Osprey Aura Hiking Backpacks - Which is Best?Osprey is a popular brand with a reputation for producing high-quality hiking gear.
Their Aura range of backpacks is a favourite among female hikers and backpackers. These are designed to be lightweight, compact, and comfortable, ensuring that you enjoy a hassle-free adventure.Whether you are going for an overnight trip or spending a couple of nights wild camping, the Osprey Aura will serve you diligently in both cases. While the two bags look more or less the same, there are a few differences that may not be too obvious when you compare them side by side... That is why we are taking a comprehensive look at the two bags in this Osprey Aura 50 v 65 review to help you make a more informed decision before splashing out on a new hiking backpack.
Osprey Aura 50 RucksackThe Osprey Aura 50 is one of the most sought-after backpacks for women on the market. It comes with the bells and whistles you’d expect from a high-quality product, including an adjustable harness featuring shoulder straps, a suspension system specially designed to suit a woman’s centre of balance, as well as a customisable hip belt to let you achieve a comfortable fit when the bag is full.
Osprey Aura 65 RucksackThe Osprey Aura 65 is another high-quality technical backpack for women. It is engineered to cope with a range of conditions for alpine and thru-hikes expeditions. This bag borrows a lot of its impressive features from the Aura 50 to ensure that you have a successful hiking or backpacking adventure. Essentially, it is a bigger version of the 50 but you can find a few variations, with the main one being the capacity. The Aura 65 is a bigger backpack that makes a better fit for adventures taking between 5 and 10 days. Just like in the 50, it also incorporates a suspension system that makes the bag feel lighter than it actually is.
Osprey Aura 50 Vs 65: SimilaritiesConsidering that both the Osprey Aura 50 and 65 are manufactured by the same brand, they share a handful of features that allows them to be the ideal backpacking gear. Some of their similarities are as follows:
Carrying ComfortBoth the Aura 50 and 65 make use of a unique suspension system to improve back support and add comfort when carrying it. The Anti-Gravity Suspension comes with a tensioned and peripheral frame that evenly distributes the weight to make you feel like you’re supporting a smaller load.
This allows you to go for miles without feeling weighed down by the backpack and relieves you of back pain when you finally get to your destination.A stretch mesh extends from the upper side of the back panel to the hip belt, wrapping around your back, shoulders, and hips to make for an integrated fit. This is quite soft and significantly reduces the pressure when carrying heavy loads. Breathability is also enhanced to ensure that you are not struggling with a sweaty back when the temperatures begin to rise. Additionally, the shoulder straps in both backpacks are well-padded and feature a similar body-hugging construction to result in a snug and comfortable fit.
SimplicityOsprey nailed when it comes to ease of use on both the Aura 50 and 65. Firstly, there are enough straps on the packs to give you the ideal level of balance but fewer compared to models like the Aerial to make them less complex. You also get just the right number of compartments to conveniently organise your gear without making it overcomplicated. The adjustable stretch mesh panel pocket at the front of the bags serve to enhance external storage space for smaller items and other organisational options. Finally, a removable floating lid allows you to replace it with the internally fixed FlapJacket when you want to better protect your gear or limit the weight.
Build QualityAnother similarity comes in the way the bags are designed. Both the Osprey Aura 50 and 65 are manufactured using the same kind of material. The main construction employs an extremely durable 100D by 630D nylon fabric that offers rugged performance in tough hiking conditions. The material is tear-resistant and helps to keep the contents of the backpack protected when navigating thorny and branch-filled thickets. Meanwhile, the bottom fabric uses a 420D nylon packcloth whereas the accent fabric features a 210D high tenacity nylon. Overall, both bags prove to be durable down the stretch and can cope with multiple cycles of use without showing any sign of tear and wear.
Weather-resistanceThe 100DX630D nylon dobby fabric used on both bags is not waterproof, so you can’t use them in extremely wet weather. However, the fabric is water-resistant and does a great job of keeping the bag dry in case of light showers and splashes.
So, if you feel the hiking conditions will be wet, you can purchase a rain cover to protect the contents of the bag from moisture and prevent any kind of damage.Some people also choose to use plastic bags and zip-lock bags to guard against the wetness, although this can be very cumbersome if you’re carrying a lot of items.
