Gear Review: Osprey Aura 50 AG Pack

a.k.a. Rosie, the best pack in the world

Meet Rosie.

I purchased the Aura 50 in 2012, so I have the older purple model, but it’s the same basic setup. I’ve used it for small backpacking trips, as well as my 2016 5.5 month thruhike of the AT.  

Pros: Cons:
50-liter size is perfect for not letting you carry too much weight
  • Had to use compression sacks to make all my winter gear fit
  • Sometimes had to leave the top uncinched after resupply days
Comfy, padded straps and hip belt With long, sweaty distances, you will always have rubbing (I got packrash, but not the worst case I saw)
Big stretchy side pockets They get REALLY tight when your pack is full, so it’s hard to put stuff in them while it’s strapped to your back
Reservoir holder fits Camelbak, MSR, etc. Improvement request: external bladder section (like many of my male friends’ packs) so I don’t have to unpack everything when I fill the bladder
Hip pockets were handy for fitting my SPOT GPS, pocket knife, watch face, etc. Smaller than other model hip belt pockets (newer Auras do have bigger pockets)

I put my sleeping bags (winter, then summer) in a compression sack in the bottom of my pack, and secured my sleeping pad on the bottom external straps. This was handy as it made my pack a kind of chairback when I took breaks.

As with any long-distance hike over many months, the pack (especially straps) were SERIOUSLY funky after a while. After multiple washings, it still smells, but all packs will do that.

You can buy this pack and see more specs at Osprey and outdoor retailers.

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