Last Updated: September 3, 2020

Osprey Aura 50 Review

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Osprey Aura AG 50

The Osprey Aura AG 50 is an incredibly versatile mid-sized backpack that’s just as well suited for trips into the wilderness as it for traveling around the globe. Designed specifically for women, its unique AntiGravity™ backsystem is not only incredibly comfortable but is also extremely breathable and features an innovative, fully ventilated adjustable hipbelt – so you can say goodbye to overheating! With plenty of organizational features and thoughtful extra touches, it’s not surprising this bag is one of Osprey’s best-selling backpacks. View Latest Deal

Founded way back in 1974, Osprey has had plenty of time to develop its prestigious reputation for producing world-class outdoor backpacks. Furthermore, Osprey’s commitment to sustainability and its ‘Allmighty Guarantee’ – which replaces all products, for free, forever – has earnt Osprey a place in many customers’ hearts.

Although Osprey produces a variety of backpacks to suit all purposes, here, we are going to focus on the Osprey Aura AG 50, which has, in recent years, replaced the much-loved Osprey Aura 50. This 50L bag has been designed specifically for women (but don’t worry, there’s a male equivalent too, the Osprey Atmos AG 50) and is renowned for its incredible comfort and breathability.

Manufactured with hiking in mind, but suitable for a range of activities, this is one versatile bag. Plus, it’s packed full of thoughtful features – it’s easy to see why this bag has been so popular.

So, let’s take a closer look at some key performance considerations of this best-selling bag and see how the Osprey Aura AG 50 performs against our rating system.

Pros

  • Durable and water-resistant with an integrated, detachable rain cover
  • Unparalleled comfort thanks to unique suspension and ventilation system
  • Adjustable harness, sternum strap, and hipbelt for the optimal fit
  • Available in a range of sizes
  • Incredibly thoughtful design with tonnes of extra features

Cons

  • Lacks side entry to the main compartment
  • Not available in a large size
  • Too large for commuting

Product Rating

94Overall Rating
Materials And Durability
9/10
Comfort
10/10
Accessibility And Organization
9/10
Extra Features
10/10
Value for Money
9/10

Product Information

  • Gear Capacity: 44L (XS), 47L (S), 50L (M)
  • Weight: 4 lbs (XS), 4 lbs 2 oz (S), 4 lbs 3 oz (M)
  • Dimensions (inches): 32 x 14 x 14
  • Adjustable Torso Length? Yes
  • Fits Torso Length (inches): 14-17 (XS), 16-19 (S), 18-21 (M)
  • Fits Waist/Hips (inches): 24-45 (XS), 24-45 (S), 27-48 (M)
  • Materials: 10D x 630D nylon dobby/210D high-tenacity nylon/420HD nylon
  • Frame Type: Internal Frame
  • Frame Material: LightWire
  • Number of Stays: 1 peripheral hoop
  • Hydration Compatible? Yes
  • Access: Top/bottom
  • Number of Pockets: 9
  • Sleeping Bag Compartment? Yes
  • Hip-belt Pockets: 2
  • Gender: Female

Materials and Durability

The Osprey Aura AG 50 is built-to-last, which is why it makes such a good traveling and hiking companion.

Materials

The main body of the bag is constructed from 100D x 630D nylon dobby – but what does this actually mean?

Well, nylon is a popular choice for outdoor gear thanks to its resistance to abrasions and general durability. It comes in a range of ‘deniers’ (D), which is the term we use to refer to how thick individual fibers are – the greater the denier the tougher the fabric. Robust outdoor backpacks are frequently made of 600D nylon, so the Aura 50 does well in this department.

Furthermore, this is no ordinary nylon, nylon dobby means that 100D nylon fibers have been geometrically woven into the 630D nylon fibers, providing added strength and durability.

Finally, Osprey has reinforced the bottom of the bag with 420HD nylon packcloth and a 210D High Tenacity nylon accent fabric to enhance the longevity of the backpack and stop any wear leading to holes in the bottom of the pack.

Water-resistant?

As well as being super tough, nylon is water-resistant too. It might not stand up to torrential rain for hours, but it will certainly keep you dry while you whip on your integrated (and detachable for those summer days) rain cover – a feature of the Aura 50 that we absolutely love.

Carrying Comfort

When you’ll be spending long days on the trail or traveling from coast to jungle with your pack on your back, you want a backpack you’ll barely know is there. This means no tough shoulder straps, no bruised hips at the end of the day, and, especially if you’ll be exploring in hotter climates, no solid back panel that gets your back covered in sweat in seconds. So how does the Aura AG 50 perform in this department?

