Osprey Ariel vs Plus vs Pro Compared [2022 Guide]

We would like to prepare this guide to list the key features and compare the Osprey’s Ariel 65 vs Plus 60/70/85 vs Pro 65. There are lots of differences between the variations of Ariel line and since the Osprey backpacks are far from cheap, we strongly encourage you to read this post (3-4 min).

ARIEL 65 VS PLUS 60/70/85 VS PRO 70: There are lots of differences between the variations of Ariel line and since the Osprey backpacks are far from cheap, we strongly encourage you to read this post (3-4 min).
Osprey Ariel 65 Overall Score
84%
Osprey Ariel Plus 70 Overall Score
88%
Osprey Ariel Pro 65 Overall Score
78%

Short Review for Ariel 65 vs Plus vs Pro Series

If you desperately need a short answer; we recommend the Ariel 65 (Standard Model) over the Plus 60/70/85 and the Pro 65 variations, unless you are planning a trip more than 1 week, thru-hikes or alpine climbing (By the way, load carrying capability of all of them are the same 60 lbs).

This chart, we have put together may also be helpful for you to understand the comparison of Ariel 65 VS Plus 60/70/85 VS Pro 70 and their intentions better:

Review of #Ariel 65Ariel Plus 70Ariel Pro 65
AccessTop, front, sleeping bag compartmentTop, front, sleeping bag compartmentTop
Volume (M Size)65 L70 L65 L
Weight (M Size)4.9 lbs5.8 lbs3.8 lbs
Load Carrying Capability60 lbs70 lbs60 lbs
Hydration CompatibleYesYesYes
PocketsFabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1),
Dual-access stretchy mesh side/water bottle pockets (2),
Dual zippered hipbelt pockets (2)
Fabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1),
Dual front panel zippered pockets (2),
Large dual-access stretchy mesh side/water bottle pockets (2),
Dual zippered hipbelt pockets (2)
2 removable hipbelt pockets;
One zippered and one with a cinch closure
PriceCheck the latest RatesCheck the latest RatesCheck the latest Rates
Trip LengthUp to 1 WeekMore than 1 weekAll Day + Up to 1 week
TypeStandardExpeditionExpedition/Alpine
Men’s Counter PartsAether 55/65Aether Plus 60/70/85/100Aether Pro 70
CampaRest Expert ReviewAriel 65 ReviewAriel Plus 70 ReviewAriel Pro 65 Review

The versions of Osprey’s Ariel line is designed mostly activity specific. Yet, one thing is in common. All of them are in the heavy hauling category and suitable for extended trips.

Before making a decision, it is very important to understand their design intentions. The Plus series are feature rich and suitable for long trips and expeditions. The Pro series are for thru-hikes, mountaineering and alpine climbing (it has strippable features), but could be a frustration considering the organization & features (also pricier than all). On the other hand, the standard model Ariel 65 could meet most of your requirements and still being cost effective compared to the Plus and Pro variations.

Expert Reviews for Variations of Osprey Ariel

Here is our Expert Reviews for Ariel 65 vs Plus 60/70/85 and Pro 65, after a long trip in Europe:

Comparison of #Ariel 65Ariel Plus 70Ariel Pro 65
Overall Score84/10088/10075/100
Comfort8/108/109/10
Load Carrying Capacity8/108/108/10
Features & Organization8/1010/105/10
Breathability & Ventilation8/108/108/10
Versatility8/107/106/10
Adjustability & Fit10/1010/107/10
Weight6/107/1010/10
Accessibility10/1010/107/10
PriceCheck Latest RatesCheck Latest RatesCheck Latest Rates

From scoring stand point, Ariel Plus line is better than the Standard Ariel 55/65, however, it is pricey, heavier, and more suitable for extended trips! This is why we would prefer the standard Ariel over Plus line, unless we have a specific reason for a feature rich design or plan a very long trip.

The Ariel line performs very well as mountaineering backpacks as well as backpacking backpacks. However, we thought the application and design intention of the Ariel line is very limited & specific. On the other hand, we think that the Aura line is more suitable for wider applications (also more comfortable & affordable & Feature-Rich compared to standard Ariel 65 model), unless you are planning an extended trip or hauling heavy loads (Ariel line is the best in this category). You can check out our Osprey Aura vs Ariel comparison to get a clear picture on this.

