Osprey Volt 60 Review
As the minimalist phase has come and is slowly on its way out, running shoes companies have learned that not all shoes have to be full of padding and weight to appease their audience. You might be asking why I’m talking about running shoes when you’re reading a review about the Osprey Volt 60, but keep reading as I’ll tie this one together. Backpacking packs have gone through a number of changes over the years from lightweight to feature rich to ultra light. The challenge has been the majority of people are backpacking for a weekend and calling it good. So if you’re going for a weekend, do you need a pack that has a pocket, loop, or zipper for everything that you bring on your trip? For most of us, the real answer is no, we don’t need a ton of features on a backpack. That’s where the Osprey Volt 60 comes into play. While this backpack isn’t completely stripped down, it has less cushion and features than more feature rich, higher priced Osprey backpacking packs, but it still has the Osprey quality we’ve come to expect and love.
Fit of the Osprey Volt 60
Unlike other packs on the market including other Osprey packs, the Osprey Volt 60 only comes in one model. This means, there is no small, small/medium, medium, medium/large, large size, but there is a one size fits all size. Extremely easy to find your size pack right?! How this works is that there is an adjustable shoulder harness that slides from a small up to a large and Velcro’s in place. There is also a similar adjustable Velcro system in place in the hip belt allowing you to expand and decrease the size of the hip belt. This allows you to get an exact fit and if you want to share your pack with a friend or family, this makes it extremely easy to do so.
One thing that has bugged me for years is the small size of hip belt pockets in backpacks. It seems pack makers would make the pocket so small that you could fit a few energy bars in and that was it. The Osprey Volt 6o has plenty of room in the pockets I am happy to report back. There plenty of room to fit a phone, point and shoot camera, energy bar, pocket knife, and more all in one hip belt pocket. And there are two of them! This is great so you don’t have to take off you pack if you want a snack, take a picture, etc. Going from bottom up, there is a zippered sleeping bag compartment at the bottom of the pack that big enough for the average 15 degree down sleeping bag which I tested this out with. And if you’re not taking a 15 F degree sleeping bag, don’t worry as this compartment will fit most sleeping bags. To keep your gear from slipping into this area, there’s an adjustable flap that allows you to separate your sleeping bag from everything else in your pack. Just outside of the pack at the bottom, there are two adjustable loops that are big enough to store a sleeping pad or small tent. Like many other packs on the market, the Osprey Volt 60 has additional room near the top of the pack that adds an additional 5 inches of space. To keep the top from getting too tall and awkward, there’s a red cinch strap to allow you to shrink down your load. The top lid of the Osprey Volt 60 is extremely spacious. This is not the top pocket of the past, but this top cover pocket is big enough to hold a pair of low top hiking shoes or running shoes with extra room for other gear. I really like this as older model packs had smaller pockets which could fit a few smaller items, but this allows you to compartmentalize your pack a little more without adding extra bulk. In case you’re backpacking and need easy access to a rain jacket, food, etc, there’s a mesh pocket on the outside of the pack that’s easy to access if you take your pack off or your backpacking partner can help you out. This pocket isn’t extremely big, so I wouldn’t consider this good storage, but it’s a good “in case” pocket. There are also two side mesh pockets that generally hold water bottles, but can old other items that you want easy access to. They are zippered, so you need to keep that in mind when deciding what to put in these pockets.
Additional Pack Features
While I covered a few of the “features” in the storage section, there are a few more that are worth noting in the Osprey Volt 60. If you find yourself using this pack for mountaineering or during the winter, the Volt 60 comes equipped with ice axe loops. One thing that helps set this pack apart from others is the hydration reservoir pocket where you can slide a bladder into its own compartment that’s closest to the back. This is nice in case you get a leaky reservoir because you won’t soak the rest of your pack. While their are a number of hydration reservoirs on the market, I really like Ospreys reservoir because it has a thin plastic frame sheet that makes it super simple to slide in and out of the hydration pocket. Another feature worth noting is the adjustable “stow on the go” strap that’s on the left shoulder strap. These are great for storing your trekking poles when you’re not using them and they don’t really get in the way.
The Osprey Volt 60 is a great all around pack that’s light on your back, has a great fit, and has all the features you want and none of the features you don’t want. For more information, please visit OspreyPacks.com MSRP $199