Beth from our Bristol store took the Osprey Renn on a hike on the Malverns and recommends it for a first time traveller.
Osprey's Rook/Renn series is the brand new, budget friendly offering. Both women's and men's versions are available in 50 and 65 litre capacities and are designed for backpacking and adventure travel.
I recently spent some time walking the Malvern Hills and took my pack on a long day hike. I had the Renn 65 filled with everything I needed for a few days, as well as my camping gear, which helped me train for some upcoming trips this summer.
After loading the pack with around 8-10kgs of kit I was amazed at how easily the pack slid onto my back. Every Osprey bag I own carries weight exceptionally well: even with the suspended mesh back system of the Renn, I'd feel comfortable with another 8kgs in there.
It got pretty blustery this week, and the wind and rain up on the hills was quite intense! I was scrambling over rocks, under low hanging branches and edging along single track ridges. Luckily the pack stayed completely in place, and had no sway, as I have found with some bags. Furthermore, the integrated raincover came in super handy.
This is a much bigger bag then I am used to carrying, with my go-to rucksack being the Kyte 36 for overnight backpacking. However, I really didn't feel much of a difference with the Renn. My walking partner laughed at how it was half my size, but I didn't even notice! I would definitely use this bag if I were to go travelling, as you can cinch it down using compression straps which comes in handy when using transit. I'd also happily use it for winter camping and anything longer than a two night hike.
The chest strap on the Renn does not use a clip and slider like some of Osprey's other packs. It has a hook and loop system instead which means you have to unhook both ends of the strap and reattach higher or lower in order to get the right fit over the chest. Once in place it's rare that you'd need to move it, but it means there is less versatility in the adjustment.
The Renn is a women's specific backpack and this is evident in how the harness curves over the chest. I noticed a slight difference in the quality of foam after a few hours of carrying, in that I felt pressure points over my shoulders, even with most of the weight on my hips. At a lower price point, the materials used are not the same high spec as bags such as the Kyte, Aura or Ariel.
Despite the chest strap and the foam, I still loved this pack. It is easy to use, and has many qualities you'd expect in a big rucksack: sleeping bag compartment, removable sleeping pad straps and hydration sleeve. Big tick for the huge dual entry bottle pockets too!
The pack would be great for a first time traveller, or those who want the reliability and comfort of an Osprey bag, but don't mind compromising on some of the premium features they are renowned for.
- Lower price point.
- Stable and comfortable on the back.
- Integrated rain cover.
- Back and chest adjustment can be fiddly.
- No under-lid pocket.
- Heavier pack compared to others of its size.
Beth, from our Bristol store, is regularly out hiking and is an expert in cycle touring, backpacking and travel. She has seen many beautiful places in the world and is particularly interested in lightweight, innovative camping and hiking gear.