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Differences between Osprey's Aether and Gregory's Baltoro:
- Daypack: This is probably the most glaring difference of all. Removable hydration sleeve of Baltoro transforms into a pretty rudimentary daypack. Whereas the convertible top lid daypack of Aether AG transforms into a legit one.
- The difference is pretty MIND BLOWING actually! Check them out and see yourself:
- Gregory Baltoro Daypack: Front View - Rear View
- Aether AG Daypack: Front View [admirable!] - Rear View
- As you see, Aether AG daypack is fully equipped: A legit hipbelt, sternum strap, thick and padded harness, hydration sleeve, an exterior pocket, etc. Baltoro lacks all of this!
- The difference is pretty MIND BLOWING actually! Check them out and see yourself:
- Pockets: Technically speaking, Baltoro comes with more exterior pockets (9 vs 7). But the only function of its extra 2 pockets is accessing side mesh water bottle holders at each side on the go. In other words, they enable horizontal installment.
- Aether AG side mesh water bottle holders already enable this without having to adding two additional holders, so I'd look at these packs as they have the same amount of pockets.
- More importantly, the hipbelt pockets of Aether AG are much better than those of Baltoro. So, to me, Aether AG is the winner here.
- Raincover: Baltoro offers an integrated raincover, whereas you'd have to get this COMPATIBLE one separately for Aether AG.
- Hydration Sleeve: Aether AG offers an external hydration sleeve whereas the Baltoro offers an internal one.
#Sidenote: All these differences apply when comparing the women's counterparts as well: Gregory Deva vs Osprey Ariel.
In short, think of Baltoro as a solid alternative to the Aether AG...
...but with aforementioned drawbacks.
I'd probably recommend you the Aether AG 70 for trips that last up to, say, 4-5 nights. Anything longer than that and I'd get the Aether AG 85 ONLY IF I can't get Osprey Xenith 75 for some reason.
Unless you come across a Baltoro on sale for at least, say, 50 USD cheaper than the corresponding Aether AG, then the sacrifices mostly wouldn't worth the price decrease in my opinion.
Last words: These packs are far from being cheap. I'd recommend you to check out REI's Used Backpacks section before buying either one of them.
As some of you already know, I've been publishing about Osprey backpacks for the last 2.5 years now (find full post list at the bottom).
Recently I started to notice some confusion around Osprey Aether vs Gregory Baltoro, so I thought that a post centered around both of them would be helpful for most of you.
- Bold are my top picks for each group (based on trip length).
- If you tend to pack more or less than the average person, then shift the trip length values accordingly.
- If you're planning to get either one of them, I'd also highly recommend you to check out Osprey's own PackFinder tool as well.
To see the full table and my top picks, visit my post Best Osprey Hiking Backpacks.
Rotate your phone sideways for a better table display.
Features & Organization
Weight (M Size)
Trip Length: 7+ nights [>90 L]
Xenith 105 (Men's)
Trip Length: 5-7 nights [75 - 90 L]
Xenith 88 (Men's)
Xena 85 (Women's)
Aether AG 85 (Men's)
Ariel AG 75 (Women's)
Trip Length: 2-5 nights [55 - 75 L]
Sweet spot. Versatile picks.
Atmos AG 65 (Men's)
Aura AG 65 (Women's)
Xenith 75 (Men's)
Xena 70 (Women's)
Volt 75 (Men's)
Viva 65 (Women's)
Aether PRO 70 (Men's)
Ariel PRO 65 (Women's)
Aether AG 70 (Men's)
Ariel AG 65 (Women's)
Aether AG 60 (Men's)
Ariel AG 55 (Women's)
Volt 60 (Men's)
Rook 65 (Men's)
Renn 65 (Women's)
Levity 60 (Men's)
Lumina 60 (Women's)
Exos 58 (Men's)
Eja 58 (Women's)
Trip Length: 1-3 nights [45 - 55 L]
Atmos AG 50 (Men's)
Aura AG 50 (Women's)
Kestrel 48 (Men's)
Kyte 46 (Women's)
Stratos 50 (Men's)
Sirrus 50 (Women's)
Levity 45 (Men's)
Lumina 45 (Women's)
Exos 48 (Men's)
Eja 48 (Women's)
Rook 50 (Men's)
Renn 50 (Women's)
Viva 50 (Women's)
Trip Length: 0-1 nights [<45 L]
Kestrel 38 (Men's)
Kyte 36 (Women's)
Stratos 36 (Men's)
Sirrus 36 (Women's)
Talon 44 (Men's)
Tempest 40 (Women's)
Talon 33 (Men's)
Tempest 30 (Women's)
Exos 38 (Men's)
Eja 38 (Women's)
If you're interested in getting a travel backpack, check out my Osprey's top travel backpacks post.
