View Full Version : Pros vs. Cons - Osprey Aether 70 & Gregory Baltoro 70
First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who has responded to my first two posts. The information about gear I am getting from you all has been a huge help in the buying process so far (got a great pair of Vasque boots and a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL 2 tent that is just too cool).
Now it is time to purchase my pack. I've looked at several at my local outdoor outfitter and I have narrowed it down to a few brands. I love the Osprey and Gregory packs in particular. Aether 70 and Baltoro 70 models, respectively. Any first-hand knowledge about these brands and/or models would be greatly appreciated. Useful features, the little things that make them nice, drawbacks, whatever. I'm also open to suggestions about other brands. Thanks in advance!
Lots of Ospreys on the trail last year. My son has one and his only beef was that it's a very hot pack. Not a lot of back ventilation. Also one of the buckles broke but Osprey mailed him not one but two new ones to Gorham. So good customer service.
I just ordered one of the Osprey Aether 70. I hope it work well and is comfortable on the trail. I'll give you an update after I take it out.
FWIW - I saw many more Osprey's last year than Gregory's. Did not use either of the models you noted though saw several of the Aether 70s.
If this is for a thru hike - IMO I think both are a bit large/heavy. I used an Osprey Atmos 50 last year - & there is an Osprey Atmos 65 too. The Atmos' have a very ventilated back panel, belt pockets and the 65 has a bottom compartment. Great products. Durable. Well made.
Other brand I saw a lot of was Granite Gear. Very light weight - bit unstructured though.
My opinion from owning a Gregory Forester for years and fitting hundreds of people for packs is that Gregory is a superior fit to Osprey. Not only do they seem to generally fit people better, but are also a much better value. Osprey's are generally very high in price.
Then again, a backpack fit is so personal and individual, that I'd never tell anyone flat out, Greg over Osprey, or vice versa.
I will say that Osprey's seemd to fit women better than they did men.
I have the 5lb-9oz Gregory Baltoro and it can carry a trunk load and the kitchen sink too all day w/o discomfort. But that does not make it the right pack for you.
You have to determine your hiking style. By hiking style; do you want to hike comfortably or camp comfortably? Buy all your other gear including bag, pad, stove & then get the pack. I can go out in +40* weather <12 lbs skin out and still be safe & comfortable, so why would I want to use the Baltoro. Mine hangs in the closet while I use either a Gossamer Gear G5, a ULA Catalyst, or a Salomon Raid 20.
Not only is the comfortable weight important, so is volume. I like a relatively large pack so my down doesn't get over compressed.
Try them on with your gear before deciding.
Gee, we have both Osprey packs and Gregory packs in our family. They are both very good brands. I'd say the decision comes down to personal preference and what fits you better. the old Chevy vs Ford argument.
I would say look around a little further go for something other than those two brands. The gregory packs are heavy and still not very durable and the osprey packs are a bit spendy for what you get...
I have the Aether 70, new, about 2 months old. Got it for a great price, other wise woulda kept looking for a lighter pack, like ULA. I was also looking at the Gregory Baltoro, which fit wise felt the best by a long ways, but is a heavy pack. That swayed me. I like the Aether, hauls 27#'s of charcoal around just fine, (practicing for boy scout trek) but two things I am not crazy about. It is hot, but maybe I am just a back sweater. The side water bottle pockets are useless when the pack is packed. Not stretch enough and impossible to wrench bottle out the way the pack is designed.
If you can, try the Atmos models on, from a ventilation stand point. However, they fit very differently than the Aether series, and for me, didn't work when loaded up, and I wanted them too. Make sure you test the pack right away with a full load and don't hesistate to return it if you don't think it is right for you.
I started with an aether 70 and both my stays poked thru the bottom (which is rather uncomfortable sticking into the back of my hip). hong kong fooey fixed the first pop out with dental floss on top of max patch and the other one was fixed by the reps at trail days. i ended up switching to my sister's aerial and then to a lighter golite lightspeed which i loooooove.
Unless you plan on carrying heavy weight (by heavy, I mean 40+lbs) then I'd look at other packs.
That being said, I own a gregory, opted not to get the baltoro because I'd heard that they were having some problems.