In advertisement’s it is often portrayed that “bigger is better” but is this the case? When it comes to backpacking in the wild, the question can be a challenging one. It all depends on whether the features are worth the size and comfort.
The Osprey Exos 38 Features
In this Osprey Exos series, AirSpeed ™ suspension, proper torso sizing and ergonomic design work together to provide comfort without sacrificing its ultralight weight making it a favorite on the Appalachian Trail. Hiking enthusiasts love the Spring 2014 Redesign that has further improved this pack’s innovative design and features.
Size and Capacity
The Exos 38 has a 38 liter capacity or 2300 cubic inches.
Ease of Access and Organization
Like its bigger brothers, the Exos 48 and 58, the Osprey Exos 38 offers a removable floating lid. This removable lid sports top as well as under-the-lid zippered pockets for quick access for small items. To remove this lid, simply release all the compression straps and buckles.
When the floating lid is removed, a built-in FlapJacket ™ closure system is included to protect your belongings from the elements.
Multiple cord tie-off points are built into both sides of the front panel of the backpack. These cord tie-offs allow for quick attachment of additional items and gear.
A similar, single loop is found closer to the base of the backpack. When combined with the compression strap at the top of the backpack’s side, this loop becomes a stable and secure method to carry an ice tool.
Additional zippered pockets are included inside the hip-belt for quick access to essentials. The Exos 38 also features a front mesh pocket as well as two side mesh pockets. These side pockets are built with InsideOut™ compression. InsideOut™ compression allows you to store additional gear externally and within reach.
Trekking poles can also be stored within reach using the Stow-on-the-Go™ pole attachment. To use this feature you must first shorten your trekking poles, pull elasticized loop from the left side of pack and insert basket end of poles. Then on your left harness strap engage the cord lock feature. Thirdly, secure the pole handles in this loop and tighten until secure.
Removable sleeping pad straps create a cross functional feature to carry additional external gear at the very bottom of the backpack.
The Exos 38 is hydration compatible. An internal sleeve is sewn into the back-panel of the backpack along with a clip attachment. This internal sleeve can accommodate up to a three liter hydration reservoir. There are two routing points for hydration tubes located at the top of either side of the backpack.
Comfort and Suspension System
The Exos 38 features a built in peripheral frame made of 6065 aluminum alloy. An internal suspended cross strut combined with the frame creates wonderful load carrying support without weighing the backpack down.
A 3D mesh back-panel provides excellent side ventilation as well as ventilation for the back. The hip-belt is padded with Exoform ™ as is the harness. The comfortable padding is included in these critical points to create smooth, breathable contact for complete comfort and stability.
A sternum strap is also included with a whistle buckle and woven pockets.
The Exos 38 is made of 100D high tenacity nylon as well as 100D high tenacity rip-stop nylon materials.
The Osprey Hornet 32
Size and Capacity
The Osprey Hornet 32 has a slightly smaller capacity than the Osprey Exos. The Hornet has a capacity of 32 liters.
Ease of Access and Organization
In terms of organization, the Hornet 32 is very similar to the Exos 38 with the primary difference being size capacity.
This Hornet 32 offers an ultralight, multi-compartment top pocket, similar tie-offs as the Osprey Exos, a single ice tool loop and adjustable overskirt compression. Loops on the bottom of the pack are included to carry additional gear such as a sleeping pad.
It also features the InsideOut™ pocket compression found in the Exos backpack as well as a stretchable pocket on the front panel of the backpack. The Hornet 32 even features a zippered pocket on the hip-belt like the Exos 38.
The Osprey Hornet is hydration compatible. While the Osprey Exos 38 had an internal sewn pocket, the Hornet features an exterior hydration compartment for easy access and to save interior space.
Comfort and Suspension
In terms of comfort, the Hornet offers very similar spacer mesh, air ventilation, and back-panel suspension using the hip-belt and adjustable shoulder straps. It appears to lack the built-in peripheral frame found in the Exos 38.
Both the Exos 38 and the Hornet 32 boast of ultralight weight and comfort. By comparing the two products side by side it becomes clear that sometimes “bigger is better”.
The Exos 38 provides a bigger storage capacity without sacrificing comfort. With its built in frame, it provides more stability and weight distribution than that in the Hornet.
While the internal organization is very similar as are the external tie-offs, the Exos trekking pole storage feature is very valuable for the serious hiker.
With these points in mind, a frequent day-long and thru-hiker may want to steer toward the Exos 38 over the Hornet 32.
Other Osprey Packs Exos 38 Comparisons
- The Osprey Exos 38 Vs the Osprey Talon 33
- Osprey Packs Exos 38 Vs Osprey Hornet 32
- Osprey Packs Exos 38 VS Osprey Packs Kestrel 48
- Osprey Packs Atmos 50 vs Osprey Packs Exos 38
Other Osprey Hornet 32 Comparisons
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