OrganisationThe Osprey Aura backpacks both have 2 external pockets placed in the top lid, 2 hip belt pockets, as well as 2 mesh side pockets to help you arrange the smaller items you’re carrying. Furthermore, the front of the bags features a large mesh pocket flanked by 2 vertically-aligned zippered pockets.
The pockets on the hip belt are large enough to comfortably accommodate a large camera like the Sony RX100.On the outer side of the pack, gear loops have been included to let you attach trekking poles securely when setting out on a hiking adventure. Several lash points enhance the ability to hang other items that you may be bringing along for the expedition. Lastly, the main compartment is designed with a hydration sleeve that can hold a 3L reservoir. This also features a removable flap to separate the main area of the backpack from the sleeping bag section.
All these pockets and attachment features make the Osprey Aura 50 and 65 a great option for organising your camping or hiking gear.The compartments also offer easy access to the items, which is one of the many selling points of the Aura backpacks. However, you only get one access point for the main compartment, which can pose a little bit of a challenge during packing or when you forget to pack something and have to repack. Overall, the large mesh dump pocket at the front, two external zip pockets, and two front pockets should be enough to store any small accessories that you’ll constantly require on the trail. You won’t have trouble trying to organise your belongings practically and comfortably with both the Aura 50 and 65!
VentilationThe manufacturer did a nice job of maximising the ventilation on the Osprey Aura backpacks. One of the go-to features on the bags is the Anti-Gravity mesh back panel.
The Aura bags employ this suspended mesh across the entire back, as well as the hip belt, to effectively keep the load from pushing against your back to allow for free airflow in between.This makes the Aura backpacks some of the most breathable bags you can find in the market. If you like to go hiking in the summer months and are prone to sweating, these will be the perfect option when you want a more comfortable experience.
Extra FeaturesWhen it comes to additional features, the Osprey Aura 50 and Aura 65 are pretty much identical. They are both designed to be more practical with the integration of Anti-Gravity technology for a breathable and comfortable back panel.
There is also a fit-on-the-fly hip belt that comes in handy when you want to adjust the backpack to achieve the right fit for a trekking or backpacking adventure.You also get a removable floating lid that may be replaced with an internal FlapJacket to reduce the weight, a sternum strap with an integrated safety whistle, as well as removable sleeping pad straps.
Osprey Aura 50 Vs 65: Differences
CapacityThe main difference between the Osprey Aura 50 and Aura 65 comes in the amount of load they can accommodate. This can be picked up from the product names; the Aura 50 offers a capacity of 50L whereas the Aura 65 offers a 65L capacity. In most cases, the choice between the two bags comes down to the amount of space required to comfortably fit all your supplies, especially considering that both bags come with more or less the same design and features. While some people prefer to keep their luggage as compact as possible, others tend to want some extra space for storage of any initially forgotten items and easy access of items when packed. Because of this, the smaller 50L Osprey Aura 50 is a nice choice for overnight trips and short travels that don’t necessitate a lot of supplies. If you are the kind of adventurer who likes to travel minimally and lightweight, this will be a more practical choice for you.
On the other hand, if you are setting out on a long and multi-day adventure, the Aura 65 offers you the capacity to carry enough supplies to last you through the trip.It also offers extra space for any items you come across in the middle of your adventure that you might want to carry. This also means that you’ll have a better time accessing your hiking gear since they are not squeezed. The only problem is that you risk pushing the weight to an unbearable limit.
SizingAnother difference comes in the sizes of the bag. When placed side by side, you’ll notice that the Aura 50 is considerably slimmer and more compact than the Aura 65. This is what brings about the difference in capacity. Nevertheless, both Osprey 50 and 65 allow you to select a customisable fit by splitting the size of the bags into Small, Extra Small, and Medium sizes. This means you can find a size that perfectly conforms to your body size and shape.
