Expert Review: Osprey Ariel AG 75L Backpack

This review is my honest opinion of the pack which I purchased with my own money in March of 2020.

A woman with the Osprey Ariel 75 L backpacking backpack stands at the top of a lookout. There are mountains and rocky cliffs in the distance and attached to her pack are some shoes, a cup, and other camping equiptment.

Photo courtesy of Sydney Call

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About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the pack which I purchased with my own money in March of 2020.

My take

The Osprey Ariel AG 75 Women’s Backpack is good for someone who wants something with a large capacity while not compromising comfort or structure.

About the gear

  • Model: 2020 Osprey Ariel AG 75
  • Gender: Women’s
  • Size: Medium
  • Pack capacity: 75 liters

About me

  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 145 lbs.
  • Experience: 20 years of hiking/backpacking experience

Test conditions

  • When I bought it: March 2020
  • Length of trips: Week-long trips
  • What I carried:
    • Sleeping pad: 2020 Klymit Static V
    • Sleeping bag: 2020 Nemo Kayu
    • Tent: 2020 Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2
    • Other: Bear Canister
  • Total pack weight: 45 lbs
  • Used for: Thru-hiking, backpacking
  • Where I’ve used it: Tetons Wyoming, Sawtooths Idaho, Canyons Utah, Green River Utah.
  • Terrain: Developed trails, Mountains, Deserts, Canyons, and Glaciers.
  • Seasons I’ve used it in: Summer, Fall

How it performs

Back Breathability
4/5
Comfort
5/5
Design
5/5
Durability
5/5
Versatility
5/5
Weight
5/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for a backpack that could handle a large capacity for extended backpacking trips I did for my Grad School program in Wilderness therapy. I was looking for a backpack that would still be comfortable and durable for the long run and for up to 20 miles a day.

Why I chose this gear

I decided to buy this backpack for its adjustable torso lengths, large capacity, and versatility. I liked that this backpack has a removable brain that transforms into a day pack for day hikes.

Compared to my previous backpack which was an Osprey 55 Liter with no internal frame, this backpack could carry a lot more and hold up nicely without putting too much weight on my waist or shoulders.

A woman wearing the Osprey Ariel 75 L pack stands on a bridge. There are trees around and a river is running under the bridge.

Using the Ariel 75 in the Sawtooths. Photo courtesy of Sydney Call

What I love about it

  • Durability: They use high tenacity nylon for this bag making the material very sturdy and tear/rip-resistant. The internal frame also gives this backpack bones so it won't collapse on you or put all the weight on your hips. This backpack has lasted me two years with no rips, tears, or zipper issues.
  • Suspension and comfort: Even when I have a heavy pack, the waist belt, and shoulder straps are still comfortable and allow me to hike long distances into the backcountry due to the anti-gravity suspension.
  • Capacity: The 75-liter capacity has allowed me to pack all that I need for up to 10 days in the backcountry. I can carry a large bear canister, along with my sleeping system, stove, tent, and also any group gear with skillful packing. I needed a large backpack to go on long trips for my Graduate program in Wilderness Therapy.
  • Pack Access: The pack has water bottle pockets, a front pocket where I put dirty shoes or a shovel, and then the top has two zipper pockets for ample storage. I also love that the pack has a J zipper on the front for access to the bottom of your pack without having to take everything out. The hip belt pockets with zippers are also perfect to store small things like sunscreen, your phone for pictures, and a snack for the trail.
  • Weight: This backpack is lightweight and does not weigh me down on the trails. The internal frame is considered lightweight and the density nylon is durable but won’t add much weight to your overall pack weight.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Weather Resistance: This backpack is water-resistant, but not waterproof and does not come with a rainfly. In light rain, things inside do not get wet.
  • Suspension and comfort: If I am carrying a very heavy load, the pack can get a bit uncomfortable on the waist belt.
  • Adjustability: To adjust this backpack, you have to take it off of your back unless you are adjusting the waist belt or shoulder length. It was also a little tricky to figure out how to adjust the torso length.
  • Capacity: Because of the skinny sides, sometimes bulkier items like bear canisters take up a lot of space in the backpack and leave little room for all of your other items.
  • Breathability: The back isn’t super breathable and I often get really sweaty going long distances.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment in this pack was in Canyonlands in Utah, hiking through beautiful red rock canyons. On the last day of our trip, we had to scale the canyon walls to get to our cars, and we went from the bottom of the wet, muddy canyon to the top of the desert plains. We got to look across the canyon and see the 40 miles we covered.

Value for the money vs. other options

Compared to a similar capacity backpack like Gregory’s Baltoro 75 Backpack, this Osprey Ariel is more lightweight as the Gregory has heavy aluminum framing. The Osprey Ariel is also less expensive than the Gregory by about $100. One pro of the Gregory Baltoro is the suspension is dynamic so it moves better twisting vs. the Osprey Ariel which is stiffer and less dynamic.

Final verdict

This backpack allows anyone to travel long distances, carry heavy loads, and take long trips. It can be taken anywhere, on any terrain. It’s perfect for any adventure!

Selling Osprey on Curated.com
Osprey Ariel AG 75 Backpack · Women's
$330.00
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Written By
Sydney Call
Sydney Call
Camping & Hiking Expert
Growing up in Idaho, I started backpacking when I was 3 years old! I have been all up and around the Sawtooth Mountain Range, and have spent countless hours in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park. My biggest escapade was hiking in Nepal to Everest Base Camp in a week! I love backpacking or hik...
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