We have listed the limited applications / specific conditions where the Ariel line fits the best are:

  1. Thru-hikes (Pro Models)
  2. Expeditions / Alpine (Pro & Plus Models)
  3. Winter Applications (Standard & Plus)
  4. Long backpacking Trips: 5 days and more  (Standard & Plus)
  5. Backpacking with kids/pets. (Standard & PLUS)

The reason that makes Ariel line perfect for these kind of activities are:

  • Comfortable bulkier suspension for heavy hauling.
  • AirScape Suspension for maximum stability for carrying heavy load
  • Fit-on-the-fly system on hipbelt & shoulder straps (adjustable & provides custom fit, yet not available on PRO Variation)
  • A central access to main compartment through the top, front & sleeping compartment (Pro version has only top access to main compartment).

Ariel Plus 60 vs Plus 70 vs Plus 85

The Plus series have the best organization among the other Ariel line. When we compare them in between, the only difference is the amount of volume. So, it determines the trip length. However, the Features & Organization is still the same.

Ariel Plus series offer extended trip lengths (a week and more) and hauling heavy loads. They have feature-rich design and the volume capacity range from 60-liters to 100-liters. Both Plus 60, 70 and the 85 options can be loaded up to 60 lbs.

Expert Review for Osprey Ariel Plus Series

Review of #Ariel Plus 70
Overall Score88/100
Comfort8/10
Load Carrying Capacity8/10
Features & Organization10/10
Breathability & Ventilation8/10
Versatility7/10
Adjustability & Fit10/10
Weight7/10
Accessibility10/10
PriceCheck Latest Rates

Considering the weight sensitivity and the packing style, the Ariel Plus series are focused mostly on expedition.

Their suspensions and the hipbelts are more robust to carry heavy loads.  The Fit-on-the-Fly system of Ariel Plus variations (also included in the Ariel 55/65 standard versions) ensures the greatest adjustability. This system has been implemented on both hipbelt and the shoulder straps and maintains close-to-body position of the pack on any technical trail.

So, how does the Fit-on-the-Fly system work? Hipbelt and Shoulder straps have a rip-and-stick Velcro design. You can move the padding via this feature to the place where you meet the best support and comfort. Long story short, they can accommodate different size very well.

The Ariel Plus series have a top lid convertible to daylite pack! It is very simple. First, you need to remove the lid. Then, unzip the top pocket. You will see the shoulder straps, take them out to convert top lid to a daypack!

Osprey Ariel Plus series have a top lid convertible to daylite pack! It is very simple. First, you need to remove the lid. Then, unzip the top pocket. You will see the shoulder straps, take them out to convert top lid to a daypack!

The daypack of the Plus Series are far better than the convertible daypacks of other backpacks, it is fairly large and versatile. We were easily filling it up with our daily needs. It can be used as a separate pack or you can leave it behind to drop some weight.

Ariel Plus 70/85 options are designed to trip length more than 1 week, whereas the Ariel Plus 60 is designed for up to 1 week. If you are not planning a trip length more than 1 week, the Plus 70/85– liters options would be overkill.

Some of our highlights on the Ariel Plus 70:

Review of #Ariel Plus 70
AccessTop, front, sleeping bag compartment
Volume (M Size)70 L
Weight (M Size)5.8 lbs
Load Carrying Capability70 lbs
Hydration CompatibleYes
PocketsFabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1),
Dual front panel zippered pockets (2),
Large dual-access stretchy mesh side/water bottle pockets (2),
Dual zippered hipbelt pockets (2)
PriceCheck the latest Rates
Trip LengthMore than 1 week
TypeExpedition
Men’s Counter PartsAether Plus 60/70/85/100
CampaRest Expert ReviewAriel Plus 70 Review

Ariel 65 vs Plus 60

Basically, the Plus versions of the Ariel are designed to meet the requirements of a long trip. Therefore, they have huge volume and feature rich design. So, if you are not planning a trip more than a week, most probably you are comparing the Ariel 65 with the smallest Plus versions the Ariel Plus 60/70.

