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Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack | Review

The woman-focused Skimmer 28 has the attributes to be a year-round regular

Why We Chose The Osprey Skimmer 28: A versatile, functional pack with great storage solutions.

When it comes to the world of quality backpacks, it’s no news story that Osprey are kind of a big deal. Over the years, they’ve built up a loyal base of users, providing backpacks for backpack enthusiasts but also, and it’s important to stress this, backpacks for people who just want a good bit of kit for their gap year, their commute, or their trek along the Camino de Santiago.

Osprey were born in California, back in 1974. Since then, they’ve been creating and evolving packs of all shapes and sizes and for any activity. The new Skimmer, equipped with a rain-cover and AirScape backsystem, is a women’s-specific daypack (the men’s version is called the Osprey Skarab)that merges a clean, simple, aesthetic with a distinct sense of practicality.

“An innovative Bump-Foam back panel ticks all the boxes in terms of comfort and ventilation”

What else? Well, we’re big fans of the Skimmer’s simple top-zip access point; a feature that makes packing and unpacking a piece of cake. That external hydration sleeve, meanwhile, is very handy – allowing you to slide your reservoir in and out of the pack without having to unload it first. Speaking of hydration, the dual zippered side pockets on the Skimmer are easily big enough for one-litre water bottles.

With a waterproof cover stashed at the base. Photo: Chris Johnson

We also think the dual hipbelt pockets on this thing, while nothing we haven’t seen before, are user-friendly and a great place to store snacks, head-torches, and/or your Swiss army knife. Elsewhere, the front shove-it pocket makes for rapid access to your waterproof jacket when the heavens open. The zipped pocket at the top, which is made from a soft sunglass-friendly fabric, also means you don’t ever need to worry about where you’ve put your valuables.

Clearly designed with versatility in mind, the large daypack capacity here means it’s perfect for those day-long adventures – no matter if that day-long adventure is going down in spring, summer, autumn or winter. An innovative foam back panel ticks all the boxes in terms of comfort and ventilation while the low-profile harness and nicely padded hipbelt provide decent load-transfer even when the pack has been well and truly overstuffed. The backsystem, it’s worth pointing out, has been designed specifically for women. This, like so many aspects of the pack, underlines the intelligent behind-the-scenes thinking at Osprey headquarters.

Suited to hiking, scrambling and commuting as well. Photo: Chris Johnson
The hip-belt doubles up as a useful storage solution. Photo: Chris Johnson
The Skimmer's zip design makes packing and unpacking the bag a piece of cake. Photo: Chris Johnson

Tester’s Verdict

Nic Hardy, ‘@AdventureNic‘, Munro bagger

“A great medium-sized day pack. I’d use it for hikes from late spring to early autumn. It comfortably fits a rain jacket, warm jacket, lunch, snacks and water. In fact, the zippered side pockets fit a 1l Nalgene perfectly. It’s good to have the flexibility to be able to use a hydration bladder with it if preferred.

“The straps fit nicely around my waist, but as with all Ospreys I find there is far too much excess strap for someone of slim build and I would most likely seek to modify this after purchasing with a pair of scissors.”

The external hydration sleeve is a nice feature. Photo: Chris Johnson

Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack

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