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Backpack?

GerardoAcma

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2024
Hello, I want to make El Camino from SJPDP (Plus a few days in Portugal and Finisterre) with only one backpack. I am thinking of purchasing the Osprey Aether Plus 60, is it a good option? Or what alternatives can I consider?

Greetings
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
First, does the pack fit you well. Have you tried it on? It looks very big. My pack is 42 liters and I carry my clothes medications and a CPAP machine even in the winter when you need warmer clothes and a sleeping bag. Many others who don't need medical devices carry packs 32 liters or so.

Can you go to a store to try backpacks? Ideally an outdoor store will help you fit the pack and load it so you will know if it is comfortable for your body.
 
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Hello, I want to make El Camino from SJPDP (Plus a few days in Portugal and Finisterre) with only one backpack. I am thinking of purchasing the Osprey Aether Plus 60, is it a good option? Or what alternatives can I consider?

Greetings
Gerardo, welcome to the forum.

As the others have mentioned above that is a rather large pack, and most of us carry something between 30 and 40 liters.

Not only is the plus 60 big it is also very heavy - 2.7kg empty. My 32 litre backpack is 1.4 kg, most backpacks of similar size also have a similar weight. The less weight you carry - within reason - the better

Janets point is very good - the fit is the most important Factor, it needs to be comfortable.

Get together everything you intend to take with you, put it in a bag (a couple of shopping bags will do) and take it to the shop with you. That will give you a very good idea as to how large a pack you will need. Above all else look for something that is comfortable for you. Forum member @davebugg is an expert in this field, he wrote a very comprehensive thread on this here:


Happy reading
 
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Ditto for all above. The “Rule of Thumb” for Camino backpack load is capacity @ 10% of your body weight. From there, you can go to your local sporting goods/outdoor store and look at packs that fit your body type. Places like REI offer expert advice and clinics on these things. Engineering and personal preference to suit your needs is a good guideline for selection of your Camino backpack. It is probably your most important piece of equipment for your walk (after footwear), so choose carefully. I like Deuter backpacks because of their awesome engineering, but that’s me. Do your research, ask questions and be secure in your choice. Buen Camino!!
 
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At first: is it a fitting choice?
You have it on your back for more than a month! Be aware, that it should fit perfectly.

In summer 2019 my 38/45l Backpack wasn't filled to the top. 60l is way to big!
Maybe 60l in late fall or winter, if you need more space for a sleeping-bag and more/thicker cloths.

It's easy as that: the less you carry, the more fun you will have!
 
In just a few responses, a lot of good advice has been posted.

1. Size and fit are interrelated. The pack needs to be a good fit to your body. Regarding capacity, I’ve never needed anything larger than my 36L pack and always have room to spare. I could easily drop down to 28L, but I like that my current 36L Osprey has a sleeping bag compartment.

2. A mistake I made on my first Camino was carrying too much weight. I went by that 10% rule and found myself jettisoning gear by the time I reached Pamplona. It doesn’t make sense to me that a 200 pound person needs 8 pounds more gear than a 120 pound individual. Including my pack weight (48 ounces), I now keep my entire kit at about 12 pounds. Makes for much more pleasant walking.

3. There are a number of threads on this Forum regarding packing lists. You won’t really need a lot in the Camino. You should easily be able to pare down your gear so that it fits into a pack smaller than 60L.

Buen Camino!
 
I have used the same 52l zpacks since my first camino, empty is 500 g. You can roll the top and becomes as small as a 40l. The need for the extra space comes towards the end after i have purchased stuff along the way, spices, wine, extra clothes. Normally i start at about 6kilos and end with 12k 😁
 
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Hello, I want to make El Camino from SJPDP (Plus a few days in Portugal and Finisterre) with only one backpack. I am thinking of purchasing the Osprey Aether Plus 60, is it a good option? Or what alternatives can I consider?

Greetings
Regarding pack size, for that size pack one would assume you are planning on carrying a tent, sleeping bag, cooking utilities, etc.. etc..
If not, 60L is totally unnecessary. I use an Osprey 36L and it’s more than enough. If you’ve done a number of 20-40 day walks… you know what you need better than any of us. But, if not, plan carefully and get as much advice as possible!
 
