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Osprey is a forerunner in the backpacking world for comfortable and diverse backpacks and for good reason. They offer everything from day packs, to kiddo carriers, to lightweight overnight packs that can fit just about anyone’s need. So naturally I turned to them when looking for a new backpacking pack.

Just The Facts:

  • Ultralight: ultralight design and materials plus the ability to strip weight by removing sleeping bad straps, compression straps and the top lid
  • Removable floating lid with top and under lid zippered pockets plus integrated Flapjacket to protect gear when top lid is removed
  • Stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachments allows you to stow your poles in steep terrain or whenever you need your hands free.
  • Front stretch mesh pocket to store rain gear for easy access or wet gear after a downpour
  • Sternum strap with integrated safety whistle
  • Ice axe attachment with bungee tie-off

Technical Specs:

Fit: Women

Frame type: Internal

Gear Capacity (Liters): XS 42L, S 45L, M 48L

Weight: XS 2lb 8oz, S 2lb 9oz, M 2lb 9oz

Fits Waist/hips:   XS 24-25″, S 24-45″, M 27-48”

Fits Torso: SX 14-17″, S 16-19″, 18-21″    

Materials: 100-denier high-tenacity nylon/210-denier high-tenacity nylon

Frame material: 6065 Aluminum

Reservoir compatible: Yes

Pack Access: Top

Number of Exterior Pockets: 4+ Main compartment

(The Eja is also offered in a 38L and 58L option. )

My Story:

Let’s just preface this with…I’m a notorious overpacker. Just when I think I’ve gotten my base gear down to under 20# I realize I’ve forgotten my *fill in the blank here*. For my first few seasons of backpacking I was using an older REI Flash 60 women’s backpack which was heavy-ish at baseline (3lbs 7oz) and once I got over 25# in gear was incredibly uncomfortable in the shoulders, waist, sternum – you name it! So last season I knew I needed to upgrade.

To go light I was aiming for under 3lb for my pack and of course Osprey was at the top of my list considering how dominant they are in the outdoor adventure world. Not to mention their “All Mighty Guarantee” to repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge regardless of year purchased (Did I mention I can be rough on my gear!?).

After some of my own research I opted for the Eja 48 (medium frame) to test out as it weighs in at 2lb 9oz (14oz less than my former pack), has large side pockets for water bottles and all the things, an elastic front pocket, removable brain, stow straps for my poles, and came fairly well recommended. Honestly I also picked it because it was blue (without any pink accents), though in person I found it to be a bit on the purplish side.

Hitting the trail

I loaded up the Eja for my first trip of the summer to the Eagle Caps in early July 2021. (I know I know…I had a late start to the year!). And by load up, I mean I brought all my creature comforts because I was taking a friend for the first time and it was only 1 night. Plus I do not often negotiate on water which equals carrying a full 2.5L bladder with me. Now the internal water reservoir sleeve may be a pain for some, but since I used my 2.5L Osprey LT Reservoir that goes inline with my water filtration system, it was easy peasy.  Tent of course went outside the pack in the tent straps. These do take a moment to figure out, but once you do you can snug that gear right up to the bottom so there’s no swinging around. Plus there was just the right amount of straps on the exterior of the pack for me to feel like I could fit all the things without getting overwhelming.

The hike to hobo lake was around 7 miles with approx 3000’ elevation gain and despite having a pack full of water, food (yes I brought avocados and all the coffee), and my usual gear, I’ll be honest I barely noticed it. The stow-on-the-go strap for my hiking poles came in clutch when I needed to tuck them away to get a snack. The side pockets were surprisingly easy to access while hiking so I kept my bag of goodies there. Now I only went one night, but brought easily enough food for a 2night/3 day + adventure and it held that amount both in terms of weight and space quite well. 

Another trip I decided to mix it up and pack my tent INSIDE the pack. I was pleased with how much space I still had left despite having to pack for colder temperatures and rain as well. Even with a smaller pack size compared to my old pack, I’m not worried at all about packing for anywhere from 2-4 days and still feeling comfortable with the weight.  Plus in warmer weathers, the frame design allows for breathability so you are less prone to chaffing from all that back sweat.

Oh, so pretty (not pink) Osprey Eja 48!

Rumor has it the hip belt on this thing is not well loved given its lack of padding. Compared to the Osprey Kyte I would agree it’s significantly less padded (that’s where you save some weight!). However, I am very much your average Jane in terms of height and weight and I definitely carry a little extra in all the spots (ie: not boney) so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t end up with any rubbing or chaffing over my few adventures. I did have to adjust a few times on the trail that first trip but honestly who doesn’t if it’s been several months since you’ve adventured? Since my inaugural hike this pack has been on 3 more adventures, and all since then required very little adjustment to the pack once going.  I made the mistake of using my old REI Flash on one trip and almost died…I couldn’t get back to the Osprey Eja fast enough!

Truth be told this is one of the more comfortable packs I’ve worn with 25-30# weight in it (comparing to Gregory Jade – older model, REI Flash 60, and Osprey Kyte) and I have to say I’m sticking with this one a while for my long weekend adventures. If I ever get around to a 4+ night trip where I need to be able to have a larger load, I suspect I’ll need something with more space and hip pockets, but for my current needs this is a great option.

Let’s just preface this with…I’m a notorious overpacker. Just when I think I’ve gotten my base gear down to under 20# I realize I’ve forgotten my *fill in the blank here*. For my first few seasons of backpacking I was using an older REI Flash 60 women’s backpack which was heavy-ish at baseline (3lbs 7oz) and once I got over 25# in gear was incredibly uncomfortable in the shoulders, waist, sternum – you name it! So last season I knew I needed to upgrade.

To go light I was aiming for under 3lb for my pack and of course Osprey was at the top of my list considering how dominant they are in the outdoor adventure world. Not to mention their “All Mighty Guarantee” to repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge regardless of year purchased (Did I mention I can be rough on my gear!?).

After some of my own research I opted for the Eja 48 (medium frame) to test out as it weighs in at 2lb 9oz (14oz less than my former pack), has large side pockets for water bottles and all the things, an elastic front pocket, removable brain, stow straps for my poles, and came fairly well recommended. Honestly I also picked it because it was blue (without any pink accents), though in person I found it to be a bit on the purplish side.

Osprey packs make for happy hikers.

I loaded up the Eja for my first trip of the summer to the Eagle Caps in early July 2021. (I know I know…I had a late start to the year!). And by load up, I mean I brought all my creature comforts because I was taking a friend for the first time and it was only 1 night. Plus I do not often negotiate on water which equals carrying a full 2.5L bladder with me. Now the internal water reservoir sleeve may be a pain for some, but since I used my 2.5L Osprey LT Reservoir that goes inline with my water filtration system, it was easy peasy.  Tent of course went outside the pack in the tent straps. These do take a moment to figure out, but once you do you can snug that gear right up to the bottom so there’s no swinging around. Plus there was just the right amount of straps on the exterior of the pack for me to feel like I could fit all the things without getting overwhelming.

The hike to hobo lake was around 7 miles with approx 3000’ elevation gain and despite having a pack full of water, food (yes I brought avocados and all the coffee), and my usual gear, I’ll be honest I barely noticed it. The stow-on-the-go strap for my hiking poles came in clutch when I needed to tuck them away to get a snack. The side pockets were surprisingly easy to access while hiking so I kept my bag of goodies there. Now I only went one night, but brought easily enough food for a 2night/3 day + adventure and it held that amount both in terms of weight and space quite well. 

Another trip I decided to mix it up and pack my tent INSIDE the pack. I was pleased with how much space I still had left despite having to pack for colder temperatures and rain as well. Even with a smaller pack size compared to my old pack, I’m not worried at all about packing for anywhere from 2-4 days and still feeling comfortable with the weight.  Plus in warmer weathers, the frame design allows for breathability so you are less prone to chaffing from all that back sweat.

Rumor has it the hip belt on this thing is not well loved given its lack of padding. Compared to the Osprey Kyte I would agree it’s significantly less padded (that’s where you save some weight!). However, I am very much your average Jane in terms of height and weight and I definitely carry a little extra in all the spots (ie: not boney) so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t end up with any rubbing or chaffing over my few adventures. I did have to adjust a few times on the trail that first trip but honestly who doesn’t if it’s been several months since you’ve adventured? Since my inagural hike this pack has been on 3 more adventures, and all since then required very little adjustment to the pack once going.  I made the mistake of using my old REI Flash on one trip and almost died…I couldn’t get back to the Osprey Eja fast enough!

Truth be told this is one of the more comfortable packs I’ve worn with 25-30# weight in it (comparing to Gregory Jade – older model, REI Flash 60, and Osprey Kyte) and I have to say I’m sticking with this one a while for my long weekend adventures. If I ever get around to a 4+ night trip where I need to be able to have a larger load, I suspect I’ll need something with more space and hip pockets, but for my current needs this is a great option.

Find it Here:

https://www.osprey.com/us/en/product/eja-48-EJA48.html

What can be done better?

I’m still a little bummed over not having the hip pockets for snacks at the ready or chapstick/sunscreen in a pinch, but the tradeoff for a solid light weight and comfortable pack with easy access to the side pockets makes up for it.

I’m unsure how well the mesh on the front or the side pockets are going to hold up to my way of life but thankfully there is the All Mighty Guarantee which means I can get things patched up if something falls apart.

Other considerations that are worth being aware of – this does not come with a dedicated rain cover like other Ospreys do – fine with me as I already had one but keep in mind that’s an additional expense if you don’t.


Hi ya’ll my name is Liz and I’m just your average outdoor adventurer who spends more weekends away than home but I try not to get too crazy. I’ve been hiking since my early 20s, got into camping some time after that, then started backpacking in about 2018. I’ve also picked skiing up, dabble with some snowshoeing, and having been stealing friend’s paddleboards on the regular this past summer. My dog Saya is my #1 adventure buddy and I couldn’t ask for a better one!
Osprey Eja 48L
  • Functionality
    (5)
  • Value
    (4)
  • Ergonomics
    (4)
  • Durability
    (5)
4.5

Summary

Looking for an ultralight women’s backpack? Osprey Eja 48L is what you need!

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