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Our Review: Osprey Ariel Plus 70 Women’s Backpacking Pack

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This is a part of our review series, where we give detailed reviews of all of the gear that we use on our trips.

One of our favorite items that we use on our trips is the Osprey Ariel Plus 70. We love it for its large capacity on longer trips, the front panel zip access, the adjustable fit, and the convertible lid into a day pack.

We love it so much that we use them on our Yosemite Backpacking Trip and our Grand Canyon Backpacking Trip.


Explorer chicks sporting the Osprey Ariel Plus 70 at the Grand Canyon


And for those who are ready to commit to a trekking backpack of their own, this is the pack you’ll want.

The Ariel Plus 70 has an impressive capacity, one of the largest that Osprey currently manufactures for women. With a volume of 70 liters (4272 cubic inches), the Ariel Plus 70 holds an immense amount of gear. And unlike other packs in this size range, the Ariel Plus is designed to take hikers deep into the backcountry, far beyond any hopes of resupply.

So, is this women’s-specific hiking backpack just the thing you need to discover new trails and explore the unexplored wilderness?

Let’s find out.


Overview: the Osprey Ariel Plus 70

Perfect for: Hikers that enjoy long, multi-day trips or the can’t-decide-what-not-to-bring trekkers.


    • It has a roomy main compartment, a separate sleeping bag partition, and a large front pocket.

  • The back system is padded and ventilated, which keeps your back dry and cool while hiking.
  • The backpack boasts an All-Mighty lifetime guarantee from Osprey.


    • When completely loaded with gear, it can be rather awkward and bothersome to take on and off.

    • After long periods of use, some of the smaller buckles will need replacing.

  • Not the best fit for small-framed women.



Who the Osprey Ariel Plus 70 Is For

This pack has a lot of features that make it a great choice for any backpacker, whether you’re hiking all day or traveling leisurely. However, this bag is not for the gram counters who prefer bags that are lighter. Because of its high volume capacity and high weight capacity, the Osprey Ariel Plus 70 comes in at a hefty 5.5-5.8lbs (2.5-3.6kg) depending on the size. Although, while the weight and size of this pack may seem imposing at first glance, most travelers will be thrilled with all of its extra features and storage options.

And that’s kinda why we like it. It’s perfect for gear-heavy, multi-day treks, which is our bread and butter at Explorer Chick.


Explorer chicks sporting the Osprey Ariel Plus 70 in Yosemite


Our Favorite Osprey Ariel Key Features


Suspension and Harness

The Custom Fit-on-the-Fly hip belt system makes fitting the pack to your hips, upper back, and chest a breeze. Contoured shoulder straps and a padded waist belt provide a comfortable and secure fit. Also, the adjustable torso length and AirScape internal frame make the backpack fit nicely and grant hikers the ability to comfortably carry more weight on their backs without any unnecessary back pain.

The epic suspension that Osprey is known for



The backpack’s body is made from high-quality bluesign®-approved high-tenacity 210d nylon and PFC-free DWR. The bottom of the pack is made from a 200d Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) material, which helps protect it from scrapes and scratches. UHMWPE is the source material for Dyneema and Spectra fibers, both super-durable materials that are used for a wide range of products that require superior toughness and lightweight properties.


The Osprey Ariel Plus backpack is a true multi-day backpack. The top lid, known as the DayLid, converts into a versatile daypack that hikers can use for shorter hikes or as a great option for a carry-on bag when traveling. The Ariel also features a large zippered pocket and side compression straps which can be used to carry a sleeping pad, a jacket, or other bulky items.


Front panel opening to organized chaos


The front panel of the backpack has a large zippered mesh pocket while the inside houses a convenient pouch for a water bladder. The main compartment of the backpack also has a zippered pocket for other items you may want quick access to. With a capacity of 70 Liters facilitated by a total of 9 pockets and compartments, you can carry all the supplies and gear you’ll need for your trip.


Compression Straps

The Ariel 70 Plus has two sets of compression straps, the two horizontal front straps and the two z-style removable straps located on both sides of the pack. These straps help to stabilize the load and can even be used to secure essential items such as trekking poles, ice tools, or even an extra pair of hiking shoes.


Added Extras

The Osprey Ariel Plus 70 also comes with a ton of added extras, including:

  • A PFC durable water repellent (DWR) finish rain cover that can be attached to the backpack with two straps and two clips.
  • Dual ice axe loops with bungee tie-offs to ensure they are within handy reach during steep ascents.
  • An internal hydration reservoir sleeves and water bottle pockets to keep you hydrated while out on the trails.
  • A reinforced front stash pocket lets you carry extra layers or treats for snack time. Plus, dual zipper pockets on the hip belt let you securely store small frequently used items.
  • The dual front panel zippered pockets provide easy-access storage, while mesh water bottle pockets keep your cargo from getting soggy in case of a spill.


Warranty Info

Osprey will repair or replace any of their backpacks no matter if it is accidentally damaged or defective due to a material or workmanship flaw. The company guarantees If they are unable to perform a functional repair on your pack, they will happily replace it with an identical model of equal value at no additional charge.




What is the difference between Osprey Aura and Ariel?

The Osprey’s Aura and Ariel share many of the same qualities, but there are some contrasts to take note of. The Aura has a maximum capacity of 65L whereas the Ariel can hold up to 75L. The Ariel features 7 compression straps while the Aura comes with just 5.


What size Osprey pack should I get?

Osprey backpacks are specially designed for day trips, weekend trips, and multi-day adventures. Day trips require an Osprey backpack with 13 liters / 800 cubic inches like the Osprey Daylite Pack. Weekend trips require an Osprey backpack with 35 to 50 liters / 2000 to 3000 cubic inches like the Osprey Kestrel 36. Or, when you’re planning a multi-day adventure, make sure you can bring everything you need on your trip by using an Osprey backpack like the Ariel Plus 60 to 85 liters / 3600 to 5200 cubic inches of space.


Final Thoughts

The Osprey Ariel Plus 70 Pack for Women is an extraordinarily well-made backpack. The design is extremely well thought out. The pack has plenty of pockets to keep your gear organized. It can also carry a lot of weight, which is important for backpackers that are carrying a lot of gear. And because this pack is so comfortable, it can be used for long multi-day backpacking trips. It also has a lifetime warranty, which is certainly a huge bonus particularly if you are a hiker that demands a lot from their gear.

If you are looking for a pack for extended backpacking trips, then you owe it to yourself to check out this pack from Osprey.

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