Osprey Xenith vs Aether: Is The Only Difference The Size?

Osprey Xenith 75 Men's Backpacking Backpack

Osprey Xenith

vs

Osprey Aether Pro 70 Men's Backpacking Backpack, Kepler Grey, Small

Osprey Aether

The Osprey line offers some of the most rugged and fully-featured hiking backpacks in the world. It carries many different models, each with their own unique set of features.

At times, customers feel that it is difficult to choose between them, as they are all great quality backpacks that have something to offer. In particular, choosing between the Xenith and the Aether can be difficult since they both include many of the same features.

Even after looking at the Osprey sales pages for these models, it is difficult to see what makes them different. We have written this review in order to make a comparison between the Osprey Aether vs Xenith.

We hope that in reading this review, you’ll be able to make an informed decision as to which of these backpacks you would like to purchase.

Preview
Osprey Xenith
Osprey Xenith 75 Men's Backpacking Backpack
Osprey Aether
Osprey Aether Pro 70 Men's Backpacking Backpack, Kepler Grey, Small
Title
Osprey Xenith 75 Men's Backpacking Backpack
Osprey Aether Pro 70 Men's Backpacking Backpack, Kepler Grey, Small
Price
Price not available
$374.95
Load Range
35 - 60 lbs
40 - 80 lbs
Capacity
75, 88, 105 Liters
60, 70, 85 Liters
Adjustable Torso Harness
Yes
Yes
Custom Moldable Hipbelt
Yes
Yes
Sleeping Bag Compartment
Yes
Yes
Waterbottle Pockets
Yes
Yes
Osprey Xenith
Preview
Osprey Xenith 75 Men's Backpacking Backpack
Title
Osprey Xenith 75 Men's Backpacking Backpack
Price
Price not available
Load Range
35 - 60 lbs
Capacity
75, 88, 105 Liters
Adjustable Torso Harness
Yes
Custom Moldable Hipbelt
Yes
Sleeping Bag Compartment
Yes
Waterbottle Pockets
Yes
More Information
Osprey Aether
Preview
Osprey Aether Pro 70 Men's Backpacking Backpack, Kepler Grey, Small
Title
Osprey Aether Pro 70 Men's Backpacking Backpack, Kepler Grey, Small
Price
$374.95
Load Range
40 - 80 lbs
Capacity
60, 70, 85 Liters
Adjustable Torso Harness
Yes
Custom Moldable Hipbelt
Yes
Sleeping Bag Compartment
Yes
Waterbottle Pockets
Yes
More Information

What Makes the Xenith and the Aether Similar

Both of these models are fully featured hiking backpacks that you can take on weekend trips. They both come in various sizes, but their basic features are almost identical.

Here is what the Xenith and the Aether include in their feature list:

  • Sleeping bag compartment
  • Ice axe loops
  • Water reservoir sleeve
  • Internal and external compression straps
  • Stretch mesh front pocket
  • Trekking pole attachments
  • Side mesh pockets
  • Zippered hip belt pocket

The Differences Between the Osprey Xenith vs Aether

While the future list above is not fully exhaustive, you can see that they include most Osprey backpack features. But what makes them different?

Size

The biggest difference is the fact that the Xenith offers more gear capacity. While both of these models come in various sizes, on average, the Xenith is the largest.

Here are the sizes that are available for both models:

  • Xenith: 75, 88, 105 liters
  • Aether: 60, 70, 85 liters

Each of these gear capacity figures are the average for the particular model. For example, the Xenith 88’s medium sized backpack is 88 liters, but the Xenith 88 also comes in small and large sizes.

You may already be aware of the size differences between them. But did you know that as a result of the Xenith offering more gear capacity, it also has more pockets? Some customers feel that having more pockets makes it great for organization. After all, who wants to go through their backpacks fishing for their smaller items when they can have them organized into the several different pockets?

Waterproofing and Integrity

The Xenith has seamed zippers that offer better waterproofing than the Aether. While this is not usually a make-or-break feature, it is great to bear in mind.

Additionally, the Xenith has thicker shoulder straps and a thicker hipbelt. This could mean that it makes it better in more rugged conditions. It may also mean that it will last longer throughout the years.

Given that the Xenith is pricier then the Aether, it is not surprising that they would add these higher-quality features to justify the cost.

Pricing

The Osprey Aether and Xenith do not vary greatly in price, but it is still substantial. To view current prices on Amazon for these models, please see the links below:

Osprey Xenith vs Aether: The Verdict

There are many people who say that the main benefit of the Xenith is the fact that it is roomier. We agree with this since the additional quality features of the Xenith are not very numerous.

That being said, having more pockets is not always the best option. They are people who prefer minimalism over having the extra organization. Some people find the multitude of pockets confusing. If you do not need the extra room or the extra pockets, then perhaps you should opt for the Aether.

While having more pockets does add to the weight of a backpack, some people feel that it offers much better organization and will opt for the larger backpack.

Which of these models do you prefer? Please leave your comment below and let us know what you think of these.

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2 thoughts on “Osprey Xenith vs Aether: Is The Only Difference The Size?”

  1. I have just ordered the Xenith 88 and have not gotten it yet. I have been using a Kelty red cloud 110 for the past few years on sections of the AT. I found the Xenith bag on sale at Back Country outfitters on a Black Friday sale. I love my Kelty and Kelty has a lifetime warranty with there bags. I had a problem with the waist belt slippping and the frame started poking thru the waist belt. They “ fixed “ the frame and put belt brakes on the waist belt which sucks! The red cloud is a great bag but I was getting pain in my shoulders from the weight being carried on them rather then my hips.
    I hope the Osprey lives up to the hype.

    Reply
  2. I have both the Xenith and Aether Backpacks. I prefer the Xenith for extended and/or more rugged hikes. The Xenith has a superior padding material in the shoulder straps and hip belt. The Xenith has better water resistant zippers and shell is more tear resistant. The Xenith has an external hydration bladder, so less problems with pack contents if bladder leaks. The Xenith has a more robust and stiffer wire frame for carrying heavier loads.
    For shorter trips (<one week) in less extreme conditions, both are fine.

    Reply

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