Osprey Atmos 65 AG Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Awesome pockets, excellent ventilation, general comfort
Cons: Not supportive for loads over 40 pounds
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This pack is the real deal for two to five-day trips. Most of our testers found the overall design user-friendly with well thought out pockets that kept us organized. The Anti-Gravity suspension was extremely comfortable even after hours on the trail.
The Osprey Atmos 65 AG is the pack that changed the game forever by popularizing the trampoline back-panel. Still to this day it remains the top-dog in many ways.
Suspension and Comfort
The Atmos AG 65 is an incredibly comfortable pack. The AG or Anti-Gravity suspension uses a suspended trampoline mesh. This feature is fairly common these days, but the AG takes it one step further. Not only is the entire back panel suspended, but the hip belt is as well, adding to that hip-hugging feel.
The results impressed us. Despite some initial skepticism, most of our testers agreed that this design distributed weight across our backs and waist quite well for moderate loads. In turn, this eliminated hot spots, pressure points, and other high friction areas. The shoulder straps also have effective padding. They are thick around the wearer's shoulders, tapering to a thinner and more perforated design around mid-chest.
Not only is the padding thicker but it is also pleasantly cushy. It strikes a delicate balance of being soft enough to conform to the shape of the user (a good thing) without being too soft. When the weight gets over forty pounds however the shoulder straps were a bit too cushy and we noticed an obvious lack of weight distribution.
The harness is exceptionally well-ventilated. It's an excellent choice for warmer adventures or for folks who are just plain sweaty. The AG or Anti-Gravity suspension is used on both the back panel and the hip belt, which creates exceptional breathability, setting the Atmos AG 65 apart from most of the other contenders.
The LightWire tensioned peripheral frame is moderately stiff and extremely effective at transferring loads up to forty-pounds. We did notice above 50 pounds that it gets a little "mushy" and didn't feel as comfortable as a handful of other models, nor did it carry the load as efficiently. We found that packs with a more traditional suspension perform better with heavier loads.
Features and Ease of Use
The Atmos AG 65 has one of our review teams' favorite all-around designs. It has a rich array of pockets, adequate access, and a handful of other great features. Our testers love the two oversized zippered hip belt pockets that were some of the biggest in our review.
The pockets easily accommodate items like a smartphone and snacks and feature a design that makes opening and closing them while hiking pretty easy.
Our reviewers' opinions were mixed on the dual-sided mesh water bottle pockets. On one hand, they allow you to insert water bottles either vertically or angled forward, making them accessible without having to remove the pack, but on the other hand, tall bottles encroached with our natural elbow movement, and they required two hands to load them which was slightly tricky.
One of our favorite features was the stretchy mesh "stuff it" pocket. During our field test, it proved to be perfect for spare layers, camp sandals, fuel bottles, and other awkwardly-shaped items.
Behind the mesh beavertail pocket, you'll find two decent-sized zippered pockets. These pockets add to this pack's ability to keep us organized. It also features a lower zippered sleeping bag compartment with a removable divider. The two compression straps that cover the sleeping bag compartment are big enough to hold a large, closed-cell foam pad.
The top-lid has two zipper pockets and is removable so it can be left behind to save weight. If you do, the pack has an additional flap, which essentially acts as a second simple nylon lid to cover the cinched main compartment.
At right around four pounds eight ounces, the Atmos AG 65 is slightly lighter than some other top-scoring packs in our review. Furthermore, combined with its comfort, we feel like it is worth every ounce.
While the Atmos AG is hardly "ultralight," it has a respectable weight and gives up virtually nothing in comfort or features. The suspension system is also far superior in many ways when compared to some of its competitors but it isn't the lightest pack by any means, especially when considering the amount of weight it carries. If you are looking for the lightest pack that can carry forty plus pounds, there are others that outperform it.
Adjustability & Fit
The Atmos AG 65 is available in three sizes and features Osprey's Fit on the Fly adjustment system. This system offers a good vertical range when adjusting the shoulder straps (around four inches of vertical play), which lets the user dial in the perfect torso-length for their specific needs.
This pack also features a hip belt that offers up to six inches of adjustment to fit a wide range of waist sizes. This range maximizes the comfort of the hip belt and makes sure there is appropriate coverage of the wearer's iliac crest to reduce hot spots. When loads got above the forty-pound range, however, the hip belt wasn't quite rigid enough to support the added weight.
Several of our testers used the Atmos AG 65 in the field, and we talked to several local outdoor shops about their luck fitting folks with the Atmos. All of the shops reassured us of our initial reaction, in which we found that the Atmos fits most people fantastically, regardless of their body shape. The ability to dial in the fit of the Atmos is one of the reasons, so many of our testers found it to be one of the most comfortable packs in our review.
When compared to similarly weighted models that have like features, this pack is priced fairly. The hoards of satisfied Atmos fans can attest to this packs' comfort and user-friendly features, proving itself to be a pretty good value. If you are looking for a simple light-weight pack with a very basic set of features, you can get that for a much lower price, however.
The Osprey Atmos AG 65 is an exceptionally comfortable and well-ventilated pack that has most of the features our testers love. For moderate weights forty pounds or less, the Atmos AG 65 is one of the more comfortable packs in our review. Its' suspension distributes the load wonderfully across our hips, back, and shoulders. For warm-weather hikers, this pack also brings an unprecedented amount of ventilation and is worth taking a look at if you log many days in these types of climates.
— Adam Paashaus