Comparison of Osprey ARIEL 65 VS PLUS 60

As you can see from our expert review for Ariel 65 and Plus 70 below, the Ariel Plus 70 is better than the standard Ariel 65 model considering the overall scoring. If you really need a feature rich design than the Ariel Plus series fit the best for your needs. However, it will cost you an extra $80 (65 vs Plus 70) and we think it is not worth it. The Ariel 65 will meet your needs very well, we would recommend it from price & weight stand point.

Expert Review for Standard vs Plus Models

Comparison of #Ariel 65Ariel Plus 70
Overall Score84/10088/100
Comfort8/108/10
Load Carrying Capacity8/108/10
Features & Organization8/1010/10
Breathability & Ventilation8/108/10
Versatility8/107/10
Adjustability & Fit10/1010/10
Weight6/107/10
Accessibility10/1010/10
PriceCheck Latest RatesCheck Latest Rates

These backpacks have lots of things in common. AirScape backpanel design, the Fit-on-the-fly system are the same.

The AirScape design is the lumbar cushioning and airy mesh in the backpanel, it contributes a snug fit to body. Also, it provides high stability when hauling heavy loads.

In the older generation of standard Ariel which was called out as Ariel AG 65, the convertible top lid to daypack was included. However, as we mentioned before Osprey split the Ariel product line in to three groups. And only the Plus version has convertible top lid to daylite daypack.

The complete list of Ariel 65 vs Ariel Plus 70 are as follows:

Comparison of #Ariel 65Ariel Plus 70
AccessTop, front, sleeping bag compartmentTop, front, sleeping bag compartment
Volume (M Size)65 L70 L
Weight (M Size)4.9 lbs5.8 lbs
Load Carrying Capability60 lbs70 lbs
Hydration CompatibleYesYes
PocketsFabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1),
Dual-access stretchy mesh side/water bottle pockets (2),
Dual zippered hipbelt pockets (2)
Fabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1),
Dual front panel zippered pockets (2),
Large dual-access stretchy mesh side/water bottle pockets (2),
Dual zippered hipbelt pockets (2)
PriceCheck the latest RatesCheck the latest Rates
Trip LengthUp to 1 WeekMore than 1 week
TypeStandardExpedition
Men’s Counter PartsAether 55/65Aether Plus 60/70/85/100
CampaRest Expert ReviewAriel 65 ReviewAriel Plus 70 Review

The key differences between Ariel 65 and the Ariel Plus (60 & 70 & 85) are as follows:

  • The Plus versions have additional exterior storage; they have convertible top lids that double as daypacks. It has dual front panel zippered pockets (not available on Ariel 65)
  • We found the organization & features are better on the Plus.
  • Both Ariel 65 and Plus variation includes rain cover.
  • The Ariel 65 is has more robust fabric. The front, top and bottom are made of 420-Denier (D) nylon, elsewhere is 210-D
  • The Ariel Plus versions are made of 210-D.
  • The Plus versions are heavier than the standard Ariel 65 model.
  • From the price stand point, the Plus 70 cost an additional $80.
  • Finally, the Plus version have Stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment (not available on the Ariel 65)

Honestly, we would like to recommend the standard Ariel 65 over the Plus versions, unless you are planning a trip longer than a week. The plus variations are feature-rich and have extra external storage but it will cost you an extra $80 (65 vs Plus 70) and we think it is not worth it. The Ariel 65 will meet your needs very well, unless you have a strong reason to go with the Ariel Plus series.

Ariel Plus (60/70) vs Pro (65)

Generally speaking, both Ariel Plus and Pro series are suitable for expedition. They can be loaded very well up to 60 lbs and do not compromise on the comfort. The actual main difference between these two lines is the features. The features of Ariel Pro 65 are strippable, and we are not a big fan of its organization. However, the Ariel Plus 60 & 70 are feature-rich and very well organized. Therefore, the Pro variation is very suitable for thru-hikes and climbing, whereas, the Plus is a great choice for expeditions/alpine climbing.

Comparison of Osprey ARIEL PLUS (60/70) VS PRO (70)

In the below table, we compared the Ariel Plus 70 with the Pro 65 to highlight the main differences.