Hello, I want to make El Camino from SJPDP (Plus a few days in Portugal and Finisterre) with only one backpack. I am thinking of purchasing the Osprey Aether Plus 60, is it a good option? Or what alternatives can I consider?

Greetings
As others have said, I think you'll find 60L capacity is more than you need. After watching multiple YouTube videos of pilgrims back in 2019 and prior, I saw a lot of them had the lightweight Osprey Exos 36L (or maybe 38L???).

By the time I was ready to purchase, Osprey had recently come out with a new design for the Exos, which I didn't care for. Not only were the color combinations worse (I know - superficial), but there were no longer hip belt pockets. I managed to find a new/unused previous generation model on eBay, and bought that. It had plenty of room for two sets of trousers, shirts, socks, underwear, and all the other typical pilgrim gear (microfiber towel, electronics charger and cables, personal care items, etc.). Total weight 7kg, plus another 1kg for a 1L water bottle. Just about 10 pct of my starting weight.

Two years later, my wife accompanied me on the CP, and she bought the Osprey Kyte of around the same capacity as my Exos. I like hers even better than mine, as it has a separate compartment for sleeping bag, shoes, or whatever you want to keep separate but accessible. It also has the hip belt pockets, and lots of other nice features, like an included rain cover.
 
Hello, I want to make El Camino from SJPDP (Plus a few days in Portugal and Finisterre) with only one backpack. I am thinking of purchasing the Osprey Aether Plus 60, is it a good option? Or what alternatives can I consider?

Greetings
I’ve backpacked for many years. I find that when getting a Large pack you will fill it with things you don’t need. Hiking with a heavy pack is not enjoyable, Osprey, Gregory workhorse packs but are heavy dry weight. Ultralight packs that I’ve seen on the trail are Gossamer, Hyperlite, ZPack Arc Blast. Most importantly get fitted for a pack. One size does not fit all! Best of luck
 
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¡Hola Gerardo! My Osprey 36 L pack is plenty big - I carry it on going to Spain, then check it in on the return full of my stuff+ gifts - Spanish olive oil, etc. Claro, todo es una preferencia personal. Buen camino.
 
First, does the pack fit you well. Have you tried it on? It looks very big. My pack is 42 liters and I carry my clothes medications and a CPAP machine even in the winter when you need warmer clothes and a sleeping bag. Many others who don't need medical devices carry packs 32 liters or so.

Can you go to a store to try backpacks? Ideally an outdoor store will help you fit the pack and load it so you will know if it is comfortable for your body.
 
I have been to REI with a friend in the past. Not near one these days.
But I would imagine, since they are so helpful, IF you could go there
or some equivalent, there are very helpful salespeople who are also
hikers that could help you choose? Also, you know you have to walk
it around filled up locally of course before the Camino???
 
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Hello, I want to make El Camino from SJPDP (Plus a few days in Portugal and Finisterre) with only one backpack. I am thinking of purchasing the Osprey Aether Plus 60, is it a good option? Or what alternatives can I consider?

Greetings
I love my Osprey exos 48. It is bigger than absolutely necessary but an ultralight pack so still less than 3 pounds, very comfortable and adjustable, and I am able to then use it for other backpacking that requires more gear than the camino does. good luck!
 
I have been to REI with a friend in the past. Not near one these days.
But I would imagine, since they are so helpful, IF you could go there
or some equivalent, there are very helpful salespeople who are also
hikers that could help you choose? Also, you know you have to walk
it around filled up , course before the Camino???
My husband ordered his pack from 6 Moon Designs. They had him take measurements to ensure the fit (modular parts so you order your preference of belt, straps or vest style, etc). Then the had him fill it and walk around the park where I took photos and we sent them to the company. They then worked with him to ensure the fit, etc. He's quite happy. He went through several packs before deciding on this new one 2 Caminos ago.