Sizing

We love that Osprey refuses to take a one-size-suits all approach towards its backpacks. The Aura, like most Osprey products, is available in a range of sizes: XS, S, and M (weirdly, no L). On top of that, the sizes of the harness, sternum strap, and hip belt are adjustable, so there’s no excuse for anything except the perfect fit.

Suspension System

 

osprey aura anti-gravity mesh

One of the top selling points of the Aura 50 is its incredible, award-winning anti-gravity suspension system.

The lightweight frame is covered by a tensioned mesh panel, with space between it and the pack to allow for airflow. This in itself is nothing new – most high-end backpacks have this ventilation system nowadays. What makes the Aura 50 unique is that the mesh seamlessly stretches from the shoulder to the waist and hugs the hips as it continues along the hip belt. The mesh linkage of the main backplate right around the hips stop weight that has been redirected from your shoulders from simply being dumped above your hips, resulting in a sculpted fit that enables complete freedom of movement. On top of this, the fully ventilated hip belt increases ventilation substantially, which is great for uphill hikes or traveling in the tropics.

Overall, the fact that you can optimize the harness, hip belt, and sternum strap sizes to suit your body shape, as well as choosing an appropriate size in the first place, combined with a sculpted suspension system with great ventilation and weight distribution makes this one of the comfiest backpacks currently on the market.

Organization and Accessibility

When you’re out in the trail or traveling in remote areas, you want to make sure your bag is well organized and that you can get what you want from it when you want it.

Compartments

The Osprey Aura AG 50 is comprised of a main compartment, a removable floating top lid, and a base compartment. We love that you can remove the lid when you’re trying to cut down on bulkiness, as it means you don’t have to purchase another, smaller bag, and the FlapJacket ensures your gear will be protected if you do choose this option.

The bottom compartment is perfect for sleeping bags or wet shoes that you want to keep separate from the rest of your gear but, if you prefer, you can simply remove the divider and go for a larger main compartment instead.

Hydration Sleeve

The main compartment itself is home to a hydration sleeve, which is great for when you need a drink on-the-move, and it can be accessed from the top or bottom (but unfortunately there is no side entry).

Pockets

osprey aura front stash pocket

Front Stretch Stash Pocket

The Aura AG certainly doesn’t fall short in the pockets department. Our favorite pocket is the large pocket on the front that stretches enough to fit large objects such as helmets.

osprey aura side pockets

Side Pockets – For Water Bottles etc

There are also two zippered pockets behind this pocket, dual mesh side pockets for water bottles, dual hip-belt pockets for ease of access (although you’ll struggle to fit more than a normal-sized phone in there), plus dual pockets in the lid – phew!

Extra Features

So, the Osprey Aura AG 50 is durable, super comfortable, and has heaps of pockets – but aside from the integrated rain cover, removable lid, and removable divider for the bottom compartment we’ve already mentioned, is there anything else that makes it stand out from the crowd?

Yes! There are twin loops for carrying ice axes or trekking poles, sleeping pad straps that can be removed when you don’t need them (which is great if you’ll ever check your bag in at the airport as it means they can’t pull off) and twin compression webbing straps to cut down on bulk that the previous Aura 50 model lacked.

On top of that, there’s an internal key clip, so you don’t have to scramble on your doorstep when you get home, dual web attachment points on the lid, and there’s even an emergency whistle on the sternum strap.

Clearly, Osprey didn’t hold back when it came to designing this one!

Value For Money

The Osprey Aura AG 50 is a great backpack. It’s durable, comfortable, and incredibly thoughtful. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it doesn’t come with the smallest of price tags but, given the high quality of the bag, its lifetime guarantee, and its plethora of high-end features, we think it offers great value for money overall.

Rating

With an overall rating of 94, the Aura AG 50 has performed very well against our rating system.

It lost a couple of marks for lacking a side entry point and being slightly on the expensive side but, generally, it scored exceptionally well.

Verdict

So, what do we think of the Osprey Aura AG 50 overall?

This is an exceptionally well-design bag, both in terms of comfort and special touches usually reserved for packs with a higher price tag. There are few bags currently on the market that are designed specifically for women and allow for such a customized fit.

At 50L, it’s too large to double up as a commuter bag, but it can be used for overnight stays as well as day trips (thanks to the removable lid), and it makes a great check-in bag if your main traveling bag gets a little full.

If you’re willing to pay a little more for something that will last you a lifetime (literally, thanks to Osprey’s incredible guarantee), then you certainly won’t regret buying this backpack!

BUYING OPTIONS
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