specifically for women — behold the Osprey Eja 58. This pack has the stand-out Osprey-style suspension system, a simple design, and as an added plus, it weighs a lot less than some of the popular models we have tested previously. The pack has very narrow shoulder straps that we found to chafe a bit and sit a bit heavy on the collarbones when carrying a heavy load. We also found the pack to have a few unnecessary frills that were more confusing than helpful.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Lightweight, nice large external pockets, good suspensionVery comfortable, slimmed-down waist-belt and suspension system, easy-to-remove top lid, wide range of fitting options and adjustments, good number of pockets.Roomy, inexpensive, ultra comfortable, durable.Durable, comfortable even with heavier loads, streamlined features, great attachment points at outside of pack, integrated rain coverComfortable, lightweight, good set of features, large stow pockets
Cons Lots of extra straps, narrow shoulder strapsLarge, narrow contoured waistband gets in the way when putting the pack on (some users complain it's too narrow), suspension can feel bulky, expensive.Not many bells and whistles, set adjustment points, wider pack is difficult to fit a bear can comfortably.Main compartment is a little narrow, water bottle holster is awkward, requires thoughtful packingSimple suspension, lacks support
Bottom Line The Eja 58 is Osprey's new, women's specific version of the popular Exos, and is made for light travel in the backcountry.This award-winning pack has stood the test year after year with its streamlined, lightweight design and incredibly ventilated and comfortable back panel.The Osprey Renn combines comfort, volume, and price. This simple pack will take you anywhere and won’t break the bank.The Kyte 46 is a small, but mighty pack, built for a more advanced user. The comfortable wear allows you to tackle rough terrain with ease.The Octal 55 is light, simple, and still provides for tons of storage space.
Rating Categories Osprey Eja 58 Osprey Aura AG 65 Osprey Renn 65 Osprey Kyte 46 Gregory Octal 55
Comfort And Suspension (45%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
Organizational Systems (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Weight (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
Adjustability (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
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8
Specs Osprey Eja 58 Osprey Aura AG 65 Osprey Renn 65 Osprey Kyte 46 Gregory Octal 55
Measured Weight (pounds) (medium) 2.6 lbs 4.63 lbs 3.93 lbs 3.42 lbs 2.58 lbs
Volumes Available (liters) 38, 48, 58 50, 65 50, 65 35, 45 45, 55
Organization: Enclosed Compartments Main compartment, lid, front shove-it pocket Main compartment, lid, front pocket, side access pockets, dual front access pockets Main compartment, lid, side pockets main compartment, lid, 2 mesh side pockets, 2 hip belt pockets, lid pocket, front mesh pocket, internal sleeping bag pocket Main compartment, lid, front shove-it pocket
Access Top Top, side Top Top Top
Hydration Yes Hyration compatible Hydration compatible Yes
Women's Specific Features Women's specific fit and sizing Women's specific fit Women's Specific fit & sizing Women's specific fit Women's specific fit
Sleeping bag Compartment No Yes No Yes No
Bear Can Compatible Tight fit Yes yes - but awkward tight fit Tight fit
Main Materials Nylon Nylon 600D polyester 210D x 630D Nylon Nylon
Sizes Available XS,S,M XS,S,M One size XS/S, M/L XS,S,M
Warranty Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Limited lifetime

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Osprey Eja 58 stood out when it came to suspension and overall design. The pack combines ultralight qualities with the suspension of a traditional backpack. Overall, it's simple, yet it has a few extra, straps, and loops that ended up getting caught on branches more than actually helping our organization on the trail. With only a few downsides, this pack is overall an excellent choice.

The Eja has thick  foamy shoulder straps that make for added comfort when carrying heavy loads.
The Eja has thick, foamy shoulder straps that make for added comfort when carrying heavy loads.

Performance Comparison



Comfort and Suspension


The main aspects of a pack that is under scrutiny in this metric are the shoulder straps, hip belt, and back panel. It is in these spots where chafing, hotspots, and general discomfort typically pops up. In the case of the Eja 58, we were surprised to find that the shoulder straps were our main source of discomfort during our testing period. The straps are skinny, only about an inch thick, which caused hot spots when carrying a heavy load. Packs like the Thule Versant and Osprey Aura have wider straps, which disperses the load a bit more. The back panel was very comfortable, though, as was the hip belt on the Eja, making it overall a decently comfortable pack.

