Osprey have revisited the Exos range of lightweight packs for 2014, reducing the weight of the packs and making the lid, side straps and attachment points removable. Osprey also say the comfort and support of the harness and hipbelt has been “drastically improved”. I’m afraid that I prefer the previous version – not because of the harness but because the frame wasn’t as curved.

This one leaves a big space between your back and the pack – good for ventilation but not so good for easy packing or stability. Those who like this design will probably disagree with me here but it’s not for me. (I think Osprey’s Atmos packs, which are a bit heavier, are the best curved-back packs I’ve tried).

The shoulder straps and hipbelt are comfortable, though I’d prefer the latter to be a little firmer, and the pack handles 10-12kg fine. The pockets are roomy except for the tiny shoulder harness ones and the front pouch is useful for wet gear.

There’s a flap to cover the load when the lid is removed.

First published: March 2014