Thursday, 01 May 2014 10:45

Kit review: Osprey Ariel Women’s Rucksack Reviewed

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Imgres 26Osprey have launched an updated version of their Ariel Women’s Rucksack in 55l and 65l. The reason for creating a women-specific rucksack seems pretty obvious – and we like Osprey for ticking all the right fit boxes!

Women, in general, have slimmer shoulders and waists and wider hips, as well as boobs. They are, on average, shorter than men and weigh less. So wearing a rucksack designed for a guy will not always be a great fit. Here's what I think of the Women's Osprey Ariel walking rucksack.

 

What Osprey say about their Ariel packs

The gender-specific packs have been tailored with the female physique in mind.  For example, the shoulder straps have a much narrower opening (as opposed to a wider shoulder allowance on a men’s or unisex pack) and the custom-heated moldable hip belt is curved to accommodate a woman’s hips.

The Ariel packs are also lightweight and ventilated. They feature a new and improved AirSpace™ back panel to allow free-flowing air to reach the wearer’s back with improved lateral ventilation.  The quick release hip belt pockets make it easy to remove the hip belt when needed.  The Neo-spacer™ harness system, which also offers ventilation, has been adapted for women to offer an even better fit.

Other Osprey Ariel rucksack  features:

  • Stow-on-the-Go attachment system so trekking poles can be safely stowed while not in use.
  •  “V” compression straps and straight jacket compression make it easy to manage the load when filled at smaller capacity.
  • Removable lumbar pad provides a short distance pack solution.
In addtion: 
  • Built-in Raincover (Europe Only)
  • Dual Access Side Pocket
  • Dual Ice Axe Loops
  • External Hydration Compatible
  • Front Stretch Mesh Pocket
  • Front Stretch Mesh Pocket
  • Hipbelt Pocket
  • InsideOut™ Compression
  • J-Panel Access
  • Lumbar Pack
  • Red Compression Strap
  • Sleeping Bag Compartment
  • Sleeping Pad Straps
Top Pocket
Complete with integrated raincovers the Osprey Ariel comes in a bright Vermillion Red and Deep Sea Blue in two capacities – 65L (SRP: £160) and 55L (£150). See www.ospreyeurope.com

 

Osprey Ariel 55l on test

The pack feels immediately “right” on my back. The shoulder straps don’t dig in and they are positioned perfectly on my shoulders and around my chest.  The chest strap sits nicely above my boobs (this is always a problem with men’s packs because the chest strap ends up over the top of my boobs. Uncomfy!).

The waist strap is so comfortable. It springs on to my hips and molds neatly to my body. The padding is thick and luxurious and the strap system allows for the perfect fitting. The length of the pack is also good so that the pack sits really well on my back.

The ventilated back on the Osprey Ariel is brilliant. It feels springy and light and prevents the usual pool of sweat trickling down the back. And there are so many useful pockets. I love lots of pockets in a pack (so long as I can remember where I’ve stowed each item!).

Wearing the pack with a heavy load is about as comfortable as you'll find for any rucksack. The weight sits nice and high on my back and feels like it's welll supported at a good distance from my back. The multitude of straps allow for a great fit.

The non-sweaty back does a great job. The back feels light and airy and the packs seems to fit to me, rather than me having to fit to it. 

 

What I'm not so keen on

There are an awful lot of long straps. The straps will be longer forme because I am slim and therefore I need to pull the straps out to get a comfy, close fit. So what to do with all the hanging straps?  A solution is to tie up the strap ends or cut them shorter and sew over.

 

Test conclusion

I think this is an excellent, well-fitting female pack for £150. I know Osprey packs last a long time and so I think it would be a good investment. But make sure you try one on for size before buying because what fits and feels good on me might not feel so brilliant on you.

Last modified on Tuesday, 22 November 2016 21:35