Osprey Aether vs Plus vs Pro: Compared [2022 Guide]

We would like to prepare this guide to list the key features and compare the Osprey’s Aether 65 vs Plus 60/70/85/100 vs Pro 70. There are lots of differences between the variations of Osprey’s Aether Line and since the these backpacks are far from cheap, we strongly encourage you to read this post (3-4 min).

the complete list of items for AETHER 65 VS PLUS 60/70/85/100 VS PRO 70 comparison
Osprey Aether 65 Performance Score
84%
Osprey Aether Plus 70 Performance Score
88%
Osprey Aether Pro 70
78%

Short Review for Aether 65 vs Aether Plus vs Aether Pro Series

If you desperately need a short answer; we recommend the Aether 65 (Standard Model) over the Plus 60/70/85/100 and the Pro 70 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, except Plus 100-liters, it can load up to 70 lbs).

The versions of Osprey’s Aether 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 Aether 65 could meet most of your requirements and still being cost effective compared to the Plus and Pro variations.

This chart, we have put together may also be helpful for you to understand their intentions better and list the key points of Aether 65 vs Aether Plus 60/70/85/100 vs Aether Pro 70:

Comparison of #Aether 65Aether Plus 70Aether Pro 70
AccessTop, front, sleeping bag compartmentTop, front, sleeping bag compartmentTop
Volume (M Size)65 L70 L70 L
Weight (M Size)5 lbs5.6 lbs3.3 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
Women’s Counter PartsAriel 55/65Ariel 60/70/85Ariel Pro 65
CampaRest Expert ReviewAether 55/65 ReviewAether Plus Variations ReviewAether Pro 70 Review

Here is our Expert Reviews for Aether 65 vs Plus 60/70/85/100 and Pro 70, after a long trip in Europe:

Comparison of #Aether 65Aether Plus 70Aether Pro 70
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, Aether Plus line is better than the Standard Aether 55/65, however, it is pricey, heavier, and more suitable for extended trips! This is why we would prefer the standard Aether over Plus line, unless we have a specific reason for a feature rich design or plan a very long trip.

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

We have listed the limited applications / specific conditions where the Aether 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 Aether 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).

Osprey Aether Plus 60 vs Plus 70 vs Plus 85 vs Plus 100

The Plus series 60/70/85/100 have the best organization among the other Aether 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.

Aether Plus series offer extended trip lengths (a week and more) and hauling heavy loads. They a 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, whereas, the 100-liters options can be loaded up to 70 lbs.

The Performance Chart for the Plus Series

Review of #Aether 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 Aether 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 Aether Plus variations (also included in the Aether 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 Aether 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!

Steps to convert top lid to daylite daypack for Aether Plus 60 & 70 & 85 & 100-liters options

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.

The Aether Plus 70/85/100 options are designed to trip length more than 1 week, whereas the Aether Plus 60 is designed for up to 1 week. If you are not planning a trip length more than 1 week, the Plus 70/85/100 – liters options would be overkill.

Some of our highlights on the Aether Plus 70:

Review of #Aether Plus 70
AccessTop, front, sleeping bag compartment
Volume (M Size)70 L
Weight (M Size)5.6 lbs
Load Carrying Capability70 lbs
Hydration CompatibleYes
PocketsFabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1),
Dual front panel zippered pockets for easy-access storage (2),
Large dual-access stretch mesh side water bottle pockets (2),
Dual zippered hipbelt pockets (2)
PriceCheck the latest Rates
Trip Lengthmore than 1 week
TypeExpedition
Women’s Counter PartsAriel 60/70/85
CampaRest Expert ReviewAether Plus Variations Review

OSprey Aether 65 vs Aether Plus 60

Basically, the Plus versions of the Aether 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 Aether 65 with the smallest Plus versions the Aether Plus 60/70.

Complete list for AETHER 65 VS PLUS 60 Comparison

As you can see from our expert review for Aether 65 and Plus 70 below, the Aether Plus 70 is better than the standard Aether 65 model considering the overall scoring. If you really need a feature rich design than the Aether 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 Aether 65 will meet your needs very well, we would recommend it from price & weight stand point.

