Osprey Xenith 88

9.0 score
[Editors rating (9.0) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (9.0)/10

Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
1 star
2 star
3 star
4 star
5 star
Add your Rating
Osprey Xenith 88 Review Facts

Hiking can be a very amazing experience, both fun and awe-inspiring in the things one can see while you go. Of course, when you go for a hike you need to have quite a bit of equipment, especially when you are going to be hiking for several days. The Osprey Xenith 88 should be the hiking pack you look at. Why do we say such a thing? The weight of this pack is something to be made aware of, mattering on the size you buy will, obviously, matter on how much the empty backpack will weigh. A medium-sized backpack will weigh in at five pounds, four ounces. A large will be five pounds, eight ounces. And finally, the extra large will tip the scales at five pounds, eleven ounces. Not bad, if you ask us. And so read on, faithful consumer, and see what we have to say about the Xenith 88 and why it might just possibly be the best out there on the market. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed with what we have to say.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Large storage space
  • Durable make-up
  • Multiple access points
  • Interchangeable parts
  • Moldable form in hip straps
  • Extra pockets
  • Takes time to balance weight
  • Not for short trips


The Xenith 88 has many features that need to be brought to light. The first is the fact that it has a 3.5mm aluminum wire frame that is strong and has some flexibility to it. This frame is internal and allows more comfort than a hiking/camping pack that has an external metal frame on it.

This feature also makes the pack easier to store than if you have a pack with a large metal frame that has no flexibility to it. The hood or lid of the Xenith is removable, making the pack smaller in size and you can use it as a lumbar pack for smaller hikes during the overall trip. Say you are on a hike that is going to last several days and you get to your ‘perfect’ campsite. You set up camp and still have enough light to do another smaller hike and decide to go for it. You won’t need all your gear for a small hike and carrying a large pack will inevitably slow you down. With this pack, you will not need to carry the whole thing. Just unclip the lid of the pack, pull out the attached and stored straps, and make sure you have what you will need, and you are ready to rock and roll. Also, there is a flap on the main pack to cover and protect your gear when you remove the original lid.

Another feature that is amazing with this product is the fact that the shoulder and hip straps are removable and interchangeable with any other Osprey products. There is also a ‘pocket’ at the bottom of the bag for your sleeping bag, which the divider for is removable. Also, there are stow-on-the-go trekking pole straps so that if you hit an area in your hike that you do not need a trekking pole that you can store it quickly without having to remove your pack to do so. This is a great feature to this pack, as it saves a lot of time and keeps you from having to continuously strain yourself having to lift and set down your pack to take care of your gear.


The pack is made of a high tenacity nylon material. This means that the material will be able to hold its shape longer even when it is overstretched for longer periods of time. Your backpack will have much higher durability than most other packs you could purchase. As mentioned before, the internal frame is made of 3.5mm peripheral aluminum. The straps found at the hips has foam inside of them that will mold to your body’s shape after a few good hikes. Of course, you can take your pack to an Osprey dealer and see if they have the equipment to heat the foam up and help you mold it in short time. The backing to this pack is made up of mesh and a ridged foam plate. This plate has holes in it to offer ventilation for longer hikes, making it much more comfortable on longer hikes.


Comfort is something that this pack has a good handle on. Between the materials and the ventilation set-up of the backpack, one would have to ask if there could be more to make it comfortable. Yes, there is. The hip belt, as was mentioned earlier, is made up of a foam that molds to the wearer’s body over enough time, making it contour comfortably to the wearer. This offers great comfort which on a long hike will prove invaluable. The shoulder straps are shaped to also add to the comfort of the wearer and relieve some of the stress caused by weight in the pack.

We know that, for a hiker, comfort is a serious consideration you don’t want to overlook. If one thinks about it, when you are out on a long hike, be it grueling or not, having your pack sit comfortably on you is serious business. Nothing could be worse than overheating due to your pack or having it sit uncomfortably for hours as you strain to get to your campsite. The mesh between you and the pack will also allow that extra bit of airflow you need to keep sweat off your back. Such things can slow you down and may even force you to call off your hike for your own health, especially where dehydration due to overheating is concerned. Thank goodness this pack makes it easy to stay hydrated as well with the accessory reservoir compartment and places for extra water bottles.


