When it comes to the best backpack for the Wicklow Way, the Osprey Exos 58 is often top of the list for hikers. You will find many small and useful features with this backpack but what makes this the best backpack for hiking is the incredible lightweight nature of the bag.
Osprey Exos 58 Review – The Smaller Size
The Osprey Exos line has several options which accommodate the requirements of most outdoor adventures. For example, the Exos 38 has a much smaller size, making it an ideal option for a daypack.
In between, you also have the Exos 48 which is somewhat similar to the Exos 38. While this smaller version will shave off 20 oz. of weight from the Exos 58, it must be said that each option offers lightweight features, which make carrying the backpack a lot less cumbersome.
Basic Analysis – Ultralight Backpack
If you need an ultralight backpack for hiking, but you want to avoid a frameless model, the Exos is a great option. Here is a more in-depth analysis of the Exos 58:
Comfort – The Exos is no doubt comfortable, considering the fact that it is super lightweight. The inner fabric of the waist belt is cozy while the straps are comfortable in spite of the minimal nature of the fabric. Furthermore, it is also 3 pounds lighter than most backpacks for a Microadventure. Ventilation wise, the backpack is well vented throughout to keep your back cool during summer trips making this the perfect companion in warmer climates.
Weight – With a weight of 2 lbs. & 8 oz., this ultralight backpack is almost one pound lighter compared to the next lightest on the market, the North Face Banchee 65 or REI Flash 65. For those whose main concern is the weight, yet, would still opt for a frame, the Exos ticks every box. The pack is even lighter than most frameless packs on the market. You may sacrifice a bit in terms of durability to get a much lighter package, yet not much, and you will find that it is not really a big deal especially if you just use it primarily on lighter treks.
Suspension – Despite having a weight of only 2 lbs. & 8 oz., the Osprey Exos 58 comes with a comparatively solid suspension. The pack is ideal for loads of up to 35 pounds. It features a pretty durable frame, although it does not have the kind of stiffness that will hurt your shoulder and hip. Thus, when carrying a load of 30 pounds, there is not much of a difference on the suspension when compared to the more robust backpacks.
Features – One of the best things about this backpack is the stretchy mesh pocket at the back. The pocket is fully secure and can be used for a lot of small items, which you wanted to get access easily. It can also be used to store smelly or wet clothing, or perhaps some trash. There is also a useful feature for attaching trekking poles or a mattress to the pack through a stretchy band at the bottom of the pack and another attachment right at the shoulder strap. The pockets on the waist belts are decent sized and can accommodate a small sized camera or smartphone. The lid of the backpack features one small pocket at the top and another mesh pocket down below. The mesh pocket is great as it allows you to be able to peek through its contents, however, the top pocket is a bit harder to access than the other pockets.
Adjustability and Sizing – Although the Exos is not technically adjustable, it comes in three different sizes, and this means that you will most likely find something that will suit you well, regardless of your height and body frame.
How Did I Test the Osprey Exos 58?
Having spent six weeks wild camping in the Wicklow Mountains and the West of Ireland, I can say that the Osprey Exos 58 is one of the best backpacks for a Microadventure. Although slightly heavier as compared than some ultralight frameless backpacks, the difference is rather irrelevant. In fact, I find the backpack ideal for those who want to get their overall pack weight down under 20 to 25 pounds. It is also quite robust in spite of this incredible lightness.
The Osprey Exos is 1 lb. & 2 oz. lighter than the nearest rival yet this ultralight backpack will not give up a lot in terms of features, support, and comfort. While the choice regarding the best backpack for a Microadventure really comes down to what you need and what you want out of your backpack – there is no doubting the quality of Osprey.
Even regarding the best backpack for travelling the world, the Exos 58 is the kind of backpack that lives in a world between traditional backpacks and ultralight packs. Either way, when it comes to the practicality and comfort, the Osprey Exos 58 is my choice as the best backpack for Microadventures.
Disclosure: Please note the trust my audience has for my advice is of utmost importance to me. Hence, I will only recommend equipment I love from brands that I trust. I was not paid to review this backpack and I purchased this bag myself. I am also without obligation to leave positive reviews for the product, I just know that this backpack works for me and it is likely to work for you too. This page contains affiliate links meaning I might receive a small amount from the supplier should you decide to purchase an item through one of my links. Thank you for supporting me.