The Osprey Renn 65 is the best pack we tested for the lowest price. This Best Buy winner is large and comfortable, allowing you to do anything from a week-long backpacking epic to a quick night out in the backcountry. The Renn 65 offers the comfort and quality that Osprey is known for without breaking the bank. The unique way that the Renn 65 distributes weight makes this pack comfortable to wear, regardless of how heavy your gear is. There are just enough features to keep organized, the durable fabric will hold up over time, and the ventilated back allows for plenty of air movement, not often found on budget packs.We wish there were more torso and hip adjustment options, and a big stretchy stash pocket on the back, but for the price, this pack cannot be beat, which is why it is our Best Buy winner.
Osprey Renn 65 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Ultra comfortable, roomy, inexpensive, durable, can fit bear can horizontally, low center of gravity, airy mesh frame
Cons: Not many bells and whistles, set torso adjustment points, no back stash pocket
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This pack is ideal for both new and veteran backpackers seeking a simple, comfortable model that's friendly on the budget. The unique design spreads the pack weight laterally instead of vertically, making the overall feel of the pack light and comfortable.
Comfort and Suspension
The Renn 65 earns high marks for comfort. The adjustable Airspeed Suspension system allows for torso adjustments while still maintaining the full mesh back for plenty of air movement. The LightWire frame functions brilliantly to transfer loads to the hip belt instead of weighing down your shoulders. The Renn 65's wider main compartment acts with the suspension system to distribute weight across your hips. The result is a suspension system that keeps the sweat at bay while making loads feel light and airy. The Renn's suspension system outperforms some of the pricier packs we tested.
This pack truly shines in its ability to distribute weight laterally, instead of vertically as does a traditional taller pack. It feels as though your pack weight is hugging you, instead of fighting you backward, and the lowered center of gravity aligns with the way women naturally carry weight leading to added stability on uneven trails. This wide design also positions the load comfortably below your head, allowing a full range of head mobility, critical when the trail becomes more of an uphill rock scramble.
Our testers were impressed with the frame's ability to carry the load entirely on their hips without buckling. Even when weighted to 45 pounds, the Renn 65 feels lighter and more manageable than most of the packs we tested.
The shoulder straps offer ample padding and don't squeeze together, making it an excellent option for women who have broader shoulders or a bigger bust. The hip belt is of a simple design, just dense foam padding covered in a softer mesh material that we found to be extremely forgiving of different hip sizes and angles. It isn't as rigid as the Osprey Aura 65, so you don't get the uncomfortable pressure points that some experience with the Aura design.
Initially, our taller testers felt an unusual pressure on the shoulder strap adjustments hitting their shoulder blades when first putting on the pack. Once we hit the trail, the point didn't cause any discomfort and became un-noticeable when walking.
Ultimately, the best pack is going to be the one that fits your back and hips the best. The Osprey Renn suits a variety of body types although the fitting options aren't as infinite as packs that offer a sliding torso adjustment, the four points available cover the needs of most.
This pack offers excellent comfort for the beginner backpacker and the veteran alike. Beginners will love the comfort for the price, while veterans still have ample space for longer, more technical journeys. Both beginners and seasoned female backpackers will benefit from having the weight distributed low around your body instead of merely stacking weight up your spine.
The Renn's simple design is easy to use overall; however, you must pack thoughtfully because the limited pockets don't allow for a forgetful hiker to keep as much on the outside as in traditional pack design.
The Renn took all the extra bells and whistles off of this pack, only keeping a few key elements that you need. The result is a streamlined back that provides you with the basics and is easy to use, once you get used to the simplified nature of the bag.
The downside is there aren't a lot of extra pockets or any side access points to the pack; however the main compartment, pack brain, side pouches, and hip pockets all have ample room and are useful for many scenarios.
The lack of external storage means that we found ourselves opening the lid and drawstring to get into the main compartment throughout the day. The large, blank back panel of the pack led our testers to wonder why Osprey left such a blank canvas that could have been a large, stretchy pocket for our extra layers.
One handy item that comes with the Renn is a detachable rain cover, which is a rarity at a pack in this price range.
The lid on the Renn isn't removable but, since the Renn sits lower, and the brain doesn't tower above your head, it's easy to look up a steep hill and see what's ahead even with it fully loaded. The Renn is the only pack we tested that allows you this freedom of movement. Although our testers enjoyed the low profile, we found ourselves frustrated with the accessibility of the lid's narrow opening. The dark fabric doesn't do anything to help with finding small items stashed inside.