On the other hand, I just ordered a non-name brand online on sale and got lucky with fit both times. Everyone is different. Pack, socks, and shoes are all very important for long distance walking.
 
Be sure to try the packs on with the amount of weight in them that you are expecting to carry. A good equipment store will have weights suitable for doing that. As the volume rating on packs goes up, the padding and shape of the shoulder and waist belt also changes to make carrying the weight more comfortable. Therefore, you might want a pack with a larger size rating just to get a suspension system that is more comfortable. (Then resist the temptation to fill it up.)
Personally, I prefer a pack that has a larger capacity than I need because I hate playing backpack Tetris every morning trying to shoehorn my stuff in. Or having to pull everything out to get the one thing I want. I like to be able to just lay my stuff in the bag and then use the compression straps to keep the weight close to my body.
Having said that, 60 litres seems like more volume than you would need.
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
A consideration for a smaller pack is that you will more likely be able to carry it on and not risk loss when traveling (ref @Adelina ). On a trek, many often say that they wish they had taken less. Don't pack your fears and all the "just in case." (fwiw)
 
Hello, I want to make El Camino from SJPDP (Plus a few days in Portugal and Finisterre) with only one backpack. I am thinking of purchasing the Osprey Aether Plus 60, is it a good option? Or what alternatives can I consider?

Greetings
I walked the CF last fall and used a 36L Osprey. It was plenty big and helped me from over packing. You will find many helpful resources for choosing a pack and packing lists from community members.
Buen Camino
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Even better is to buy the gear that you plan to take before you buy your backpack. Bring the gear to store to see how it fits in different packs.
Yep, I totally agree with that. I bought a pack once that had a big pocket on the back and side pockets for water bottles or whatever, thinking that with the main compartment plus the exterior pockets all my stuff would fit. When I got it home and did a test pack I discovered that a full main compartment meant the exterior pockets were too compressed to use for water bottles, jacket, etc. Had to exchange for something bigger.
And learned that with some packs, if you really jam the central compartment the exterior pockets are very difficult to get stuff in and out of.
 
Even better is to buy the gear that you plan to take before you buy your backpack. Bring the gear to store to see how it fits in different packs.
In the circumstances where we don't have much information about the OP's intentions, I think this is the best approach, and which I would recommend to the OP.

While I agree with the general tenor of the advice provided thus far, I am curious why the OP might think that a 60 li pack is necessary. I have carried packs of that volume, and of similar weight to the Aether, but not on the Camino. The last time was on my pilgrimage walk on one of the St Olav's Ways, where there were a couple of sections of several days without places to re-supply food in particular. I have also carried the much lighter Osprey Levity 60 li pack when I was doing a winter walk in England, and packed more cold weather clothing. Not heavy but I felt I needed the volume. It was great in that circumstance.

The major difference in this context is that the load carrying capacity of the Aether Plus 60 is listed as 14-27 kg, while the Levity's maximum load is around 13 kg. Having worn both, the harness of the Levity is not going to be comfortable handling the higher loads involved in carrying several days of food. It was on the margin when I used it on the CP a couple of years ago. While my base weight was around 10.5 kg including my CPAP and medications, there wasn't much margin when water and even a small amount of food was included, and the pack was clearly on its margins for comfortable use.

Osprey don't seem to make the Levity any longer. The closest they have seems to be the Exos range. But there are other makers of lightweight gear. Gossamer Gear packs get well reported on by members who are more dedicated ultra-light aficionados than I am, but there are a few other companies that seem to cater to this market segment as well. If the OP had a genuine need for a pack of that volume, it appears to me that there would be far lighter options than the Aether for that.
 
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While I agree with the general tenor of the advice provided thus far, I am curious why the OP might think that a 60 li pack is necessary. I
It does seem like overkill for a main season Camino though the OP may have other uses in mind for later. I have just walked a few days on the Portugues and the Ingles using a 25 litre pack that was chosen very deliberately because it was a close fit for Ryanair's free cabin baggage allowance. I found it had all the capacity I needed and I would be happy to use it for a longer Camino. My packing for a 10 day Camino would probably be no different from my load for 30 days in practice.
 

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