Let me start with getting this out of the way: These packs offer niche intended uses.
This is why when someone asks me the best 70+ L backpack in the market, I always ask them whether they're sure they need that much of volume or not.
Because without exception, I always doubt it.
- #A sidenote here: REI's backpack capacity chart is GOLD. Highly recommend you to check it out before you read any further.
- These packs would probably be a good match if you'll be hauling heavy loads over a long period of time (for at least, say, 3 full days).
- Because both both packs are fully featured, offer larger volumes and stiff (and heavier) suspension systems that specifically handle heavier loads.
- In addition to extended heavy hauling trips, if you'll either be hiking during the winter, with your kids and/or pets, or with lots of items for any reason; then these packs would probably be an even better match for you.
- These packs would probably be overkill either if:
- Your equipment will weigh less than, say, 40 lbs (18 kg),
- You'll mostly be backpacking for less than 3 days,
- You typically tend to pack few and/or light items.
If you think these aren't for you, then I'd recommend you to stop reading this post and instead check out my Best Osprey Hiking Backpacks post to find out the most suitable backpack for your own needs and desires.
Otherwise, not only you'll waste your money on the features that you won't need or use (such as convertible daypacks, additional accesses to main compartment, etc), but you'll also have to haul an unnecessarily large backpack.
If, however, you do think that these packs would be a good match for you, then read on.
First thing you should know is that my top recommendation for the situation I laid out above would mostly be Osprey's Xenith Series. They would suit incredibly well for this purpose.
However, as I also explained in my Osprey Xenith vs Aether post, Aether AG and Baltoro aren't substantially worse by any means. They're both solid alternatives and will fill the bill without a hitch.
The second thing you should know is that Aether AG and Baltoro are more alike than they're not.
They both offer:
- 3 accesses to the main compartment (In addition to top and bottom accesses offered by all 8 packs; the third access the Aether AG 60 offers is from the side, whereas it's from the front for all the other 7 models),
- A convertible top-lid daypack,
- Top-notch comfort.
And hence they're frequently compared to one another.
If you're either:
- A younger backpacker who is still growing,
- Or shorter than, say, 5'4",
- Or taller than, say, 6'3"...
...then I'd spare you from reading the rest of this article and recommend you the Aether AG my eyes closed.
Because it offers a much lengthier harness adjustment than Baltoro.
Otherwise you're risking the pack fitting you poorly - which is pretty much the only non-negotiable factor when getting a new backpack.
If you've been reading some reviews online, let me start with telling you to disregard any comment put forward before 2018.
Because both packs (especially Baltoro) got revised back then and some serious issues got fixed (such as the Baltoro 95 PRO not having a hydration port).
Although Gregory is also popular for its mostly helpful customer service and warranty, to my experience and knowledge, they still aren't as good as Osprey.
Osprey is standing at a whole another level here, and will probably back you up more than any other company possibly can in the near future - including Gregory.
You probably won't even need to contact the warranty because of the incredible durability of Osprey packs.
But still, it's good to know that you're covered just in case something goes south.
This way you can stop worrying about your backpack and just enjoy your time outdoors. Honestly they've never let me down.
A word on Aether AG 70 PRO
I guess I wouldn't recommend Aether AG 70 PRO to 95% of you, because it lacks a lot of features and is more focused on keeping the comfort as high as possible while decreasing the weight as much as possible.
The only scenario I can think of where this pack would be more suitable would be alpine climbs with remote basecamps, or ambitious thru-hikes where the only trail is the one you make. Osprey themselves also put this pack at this place (source at rei.com).
If I had to pick only one pack in this round-up, I guess I'd go for Aether AG 70 [read my review].
Here's a good video review:
But the volume might start coming short for trips longer than, say, 4-5 nights.
So, in that case, I'd recommend you the Aether AG 85 ONLY IF I can't get Osprey Xenith 75 for some reason.
As for Baltoro, unless you come across a Baltoro on sale for at least, say, 50 USD cheaper than the corresponding Aether AG, then I don't think the sacrifices you make would worth it.
Your comparison is super biased. I own both packs and the way you describe the Gregory is far from the truth. The baltoro is a full featured pack with an excellent frame and a far superior hip belt/pad. It does have some things to nitpick, but not to this extent. I do think both packs are well designed and use proper materials for the intended tasks (long use with a heavy load). To describe the baltoro as an inferior pack truly makes me sick. I’m an experienced hiker who owns both of these packs. I believe both packs are great, but my preference goes to the Gregory. The frame feels better and the hip pad is leagues beyond the aether. Comfort on the main pack is far more important to me than the trivial crap you posted. The day pack! If you want another day pack, Buy One! Another paid review or crazy fanboy. At least give credit where some is due.