Women's-specific Kyte medium to large all-rounder launches plus Aether and Aerial get updates for 2013
Osprey Packs has updated its Aerial and Aether backpacking sacs for this spring and also launched a new women's-specific trekking pack called the Kyte, which is based on the men's Kestrel series.
New Kyte Pack
New for 2013, the Kyte is a women's-specific take on the successful men's range of lightweight trekking and backpacking packs. It's available in three capacities - 36, 46 and 66 litres - and features women's harness and hip-belt designed to work with female body shapes along with adjustable back length.
The packs use Osprey's lightweight, ventilated Airscape back system and manage to stay decently light without compromising on features, all the packs include rain-covers which are sized to be 'drum tight', so no flapping, plus Osprey's Stow-on-the-Go pole attachment, front and side stretch pockets, lid pocket and zipped base compartment.
The range of capacities means potentially they could be used for anything from a day walk through to lightweight multi-day trekking with the largest version. Weights are quoted as 1390g, 1500g and 1740g respectively, all reasonably light considering the spec without being startling.
Looks are clean and modern too. Definitely worth a look if you're after a medium to large all-round women's-specific pack. We've always found Osprey delivers a great mix of build quality, carefully thought-out features and a balance between load-carrying comfort, stability and weight.
Prices are £100 for the 36, £110 for the 46 - which should be large enough for most weekend overnighters - and £130 for the 66-litre Kyte. In the shops now.
Revamped Aether And Aerial
Tweaked for 2013 rather than new are the existing Aether and Ariel big packs. The Aether (60 and 70) is the men's version, while the Aeriel (55 and 65) is women's specific with narrower spacing for the shoulder straps and a more pronounced curve to the heat-mouldable hip-belt.
Visually the 2013 packs look cleaner and more modern, but there are some significant structural changes too with both harness and hip-belt updated. the AirSpace backpanel has been tweaked to allow better airflow to the wearer's back while there's a new pre-curved IsoForm4™ custom moldable hipbelt, that should conform better to hip shapes and can either be pre-moulded to the user's shape in the shop or will, with use, adapt to suit.
Other stuff includes V-compression straps and Osprey's Straitjacket system to keep loads stable, a top-pocket that converts into a handy lumbar pack, Stow-on-the-Go again, hydration compatibility and an integral rain cover.
The existing packs already worked well, but when you're carrying big loads, small changes can make a significant difference to carrying comfort, so while the small tweaks may look like marginal gains in isolation, added together they should make a real difference.
There's an Osprey YouTube video if you want even more detail on the packs' construction and features.
Prices are £160 for the men's Aether 70 (2290g), £150 for the 60 (2270g) with the Aerial coming in at £160 for the larger 65 (2180g) and £150 for the 55L version (2130g). The packs all come in a choice of two back-lengths. Again they're in the shops now.
More information at www.ospreypacks.com