I took this pack on a February 2014 winter camping and cross-country skiing trip to Glacier National Park. I didn't get the belt heat molded, but I did break in the pack before taking it along, and even with my heavy load it was quite comfortable. The suspension does a great job of transferring the weight to my hips even with a 50+ pound load. The stretch mesh pocket on the back works great for holding quick-access items, and the straps are adjustable enough that I was able to mount the top compartment (the one that doubles as a fanny pack) over the mesh pocket rather than on top of the pack, so that I could wear my wide-brimmed hat. The numerous loops come in handy for strapping on a variety of additional equipment. The stretch mesh pockets on the sides are large enough to hold some small pieces of equipment in the bottom and still hold a 32-oz Nalgene bottle securely.
I picked up this pack before I went backpacking around Ecuador. Since then, I've used it for everything from weekend backpacking trips, hitching down the west coast, and week long backcountry trips. There is so much room that if you fill it, you are going to be carrying a very very heavy load. Not many pockets but if you put everything in stuff sacks, you can stay organized.
Let's forget the fact that I got this backpack on sale. If I knew what I know now, I would have paid full price plus. Adjustability was key for me when I was looking for a backpack and this Osprey delivered. I put 30 lbs of gear in the pack and spent about 2 hours adjusting and tweaking the pack. Lots of room as well. I am up to 40 lbs in the pack now and there still is little room left. I got the waist belt heat fitted and all I know is that the 40 lbs I had on felt like 25 lbs. Comfort is huge for me and this Backpack rocks!
I have gone on several trips with this pack. I typically care ~35 pounds or so, but have carried as much as 45. The 70L has a LOT of storage. I sometimes don't even use compression sacks just to fill out some of the space in the pack. This pack has a lot of features and compartments like the hydration pack compartment and trekking pole holder. I really like the straight jacket design of the outside straps. You can really compress this pack down when you are carrying a lot of gear. This pack is also pretty comfortable too. The airflow design on the back really helps out with sweat buildup. The shoulder straps are fantastic. This pack really has several straps to get the fitting just right. I'd highly recommend this pack for anyone!
The Osprey Aether 70 has been like the friend I never had. Always there for me, providing me with cool refreshment (hydration pack), and making sure I have everything. I can't say enough good things about this pack. It is light, sturdy, and Osprey stands behind their products with a lifetime warranty.The only thing I would note to people is to ensure you correctly measure yourself for a pack. I'm 5'10 165lbs and the perfect pack for me was a small waiststrap and medium shoulder harness and pack. Make sure you measure correctly for optimal fit.
"Great Pack, Needs More Organizational Pockets"
I love almost everything about this pack. It has plenty of room, Trekking pole holsters, a hydration pouch sleeve, a detachable fanny pack, and the best suspension system I've ever had. That being said, my only complaint about this pack is there are not enough organizational pockets. There are essentially 3 main compartments, the top which is detachable, the middle main compartment, and the bottom compartment. There are no seperate organizational pockets in these compartments. However, I would definitely recommend this pack to a friend, just be ready to use stuff sacks!
"Great balance of features and comfort for a reasonable price."
I have carried my Aether 70 now on handful of weekend trips and I must say I absolutely adore it. The suspension on this pack is comfortable even over 50 lbs. I prefer the firmer hip belt to the more pillow like belt on the baltoro. And the heat molding available for the hip belt truly makes for a perfect fit. The plethora of straps and cinches provide for a well balanced and close fit. This allows for great flexibility in use from 2-3 day trips to longer treks where more space is provided. The placement of the water bladder outside the main bag allows for filling of the bladder without having to unpack all you gear.
I've had this pack for a few years now. Super comfortable, having the hip belt molded is a pretty spiffy feature that I think makes a difference. The backpanel and shoulder straps have a nice tight fit so the pack doesn't jostle around much either. I've taken it on a number of backpacking trips and it's held up really well. I have friends who have the same model and I've heard few complaints about it from them. Very much recommended!
"This pack hauled my gear on multi-week trips and was amazing!"
I used this pack 2 years ago for philmont, where we backpacked for ~2 weeks in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range, this pack was amazing. My pack weighed around 45-50 lbs and the suspension held up great! I am very abusive towards my gear and its amazing at how well my pack looks. I think its cool how you can custom mold the hip belt towards your hip but I dont feel that it improves the comfort drastically. The pack gets really small too, which is a great feature, I have used it for day trips when i am needing to haul a bunch of gear. Overall I love my pack and osprey is a great company (I got the blue one, It looks sexy).