I recently took the new Osprey Exos Pro 55L backpack out to test it and was very impressed. I’ve extensively used and tested the older Osprey Exos models having used them on a combination of 4 thru-hikes totaling more than 10000 miles. And this new model has the same level of quality but is lighter.
In-Depth Review of Osprey Exos Pro 55L Backpack 2023
Weight: 33.2 oz / 942 g (S/M size)
> Large capacity 55L
> Great for thru-hiking
> Large side pockets
> Bearvault 500 fits horizontally which makes this perfectly suited to places such as the JMT and PCT.
> Not waterproof, needs a pack cover or internal pack liner
> The removable lid is only extra weight and not that functional for most ultralight hikers
I like the new silicon section on the back of the hipbelt which keeps the pack locked in place better than before. The continued use of hipbelt pockets after removing them a few years back is great. They are big enough for most large smartphones, snacks, and more.
The Osprey Exos Pro is one of the few lightweight backpacks that still offer a hydration sleeve for your hydration bladder which I like. And the side pockets are still the best in class for storage and accessibility. While some backpacks need the hiker to be double jointed to access a water bottle when hiking, the Osprey Exos Pro makes it very easy with the dual entry side pocket. I wonder why other manufacturers haven’t tried to copy or emulate this awesome design! It is the best out there at the moment.
The outer fabric is lighter than previous models and made from recycled materials. You will still need a waterproof backpack cover or internal pack liner to keep things dry when the weather turns nasty as the pack is only water resistant. To keep things dry and accessible there is the removable lid which I’m not a fan of. During testing, I removed it and found the backpack works well by just using the small lid flap to keep the backpack closed and dry.
The ventilated frame does a great job and allowing air flow around your back. And the adjustable shoulder straps, load lifters, and comfortable harness all combine to make this a super comfortable backpack. If it is important for you to have a lightweight backpack that is very comfortable, then look no further this is the best one out there. Sure, other packs are lighter, and others are more comfortable, but this offers the best balance of comfort and weight. I’m sure this will be a very popular thru-hiking backpack.
There are no shoulder pockets or water bladder hose clips on the shoulder straps which would be a nice addition, but as this is a minimalist backpack it makes sense not to load up the features too much.
There is not much to be critical of, other than the lack of shoulder strap pockets or water bladder hose clip. The whole harness and shoulder strap system work in harmony together.
And they can be made even lighter than the official specs by removing the top lid. By doing so you can save a couple of ounces.
Carrying Capacity and Size
The size will be perfect for thru-hikers and anyone who has trimmed their backpacking gear list to include lightweight and compact gear. That means most people will have no issue carrying several liters of water and enough food for a couple of days of backpacking. If you want to carry more gear there is room in the external rear pocket, and there are webbing loops to clip extra gear if needed. If you find yourself carrying excessively heavy loads and having to strap things to the outside of the pack, then maybe consider another backpack that is larger and heavier for your needs. Nonetheless, it is good to know that it is there if needed.
Material and Durability
Sizes and Fit
Carrying Water and Side pockets
Osprey Exos Pro Backpack vs The Rest