Osprey Renn 65 $299
Used by: Pack destroyer Hazel Phillips
Used for: Six months
Osprey packs are known for their comfortable harnesses and the women’s specific Renn lives up to the hype. It’s contoured and padded and helps with stable load distribution (it’s designed for carrying 14-18kg).
It’s an entry-level pack with a one-size-fits-all frame that has 10cm of adjustability. The mesh back helps with airflow, but it does mean the load sits slightly further away from the fulcrum of your back.
It is supremely spacious. I’ve used it on a five-day trip and reckon it could extend to a week-long trip.
The roomy side pockets fit a Nalgene-sized bottle and have an alternative horizontal entry point, which can be useful for accessing things by reaching behind your hips without taking the pack off.
Hip belt pockets are now a must for me. On the Renn these are small (a smartphone just fits) and can’t be zipped up using only one hand.
There are a few drawbacks of the design. The fixed lid zip enclosure is tight which makes it difficult to get things in and out; there’s no back stash pocket; and the colours are a bit boring (grey, plum and greyish blue). There’s also no ice axe loop.
Verdict: An ideal and basic entry-level pack, reasonably lightweight (1500g) with a comfortable harness, sturdy frame and without too many silly bells and whistles.