Osprey Volt 60 ReviewJuly 11, 2016
- Compresses for small loads
- Fits a wide range of body shapes
- Great price
- Suffers under heavy loads
- Doesn’t expand out as well as it compacts in
- Narrow body compartment
The Osprey Volt 60 is a good first backpack for those new to backpacking. This bag will fit most body shapes, is the cheapest in the test group, and will get most people through the learning stages and comfortably into intermediate terrain and trips. The limitations start to stack up with heavier loads and on longer trips.
One of the best thing about this bag is its ability to fit a range of body types. One 6’6” tester, who often struggles to find appropriately fitting bags, enjoyed the Osprey Volt for a weekend scouting trip. Hikers familiar to Osprey will find the suspension comfortable, without the excessive padding that can make their larger bags unwieldy.
The 60L size sits squarely between the size needed for a day trip and a weekend backpacking trek. This bag compacts inwards well, making it reliable for summit pushes or day hikes out from camp, but the narrow body makes it hard to get bulkier items in, such as a bear canister or bulky pots and pans for group trips.
The Volt employs a lightweight rectangular frame that seems overly bouncy at first glance, but holds lighter loads well. For those that are balance-challenged this may be off-putting, but in most terrain it wears well. With heavier loads, most testers prefered something with a less flexible frame.
The Volt held up well during testing. Osprey doesn’t make waterproof claims as grandiose as some companies, but testers took the pack on Yosemite’s famous Mist Trail at the peak of the spring runoff, and didn’t experience any wetness in the interior. The pack also took a few slides descending a fourth class gully off of Liberty Cap, and was no worse for wear.
The Osprey Volt steers clear of the unnecessary extras that leave many experienced backpackers hesitant on their larger bags. The 60L size doesn’t leave much room for ornamentation, and this pack doesn’t try to overreach and be something that it’s not.