Osprey Exos 58 Backpack Review [2023]

Once hailed as the ultimate ultralight pack and beloved by thru-hikers, the Osprey Exos 58 has faced increased competition in recent years. However, the most recent iteration of the Exos boasts an impressive blend of carrying comfort, ventilation, and organization. While it may not lead the pack in terms of weight, the backpack skillfully utilizes its weight to create a durable and versatile design. Making it one of the best trekking backpacks.

Osprey is known for making durable and comfortable backpacks, and the Exos 58 is no different. In this review, we go over everything you need to know about the Osprey Exos 58 Backpack so you can decide if it is the right bag for your hiking and trekking needs!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which earn us a small commission! If you think the Osprey Exos 58 Backpack is right for you and purchase one using our links, we will get enough money to buy a caramel latte while we write our next review!

Quick Facts about the Osprey Exos 58 Backpack

Osprey Exos 58 Men's Ultralight Trekking Backpack
  • Price: $260
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 13.4 oz. (S/M size)
  • Capacities: 38, 48, 58L
  • Amazon Rating: (4/5) 38 reviews
  • Osprey Website Rating: (3/5) 8 Reviews

What we like about the Osprey Exos 58 Backpack:

  • The latest Exos 58 provides excellent carrying comfort and ventilation for its weight.
  • The pack exhibits high-quality craftsmanship in its components, such as plastic buckles, foam padding, and metal frame.
  • Adjusting the torso length is simple and results in a well-fitting pack.
  • The latest model emphasizes sustainability with features like a PFC-free DWR coating and the use of recycled and bluesign-approved materials.
  • The Exos is available in a variety of capacity options, including 38 and 48 liters, and offers women’s-specific designs.

What we don’t like about the Exos 58 Backpack:

  • In the UL pack market, there are options like the Hyperlite Southwest and Gossamer Gear Mariposa that weigh under 2 pounds, allowing for significant weight savings.
  • For minimalists and thru-hikers, the Exos may be considered over-featured, with additional compression straps and features like a trekking pole attachment loop on the shoulder strap.
  • The pack body is constructed with fairly thin fabric, which, although we haven’t encountered any problems so far, should still be handled with care.

Osprey Exos 58 Performance:

Osprey Exos 58 Backpack Performance

Let’s start the Osprey Exos 58 review by looking into the overall performance of the bag. As one of the top rated bags out there, it is a great lightweight bag that mixes comfort, durability, with decent organization. 

Let’s start by looking at the comfort of the bag.

1. Carrying Comfort

My impressions of the Exos model, prior to 2022, were mixed when it came to comfort. However, the latest iteration has undergone significant improvements. Osprey has added a generous amount of padding to the lower back and hip belt, effectively addressing the pressure points that plagued the previous design. The result is a remarkably comfortable Exos that also provides notable support for the lower back.

Like it’s heavier counterpart, the popular Atmos AG, the Osprey Exos 58 features a flexible back panel reinforced by a sturdy internal metal frame. When you put on the pack, the suspended mesh panel conforms snugly to your body, instilling a sense of security no matter the terrain. On the trail, the metal structure helps prevent sagging, a common issue in the ultralight pack market. Additionally, the well-padded shoulder straps and wide hip belt effectively distribute the load.

If you’re accustomed to ultralight packs, you might perceive the Osprey Exos 58 as having an excessive amount of padding and support, as it can press against the lower back. However, those accustomed to traditional backpacking packs will find that the Exos offers a similar level of carrying comfort, but at a significantly lighter weight. 

If you consistently pack within the moderate range of 25 to 35 pounds, the Exos excels and is an excellent choice. Overall, it’s challenging to find another pack in this weight class that offers such plushness and support.

2. Exos 58 Weight

Weighing in at 2 pounds 13.4 ounces for small/medium sizes, the Osprey Exos 58 falls on the higher end of the ultralight backpacking pack range. However, even though it weighs slightly more, the bag remains reasonable for a variety of adventures, from swift and light escapades to brief overnight trips.

Comparatively, Gregory’s Focal 58 weighs 2 pounds 10.4 ounces, and Granite Gear’s Crown3 60 comes in at 2 pounds 9.3 ounces. While there are lighter options available in the ultralight backpack market, such as the Gossamer Gear Mariposa (1 lb. 15.5 oz.) and Hyperlite 3400 Southwest (1 lb. 15.6 oz.), they often come with higher price tags.

