A review of the Osprey ATMOS 65AG Backpack.
This pack the Atmos, replaces my much loved Aether 70. My Aether was the pre-AG system. This is Osprey’s Anti-gravity system. A system that keeps the pack floating close to but not touching your back. An aid to keeping the back cool and dry.
I replaced the Aether as it simply hurt. It was measured to me and heat fitted, but the shoulders,although wide and padded, cut me stressed me, and the weight was too much. Thus the Atmos with the AG glimmered as a fix. The Atmos is a much simpler pack than the Aether. I was always annoyed when wearing the aether in wind. It had so many straps, that would blow you and whip you in the face-over and over again. So the Aether has gone, and now the trial with the Atmos begins. So I headed off to Dartmoor for the weekend…. and what a weekend it was. Dartmoor, a place where the military train and prisoners are kept. A barren landscape that throws elements at you by the bucket-load. I rocked up and had to walk to my accommodation, so this was the first test.. The weekend ahead was some resilience and navigation training/assessment in preparation for my world record attempt to walk to the Northen Pole of Inaccesability. #lastpole with the legend Jim Mcneil.
I packed everything into my bag, and instantly sand obviously found it smaller that my Aether 70L. The Atmos being 65L. Not to worry, my bed-roll I strapped to the outside. From the get go I really liked the top lid. It is massive, and adjustable-so it can sit well on top. I adjusted it so that it totally covered the inner opening-due to weights and loads I thought at first it wouldn’t fit, but with more fiddling I discovered it was a fully floating cover. This can be totally detached and worn as a bum-bag or fanny-pack(for you Americans out there) and there is a basic flap underneath so the Atmos is still very useable, and lighter….Great option, and great facility.
The bag is made from standard Osprey material, it does tarnish with use-but should one have a crisp clean pack? I would say not. A good pack will tell stories. It’s tough, and feels like it could survive a bramble bush or two.
I unpacked my bed stuff in the place we stayed…Witches Cottage, or Nun’s Cross Farm-near Princetown. A very very rural basic place-straight out of a horror film. The next morning I used this as my day pack. Two Nalgene Bottles either side in the more than adequate bottle pockets. These I have to say were great-better than the Aether’s in my opinion, secure without being over the top by being too tight, too loose, or too big.
The shoulder straps were wide and padded, and were fantastic. There are straps across them to which you could attach stuff. I had a compass hanging on one. I would like to see a daisy chain that you could hang more substantial things off, such as cameras, or radios-just the option would be nice as opposed to trusting the less robust straps that there are.
The weather was wet. No, not wet, it was soaking, and the wind was absolutely howling. Needless to say I should of adored the rain cover-alas I did not. I followed one of my ML trainers who seemed to think they’d were an advertising gimmick… I don’t know as on my return the bag had to be dried out as there was a puddle of water at the bottom. Perhaps the cover would of helped, maybe not. A bag like this is able to deal with being wet, open it up, dry it out, it’s as good as new. It feels like a very well built bag.
I was carrying perhaps 15kg all day, and towards the end I was noticing a slight ache in my shoulders, but we had been up and over horrendous terrain all day, and apart from that-it felt great. The AG system really shines through as a method to float your pack. Secure and tough-It felt great on my back.
I love the Atmos’s simplicity. A storm flap with a draw-chord that can give you access to the entire inners. Essentially one large pocket-this simplicity means less straps and flaps, less complication is far better.
The top lid, although brilliant, is only flawed by the closing clips. I always found myself hunting for where the straps plug in. This was by no means bad, I simply felt myself having to think every tine I did up the bag. Somehow this could be made simpler? Bright red plastics for the buckles???
The bag then is good. It stood up to the extreme testing. Not perfect but in my honest opinion a far better pack than the Aether.(Ive not tried the Aether AG yet).
Despite it leaking(without the rain over) its drying out, and I am keen to get out there and use it again.
A great bag. 65L is big enough for a weekend, however perhaps a little tight if a tent is required too. Stands up well to weather, but isn’t waterproof without the rain cover. Get it fitted by an expert-I didn’t and after 10 hours on the moor I was starting to ache. The colour I had was a bit dull, I prefer bright. The AG system is great, the simplicity and use ability is great.
If this helped you, annoyed you, made you laugh or cry, please consider helping me on a record breaking attempt. #lastpole https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kernowoutdoors?utm_term=zD4bpK6Md