The durability of this pack is something that a person should not overlook. The high tenacity materials will help it keep the shape even if overpacked for a long period of time. Of course, each and every piece of this pack is durable and made with the idea of carrying an entire load for the duration of your activity. Let us also not forget that out of all the newer packs, users have said, this one is the most water resistant if not waterproofed pack they have owned. Knowing this pack has protection in both keeping its shape and in preventing weather based damage makes it highly durable. This is not something to truly question, as this pack was designed and made for serious ‘work’ and not just for show. So if you want a reliable cross-country style hiking pack, this is probably going to be your best option.


This particular long travel hiking pack has three sizes; medium, large and extra large. The medium-sized pack has a load capacity of roughly 5,370 cubic inches. The large pack has roughly 5,614 cubic inches of space, and the extra large pack has 5,858 cubic inches of storage space. To say the least, there should be plenty of space for almost any hiking adventure.


What can a person use the Xenith 88 for? Hiking and camping is obviously the intended use for this pack. Is it all this wonderous backpack can be used for? We figure a person can use it for other things, such as if you have a large family it can be used to make less of a hassle for overnight trips. Whether you are going to visit a family member out of town or its an emergency trip to the hospital, you can fit all you need into a single pack. This could also prove to aid a band with certain equipment transportation or a large family picnic. If you have a smaller vehicle it can also be used for packing to move to a new home without having to worry about hard containers that cannot flex to allow more room. The Xenith could be used for such, and would probably be useful in such an endeavor. Honestly, this internal frame pack has many different uses easily.


Like all hiking backpacks, this particular model is tall, with good depth and width. It is made with exactly its task in mind, which is carrying a large load over long distances. What could a person want more from a hiking pack? This pack even comes in two colors, tektite grey, and discovery blue. The internal aluminum frame even gives this pack even more style of its own. What more can we say about the style of this wonderous backpack? It definitely stands head and shoulders above the average hiking pack a person can buy.


The support of the Xenith 88 is great. When one considers the shaped shoulder straps and moldable hip straps, this should be enough to find that support is nothing to question. Then there are adjustable loading straps, which can be moved to the best fit for the wearer. This allows for comfort and support, making your load’s weight be dispersed far more across your torso. Add in the compression straps that tighten down the contents of the backpack, which makes the weight of the pack less loose and free moving. Free moving objects can swing about and make a strenuous movement, as well as comfort and support, much harder on the wearer.


The organization of this pack is phenomenal. Frankly, with the number of pockets this pack has, there is little doubt that you can be completely organized. Honestly, there should be no doubt that you can stow every last piece of equipment you need and be able to find it easily. Almost any item has a place that can be easily accessed through the various points of entry the main pack has, and with the smaller various pockets found on the outside of the main pack and hip straps, and who wouldn’t want a pack like that? No serious hiker would overlook such a fact. Of course, it might take some time to figure out how to pack the Xenith 88 properly. Then again, packing any hiking pack properly can take time, effort and practice.

Key Features

-Ample organization
-Utilizes the Bioform Suspension System
-Removable lid can be used as a lumbar pack
-Accessory Reservoir capable
-Multiple compression straps
-Sliding loading straps for optimal support and comfort
-Sealable sleeping bag compartment

Bottom Line

The Osprey hiking pack is not something to overlook when looking for a hiking pack. The fact that it can be a seriously comfortable pack that can be organized easily, and has pockets for water bottles and a larger one for an accessory reservoir, which is sold separately. These facts alone would serve as enough for any person to go out and buy one of these for their next major hiking trips. But then you have to consider the fact that this pack is customizable with other pieces of Osprey backpacks. And if that is not enough to run out and buy this backpack, you have to consider that when you buy the Osprey Xenith 88, you are not really just buying a backpack, you are buying two. One is definitely smaller than the other, but that really shouldn’t matter.

Any pack that allows its lid to be completely removed and then used as a lumbar backpack should then get you to buy it. If that is not enough, along with all the other details we have already told you about, then we don’t know what else to tell you. We should also take the time to explain that each of the different sizes of this pack has different sizes in the hip belts. A medium’s belt is thirty to thirty-four inches, a large has a thirty-three to a thirty-seven-inch belt, and the extra large has a belt to fit over thirty-six inches. This backpack may just honestly be one of the best hiking packs on the market, if not THE best. If you are interested in buying this particular backpack, you can purchase it from Amazon.com for $379.99 as of the time this article is being written.