In our view, the Exos strikes a pleasant balance. Moreover, if desired, you have the option to further lighten the pack by removing the lid (secured by an underlying flap over the main compartment) as well as the compression and sleeping bag straps, resulting in a total weight reduction of approximately 5 ounces.

3. Organization of the Exos 58

True to its ultralight design, the Osprey Exos 58 offers minimal organization, focusing on essential features. It includes a sizable mesh front pocket, dual side water bottle holders, and a top lid with zippered storage both on top and underneath (the mesh underside pocket features a key clip).

Access to the main compartment of the Exos 58 is solely through the top lid, which is spacious enough to accommodate canisters. The water bottle pockets have lower openings positioned behind your elbows, allowing easy access without having to remove the pack, making on-the-go hydration convenient. Additionally, the crisscrossing compression straps enable secure storage of taller items in the side pockets.

In the previous version of the Exos, Osprey omitted hip belt pockets. However, they have rectified this in the new iteration. The Exos 58 now features zippered pockets on each side of the hip belt, providing just enough space to fit a phone. Although I would prefer slightly larger pockets, similar to those found on the Atmos AG 65, I still consider their inclusion a positive aspect. Completing the Exos’s features, there is an exit port, clip, and a dedicated sleeve within the interior for storing a hydration reservoir. Additionally, attachments are available on the left shoulder strap and at the back of the hip for stashing trekking poles.

4. Backpack Ventilation:

Osprey continues to demonstrate its expertise in ventilation, and the Exos is no exception. 

The trampoline-style back panel is mesh-covered, allowing for ample airflow and creating a noticeable separation between the pack and your body. Furthermore, the padding on the hip belt and shoulder straps incorporates open webbing, and even the foam is perforated with holes. This clever combination results in a remarkably breathable pack that effectively keeps you cool, regardless of the environmental conditions. 

While we still believe that Osprey’s Atmos, featuring their Anti-Gravity suspended mesh system, excels in ventilation, the Exos is not far behind – something we were pleasantly surprised about considering its lightweight design!

5. The Osprey Exos 58 Build Quality and Durability

Osprey Exos 58 Men's Ultralight Trekking Backpack
Osprey Exos 58 Men's Ultralight Trekking Backpack Back Panel

True to Osprey’s reputation, the latest Osprey Exos 58 exudes a sense of quality and craftsmanship. The overall construction is meticulously planned, with strategic utilization of robust materials such as the metal frame and sturdy plastic buckles. However, as an ultralight pack, the materials used are understandably thin. 

The pack body is made of 100-denier (D) nylon, while slightly thicker 400D nylon accents are incorporated, along with a reinforced base. It’s worth mentioning that the previous generation employed a similar material mix, and one thing we became aware of was the possibilities of tears. Some users reported having tears happen just from the bag falling or tumbling down rocks.

It goes without saying that caution should be exercised with the Exos, but in terms of durability, it falls within the average range for the overall market. Moreover, during our multi-night trek in Nepal, we reviewed the Exos and only noticed minor scuffs on the base of the pack where it made contact with the ground. It’s worth noting that we’ve had a similarly positive experience with the women’s variant, the Eja 58. 

Ultimately, while it may not be ideal for bushwhacking or rugged usage involving sharp equipment, the pack is perfectly capable for most overnight needs.

6. Fit and Sizing

The Osprey Exos 58, available in a unisex/men’s version, offers two size options: small/medium and large/extra-large. The updated pack introduces a convenient torso adjustment feature that allows for easy height adjustments of the shoulder straps, providing five different settings (Osprey claims a 4-inch adjustment range). 

For individuals with around an 18-inch torso measurement, we found that the  small/medium pack size was sufficient. Moreover, we found the fit to be precisely tailored when the tabs were positioned in the center slot. The pack snugly hugged our backs and sat comfortably on the hips.

Regrettably, Osprey does not specify size ranges for the hip measurement. Nevertheless, with adequately long straps, the Exos’s hip belt should be capable of accommodating a wide range of body types.

7. Sustainability

Similar to numerous outdoor companies, Osprey has shifted its focus towards sustainable materials and design practices. The Exos, in particular, showcases this commitment.

We have boasted about Osprey’s commitment to sustainability in other reviews, and it is the same for the Exos. The pack boasts a durable water repellent finish that is free from harmful chemicals, known as PFC/PFAS-free DWR. Furthermore, the fabrics used in the Exos are 100% recycled and bluesign approved, promoting responsible production and environmental standards. 

