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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
Osprey Eja 58
Photo: Osprey
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Price:  $220 List | $165.00 at Backcountry
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  ⋅  Nov 5, 2019
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49
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 16
  • Comfort and Suspension - 45% 4
  • Organizational systems - 20% 5
  • Weight - 20% 8
  • Adjustability - 15% 3

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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Osprey Eja 58
This Product
Osprey Eja 58
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $165.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$255 List$269.95 at Backcountry
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$269.95 at Backcountry
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$199.00 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
49
79
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74
65
Star Rating
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Pros Lightweight, nice large external pockets, good suspensionComfortable, supportive suspension, simple design, large pockets, durable, customization from manufacturerHuge main compartment, customizable compression straps, super lightweight, comfortable with heavy loadsComfortable, plush padding, wide range of fitting options and adjustments, good number of pockets, easy-to-remove top lid,Lightweight, easy to access side pockets, removable pockets and straps
Cons Lots of extra straps, narrow shoulder strapsNon-ventilated back panel, less organizational featuresDark material makes pack contents difficult to see, hip belt difficult to adjust, rigid padding might not last over timeLarge, spring loaded waist band is hard to get into, suspension can feel bulky, expensive, hip belt can sag uncomfortably on some usersFixed torso length, rigid feeling hip belt
Bottom Line Designed for women who want to travel light and fast in the backcountry, the Eja 58 has all the same features of the Exos, with a women's specific fitComfortable suspension for all day use, all the right pockets, and durable fabric make the Circuit a top choiceThe Granite Gear Blaze is built for hauling heavy loads over vast distances with comfort and easeThe Aura 65 AG is a comfortable pack that is fully featured, well ventilated, and sleek in designWhen pack weight is a priority, the REI Flash 55 keeps the pounds and ounces low and works well for weekend trips and ultralight adventures
Rating Categories Osprey Eja 58 Circuit Blaze 60 Osprey Aura AG 65 REI Co-op Flash 55 - Women's
Comfort And Suspension (45%)
4
9
7
8
6
Organizational Systems (20%)
5
8
8
8
8
Weight (20%)
8
8
8
4
8
Adjustability (15%)
3
4
7
9
4
Specs Osprey Eja 58 Circuit Blaze 60 Osprey Aura AG 65 REI Co-op Flash 55...
Measured Weight (pounds) (medium) 2.6 lbs 2.68 lbs 3.0 lbs 4.65 lbs 2.68 lbs
Volumes Available (liters) 38, 48, 58 68 60 50, 65 55
Organization: Compartments Lid, front shove-it pocket, main compartment Side pockets, front pocket, hip belt pockets, main compartment Lid, front pocket, side pockets, hip belt pockets, main compartment Lid, front pocket, side pockets, dual front pockets, hip belt pockets, main compartment Lid, double side pockets, front pocket, hip belt pockets, shoulder strap phone pocket, main compartment
Access Top Top Top, front Top, side, bottom Top
Hydration Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rain Cover Included No No No No
Women's Specific Features Women's specific fit and sizing S-Curve Shoulder Straps Women's Specific fit & sizing Women's specific fit Women's specific fit
Sleeping bag Compartment No No No Yes No
Bear Can Compatible Tight fit Yes - Vertical Yes - Vertical and Horizontal Yes - Vertical Yes - Vertical
Main Materials Nylon 500 Cordura 210D HD nylon Nylon Ripstop nylon; Oxford nylon (bluesign® approved)
Sizes Available XS, S, M S, M, L, XL, Kids Short, Regular XS, S, M XS, S, M
Warranty Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime 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 Osprey Eja 58 is designed for women who want to move fast and is an excellent choice for thru-hikers or any women looking to start trimming down their kit.

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

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

Osprey's new AirSpeed suspension system is very similar to the manufacturer's ever-popular and revolutionary Anti-Gravity system. 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.

Though it is claimed to be a 58 liter pack, the Eja felt more...
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.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Organizational Systems


The Eja was a fairly straightforward pack to use. 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 with modern lightweight packs. 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.

The combination of durable nylon and mesh make the external pockets...
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.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Weight


The Eja is among the lightest packs in this review. Thinner fabrics and a slimmed-down feature set trim ounces and pounds off this model but like with most of the light packs, durability and comfort are sacrificed a bit.

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. The Eja uses thin, stretchy compression straps which are known for losing their stretch 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.

Value


The Eja comes with a price tag slightly towards the low end among tested models and for such a specialized, high tech pack is a fairly good price. If you have been backpacking for a while and are in search of a new, lightweight pack, the Eja 58 is certainly worth checking out.

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