Gear Review: Osprey Aura AG 50 Litre backpack
Here's what Pack Light customer Julia Beattie had to say about the Osprey Aura Ag 50 Litre Backpack:
"I had an opportunity to use my Osprey Aura AG 50 backpack doing a four day circuit hike on Wilsons Promontory. It was very comfortable. I appreciated the way the straps in this womens' fit did not cause chest discomfort and the sternum strap could be adjusted up and down for the same reason.
My full load including the backpack was about 10 kg, as my partner carried the tent, stove and gas (which took his total load up to about 12.5 kg.). The 50 litre size was just right for what I was carrying, so I would suggest a 65 litre size for anyone wishing to carry additional items, such as a tent, for a solo walk. (Note that all our equipment was very lightweight, eg Sea to Summit Specialist Duo tent at under 1 kg. That is what makes it possible to use today's smaller lightweight packs for overnight hiking.)
While not advertised as waterproof (the user guide does however allude to providing "protection from the elements"), the pack seems to be highly resistant to rainwater getting in, except for the external mesh side pockets and the external rear pocket.
I noted from another review that one user found the detachable lid awkward to reattach once removed. Having removed mine for cleaning, I noted that it is certainly a very good idea to study carefully (maybe photograph?) the way the connecting straps are fitted so that rethreading does not turn into a puzzle solving exercise.
The 2 litre Osprey water bladder worked very well, but is awkward to insert in the special sleeve in the pack because a rigid harness section presses against the sleeve - so the bladder should be inserted into an empty pack before adding other items.
I would recommend the Aura AG pack highly to women for short and multi-day hiking.
A detailed guide for this excellent walk can be found in Bushwalking in Australia by John and Monica Chapman (four day version) and also in the Lonely Planet guide Walking in Australia (three day version). One piece of advice for intending walkers: at campsites guard your food against possum attack! Don't leave any packet unattended at night or it is likely to be dragged away and torn open in search of food."