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Meet Rachel Patterson and Her Osprey Aura 65L Backpack

osprey aura 65 backpack

This post is part of a series in which ladies on the road offer a review of their backpack. Today’s review is from Rachel Patterson who is currently living and teaching in South Korea. She and her boyfriend have exciting upcoming travel plans too!

Rachel at Petronas TowersI’m Rachel Patterson, and I’m an English teacher with the EPIK program in South Korea, as well as a blogger at World Flavor. My family has always traveled a lot as long as it didn’t include a flight.

I started going abroad when I was in high school, and then I studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand. That got me addicted both to traveling anywhere and everywhere as well as to living the expat lifestyle. After college I worked in retail for a while but then decided it was time to get on the road and moved to Incheon, South Korea last August with my boyfriend.

We are planning a round the world trip starting in Mongolia when our contract finishes this August.

What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?

My backpack is an Osprey Aura 65L. It typically costs about $200.

rachel with Osprey Aura

>> Buy the Osprey Aura on Amazon

How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?

I got my backpack in 2008. It’s been to New Zealand, Costa Rica, South Korea, and all around the US.

What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack? How did you come to choose this one?

Comfort and size were key. I wanted something I could do multi-day hikes with, so I didn’t want it too big, but I also wanted something big enough to be helpful in carrying 5 months worth of clothes and supplies. This pack seemed like a perfect size. I tried on an awful lot of backpacks and most didn’t fit me right, but this one seemed to do the trick. I definitely needed something made for women – men’s backpacks are super uncomfortable for me.

What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?

There are a nice amount of pockets on it. I really like the pockets on the hipbelt which I can fill with a snack and a small-ish camera for when I’m hiking. You can access the main pocket at the top, from the zipper pockets on the front, and through the sleeping bag compartment at the bottom (you can also remove a flap to make the sleeping bag compartment part of the main pocket). Main pocket access from multiple places becomes really important during long trips on the road! I also love the color, which is cute and also helps me pick it out of a crowd.

Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.

It seems to fit quite well, for my shape at least. If it’s really full and I wear it a while, it pinches my shoulders. I’m not sure if that’s a problem with the fit or just something that happens. If I buy another pack at some point, though, I will probably go with one with more padding. This one is made to fit you perfectly with minimal padding to decrease the weight of the pack.

If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?

No, unfortunately it’s just a little too big to be carry-on.

Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?

My 65 liter pack is about right for the amount of clothes I like to bring. However, I do sort of wish I had gotten one slightly smaller, so that it could be carry-on luggage and to prevent me from overpacking.

Overall, would you recommend your backpack?

I would definitely recommend at least trying it on when you’re backpack shopping (and yes, I think that trying on backpacks is absolutely necessary). Osprey makes great backpacks (I also have a 22L of theirs that I take on short trips and absolutely love) at very affordable prices. The Aura 65L is a great backpack choice with plenty of pockets and easy main pocket access, though ultimately you should get what fits you best. As for size, I would recommend getting one just a bit smaller so that you can take it on a plane.

Thanks for telling us about your backpack, Rachel! You can follow Rachel’s adventures in Korea and on her upcoming RTW trip at World Flavor, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

>>Check out more women’s travel backpacks on Her Packing List.

Written by Heather

Heather Rudd Palmer is a 30-something with a love for travel, food, and healthy living. After short trips to Europe in her 20s, Heather left her job at 30 to live, work, and travel in Australia for a year. She visited every state and territory, embarked on two road trips, worked at an organic food store, and ate her way through Sydney. She's now a career counselor for university students. You can find Heather at There's No Place Like Oz and Healthy Life Heather.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

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