Osprey Exos 48 vs 58 - which is better?
These are two extremely popular Osprey backpacks, and for good reason. A favorite with ultralight enthusiasts, the Exos is a classic hiking backpack renowned for its weight distribution, pocket organization, comfort and breathability.
But should you get the 48 or 58? Well, how ultralight do you want to go? Both of these packs are lightweight – in fact, there’s only a couple of ounces between them. And apart from the 10 Liters difference, these packs are pretty much identical in terms of design and features.
So let’s go over all the cool things about the Exos and weigh up – pardon the pun – the pros and cons of the 48 vs 58 models and whether you really need the extra space.
Want more options? Check out our best hiking backpacks buying guide.
And you can see some of our other Osprey backpack reviews here.
Let's get specific: The only major difference between the Osprey Exos 48 and the Osprey Exos 58 is their size.
The Osprey Exos 48 comes in at 30 x 14 x 12 inches.
The Osprey Exos 58 comes in at 32 x 14 x 14 inches.
As you can see, the 58 is a bit bigger than the 48, plus it has 61 liters of internal storage space, as opposed to the 51 liter capacity of the Osprey Exos 48.
On that same note, the Exos 58 weighs 2.49 pounds, whereas the Exos 48 weighs 2.4 pounds.
These are the only differences between the two backpacks that are worth mentioning at all. In other words, the Exos 48 is better suited for slightly shorter trips, less gear, and smaller people, whereas the 58 is just the beefed up version that is better for carrying a little more gear. But bear in mind, with the extra space you might be tempted to pack gear you don't really need.
On the other hand, if you're disciplined with your packing - and since the Exos 58 is only a slightly heavier pack - you're not sacrificing much by getter the bigger bag and having the option to pack more for longer stints on the trail. The Exos is, after all, a favourite amongst the notorious Appalachian Trail thru-hikers.
Both of these backpacks are built using mainly high-tenacity nylon. In other words, both the Exos 48 and 58 are extremely durable. The material is strong, resistant to ripping, and it is stretchy too. In other words, you can really load these things to the limit and push them past the point where other backpacks would break. In our opinion, both the Osprey Exos 48 and 58 are some of the most durable camping backpacks you can get your hands on right now.
Something that is really neat about both of these bags is that they have an interior sleeve for hydration pouches. Both the Exos 48 and 58 can accommodate hydration pouches up to 3 liters, or as small as 1 liter. It is always convenient when you have hydration on the go without even having to take your backpack off. One thing to note is that because the Exos 48 is a little smaller than the 58, you might want to use a smaller hydration pouch so you can save a little space.
Both of these backpacks come with a great 6065 aluminum alloy peripheral frame. For one, this helps to greatly increase the durability of both of these backpacks thanks to the extra support. At the same time, this frame also helps make it easier to organize the backpacks because the walls don’t fall inwards. Furthermore, the frames also assist in carrying as they take a large amount of the load off of your back.
Something that we really appreciate about both of these backpacks is that they have great support systems. Both come with an Exo-form sewn-in hip belt that is adjustable and has superior padding. Hip belts are always great additions to any camping pack because they help to make carrying them much easier. At the same time, both the Exos 48 and 58 also come with EVA foam padded harnesses that are breathable and moisture wicking. In terms of comfort, both of these bags are top notch.
Both the Osprey Exos 48 and 58 come with a floating removable top pocket that is great for little expeditions away from the campsite. It’s good for keeping small items.
A comparable lightweight hiking backpack in size and weight (but not price) is the BOLANG Summit 45 Internal Frame Pack (link to Amazon).
One of the big differences is that the Bolang is lighter, smaller, and has less volume than both the Osprey Exos 48 and 58. This can be a good or bad thing depending on your needs. The 48 and 58 also have more room for larger hydration sleeves, not to mention that they have better support and suspension too. The only thing that we would say is better about the Bolang is that it is totally waterproof, whereas the 48 and 58 are only water resistant.
Osprey Exos 48 vs 58: Our verdict – Skipped to this section? No worries, here’s what you need to know:
For us, the extra 10 litres you get with the Exos 58 makes it the clear winner. It’s only a little bit more expensive, and a tiny bit heavier, so you’re not sacrificing much weight by choosing the larger bag and giving yourself more gear options on longer trips.
For shorter hikes, say 5 days or less, pack less and the 58 will still compress down to keep it compact and comfortable. With that said, if you’re a true minimalist, definitely go with the Exos 48. =ZIP=