I've now tested the Osprey Xenith 105 for some time and I like it. It's a roomy and nice backpack for week trips or longer. My first impression of the Xenith is high quality, robustness and comfort. The choice of materials and the good fit gives a serious and inspiring impression. I've used the pack both in the Urban Jungle and out in the woods. The smart zippers along the bags sides and at the bottom enables an easy reach of the packs content, a nice feature when I'm operating in a urban environment. However when I'm out in the great outdoors I use the old technique of applying a big plastic garbage bag inside the backpack to keep my gear dry. Personally I think this works even better than the rain cover the Xenith comes with and as a bonus I get good floating assistance from the plastic bag if I end up in deep water.
I like the easy to reach pockets on the Xenith's bag, conveyer belt and lid. The zippers are robust and easy to manage. The different attachment solutions and compression straps makes a very flexible backpack. But remember to tie up all loose straps when checking the bag in for flight. The elastic pockets makes it easy to store sandals, jacket and water containers. If needed the lid can be removed and used as a separate hip bag.
A bigger backpack doesn't necessary need to come with a heavier load. If packed right I think a bigger packs advantages is the possibility to store all stuff inside and then yarn on the compression straps to give a tight and comfortable backpack for the long trip. This gives you a better balance than if you have to strap underlays and other stuff on the outside of the bag. The big Xenith bag comes in three different sizes (M, L XL), my backpack is a medium.
The Xenith's carry system consists of a light weight frame in HDPE (Polythene), a soft an ventilated back pad, robust and easy adjustable shoulder straps and conveyer belt. It's also possible to adjust the torso length of the pack. I've been carrying this pack for long periods of time loaded to about 20 kilos and so far with no problems. The manufacturer recommend a comfort load of 25-35 kilos and a maximum load of 45 kilos. If I compare the Xenith 105 with one of my other week packs; the Haglöfs Sumo 95, I think the Xenith is competing very well. I'm looking forward to future adventures together with the Osprey Xenith 105.
Specs (according to manufacturer)
Volume: 105 liters
Weight: 2,49 kg (empty)
Size (M): Height 82 cm, Width 36 cm, Depth 38 cm
Price: 3000 SEK (Sweden 2013)