A Hike with the Osprey Atmos 65
Any seasoned hiker out there knows that whatever gear you bring with you can either make or break your multi-day hiking experience.
When it comes to backpacks, the standard would be something that can enhance your experience more without posing problems in the middle of the trip.
Some large backpacks have tried to deliver on that and many have failed.
The Osprey Atmos 65, on the other hand, has several features which might make it one of the best in the industry right now.
Any serious backpacker out there knows how important it is that the back gets a healthy flow of air from the outside to keep any hiking trip comfortable.
The Osprey Atmos 65 is designed from scratch to keep the back dry and cooled without compromising many of the standards set by internal frame packs.
How this large backpack manages to accomplish this is through a large suspended mesh that covers the hip belt and back panel with the Anti-Gravity feature.
The mesh is designed to let air through the web-shaped pores that cool your back. This will reduce the chances of your back becoming sweaty after several hours.
What We Liked
One area that the Osprey Atmos AG 65 does better than most large hiking backpacks is in ventilation.
One of the downsides of the industry’s transition to inner frame backpacks is the omission of some important features. A lot of hiking backpacks today feature superior durability at the expense of letting air flow through the back efficiently.
A sweaty back can be problematic for any backpacker, as the added moisture can cause loosely-fastened belts to slowly slip off the shoulders. Also, there is a chance that you will develop a rash if you do not regularly change clothes in a trek.
The hiking backpack was designed to hug the body as tightly as possible. The back panel and hip panel have a tendency to fold inwards, which means the pack is going to be on your back for as long as everything is fastened.
The back panel might have a tendency to pull away after several hours on your back. However, this rarely will pose problems when you need to keep your balance when walking.
The Osprey Atmos is comparatively lightweight, unlike most large hiking backpacks as it only weighs 4 pounds and 9 ounces. This might sound a bit heavy but keep in mind that construction and built-in features play a part in the backpack’s load capacity.
The Atmos 65 can be considered as one of the premium lightweight packs as it is made with a fabric durable enough to carry loads 10 times its own.
The Atmos can be considered to be one of the lightest luxury backpacks readily available on the market right now as it can weigh no less than 5 pounds on its own.
The Atmos 65 gives you 2 zipper-style pockets at the top, 2 mesh holders for water bottles and other containers, a sleeve for water reserves, and a large mesh pocket located in front of the pack.
The zippered pockets are quite large to accommodate bulky or heavy items like smartphones, fuel canisters, and a camera. There are also 2 pockets at the hip belt for you to store any item that you need to have quick access to throughout your trek.
What We Didn’t Like
No zipper access to main compartment
However, there is one major flaw with the pack, and it is the lack of a zipper access for the main compartment.
As the Atmos 65 uses the standard top loader design, you will have to literally dig through the compartment for any item you have stashed deep inside.
An inclusion of a zipper lock at the main compartment and extra storage space at the bottom might help even if these add a few more ounces to the total weight. Most hikers would rather deal with extra weight in their back than the inconvenience of rummaging through items for longer than necessary.
Aside from a considerably lower load limit than its competition and a zipper access that needs to be revamped, the Atmos 65 also tends to emit noise at the hip belts, which is especially noticeable as the hours pass by.
Due to its design the Osprey Atmos 65 is not the ideal pack to carry heavy loads. Compared to the Gregory Baltoro, the Osprey Atmos has a load capacity of only 50 pounds. Anything beyond that and you might feel that the backpack will tug at you after several hours of walking.
How Does It Stack Up?
With everything said and done, you might be wondering how the Atmos 65 fares in comparison with its competitors. When it comes to ventilation, the backpack has an advantage as the Anti-Gravity mesh is only used in the Osprey line.
Compared to the compression system found in the Traverse 70 by REI, the AG mesh is far superior in the aspect of providing proper air flow to your back.
As for load capacity, the Atmos 65 is slightly inferior when compared to the Gregory Baltoro 65 or, its heavier sibling, the Osprey Aether AG 70. Just to be clear, this is only due to the fact that the aforementioned backpacks did not omit the zipper access to the main compartment, which makes them far more convenient options for heavy packers and mountaineers.
However, the Osprey Atmos 65 shines the most in the field of endurance. Its main feature addresses one of the biggest issues in internal-frame backpacks and is considered to be the top option for casual backpackers or anyone who loves a long trek under the heat of the sun.
All in all, the Osprey Atmos is a major step forward for the internal-frame backpack industry. By doing away with the biggest drawback found in any hiking backpack of this build and size, the Atmos 65 is seemingly forcing other backpack companies to come up with superior ventilating options.