The Aura 50 Extra Small is the most compact version in the range with a capacity of 44 liters and a weight of about 4 pounds. It also measures 28.35 x 14.17 x 14.17” in size.The Small Aura 50 is the mid-point in the range and add an extra pound to weigh 4.1 pounds. It can also carry 47 litters luggage and features dimensions of 32.28 x 14.17 x 14.17”. Finally, you can also buy the biggest Osprey Aura 50 which has an actual 50-liter capacity. It weighs 4.18 pounds and measures 32.28 x 14.17 x 14.17”. Just like the Aura 50, the 65 is also split into three different sizes. The smallest size of the bunch (Extra Small), comes with a 60-liter capacity, weighs 4.26 pounds, and features dimensions of 29.53 x 14.96 x 15.75”. The intermediate Aura 65 (Small) has a 62-liter capacity and weighs 4.34 pounds with measurements of 31.5 x 14.96 x 15.75”.
Lastly, the largest Aura 65 offers 65 liters of capacity, weighs 4.42 pounds, and features dimensions of 33.46 x 14.96 x 15.75”.
Osprey Aura 50 Vs 65: Final VerdictSo, should you choose the Aura 50 or Aura 65? Since the two backpacks come with practically the same kind of features, your final decision will boil down to the length of your adventure and the amount of gear you plan to carry. If you are planning a few days of hiking and want a compact backpack that won’t weigh you down while walking, then the Osprey Aura 50 will be the ideal fit for you.
It may also come in handy when you have to board a plane since its compact size may be allowed inside.On the other hand, the Osprey Aura 65 will be a more suitable pick if you are setting out on a longer expedition lasting over 5 days. It offers a larger capacity to carry all the supplies you will need and extra space for any items you may want to add on the way. However, it only suitable for summer hikes and fairly wet weather considering that the fabric used to construct the pack is not waterproof.
ConclusionOverall, the Aura series has for a long time been rated among the best backpacks for women in the market. You can credit this to a range of high-performance features, top on the list being the Anti-gravity suspension system, which offers a great mix of comfort, versatility, and practicality. You’d be hard-pressed finding a model with greater value in the market. However, it can be a little confusing when you have to choose between the Aura 50 and the 65. Hopefully, the review above provides you with all the information you need to make a well-thought-out decision! All the best!
Is the Osprey Aura a Good Travel Backpack?The first thing to note about the Osprey Aura backpacks is that they were not designed for travellers. They make a better fit for hikers and backpackers, but this doesn’t entirely limit their use to hiking alone. Some people like to travel with a practical bag that allows them to move anywhere. This is something that a suitcase may not necessarily be in a position to offer considering how cumbersome it can be to carry for extended periods.
The large size also means that it will be too heavy and uncomfortable to carry. I even doubt that airlines will give you the go-ahead to board with a backpack this big.On the other hand, the Aura 50 may be a practical consideration to travel with. The Extra Small sizing of the Aura 50 is compact enough to carry just a few supplies you’ll need for a weekend trip. Its size might just be within the allowed limit to board a plane and it will be a nice option if you want something more rugged and comfortable for the trip. The main shortcoming to using the Aura 50 for traveling is that it only has one access to the main compartment, which is also located at the top. This can be pretty cumbersome when you want to retrieve an item packed far down inside the bag. Most travel backpacks feature a full-front opening just like a suitcase to get rid of this shortcoming. So, before you decide to travel with the Osprey Aura 50, check your local airline to see if the size is within the agreeable traveling range.
What are Some of the Disadvantages of the Osprey Aura Backpack?As impressive as the Osprey Aura backpacks are, they still come with a handful of cons. For one, the packs can be a little too weighty. They are not the heaviest models in the market, but they can limit your mobility on the trail, especially when filled to the brim. This is to say that if you are a minimalist hiker who likes to travel light, then you might want to opt for a lighter option. When you add the relatively narrow design of the bag, packing items inside the Aura can be a frustrating affair. The same is also true when you want to access items from the main compartment.
What is the Difference Between the Osprey Aura and Ariel Series?The Aura series of backpacks for women are available in 50L and 65L versions, and this usually draws comparisons to the Osprey Ariel series. One of the main distinctions is that the Ariel series is a little bit heavier than the Aura and serves as a better fit for longer adventures.
The Ariel is also bulkier and features more compression straps, which some people may consider overkill and complicated.Furthermore, the Ariel is available at a higher price compared to the Aura series. However, both series of bags come with an Anti-Gravity suspension system, which makes them practical hiking gear. While the Ariel series will be the better choice for longer hiking trips, the Aura series offers a more versatile performance when it comes to carrying both light and heavy loads.