Osprey Viva 50 ReviewPrice: $180 List | $135.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Uncomplicated design, well-built, durable Stretch Mesh pockets, inexpensive
Cons: Noisy frame, bulky padding
The Viva 50 is simple and uncomplicated, perfect for women just delving into backpacking. While Osprey recommends this backpack for both mountaineering and backpacking, the one size fits all design and minimal features are ideal for shorter length trips into the backcountry. This backpack has significantly thicker padding on the shoulder straps and back frame than the streamlined padding of the Osprey Aura; the extra padding is comfortable but creates heat against the body in higher temperatures. At 3.5 lbs, the Viva is relatively lightweight. The backpack comes in a single adjustable size that, if initially fitted well, can serve as an uncomplicated, introductory backpack. We enjoyed the simplicity of this pack- sparing excessive features for an easy to use, easy to adjust backpacking backpack that carries comfortably.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Since we tested this pack, Osprey changed the trekking pole/ ice axe loops and straps on the upper compartment. Additionally, the pack is offered in different colors, seen below in comparison to the version we tested (right, in purple).
The Osprey Viva is the perfect introductory backpack! It spares excessive features for the sake of an uncomplicated design, yet offers plenty of space and organization for a range of backpacking trips. With a lightweight plus comfortable padding, the Viva is well built and handles the outdoors with grace, not tearing or bending under pressure.
The Viva is a very comfortable backpack. The padding is a bit bulky in comparison to backpacks like the Osprey Aura AG 65, but the back frame is well padded as well as the shoulder straps and waist belt, lending to the incredible cushion. It is suitable for lightweight loads yet remains comfortable with weight loads ranging from 20-30+ pounds. The adjustment options lend to extended comfort that is customizable to your body and your pack weight.
Luckily, the bulkiness of the padding does not equal higher weight. At 3 lbs 9 ounces, the Viva is one of the lightest women's backpacking packs we have ever reviewed.
This backpack is designed in one size, which some may assume would compromise the suspension. We found that with the ability to adjust the torso length and with an extendable waist belt option, this backpack holds loads between 20-35 pounds quite well! According to the Osprey website, it is ideal for weight loads up to 40 pounds and suitable for slightly more. The pack has a load distribution design that runs on the outer sides of the back frame and is great at equalizing the load weight into the hips. While comfortable, and with a decent suspension, this backpack did not feel as comfortable after 8 or so miles…Unlike the Osprey Aura or Osprey Ariel, the comfort diminishes with the length of use, and for that, we recommend this pack for shorter daily distances.
Ease of Use and Organization
The Viva is uncomplicated. We found the simplicity to be refreshing after using backpacks like the Arc'teryx Bora. There are few adjustment points and straps around the pack, few pockets, and a streamlined design that allows you to worry more about the hiking and camping and less about loose straps and complicated design features. For other simple pack options, check out the Best Buy awarded North Face Terra 55.
The Osprey Viva is an excellent option for women new to backpacking or for those not as concerned with technical features and adjustments. The Viva is best suited for trips ranging from 2-6 nights and low daily mileage objectives since shorter distances lend to better comfort under the padding and suspension of this backpack.
The Viva is one of the best values as a women's introductory backpack. At $179, it is simple and comfortable as well as customizable in fit. With a lighter weight and few pockets, the Viva is simple while still offering comfort and the sleek design of an Osprey backpack like the Aura or Ariel.
The Osprey Viva is inexpensive and comfortable while remaining simple and sturdy. Available in a single size, the Viva is adjustable to many body types and sizes. We appreciate the sleek exterior, typical of most Osprey backpacks, and highly recommend the Viva for any woman new to backpacking!
— Briana Valorosi
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