The Comparıson Chart for Osprey AEther vs AEther Plus Series

Comparison of #Aether 65Aether 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 Aether which was called out as Aether AG 70, the convertible top lid to daypack was included. However, as we mentioned before Osprey split the Aether product line in to three groups. And only the Plus version has convertible top lid to daylite daypack.

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

Comparison of #Aether 65Aether Plus 70
AccessTop, front, sleeping bag compartmentTop, front, sleeping bag compartment
Volume (M Size)65 L70 L
Weight (M Size)5 lbs5.6 lbs
Load Carrying Capability60 lbs70 lbs
Hydration CompatibleYesYes
PocketsFabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1)
Dual-access stretch mesh side water bottle pockets (2),
Dual zippered hipbelt pockets (2),
Fabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1),
Dual front panel zippered pockets for easy-access storage (2),
Large dual-access stretch 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
Women’s Counter PartsAriel 55/65Ariel 60/70/85
CampaRest Expert ReviewAether 55/65 ReviewAether Plus Variations Review

The key differences between Aether 65 and the Aether Plus (60 & 70 & 85 & 100) 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 Aether 65)
  • We found the organization & features are better on the Plus.
  • Both Aether 65 and Plus variation includes rain cover.
  • The Aether 65 is has more robust fabric. The front, top and bottom are made of 420-Denier (D) nylon, elsewhere is 210-D
  • The Aether Plus versions are made of 210-D.
  • The Plus versions are heavier than the standard Aether 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 Aether 65)

Honestly, we would like to recommend the standard Aether 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 Aether 65 will meet your needs very well, unless you have a strong reason to go with the Aether Plus series.

Plus (60 & 70) vs Pro (70):

Generally speaking, both Aether 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 Aether Pro 70 are strippable, and we are not a big fan of its organization. However, the Aether 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.

Complete list for AETHER PLUS (60/70) VS PRO (70) comparison

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

Comparison of #Aether Plus 70Aether Pro 70
AccessTop, front, sleeping bag compartmentTop
Volume (M Size)70 L70 L
Weight (M Size)5.6 lbs3.3 lbs
Load Carrying Capability70 lbs60 lbs
Hydration CompatibleYesYes
PocketsFabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1),
Dual front panel zippered pockets for easy-access storage (2),
Large dual-access stretch 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
Women’s Counter PartsAriel 60/70/85Ariel Pro 65
CampaRest Expert ReviewAether Plus Variations ReviewAether Pro 70 Review

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

  • The Aether Pro 70 is lighter (3.2 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 Aether Plus is 5.6 lbs. It has removable top lid and it converts to DayLid daypack. Besides that the sleeping pad straps of the Aether 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
  • Aether Pro 70 – Thru Hikes, type II alpine climbing
  • Aether Plus 70 – a week on the trail & gear intensive weekend. It offers a stable carry to manage heavy loads.
  • The Pro 70 does not have integrated rain cover, yet the Plus 70 does.
  • The Aether Plus Series has adjustable Hipbelt & Shoulder Straps (Fit-on-the-Fly). It is very easy to adjust a custom fit.
  • The Aether Pro 70 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.

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

The Comparison Chart for Osprey Aether Plus vs Pro

Comparison of #Aether Plus 70Aether Pro 70
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 Aether Plus 60 & 70 over the Aether Pro 70, since the Plus is relatively cheaper and has perfect organization & tons of features compared to the Pro 70.

Bottom-line:

We tried to explain the key differences between different variations of the Osprey Aether Line : Aether 65 vs Plus 60/70/85/100 vs Pro 70. 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 Aether Plus 60/70/85/100 series are fine.

If you are planning thru-hikes, expeditions or alpine climbing, then you can go with the Aether Pro 70. Unless otherwise, we do not recommend the Pro 70.

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 Aether 65, unless you have strong reason to go with the Plus or Pro series. The Standard Aether 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 detailed review of Aether 65.

Also, we have to say that we are in love with the Osprey Atmos line. If you decided to go with the Aether 65, we strongly encourage you to check our Osprey Atmos vs Aether 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 “Aether 65 vs Plus 60/70/85/100 vs Pro 70” 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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