Comparison of #Ariel Plus 70Ariel Pro 65
AccessTop, front, sleeping bag compartmentTop
Volume (M Size)70 L65 L
Weight (M Size)5.8 lbs3.8 lbs
Load Carrying Capability70 lbs60 lbs
Hydration CompatibleYesYes
PocketsFabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1),
Dual front panel zippered pockets (2),
Large dual-access stretchy mesh side/water bottle pockets (2),
Dual zippered hipbelt pockets (2)
2 removable hipbelt pockets;
One zippered and one with a cinch closure
PriceCheck the latest RatesCheck the latest Rates
Trip LengthMore than 1 weekAll Day + Up to 1 week
TypeExpeditionExpedition/Alpine
Men’s Counter PartsAether Plus 60/70/85/100Aether Pro 70
CampaRest Expert ReviewAriel Plus 70 ReviewAriel Pro 65 Review

The key differences between Ariel 60 & 70 vs Ariel Pro 65 variations are as follows:

  • The Ariel Pro 65 is lighter (3.8 lbs), and has strippable features to drop weight (Removable top lid & integrated flap jacket cover for lidless use, Removable hipbelt pockets, removable side compression straps, removable dual ice tool loops, removable sleeping pad straps).
  • The medium frame size Ariel Plus is 5.8 lbs. It has removable top lid and it converts to DayLid daypack. Besides that the sleeping pad straps of the Ariel Plus series are also removable.
  • There is only one way to access the interior of the pack on the Pro – from the Top.
  • There are three ways to access the interior of the pack on Plus version –from the top, front (J-Shaped Zipper), and the sleeping bag compartment
  • Ariel Pro 65 – Thru Hikes, type II alpine climbing
  • Ariel Plus 70 – a week on the trail & gear intensive weekend. It offers a stable carry to manage heavy loads.
  • The Pro 65 does not have integrated rain cover, yet the Plus 70 does.
  • The Ariel Plus Series has adjustable Hipbelt & Shoulder Straps (Fit-on-the-Fly). It is very easy to adjust a custom fit.
  • The Ariel Pro 65 has ISOFORM 4 Hardness (Spacer mesh fabric provides a comfortable fit) & ISOFORM4 CM Hipbelt. The Interchangeable harness sizes coupled with heat-moldable hipbelts provide a good fit and comfort.

Expert Review for Plus vs Pro

In the table below, we have listed our expert review for Ariel Plus 70 and Ariel Pro 65:

Comparison of #Ariel Plus 70Ariel Pro 65
Overall Score88/10075/100
Comfort8/109/10
Load Carrying Capacity8/108/10
Features & Organization10/105/10
Breathability & Ventilation8/108/10
Versatility7/106/10
Adjustability & Fit10/107/10
Weight7/1010/10
Accessibility10/107/10
PriceCheck Latest RatesCheck Latest Rates

Unless you are planning a thru-hikes or alpine climbing, we recommend the Ariel Plus 60 & 70 over the Ariel Pro 65, since the Plus is relatively cheaper and has perfect organization & tons of features compared to the Pro 65.

Bottom-line:

We tried to explain the key differences between different variations of the Osprey Ariel Line. If you are seeking final recommendations, here is the take away!

If you need feature rich design and a huge volume for extended trips, the Ariel Plus 60/70/85 series are fine.

If you are planning thru-hikes, expeditions or alpine climbing, then you can go with the Ariel Pro 65. Unless otherwise, we do not recommend the Pro 65.

All of them are heavy hauler, and do not let you down on the extended trips. However, we would like to emphasize that you should consider Ariel 65, unless you have strong reason to go with the Plus or Pro series. The Standard Ariel 55/65 series are more budget, and suitable for 3+days up to a week long. Moreover, it can handle 60 lbs with ease as well as the Plus and Pro Series.

Besides that we recommend checking out our standalone in-depth review of Ariel 65.

Also, we have to say that we are in love with the Osprey Aura line. If you decided to go with the Ariel 65, we strongly encourage you to check our Osprey Aura vs Ariel comparison before making a final decision.

Finally, here is a useful review for the top pick backpacking backpacks: Best Backpacking Backpacks of the Year.

We hope our “Ariel 65 vs Plus 60/70/85 vs Pro 65” review was helpful. Feel free to get in touch in case of any questions via our “Contact-Us” page. The CampArest team is ready to help about the reviewed products on this platform.

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