On my journeys down the years I have backpacked through more places than I can remember. While I keep an actual list of all those towns, cities and villages, I know there are those that I will forget until I check that list again. Some people start off as backpackers and then become suitcase travellers. With me, it was the opposite. I once used a suitcase, can you believe it?? Neither can I, yes I once pulled and tugged a suitcase through the streets of Poland and Germany. I soon learned my lesson and became a backpacker ever since.
But since 2010 I have had the same backpack. I bought my Tahoe in Australia when I was based in Parramatta and that black backpack with grey straps had some memories – I travelled to over 70 countries with it, including all 7 continents. So at the end of 2015, I needed a new big rucksack to go alongside my day bag/hand luggage bag, (the Rotation 180 hand luggage backpack which is my hand luggage and day backpack, used for my laptop and hard drives). For the last three months, I have been travelling with my new backpack, loving it!
When you travel as much as I do, the best place to look for rucksacks these days is online. It saves us the time or going out to shops and searching around for the best deal, besides I hate shopping. I use E-Outdoor.co.uk to order all my backpacking equipment these days, you might have seen my recent post about them, I also used E-Outdoor to order my latest Snugpak Sleeping Bag. It’s based in England, UK, so if you are UK based (even temporarily like me) then this is the place to get your equipment from. Here’s an overview of my latest awesome piece of gear – my new rucksack/large backpack – my Osprey Aether 70. I normally order from them and pick them up when I’m back in the UK – not having an address doesn’t exactly help when I’m backpacking in Kyrgyzstan or Chernobyl!
In terms of size, it’s about the same size as my previous backpack. I went for the medium size by the way – I don’t carry tents or camping mats anymore and 70 litres is ample.
Backpacking/Mountaineering purposes – 70 Litres / ~ 4,300 Cubic Inches
Sizes: S M L XL (I chose medium)
In terms of weight, the Osprey Aether is slightly lighter than my previous backpack. Obviously this makes an ever so slight difference to my travels. Despite the lower weight, it doesn’t lack anything that my previous backpack did – in fact, the new one is better.
My Osprey has a load of compartments and random pockets. So many in fact that four months into backpacking with it, I still find new parts to it!
Side pockets where I keep plastic bags, toilet roll, water and my flask. Bottom pocket for sleeping bag and dirty clothes (in bags). Top pocket for flipflops, coat, rain/snow cover.
Front pocket for toiletries and easy to access items. It also opens from the front and the top, two access options, easy and fast to organise when I’m backpacking fast through Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
The traps are well padded and the backpack fits evenly round my shoulders. It has an equilibrium to it and even though I’m horrendous at sciences, I worked out that this means it fits well, and is easy to backpack with.
I have to admit that my previous backpack I had got used to it – it was so comfortable and this one has taken a while to get used to, which is only natural. It was like a love of mine – the last backpack – think of it – my 100th country and all seven continents secured with that backpack. But my old backpack is no longer in production and I even e-mailed the company to ask them about it and got no response! Customer service eh?
Every day I find extras, hidden in my Osprey Aether! This week it was a sleeve at the back that I can fit a magazine in and two new straps to tighten round the frame of the backpack that I had missed initially.
I am always learning new things about my backpack and I’m excited that I have a pristine state of the art modern 2015 backpacking rucksack for my latest adventures. This backpack has already toured England, Poland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as well as two disputed regions, the Empire of Adammia and the Lagoan Isles. So it’s well on route to outlast the previous one, but another 5 years to go I guess…
Also my previous backpack was lost 4 times by airlines, some shit ones. The new backpack is pristine and hasn’t been lost yet. Fingers crossed it stays that way.
I love this new backpack, of course I recommend it and buy it from my mates at e-Outdoor if you can.
Here is a video of my latest backpack:
11 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Travel Essentials: Introducing My New Rucksack – An Osprey Aether 70”
Ew you carry a towel with you. Graham Hughes taught me 5 yrs to never to bring a towel as it will stink your bag out plus a towel could be hired for a euro.
On my first solo trawlers I stupidly brought a 70l backpack to North America. It cost me $25 to check in a bag of a domestic flight within America. My next 4 solo travels consisted of the same small bag.
Last year I took a small suitcase with my personal items to move to Birmingham. It went from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur to London then Holyhead and Dublin before I settled in Birmingham. The next time I move to the UK I’ll just take a bigger bag
Hi Martin, thanks for the comment. Yes I always carry my own towel – I trust my own hygiene more than someone else’s, plus 1 Euro? You’re kidding me – that’s an extra 30 Euros a month – crazy money! I have never paid extra to check in any of my backpacks Martin – that must have been unlucky. I have everything I need in my two bags. Safe travels. Jonny
Well if you live you life in carry on then there’s is no need to check in a bag unless you are transport liquids over 100ml Or your own bag is over 10kg and you can’t bring it on board. As I alway say just keep it below 10kg otherwise you will be coughing up cash
As for the towel I actually meant 5p http://www.theodysseyexpedition.com/2010/what-not-to-take-backpacking
Hi Martin, We’ll have to agree to disagree then. No way will I stop carrying a towel – I try to shower once a day and love my own towel, not somebody elses and not changing towels every day in different hotels and hostels. As for the bag, I always carry two backpacks – one for clothes and toiletries, the other for my work stuff. The work stuff is carry on luggage – the other bag is for hold luggage on flights. Each bag weighs a maximum of 8 kilograms at any time, usually I’m about 15kilograms altogether. Safe travels. Jonny
Awesome review! I recently got the Aether 70 (small size) and I measured the frame to be just shy of 22 inches. I see that you checked your bag; did it get any damage? I think that if you pack it less than full and not packing it above the frame, then detaching the brain of the pack (as a personal item) I believe it should fit as a carry on, but that applies only for the small size; both the medium and large are too big. Hope that helps.
Hi Herb, I have had the backpack just under 2 years now and zero damage, I could never pack mine full though – I’m a cheap, backpacker who only brings the essentials, so that may change if you bring too much with you. None of them should be advised as taking on hand luggage – too big and rude to other tourists. Take a smaller bag. Best regards, Jonny