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. The lower profile allows you to have full mobility on the trail — including the ability to look fully upwards without the back of your head smacking the pack. There are just enough features to keep organized, the durable fabric will hold up over time, and the adequately ventilated back allows for plenty of air movement. It's almost a pound lighter and carries ten more liters than the North Face Terra 55, and is only a little more expensive. We wish there were more torso and hip adjustment options, 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 3 resellers Pros: Roomy, inexpensive, ultra comfortable, durable.
Cons: Not many bells and whistles, set adjustment points, wider pack is difficult to fit a bear can comfortably.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This pack is ideal for both new and veteran backpackers seeking a simple, comfortable, and budget-friendly model. 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 a variety of torso adjustments (although it isn't infinite like the North Face Terra 55), 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 all of the other 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. Even when weighted to 45 pounds, the Renn 65 feels lighter and more manageable than most of the packs we tested, but not quite as comfortable as the Granite Gear Blaze 60.
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 isn't as rigid as the Osprey Aura 65, so you don't get the uncomfortable pressure points you have with the new 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 the Osprey Aura or the Terra, it does offer four different torso lengths per size.
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 backpackers will benefit from having the weight distributed around your body instead of merely stacking weight up your spine.
At just under four pounds, the Renn isn't the lightest pack we tested. However, it is almost a pound lighter than the North Face Terra and certainly isn't as heavy as the Osprey Ariel AG 65. Those who want an ultra-lightweight pack and a budget-friendly price tag will want to look into the REI Flash 45.
The added weight of the Renn comes from useful features such as a separate sleeping bag compartment and a built-in rain cover. The Osprey Lumina 45 is certainly lighter, but the Renn has weight where you want it — in useful features and durable fabric.
The Renn's simple design is easy to use overall; however, you must pack it thoughtfully, since the main compartment fills across the back instead of out or up like a traditionally designed pack, for example, the Granite Gear Blaze 60.
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 broad nature of the bag.
The downside is there aren't a lot of extra pockets or any side access points to the pack like the Terra; however the main compartment, pack brain, side pouches, and hip pockets all have ample room and are useful for many scenarios.
One handy item that comes with the Renn is a detachable rain cover, which is a rarity at a pack in this price range. If you're looking for a model you can strip down to its elements, check out the Lumina or Granite Gear Blaze. Aside from the rain cover, you cannot do anything to remove the brain or other features from this pack. But we don't find that to be an issue. 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. If you're scrambling over uneven terrain, or even wearing a helmet, you still have a full range of motion in your neck. The Renn is the only pack we tested that allows you this freedom of movement.
Unlike the REI Flash 45 or the North Face Terra, the Osprey Renn 65 can easily handle a bear can and then some. Like Mary Poppins's suitcase, the main compartment of the Renn 65 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.
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 elongated shape. 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.
The Renn 65 has four different preset adjustment settings on the torso length, unlike the Terra 55, which has an infinite sliding adjustment. The same goes for the chest strap, which has three distinct settings. The side mesh pockets are roomy and can easily hold a tent or holster a water bottle (or both). The compression straps offer a quick and easy way to cinch down the pack in a jiffy.
Although we are not currently testing sustainability as a metric (see our How We Test article for more information), we did want to give the nod to any sustainability initiatives or repair programs that each brand offers, which helps you make a better-informed purchase. 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.
We recommend the Renn for both novice and experienced backpackers who are looking to head out for anything from a quick overnight or a weeklong expedition. It's a simple pack, with the right bells and whistles that you'll use. It isn't an ultra-lightweight pack suitable for thru-hiking, and those who enjoy technical backpacking might find the wide nature of the bag difficult to handle gear such as ropes and snowshoes.
This pack is a steal. The Osprey Renn 65 offers everything you need for a backpacking trip without sacrificing on comfort or suspension. With 65 usable liters, 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.
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 space 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. Overall, the Renn 65 is an incredible buy for the budget-minded backpacker.
— Meg Atteberry