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The Exos 48 is Ospreys attempt at a lightweight pack for the hills, but does it perform? Read the review to find out

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Overall Score
Lightweight AND comfortable

The Exos 48 is a multi-day backpack with floating lid and flapjacket, multi-point compression system and Osprey's patented ExoForm harness and hipbelt as well as their AirSpeed back panel.

Having recently reviewed the Atmos AG65 we approached the review of the Exos 48 with a mixture of expectation and trepidation. The Atmos is a supremely comfortable pack to wear, perhaps even without peers in that respect, the pay-off for all that comfort is a high weight, tipping the scales at over 2kg. The Exos 48 in comparison has 17l less capacity but also tips the scales at only 1.2kg which puts it squarely in the 'lightweight' category.

Here's where the trepidation kicks in, often comfort is sacrificed in favour of lower pack weight which I wasn't looking forward to over a 17 mile hike laden with over 13kg of winter gear.

I needn't have worried, as it becomes immediately obvious that there have been very few sacrifices in this respect. The shoulder straps and hip belt are still chunky enough to bear a decent weight, the back panel is solid and comfortable as well as providing great ventilation and the frame system provides a stable transfer of weight down to the hips.

The compression straps are minimalist but not cheese wire thin so they still work well together with the internal compression strap to stabilise the load.

The adjustment from the shoulder straps, sternum strap, load lifters and hipbelt straps are all solid and durable and allow you to get a good fit quickly and easily, just make sure you use Osprey's excellent Pack Sizer app to identify the right size pack for you before you buy because there's no adjustable back panel to fine-tune your fit.

Storage is decent, the main compartment is accessed from the top and there are plenty of other storage options in the removable floating lid which can swallow a surprising amount of gear, the two stretch side pockets and the two zipped hip belt pockets. The removable sleeping bag straps give you potential for extra capacity inside your bag.

We're not sure what material the Exos 48 is made from but it feels plenty thick and strong enough to survive many miles on the hills which is unlike some other lightweight packs we've tested which tend to sacrifice a bit of durability and general ruggedness in the quest for lighter weights.

The Stow on the go trekking pole attachment is absolute genius and allows you to keep moving while you check your map or GPS which can otherwise be a bothersome task, especially if you need to do it regularly.

Overall this pack ticks all the boxes for us, it's impressively stable, comfortable and well ventilated while somehow also being lightweight, practical and good value. If you're looking for a comfortable, lightweight pack for multi-day adventures then the Exos 48 should be your first port of call.

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