The Osprey Atmos AG 65 earns an Editors' Choice award for its ultra-comfortable suspension and a plethora of sweet features. It is also well ventilated, and its overall design is our favorite. well-ventilated and is our favorite overall design. Tapered shoulder strap padding maximizes comfort where you need it and reduces weight where it can. The Anti-Gravity (AG) suspension distributes the load, creating an even and pressure-point-free feel. It takes the trampoline-style design to a new level, incorporating the entire back panel and the waist belt, enabling this pack to tote loads of 40 pounds with ease. It's a pack for anyone who needs a reliable companion for almost any backpacking adventure.
Osprey Atmos 65 AG Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Shoulder straps are very comfortable, many awesome pockets, excellent ventilation, extra adjustable hip belt
Cons: Not as supportive for loads over 45 pounds, snow gets trapped in back panel
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This pack is the real deal for your 2-5 day trips. All of our testers love the overall design and found that it keeps us organized with its perfectly placed pockets. Its Anti-Gravity suspension turns out to be a straight-up dream, even after hours on the trail.
The Osprey Atmos AG 65 takes top honors for its high comfort score, quality suspension, and great features.
Suspension and Comfort
The Atmos AG 65 is incredibly comfortable. The Arc'teryx Bora AR 63 is the only pack that can compete. The AG or Anti-Gravity suspension uses a suspended trampoline mesh. This concept is a fairly common one, 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, our testers all commented on how effectively this design distributed weight across our backs and waist. In turn, this eliminated hot spots, pressure points, and other high friction areas for most users. The shoulder straps also have an effective padding distribution. 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 for the load. We only started to notice the straps in a bad way once pack weight got up around 40 pounds.
The face fabric is comfortable against the skin while wearing a tank top or thin base layer. Another advantage of the AG system is that it 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 used on both the back panel and the hip belt creates an exceptionally supportive infrastructure, 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 40 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. Other packs with a more traditional suspension, like the Gregory Baltoro 65, Osprey Xenith 105 and Arc'teryx Bora 63 perform better with heavier loads.
Features and Ease of Use
The Atmos AG 65 has one of our review teams' favorite all-around designs among packs in our review. It has a rich array of pockets, adequate access, and a handful of other rad 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. These pockets feature a design that makes opening and closing them while hiking pretty easy, and we can operate the zipper while hardly breaking stride.
Our reviewers appreciate the dual-sided mesh water bottle pockets that allow you to insert water bottles either vertically or angled forward, making them far more accessible without having to remove the pack. A minor but fantastic feature is the vast stretch mesh back beavertail pocket. During our field test, it proved to be perfect for camp sandals, fuel bottles, a frisbee, and other awkwardly-shaped items.
Behind the mesh beavertail pocket, you'll find two reasonably large 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. It has two zippered lid pockets and two straps over the sleeping bag compartment that are big enough to hold a large, closed cell foam pad.
The lid is removable so it can be left behind to save weight. If you do, there is an additional flap built into the draft collar, which is essentially a second simple nylon lid.
At right around 4 pounds 8 ounces, the Atmos AG 65 is 5-8 ounces 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's a respectable weight that gives up virtually nothing as far as comfort or features are concerned. If you are considering a much lighter model but still want a frame, the Osprey Exos 58, ringing in at 2 pounds 10 ounces, is an excellent choice. If you want a lighter pack but still need it to carry loads, we recommend the Osprey Aether Pro 70 or Thule Versant 70.
Adjustability & Fit
The Atmos AG 65 is available in three sizes and features Osprey's Fit on the Fly adjustment system. This system offers an above average vertical range when adjusting the shoulder straps (around four inches of vertical adjustment), which lets the user dial in the perfect torso length for their specific needs.
This pack also features an adjustable hip belt that offers up to six inches of adjustment to add or subtract girth from the pack. 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 further.
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.
The Atmos AG 65 is a versatile pack that nearly all backpackers can appreciate. Its wide array of pockets and decent access also make it a good option for use as a travel pack. As one of the most well-ventilated packs we tested, it's a perfect choice for backpackers who travel in warmer climates. While we'd take this backpack on many moderate mountaineering trips, the only downside of the trampoline-style suspension is that it can collect snow. On a few climbing trips in the Cascades, snow worked its way into this space during breaks, which can be a pain to deal with as it slowly melts.
At $270, the Atmos AG 65 is priced fairly. When compared to similarly weighted models that have similar features, like The North Face Banchee 65 or the Gregory Paragon 68, this pack is comparable. For its price, the Atmos AG 65 does sport an above-average amount of features and usability, proving itself to be a great value.
The Osprey Atmos AG 65 is an exceptionally comfortable and well-ventilated pack that has all the features our testers want. For moderate weights 40 pounds or less, the Atmos AG 65 is the most comfortable pack 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. It's worth taking a look if you log many days in these types of climates.
— Ian Nicholson