The Osprey Eja is a specific women’s fit version of Osprey’s Exos, a range of ultra light backpacking bags launched that distributes weight effectively and are ergonomically designed .
With a long haul trip to India planned, plus some heavy camera kit that needed carrying alongside my day pack contents, I decided to do some kit testing out on the road and see how it fared during transit…
What the manufacturer say:
Speed of light. Eja 38 represents the latest in a significant heritage of ventilated and lightweight backpacking packs, but now with a specifically tailored women’s fit. Combining optimum comfort and stability with durable, superlight materials, Eja 38 is the ideal pack for moving fast on multi-day adventures. The Eja 38 offers all the benefits of a lightweight pack but without the normal compromises, helping you to move fast and light.
Our revolutionary ExoForm™ harness and hipbelt uses a dual mesh construction to deliver a comfortable and stable fit that puts a traditional harness design to shame. The ventilated AirSpeed™ backpanel will keep you cool when the weather turns hot, but still delivers a stable load-carrying platform.
If you want to really hit minimal weight, remove the lid to expose the integrated FlapJacket™, which provides additional protection to the top of the pack. Keeping your contents tight and under control is even easier with the adjustable multi-point compression system on each pack sides. Eja 38's backsystem also offers an impressive women's specific fit, with an ergonomically shaped hipbelt, harness, yoke and backpanel.
Every element of the Eja 38 has been laboured over to keep weight low, yet retain the best performance possible. All these features and benefits at only a shade over 1 kg… We should be accused of witchcraft.
- 7mm side compression straps
- AirSpeed ventilated trampoline suspended mesh back panel
- Compatible with Hydraulics and Htdraulics LT Reservoir
- Cord tie-off points
- Designed for women
- ExoForm mesh hipbelt and harness
- Internal hydration sleeve
- Lightweight peripheral frame
- Removable sleeping pad straps
- Removable top pocket with mesh pocket and key cap
- Single Ice axe loop
- Sternum strap with emergenct whistle
- Stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment
- Stretch front pocket
- Stretch mesh side pockets with InsideOut compression
- Top lid access
Osprey Eja 38L Women’s Fit Rucksack on test with Jessie Leong:
Whilst out in India, I have found the bag to be perfect for fitting in my camera equipment, laptop and spare layers ( and even passable as a cabin bag!). I have used the bag as an overnight bag and found the size fits well in coping with tightly packed contents - even at full load the bag has a clever suspension, meaning it sits well. The hip belt is relatively lightweight and fits on the hips without feeling over padded, using an ergonomically shape harness, yoke and back panel. Clever design means the weight has been kept low, yet retains performance without going ‘super alpine’, making it a fairly practical and comfortable bag that will cope particularly well with activities that require carrying heavier contents, e.g. long distance hiking or travel.
Sizing wise, as there is no adjustable torso, it requires checking your torso size in relation to the size availible. There is also a floating lid and intergrated back flap panel. The main compartment includes a sleeve for a hydration bladder, using a loop with a buckle to attach the bladder. Note, there is no bottom compartment here. The Osprey Eja is a specific women’s fit version of Osprey’s Exos, a range of ultra light backpacking bags launched that distributes weight effectively and are ergonomically designed.
It is best suited for backpacking and hiking, and for travel in general. The pack lacks a few features that may be important, like a rain cover which is missing here, so if you are going to use the pack it outdoor, you might consider buying a cover.
Sizewise, this will depend on the equipment you carry, more expensive stuff usually packs better, and winter equipment is bulkier than the summer camping stuff. But in any case, this pack is big enough for a tour of several days and for weekend tours. The pack is built in three sizes, XS, S, and M, so choose your proper torso size because you do not have torso adjustment system.
The main structure of the Eja bag is its internal lightweight peripheral frame, which provides additional structure and support. With previous bags, I’ve often noticed Osprey bags have tended to fit female friends with narrower hips and shoulders. During the review, I find the hip belt sits well and there is no ‘sagging’ or collapsing in the back panel - the mesh back stays taut and the frame means it gives the bag a little bit more sturdiness.
The Osprey Eja has stretch mesh outside pockets with ‘Inside Out’ adjustable, multi-point compression system on each pack sides. The thick padded straps on the shoulders and collarbone are comfortable and provide sufficient comfy padding. An air speed ventilated trampoline suspended mesh backpanel means the bag allows air to pass between back and the bag, meaning the bag doesn’t touch the body.
Whilst travelling, I found the stretch front pocket ideal for stowing bulky shoes such as flip flops or layers that needed easy access. For me as an outdoor consumer colour is a major consideration, especially when investing in a larger bag. The Eja 38 is available in ‘Moonglade grey’ ie grey and aqua blue, or ‘Equinox Blue’ i.e a purple indigo colour. Having spoken to countless women who want to see gear available in a wider variety of colours - not just in traditional colours of teal and pink - the Equinox Blue first seemed a ‘bit feminine’ in choice of colour than I’d usually go for. However, I found that the colour grew on me, and didn’t seem as ‘purple’ as the product photographs made out. I’ve also noticed the dark blue colour also matches with my Mountain Equipment Shivelight hard shell, which is more than likely if I was using the bag back in the UK.
The side pockets are large enough to hold my 750ml flask and are made of a wide stretchy elastane which fits a large water bottle.
There are also easy access slots meaning its relatively simple to extract a drinking source, or use the space for accessing food on the go.The Stow on the go Trekking pole adjustment proved useful for long distance hiking, and having the Osprey trekking pole adjustment means I can keep my axes out of my hands without needing to take my pack off. The Eja comes with space for a single ice axe strap, although there are additional compression straps to potentially attach a second axe if necessary.