Our take You usually have to wait for close-out sales to get a pack like this at such an affordable price. How does Osprey keep the cost so low? Designers made cuts in key areas: no front stash pocket, a fixed lid instead of a floating one, static mesh instead of stretch side pockets, and one-way zippers. Verdict: small concessions for the price.
The details The Rook is no minimalist rucksack, and you still get a sleeping bag divider, hipbelt pockets, and a raincover. It carries well, too: Two steel stays and a wire perimeter frame help distribute loads up to 35 pounds. The mesh side pockets are reinforced with coated polyester, which proved more durable against snags than the usual stretch mesh. The Rook’s torso adjusts 5 inches (same with the Renn), and testers praised its easy-to-use adjustment system. “The pull tabs on either side of the frame may be small, but I liked that I didn’t have to take the pack half apart,” one says.
Trail cred “I took the Renn on a via ferrata near Telluride, Colorado, and its narrow profile and great load transfer made 25 pounds disappear on my back, even when I was climbing 300 feet above the deck,” one tester reports.