The most thorough expert review of the Osprey Ariel 65 women's backpack is available from Backpacker magazine, a publication that puts backpacks through rugged field tests. The most detailed owner-written reviews are found at BackpackGearTest.org. Useful comments from owners are also found at REI.com and several other retailer and review sites.
The Osprey Ariel 65 is one of the top-rated women's backpacks. Although it lacks the pivoting suspension of the Gregory Deva 60 (*est. $250), it weights almost a pound less. The Osprey Ariel's heat-moldable foam padding and well-ventilated back make it especially comfortable, and its 4,000-cubic-inch capacity, according to experts, makes it small enough for weekend trips and large enough for longer trips. The Teton Sports Wilderness 55 (*est. $75) is a cheaper, though less comfortable, alternative.
1. Backpacker Magazine
Backpacker magazine puts dozens of backpacks through rigorous field testing. The 2006 Gear Guide gives the Osprey Ariel 65 a Best Buy Award.
Review: 2006 Gear Guide, Editors of Backpacker, Mar. 2006
Nearly two dozen users give the Osprey Ariel 65 near-perfect ratings, making it one of the top-ranked women's backpacks on this site.
Review: Osprey Ariel 65 Pack Women's Reviews, Contributors to REI.com
The three reviews of the Osprey Ariel on this site are much more detailed than most owner-written reviews. Information about each reviewer as well as first impressions, field tests and conclusions about the backpack are included.
Review: Osprey Ariel, Contributors to BackPackGearTest.org
More than two dozen users review the Osprey Ariel 65 backpack here, giving it a near-perfect overall rating.
Review: Osprey Women's Ariel 65 Pack Reviews, Contributors to Moosejaw.com
This detailed review covers the performance of the Osprey Ariel 65 on a mountaineering trip in Nepal. The reviewer is very pleased overall with the pack's performance and comfort.
Review: User Review: Osprey Ariel 65, "Saci", Apr. 17, 2008
A few owner-written reviews of the Ariel 65 backpack give it high praise, especially for fit.
Review: Osprey Packs: Women's Ariel 65 Backpack, Contributors to Altrec.com