Osprey experimented with new materials to create two high-end backpacks with novel suspensions. Both pack designs emphasize ventilation, adjustability, and durability.
The future of Osprey backpacks is here. Its UNLTD line uses several innovative designs that mark a high watermark for its backpacks that will trickle down to other lines in the years to come.
Osprey founder Mike Pfotenhauer worked with the brand’s international innovation team to create these packs from new fabrics and assembly techniques, as well as a 3D-printed lumbar system.
Who Is Osprey UNLTD For?
Osprey built the Osprey UNLTD AirScape and AntiGravity for experienced backpackers and thru-hikers who would value the new designs and put the tech through its paces. The back panel framesheets emphasize load stability and ventilation while small tweaks should add durability in high-wear areas.
Guides and gear nerds who appreciate the cutting-edge build of the Osprey UNLTD backpacks can rest assured they have Osprey’s crown jewel on their back.
The brand designers added 3D-printed Lumbar support, a first for the brand, with these backpacks. If successful, this new design should mark where Osprey will go with future pack designs.
3D-Printed Lumbar Support
The technological star of the show is the 3D-printed lumbar support, which Osprey claims is an industry first.
The brand worked with Carbon DLS Technology to create its 3D-Printed FitScape Lumbar. The (somewhat) honeycombed construction is intended to flex and retain a shape that supports the load evenly.
The lumbar sits behind a mesh overlay. There are air channels in the back panel of the underlying framework inlaid with perforated EVA foam for cushion and airflow. These channels aim to allow greater airflow than traditional lumbar designs.
There’s even a grippy polymer in the back to alleviate slippage and add to overall pack stability.
Osprey UNLTD Backpacks: Shared Features
Both Osprey UNLTD packs are made for multiday backpacking. Before we jump into how they differ, let’s get into the shared design elements.
The AirScape and AntiGravity have different lids, but both offer access from a U-shaped zippered panel for reaching into the upper side panels. Two 5L pockets on the back let you keep jackets, food, and other gear readily accessible.
Osprey UNLTD packs use Osprey’s AutoLift System, which engages the upper frame of the pack to keep the load close and stable while on the move. The torso length, hip belts, and shoulder straps are all adjustable.
As for durability, the brand says it experimented with tear-resistant weaves of fabric using polyethylene. The new weaves and gridwork mark the brand’s strongest fabric yet. Stripes of TPU ink cover the hip belt side pockets (mostly stretch woven) and other high-wear areas to reduce scuffs and scrapes.
Inside, a compression divider can keep a sleeping bag or extra clothing secured in the lower part of the pack.
Long-trek features include a reservoir sleeve with sliders and routers for the hose on either strap. Osprey put elasticized loops on the side for holding trekking poles, as well as different-size loops and reinforced webbing to hold skis and ice axes.
To protect the outside of the bags under varying weather conditions, both come with a nylon ripstop raincover and a separate travel cover with lockable zippers.
Osprey UNLTD AntiGravity 64 & Airscape 68 Specs
- Size capacity: AntiGravity 64L; AirScape 68L
- Load capacity: 25-55 lbs.; 30-65 lbs.
- Sizing: Men’s S/M, L/XL; Women’s XS/S, M/L
- Price: $700
AirScape vs. AntiGravity Osprey UNLTD Backpacks
Osprey UNLTD AirScape 68
- Osprey UNLTD AirScape suspension
- Convertible Top-Lid Daypack with water-resistant coated zippers
- Zip-away FlapJacket covers top for lidless use
- Large panel access with laminated zip flaps
The AirScape framesheet uses a thermoformed polycarbonate for flex. Channels molded into the framesheet are meant to allow room for airflow even with the bag is compressed under heavy loads. EVA foam padding fits into some of those channels for cushioning and further ventilation.
Osprey designers gave the frame vertical channels for stiffness and horizontal channels to keep the bag from barrelling out against your back.
A unique lid design allows you to turn the 8L capacity top lid into an 18L daypack.
Osprey UNLTD AntiGravity 64
- Osprey UNLTD AntiGravity Suspension
- Clamshell compression system
- Convertible top lid lumbar pack with water-resistant coated zippers
- Dual panel access with laminated zip flaps
The AntiGravity back panel uses seamless tensioned meshes, from the shoulder blades to the FitScape lumbar pad to the side of the hipbelt. This design is to help disperse and balance the load.
Designers chose this structure to conform to the body and flex as needed without hindering natural movement. The intent is to create a feeling that the bag is floating on your back.
The AntiGravity frame is built around a mix of 7075 aluminum-alloy poles for vertical stiffness and high-carbon stainless steel for a stronger framework than past models.
Two custom-molded hubs hold the tubular aluminum and stainless steel wire elements together at the bottom corners of the back panel. Another unique aspect is that these hubs protrude from the pack to prevent them from wearing a hole through the fabric. Nylon covers the hubs to reduce their wear.
The top lid can convert into a padded lumbar pack, or you can use that 5L compartment to carry a hydration reservoir — there’s even an exit port for it. And the smaller compartment lets you stash essentials like keys and a wallet.