The Eja felt light and ventilated  even in the muggy spring weather of the Utah desert.
The Eja felt light and ventilated, even in the muggy spring weather of the Utah desert.

Osprey's new AirSpeed suspension system is very similar to the manufacturer's ever-popular and revolutionary Anti-Gravity system (think of the Osprey Aura AG or the Gregory Octal 55, which was inspired by this design). The Eja rocks the AirSpeed suspension by keeping the pack off your back and allowing for airflow between your skin and the pack itself. This detail is key to a capable suspension system, especially in hot weather. If the pack had wider shoulder straps, the overall comfort would be significantly improved, as the Eja has a sound suspension system as a foundation. The Osprey Lumina has a similar design but was more comfortable. The Osprey Kyte offers the same suspension system without the other comfort issues of the Eja.

Though it is claimed to be a 58 liter pack  the Eja felt more spacious due to its large main compartment and stretchy external pockets.
Though it is claimed to be a 58 liter pack, the Eja felt more spacious due to its large main compartment and stretchy external pockets.

Weight


The Eja is the fourth lightest pack in this review, following the ultralight Lumina and the lighter REI Co-Op Flash 45. The difference between the Octal and the Eja is negligible, as it ends up being only .02 pounds, or .32 ounces, difference. The Octal has a particularly light feel, though, because of its simple frame and lightweight materials. The stretchy mesh pockets provide lots of storage with little extra weight, and no extra bells or whistles are weighing this pack down. This difference was noticeable between the Eja and the Octal, as the Eja had some extra loops and straps that add weight.

Organizational Systems


The Eja was a fairly straightforward pack to use. Very similar in overall design to the Gregory Octal 55, the Eja has more pockets without zippers than zip-closure pockets. We liked this style of pack, and it seems to be popular right now since the Osprey Lumina 45 has been designed in a similar style. We felt like this makes the pack easy to use; most of your kit goes into the main body, while extra equipment is quick to stuff into the large outer pockets. These features made the Eja easy to organize overall.

When it comes to features, we were a bit confused on how to rate the Osprey Eja 58. On the one hand, the pack has many great bells and whistles, like the oversized mesh pockets we mentioned above. On the other hand, we found that this pack had some extra, seemingly unnecessary clip loops, storage straps, and attachment points on the shoulder straps, the bottom of the pack, and hip belt. For us, these were not useful, and we preferred the overall simplicity of the Osprey Lumina and the Gregory Octal more.

The combination of durable nylon and mesh make the external pockets on the Eja stretchy  yet still able to withstand the wear and tear of the trail.
The combination of durable nylon and mesh make the external pockets on the Eja stretchy, yet still able to withstand the wear and tear of the trail.

Adjustability


Again, this pack sacrifices some adjustability in the name of weight. First, you can't adjust the torso height. The waist belt is also fully integrated and pretty trimmed down. Similar to the Osprey Lumina this pack uses thin, stretchy compression straps. We aren't too sure how these would hold up over time.

However, there are quite a few attachment points for you to custom fit your gear to the pack. We didn't always find them necessary, but if you like playing with different exterior configurations, you'll appreciate the Eja's many attachment points.

Best Applications


The Osprey Eja 58 is designed for women who want to move fast. The Exos, which is the men's version of this pack, has been Osprey's thru-hiker go-to for the past few years and the Eja is just as light and fast as this model. The lid, as well as many of the extra straps, are removable to lose those extra ounces. A comparable, but even lighter model designed as a women's specific, ultralight pack is the Osprey Lumina 45, which of course has a smaller carrying capacity.

Value


This brand-new pack hit the shelves with a price tag of $220. For such a specialized, high tech pack, this is a fairly good price. Less than the Gregory Octal 55 and only slightly more than the Deuter ACT Lite lands the Osprey Eja at the lower end of the price scale. If you have been backpacking for a while and are in search of a new, lightweight pack, the Eja 58 was a high scoring pack overall.

Conclusion


Though there were a few flaws that we found during our testing period with the Eja, the pack still received relatively high scores in our metric ratings. The suspension system is a highlight because it combines comfort and breathability with a light, sleek design. The shoulder straps were problematic to us, but the hip belt provided enough support without chafe or discomfort. The primary features of the pack were useful and well-designed, but there was an excess of bells and whistles that we could do without for a more streamlined design.


Jane Jackson