Gear Closet: Osprey Volt 60 Backpack

Backpackers and adventure travelers in the market for a high quality, yet cost effective, pack for their next adventure have a serious new contender to consider in the form of the Volt 60 from Osprey. This durable, versatile and lightweight pack is well suited for everything from weekend trips to local trails to weeks long excursions to the far corners of the planet.

As with all packs from Osprey, the Volt is very comfortable to wear and carries a full load quite nicely. Of course, comfort is a relative thing of course but it always starts with getting a good fit. At first glance, it is easy to be intimidated by the Volt’s various belts, clips and straps, but once  you pull the pack on, it’s a breeze to adjust everything to your liking. Admittedly, I have a lot of experience adjusting a backpack, but even taking that into account, it takes just a minute or two to get the Volt locked in for your body type.

Adjusting the exact fit of the Volt extends to the torso as well, with the length being adjustable just as quickly and easily as the rest of the pack. A quick tug on a velcro attachment allows the back panel to slide more than five inches up or down, making it possible for this one pack to work well for people of a variety of heights. Out of the box, my Volt was far too short for me, but once again I was able to adjust it and find the right fit in a matter of moments.

I happen to be an unabashed fan of Osprey packs but even I was impressed with how thick the Volt’s padding is on both the shoulder straps and the hipbelt. That padding helps to make carrying a heavy load much easier and at the end of the day you won’t feel quite so sore. The hipbelt also comes with two surprisingly spacious pockets which are perfect for a point and shoot camera, energy bars, GPS device or what ever else you want to keep close at hand.

The interior of the pack doesn’t disappoint either providing an ample 60L of storage. Osprey says that’s enough for 2-5 of travel, although I’ve found if you know how to pack properly and don’t mind going a bit light, it is enough to go well beyond that. The top pocket on the Volt is large and spacious as well, providing a nice option for storing small but essential items. A dedicated sleeping bag compartment provides access from both the interior of the Volt or through a zippered wide-mouthed access port at the bottom. A mesh pocket on the back is perfect for overflow storage, while two more on the sides serve as bottle holders.

Other features include a hydration sleeve that can accommodate up to a 3-liter bladder, sleeping pad straps, ice axe loops and trekking pole storage. In short, Osprey has hit all of the important points with the Volt, delivering a product that continues the company’s legacy of high quality in simple, well designed and compact package.

First time backpack buyers will find the Volt to be a great option, particularly because it comes with a price point that is easy to swallow. Considering everything that this pack delivers, the $179 cost seems like a real bargain. And since it is built with durable, high quality fabrics it should be an investment that will last for many years to come.

That’s not to say veteran adventure travelers won’t find a lot to love here as well. This is a comfortable, well built pack that can easily carry a heavy load without missing a beat. It has everything that we look for in a backpack and then some.

I happen to love the 60L size, which for me seems to be the sweet-spot for “just enough” storage for a trip. But if you find that is a bitt too confining for your needs, the Volt also comes in a 75L version as well. That pack shares its little brothers quality and comfort with just a bit more storage.

If you have big camping, backpacking or adventure travel plans for the year ahead, and you need a pack to see you through, the Volt is a great choice.