We’ve been testing the Osprey Aether 60 for the last few months. At first glance you can see that the Aether 60 was designed to handle a lot of adventure. Although the Aether 60 isn’t heavy (4.75 lbs), the add-ons don’t make it a pack for weight weenies either. That said, not everyone is or wants to be a toothbrush cutting ultra-light backpacker. For those that like some comforts, but don’t want to overdo it, this may be the pack for you.
This is one of the most versatile packs I’ve ever used. My favorite features are the side compression straps that go through the large size pockets. This allows you to cinch down the pack or cinch down the pack and whatever is in the side pocket. We usually use the side pockets for water bottles, the tall pocket won’t let even a full nalgene fall out. The pockets and compression straps would also be very useful for snow pickets, flags, tent poles and air mattresses. The side and front compression straps can also be configured for carrying skis or snowboards. We haven’t had a chance to put this to the test yet, but the design looks like a good secure system.