Unlike many packs we tested, the Renn can easily handle a bear can and then some. Like Mary Poppins's suitcase, the main compartment of the Renn 65 seems like it can hold it all. This pack handled everything in our heavy load test (ice axe, full two-person tent, two sleeping pads, and a bear can) except the rope. It scored high marks on our ping pong ball volume test, storing 830 ping pong balls. It is one of the few packs that can even manage a horizontally packed bear can!
If you're traveling with a rope and a bear can, fitting the rope between the brain of the pack and the pack proper is slightly awkward, thanks to the pack's squat shape and non-removable lid. This model is ideal for someone who's traveling in bear territory and will have some extra pieces of gear, or for someone who doesn't have a compact, lightweight backpack packing setup.
How you carry your water is going to impact what types of water storage features you find important. The Renn's hydration reservoir sleeve is wide and deep enough to fit the largest of bladders, but the exit hole for the tube is tight, making it hard to pass larger mouthpieces through. Large dual side pockets give you the option to carry anything from 40-ounce water bottles to extra food or even a tent. Both pockets have top and side openings. Our testers found it impossible to get a water bottle back in place while wearing the pack unless using the side opening, and when carrying longer bottles in the sideways orientation, the bottle interfered with our elbow movement. However, this is pretty standard for water bottle pockets on most bags we tested.
The wide hip belt features two deep pockets for stashing a variety of small items. While the pockets are deep, they are a little too short to fit most smartphones. The oval shape is restrictive, so phones and some water filters are hard to wedge in.
At three and a half pounds, the Renn isn't the lightest pack we tried; however, the weight to comfort ratio is one of the highest in our test. The added weight of the Renn comes from useful features such as a strong and supportive frame, lid, separate sleeping bag compartment, durable fabrics, and a built-in rain cover.
The Renn 65 comes in just one size and has four different preset adjustment settings on the torso length, unlike some models, which have an infinite sliding adjustment. The same goes for the chest strap, which has three distinct settings.
The four torso settings will give most users a good fit but won't allow for fine-tuning for those who find themselves between sizes. An intuitive adjustment system is so quick to change, our testers made mid-day adjustments to try out multiple settings. Likewise, if you don't find one of the three chest strap settings just right, there isn't any room for minute adjustments but it is a breeze to move to a new slot for variety.
Unlike many higher priced models we tested, the hip belt has no adjustability beyond tightening the webbing itself. While the range allows users between 26 and 48 inches to fit in the hip belt, the padding will end up behind the iliac crest for women with larger hips. Likewise, the shoulder straps are permanently attached so some larger women may find a more comfortable fit in a model that allows more customization.
This pack is a steal. The Osprey Renn 65 offers everything you need for a backpacking trip without sacrificing comfort or suspension. With 65 usable liters and a suspension that performs as well or better than many pricier models, it's tough to find a pack that offers so much bang for your buck. Newer backpackers will enjoy the less-committing price point and exceptional comfort of the Renn 65. Osprey Packs offers a healthy warranty and repair program, meaning when you buy their packs, they stand behind it. Fixes and repairs are free of charge, minus shipping, and if your pack is beyond repair and a currently-offered model, they will replace it. Osprey is also transparent about their material sourcing and labor practices. You can learn more about Osprey's commitment to sustainability on their website.
If you are looking to start backpacking and want the comfortable suspension of an Osprey pack, the ability to carry heavy loads until you have the funds to upgrade your old, heavy tent, but aren't interested in dropping the big bucks on the snazzy packs with the hi-tech features, the Osprey Renn will give you just what you need and keep the price nice and low.The unique design of the Renn 65 re-imagines just how comfortable a budget-friendly pack can be. By allowing the weight to "hug" your body, the Renn easily handles the weight and size of heavier gear. For the beginner backpacker on a tight budget, the Osprey Renn 65 can handle bulkier gear without much of a problem. Backpacking veterans will love the simple nature of this pack, trimming down the bells and whistles to only what you truly need. The result is a lighter pack that can handle bigger loads with ease. Families with growing teens or those looking to share among multiple users will appreciate the adjustability of this one-size-fits-most model. Overall, the Renn 65 is an incredible buy for the budget-minded backpacker.
— Meg Atteberry