While we believe that the most impactful action for the planet is to limit consumption (do you truly need another backpack?) or opt for second-hand purchases, if you do decide to make a new purchase, we strongly encourage supporting companies that are actively striving for a healthier planet.

The Smaller Osprey Exos 58: Capacities and Fits

In addition to the 58-liter pack that has been reviewed here, Osprey offers the Exos in two other variations: 38 and 48 liters. 

The 48-liter version stands out as a versatile option. If you are willing to pack light, this size would be well-suited for a range of adventures, from overnight trips to thru-hikes. The Exos 48 Pack weighs less at 2 pounds 12.3 ounces and comes with a lower price tag compared to the 58-liter version, while offering the same set of features.

On the other hand, the 38-liter model is a suitable choice for those who prefer packing light on shorter weekend outings. It has a capacity rated for up to 25 pounds and weighs 2 pounds 11.1 ounces.

Women’s-Specific Osprey Eja:

Osprey Eja Backpack for Women

While the Exos is primarily designed for men, Osprey also offers a women’s-specific version called the Eja. The Eja is available in the same capacities as the Exos (38, 48, and 58 liters) and is priced identically across the range.

When compared to the Exos 58, the Osprey Eja 58 weighs slightly less at 2 pounds 11.5 ounces (for the size XS/small), features distinct color options, and offers a women’s-specific fit. Apart from these differences, the designs are identical, including features like the removable floating lid, dual mesh side pockets, front stretch mesh pocket, and a maximum carry weight of 35 pounds (with the 48 and 58-liter models rated at 30 and 35 pounds, respectively).

Osprey Exos 58 Competition:

As mentioned earlier, the Osprey Exos has long been a favored choice for ultralight backpackers. Its closest competitor, Gregory’s Focal 58, shares many similarities, including a suspended mesh back panel and a load limit of 35 lbs. They also have a similar price range. However, after extensively testing both packs over numerous miles, it’s important to note their differences. The Focal is a simpler pack overall, lacking torso adjustment (offering three sizes instead of two) and featuring more straightforward compression straps on the sides and bottom. It is also slightly lighter by over 2 ounces. In our opinion, the Focal is better executed in terms of design and stays truer to its ultralight intentions. On the other hand, the Exos retains a more plush feel similar to a standard backpacking pack, making it more appealing to traditional backpackers seeking a streamlined option.

Similar to Gregory’s Focal is the Granite Gear Crown3 60, which weighs a few ounces less than the Exos and is priced at $240, $20 less than the Exos. The Crown3 offers greater customization, including a convertible lid that can be used as a chest pack, and provides solid organization while keeping its weight low. We particularly liked its highly adjustable hip belt, and it proved capable of carrying a load of approximately 35 pounds. However, when it comes to carry comfort and ventilation, the Exos clearly has the advantage with its suspended back panel and higher-quality padding throughout. Considering the relatively small weight and price difference, we believe the Osprey Exos is the better choice.

On the other end of the weight and feature spectrum is Osprey’s popular all-rounder, the Osprey Atmos AG 65. The Atmos is a fully featured and extremely comfortable pack, boasting additional pockets such as two front zip pockets, a sleeping bag compartment, and side access to the main compartment. It incorporates Osprey’s premium AntiGravity back panel and is more durable with 210-denier nylon throughout the body and 500-denier at the base. However, all these features come at a cost.

Osprey Exos 58 Review is it worth it?

The Osprey Exos 58 Backpack stands out as an exceptional choice for hiking and trekking adventures. While facing tough competition in the market, the mid-2022 update of the Exos demonstrates its superiority in carrying comfort, ventilation, and organization.

Although it may not be the lightest option available, this backpack utilizes its weight strategically to deliver a durable and versatile design. Osprey’s reputation for crafting reliable and comfortable backpacks is upheld by the Exos 58, making it an excellent companion for any outdoor enthusiast seeking a reliable and efficient trekking bag.

In this review of the Osprey Exos 58, we took a deep dive into what the backpack has to offer. If you think this bag is right for your next adventure, consider using the link below to make a purchase – it will help us continue to publish reviews like this!

Osprey Exos 58 Men's Ultralight Trekking Backpack
  • Price: $260
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 13.4 oz. (S/M size)
  • Capacities: 38, 48, 58L
  • Amazon Rating: (4.6/5)
  • Osprey Website Rating: (3/5) 8 Reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *