When picking out bags for travel before, I almost always went the route of choosing ones with wheels (partially because I am lazy). With my upcoming trip to Iceland, though, I knew I wanted something a little more portable. After researching and talking to some fellow backpackers, I eventually decided to try the Osprey Ariel 65. Here are some things I’ve found after toting it around Manhattan and Brooklyn over the past few days:
For only being a 65 liter (I opted against the 70 because I’m so short), I’m able to fit about three week’s worth of clothing inside—not bad since I’m not bringing any camping gear with me to downtown Manhattan! Granted, I’ve eventually learned which clothes are good take on a trip like this and which are completely wrong, but I’ve had to pack with a thirty degree difference in mind. So on space, the Osprey gets my approval.
Women in mind design.
Osprey has got the fit for women down—which has not been a priority for other backpacking companies. The shoulder pads and hip belt are all perfect for my frame; a lot of the weight rests on the hips rather than on the back, making it easier to go long distances without feeling like you’re about to die carrying three week’s worth of things. You’ll want to try a size up just in case. If anything feels too tight, it will rub when you are transporting the bag.
In my opinion, you can never have too many pockets, so I love that they’ve included some nooks and crannies to store the smaller stuff. It has an impressive water slot (you know, if you’re backpack-traveling in the desert and no oases can be found—or hiking) and pockets on the hip belt where you can stash some things like extra cash. It’s nice to have it so close to your body just in case.
The one thing I might have had issue with is the fact that it does not come with a manual. As a first-time backpacking traveler, I really had no idea how to put this thing together, and it mostly involved just sitting on the floor with it and playing around. There are plenty of snaps and buckles that seem to have no attachment, but after looking around a bit and tweaking with it, you can find where they lead. An owner’s manual would have been a good idea for beginners.
It’s available at different retailers. I paid $260 for the bag, and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Have you ever used the Ariel 65? How did you like it?