Stephanie Boon hiking on the South West Coast Smiling at the camera.

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Osprey Renn 65 Review: I'm using this fantastic women's fit rucksack on the coast path. I'm standing looking out over the sea and you can see me from behind with the fully loaded rucksack on my back from behind, with my tent women's specific rucksack

Osprey Renn 65 Review 2021

Osprey Renn 65 Review Updated October 2021.

NB this is not a paid-for review and all opinions are based on my experience of using the rucksack over hundreds of miles in the UK over a 2 year period.

Looking happy with arms wide open above a low concrete marker that marks the start of the Offa's Dyke Path in Chepstow

All packed and ready to hike! The Osprey Renn 65 fully loaded for a 177-mile hike in October 2021

 

Go The Distance With The Osprey Renn 65

Women’s Specific Backpacking Rucksack: 9/10

The Osprey’s Renn 65 is a minimalist backpacking rucksack and I absolutely love it!

I bought my Osprey Renn 65 in April 2019 and I’ve used it for all my latest adventures, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s never let me down, whether I’ve unwittingly packed it with 3 stone (19 kilos) on The South Downs Way or chucked it about on the rocky tracks of the South West Coast Path. I carry everything I need for wild camping on multi-day trips and it’s the most comfortable rucksack I’ve ever had, find out why below.

Contents

What I Want In A Backpacking Rucksack

My criteria are simple:

  • A comfortable fit, which means a women’s specific fit with individual adjustments
  • As lightweight as possible, I have to be able to lift it before I pack it!
  • Durable, this baby has to last without bits falling off after a few hundred miles (it’s proved it’s capable of that!)
  • Good value for money, the best rucksack within my budget

Here’s how I got on.

The Osprey Renn 65 Fit And Comfort 10/10

Fits Like A Dream – And No Blisters!

The pack’s available in 3 sizes and the back length of each individual size is adjustable too. You can adjust it in a matter of seconds, with increments of about 2 centimetres or so to choose from, so you should get a pretty good fit.

You can make the usual adjustments around the hip belt, the shoulder and chest straps, and there are a number of compression straps too. The shoulder straps and hip belt on the Renn 65 are both very comfortably padded, with holes in the foam for breathability.

One of the absolute best things about the Renn 65 is the mesh ‘air gap’ down the back of the rucksack. The gap between the mesh and the rucksack means I keep relatively cool and dry even in 30 degree heat.

 

Back to Contents

Fabrics and Construction 10/10

The main rucksack fabric is 600D (denier) polyester, which is relatively lightweight (the Renn 65 weighs in at 1.6kg), strong, flexible and very abrasion-resistant. Polyester fabrics aren’t as inherently strong as nylon (which you might choose if you’re doing a 1000 mile thru-hike), but they are half the price, so robustness is remarkable for the price.

I frequently put the pack down on rocks and there’s barely any visible abrasion even after 2 years

The fittings (clips, zips, cord loops, etc) have all held up well and I imagine they will for years to come. The stitching is sound too, with no loose ends or broken stitches to fret about.

 

The Osprey Renn 65 Rucksack fully loaded with a tent roll and enamel mug strapped at the bottom. I'm standing looking out over a meandering river towards the sea.

My wet tent easily strapped to the outside of the rucksack on the South Downs Way

 

Osprey Renn 65 Features 8/10

The features the Renn 65 provides are great, but there are some omissions that you may have come to expect on a rucksack of this size…

The Main Compartment

I love how easy it is to get my bulky sleeping bag and tent inside the main compartment without a major fight. It’s the shape that makes the difference, rather than just the capacity. And if you like to separate your stuff out there’s a handy section at the bottom that you can clip together if you want to. (Leave it unclipped to have just one large compartment).

The rucksack isn’t waterproof, so I recommend you organise your kit in dry bags. But it does have a good external rain cover (see below)

Pockets

The Renn 65 is best described as a no-frills, bare essentials design. And while this keeps the weight down it does mean there is a lack of some useful features:

The biggest disappointment is the omission of a large mesh pocket on the back.

 

Elasticated cord laced to the Osprey Renn 65 backpack above the sleeping mat

Sadly Osprey have omitted a large mesh pocket on the back

I miss this feature a lot (they’re great for wet stuff), but Osprey have provided lashing loops instead (although it would benefit from a few more.)

The Renn 65 compensates for the lack of a back pocket with some huge mesh side pockets on the main sack.

The side pockets include an opening where you can store your water bottles at a 45-degree angle, which makes them easy to reach on the move. Even with a bottle in the pocket there’s still ample room for more bits and pieces.

The hip belt also has two large zipped pockets for the stuff you need easy access to, like your phone, snacks and so on.

The Brain

The brain on this rucksack is huge! There’s enough room for a fleece or waterproofs, as well as things like a guidebook, etc. And on the inside, there’s a mesh pocket for your valuables.

The Bladder Compartment

This is a simple, large internal pocket with an elasticated top, clip for the bladder and outlets for the tube

Osprey also provides plenty of elasticated loops along the shoulder straps to keep the tube in place. (I also use them for keeping my ‘phone-to-battery’ cables tidy.)  But, if you prefer to use bottles rather than a bladder, you’ve got a good size internal pocket instead.

Sleeping Mat Storage

There are two adjustable loops towards the bottom on the outside of the pack, which are specifically designed to carry your sleeping mat.

If your sleeping mat is large enough (like an old one of mine was) it works well as a ‘rucksack stand’ too, or a place for a wet tent. (Nowadays though I have a small, lightweight mat that packs inside.)

Side view of the rucksack standing on the ground

The sleeping mat storage also makes a good rucksack stand!

Walking Pole Storage

There’s nothing specifically for the purpose but average length poles will fit in the mesh side pockets and up under the compression strap, and possibly under the brain too. When I had longer poles though, I found they moved about a lot and had to secure them with a cord I fitted to the brain.

Rain Cover

The Osprey Renn 65 benefits from a waterproof rain cover that’s stored in a zipped pocket on the base of the rucksack. It’s pretty roomy and comes in a hi-viz colour with a large reflective logo, which makes it ideal for road walking.

The waterproof rain cover on the Osprey Renn 65 is easily seen in this photo of me on a cloudy day backpacking on the South Downs

Using the rain cover on the South Downs Way 2021 (NB, it does actually cover the whole backpack, but I had something else going on here!)

 

Back to Contents

Value For Money 9/10

So far I’ve used this rucksack on multiday hikes on national trails as well as long weekends away over a period of 2 years and for £100 I reckon that’s pretty good value.

I bought my Renn 64 in Cotswold Outdoor, where it’s currently selling for £140 (I get a 20% discount as a member of Mountain Training Association, but they offer discounts to members of other organisations too, such as the National Trust). And it’s currently available on Amazon UK for around £100 – £120.

The Osprey Renn 65 Overall Score: 9/10!

If you’d have asked me a year or so ago I’d have given this rucksack 8/10 because I missed a mesh pocket on the back sooo much! But now I’ve got used to the minimalist features and worked out other ways of storing wet stuff I really do think it’s worth 9/10.

The comfort and robustness, the value for money…they all make it an irresistible choice when you’re looking to invest in a home for your back!

Let me know if you go for this awesome rucksack too, I’d love to hear how you get on.

Thanks for reading, and happy backpacking!

Stephie x

Looking for more?

Check out my other gear reveiws too.

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