For weeks Osprey teased the new era of backpacks, and when the UNLTD products finally went live fans of the brand were..skeptical.
“After nearly 50 years of innovation, Osprey is looking beyond traditional manufacturing technologies to bring you the ultimate backpacking experience through a new era of design and technology”.
And with that quote, the statement was made that these new backpacks would be different than what would be expected in the industry, especially since the backpacking community has become uber-obsessed with getting loads as light as possible like it’s some sort of race. These are not that.
So let’s address the weight of the packs themselves. For example:
The Airscape 68 comes in two size variations, S/M & L/XL, and weighs in at 6/27 lbs., and 6.69 lbs. respectively.
The women’s version in the same max liter size comes in XS/S & M/L and weighs in at 6.01 lbs., and 6.05 lbs. respectively.
To be fair, while it’s high compared to an UL backpack, Osprey is more focused on comfortability and the balance between the weight of the pack and load capacity.
So what are the Osprey UNLTD backpack offerings, and why are they so expensive?
The entire premise behind the added weight and bulkiness is meant to be offset by how technically advanced these packs are in distributing weight and keeping the “anti-gravity” aspect of your pack load.
A high carbon stainless steel frame, polycarbonate vacuum formed framesheet, convertible top-lid daypack, and fit-on-the-fly hipbelt are the main features of this pack.
Additionally these packs feature:
- Convertible top-lid daypack with water resistant coated zippers
- Zip-away FlapJacket covers top opening for lidless use
- Large panel access with laminated zip flaps
- Twin front pockets
- Super strong and break resistant YKK buckles
- TPU cast anti-abrasion panels
- Variable woven ski loops and tuck-away axe loops
- Compression divider for sleeping bag storage
- Removable sleeping pad straps
- Large, versatile hipbelt pockets
- Externally accessed reservoir sleeve
- Injection-molded hydration hose routers
- Stow-On-The-Go trekking pole attachment
- High tenacity nylon ripstop raincover located in base zippered pocket
- Custom Airporter travel cover with lockable zippers
3D-Printed Fitscape lumbar with Carbon DLS technology provides superior ventilation, fine-tuned cushion support, an anti-slip surface grip to keep loads firmly in place, and a reduced waste process.
As the description states, the 3D printing used for the Fitscape tech is the first of its kind in the industry, and the AutoLift system will allow users to fine-tune the harness and length automatically.
This is ideal when you want to adjust your pack while hiking to give additional comfort, especially on those longer mileage days.
I’m not a 3D printer, so I’m not sure how much cost that adds to the packs, but it’s an added feature for sure.
That’s a lot of features! Definitely enough room for your 10 Esssentials.
Additional Carry Info for Osprey UNLTD backpack:
- No need to adjust and readjust load lifters while hiking. AutoLift automatically engages the upper frame of the pack, keeping the load close to back, stable and in proper balance.
- Works directly with CamLock Torso Adjustment System to quickly set the optimal position for shoulder straps.
HIGH CARBON STAINLESS STEEL FRAME
- Strong, durable stainless steel wire frame integrates with framesheet to support loads.
- Lower end of the frame wraps out onto the sides of the hipbelt to distribute load broadly for improved comfort and better balance on the trail.
- Unique ReCurve shape provides shock absorption to improve load carrying comfort.
CAMLOCK TORSO LENGTH ADJUSTMENT
- Micro-adjustable self-locking cams allow torso length to be quickly and easily adjusted to a perfect fit while the pack is worn.
- Simply lift up on the buckle lever to release the webbing and adjust the shoulder harness upward.
3D PRINTED FITSCAPE™ LUMBAR WITH CARBON® DLS™ TECHNOLOGY
- Advanced 3D printing technology delivers a uniquely supportive lumbar pad.
- Flex and shape are tuned to support load evenly and reduce pressure points.
- Open structure ventilates and reduces heat buildup.
- Polymer compound grips securely to promote load transfer and eliminate slippage.
Who are these packs for?
$700 is steep for a lot of people, and one of the biggest issues with the outdoor industry is its high barrier of entry for the backpacking community.
So who is buying these?
If you’re spending 80% or more of your life on the road, you’ll definitely benefit from the features and functionality of this bag. Normally it would be a “you get what you pay for”, but with Osprey packs you have a lifetime guarantee on any packs you buy from them, so… that wouldn’t really be a difference-maker.
Long journeys on the trails call for a comfortable pack that doesn’t weigh you down, so these definitely seem like they will do the job, but at that price point, we’ll just take your word for it.
At the time of this posting, the website says there are limited packs left, so someone is definitely buying them.
Based on all the features, do you feel like the Osprey UNLTD backpack offerings are hype or worth it? Leave your comment below!