What form of backpack do you get when price tag imposes no limit? That was the thought Osprey established out to satisfy with its new UNLTD packs, which launched this 7 days. “I needed to showcase all that we could do,” claims Mike Pfotenhauer, Osprey’s founder and lead designer.
The first factor you notice is the selling price tag: the men’s and women’s Antigravity 64 and Airscape 68 retail for $700. No issue how perfectly engineered a pack is or how a lot you shell out for it, it’ll continue to make your legs ache when you cram it complete and lug it up the path. That reported, I examined out the Antigravity 64 on a 4-working day traverse of the Teton Crest Path in Wyoming final summer months and can attest that it is by much the sweetest pack I have carried in 30 years of backpacking. (I hardly ever got a crack at the Airscape, which is developed with extra rigid suspension for heavier masses, but shares several of the Antigravity’s improvements.)
The next point you recognize is the 3D-printed lumbar pad, which was the genesis of the UNLTD line. It was produced with Silicon Valley business Carbon. Carbon prints products for the automotive and dental industries (headrests and individualized dentures, respectively) and has ventured into the out of doors place in the latest a long time with shoe midsoles for Adidas and bicycle saddles for Specialised, each showcasing the same distinct polyurethane (PU) latticework the Osprey lumbar pads are produced from. The PU strands are remarkably elastic—they can be elongated 250 p.c prior to they split, which presents the lumbar pads a springy, dynamic truly feel.
The 3D-printing process permits Carbon to make shapes that are extremely hard to attain with injection molding—and with remarkable speed. In just more than a calendar year, the company produced shut to 100 distinctive permutations of the structure, all with much a lot less waste than injection molding.
Carbon can also tune the compressibility in just the object by modifying the density of the lattice in distinctive locations. The lumbar pad is a lot more compressible toward the major (for comfort) and firmer towards the bottom (for better load bearing), all of which gives the pad the cushioned, supported sense even though preserving exceptional breathability, thanks to its weblike construction. My shirt never wetted out as I chugged up the trail in temps as significant as 80 degrees.
Even with that large-tech foundation, the UNLTD Antigravity 64 is still in essence an improve to Osprey’s cult typical Atmos and women’s Aura. People packs each element almost seamless mesh that extends from the back panel across the hipbelt, making exceptional ventilation and an exceptionally comfortable nevertheless frictionless match. It performs wonderful till masses attain extra than 40 lbs ., at which issue the two packs battle to keep their hundreds steady due to the comprehensive trampoline style and design. Carrying an overloaded Atmos is a bit like using in a vehicle that desires its shocks replaced—it’s excessively bouncy.
The UNLTD Antigravity solves that load security difficulty even though keeping the Atmos’ air flow and snug match in a few ways. The very first is that lumbar pad, which is a lot less elastic than the Atmos’ tensioned mesh panel. The next is an upgraded stainless steel and aluminum frame underneath the tensioned back again panel and hipbelt mesh. I didn’t established off on a 3-evening backpacking journey with a 40-pound load, but to examination the limitations of the pack for a handful of miles, I stuffed it up with all the food items and drinking water I could borrow from journey mates, receiving to about 45 pounds entirely. The pack stayed a good deal secure even as I trundled all around the Hurricane Pass switchbacks.
The other significant innovation in each the UNLTD Antigravity 64 and Airscape 68 is the pack strap automobile-carry technique. Relatively than obtaining equally a reduce tensioning strap and a elevate strap above the shoulders, the UNLTD styles feature a constant program that both equally lifts and tightens the harness with 1 pull of the reduced strap. I observed that this equipment frequently adjusted by itself on the path to assure a close, equalized suit all-around my shoulders, lowering distressing tension factors. With each other with the steady mesh of the hip panels, the Antigravity 64 was the most effective-fitting pack I’ve worn. That, together with the great ventilation, designed it a revelation to carry.
Other special characteristics in the Antigravity involve elevated polyurethane printing on the hipbelt exterior to lessen abrasion at that recognized wear position a constructed-in sleeping bag compression sleeve lighter and more sturdy fabrics, like molecular-bodyweight polyethelene and a pair of plastic bumpers that protrude from the base of the pack, giving greater stability and helping cut down put on and tear when the pack is standing upright on the floor.
I also cherished the pack’s proprietary clamshell major compartment opening—a steel wire operates across the top rated of the system, providing a lightweight composition that assists sustain the opening for loading and unloading while also creating it simpler to run the water-proof zipper. It also will help apply uniform pressure throughout the load when the higher side compressors are adjusted.
All these innovations and bells and whistles do insert up to a heavier excess weight and expense. The UNLTD Airscape 64 weighs 5.44 pounds—roughly a pound additional than lots of 65-liter packs. To get rid of a small excess weight, you can constantly jettison the 8-ounce 7.5-liter top lid, while it does double as a fanny pack for summit pushes.
Total, the Antigravity was evidently outstanding to other packs I’ve used—easier to load, less difficult to carry, and extra snug. A lot like driving the deluxe model of a auto, employing the major-of-the-line pack was a lot more enjoyable but came at a price.