This year, a team of 26 men and women will be climbing the 14,179-foot tall Mt. Shasta in Northern California to raise awareness and funds for the program. Each of these men and women have been touched by cancer in some way, making this a very personal climb for each of them. The climb is scheduled to take place June 13-19 of this year. As one of the major sponsors for the expedition, Osprey will be outfitting the women with one of their Ariel packs, while the men will receive an Aether pack.
Osprey Packs, Inc., a leader in creating top-quality, high-performance, innovative packs to comfortably and efficiently carry gear, has announced their sponsorship of the 2010 Climb Against the Odds, the Breast Cancer Fund’s annual mountaineering expedition for breast cancer prevention.
From June 13 to 19, 2010, a team of 26 women and men who have been touched by cancer will attempt to summit the 14,179-foot Mount Shasta, located in Northern California. As a corporate sponsor, Osprey outfits each team member with an Ariel (women’s) or Aether (men’s) backpack.
What pack is good for both quick weekend trips and longer outings?
Q: I am trying to decide between a Gregory Whitney 95 or the Gregory Baltoro 70 for the best-all around pack for anything from weekend trips to taking on the Appalachian Trail, and hopefully further reaches of the planet. Just trying to decide if the Baltoro offers enough space for the AT or if stick with the Whitney.
A: That’s kind of a 1990s question (“Don’t the Red Hot Chili Peppers rock?!?”) versus a 2010 one (“Is Coldplay the greatest band of all time?”). Because the Gregory Whitney ($350) is very much a 1990s pack. It is HUGE—5,700 cubic inches in the medium size—and designed for big, heavy loads. The Baltoro ($290) is a much trimmer pack (5 pounds, 9 ounces versus 6 pounds, 9 ounces for the Whitney), and has a relatively compact 4,300 cubic inches of capacity.
The Whitney was designed in a day when tents weighed six pounds, Gore-Tex parkas were a pound or more, and boots were five pounds a pair. Once upon a time, I would have said that was the pack to get, because only a pack such as the Whitney could handle long trips on the AT or elsewhere. But these days, the Baltoro should be plenty of pack for a trip of even five or six days or more (provided this is not the winter and you aren’t lugging a big load of cold-weather gear). And it’s much better for weekend trips. Really, if you have a good light gear setup, it will take up only half the pack. The rest of the space can be for food and fuel.
Then again, Osprey’s Aether 70 ($260) has the same room as the Baltoro, weighs pounds less, yet still has a suspension that is well up to the task of carrying gear on a long trip. You even could try REI’s new Flash 65 ($170) which is just a tad smaller than the Aether or Baltoro, yet users have found that it manages trips of up to a week.
So, my advice: Get a smaller pack and join the modern era. Big backpacking packs are just so…Dawson’s Creek.
Now in its 3rd generation and updated for 2010, Osprey’s Aether series backpack offers a lightweight custom fit for every outdoor enthusiast. After owning a 2nd generation Aether 60 for four years now, I was pretty excited to test the new Aether and see the differences in the 2010 line. The awesome folks at Osprey sent me a Magma colored Aether 85 to put through its paces this spring.
The Aether series is the Men’s counterpart to the Women’s Ariel pack designed for activities ranging from a short weekend trip to longer expedition treks. The Aether is one of the lightest backpacks on the market offering a custom-molded fit. The IsoForm™ harness comes in 3 sizes, S, M, and L and the IsoForm™ CM hipbelt comes in S, M, L, and XL. Anyone not already familiar with Osprey should know about the custom molding available from Certified Osprey Dealers that allows for the most comfortable fit you’ll find in a backpack.
The new Aether for 2010 gets some solid praise and write up in the popular, Mountain Gazette, to read it, click here.
The Kode 38 and Aether 60 make the holiday gift guide cut, and with praise. To read the review and guide, click here.
Found online and in print, The Olympian Newspaper, suggests the Aether/Ariel Series in their Outdoor Gift Guide, to see it click here.