Friday, 30 October 2015 10:07

Osprey Atmos AG 65 tested and reviewed Featured

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The Osprey Atmos AG 65 is a mid-size load carrier that packs in the features. With more pockets that a professional shoplifter, a hip belt that adjusts to perfectly hug the body and an efficient ventilation system it's one of the most comfortable packs on the market for its capacity. Well built and durable it's a pack designed to last for years.

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What the manufacturers say:

The ground-breaking new Atmos AG is equipped with our unique suspended AntiGravity™ backsystem which incorporates the world’s first fully ventilated hipbelt. Whether you’re exploring hot climates or trekking through tundra, the seamless mesh and 3D cavity backpanel equals unrivalled ventilation and comfort whilst providing excellent load carrying performance. Fill the Atmos AG to the max and it’ll feel practically weightless on your back. Thanks to the ExoForm™ Biostretch™ harness, load lifter bar and the Fit-on-the-Fly™ hipbelt. InsideOut™ compression provides impressive load support, reducing fatigue so you can push your adventures harder and longer. Need easy access to your gear? The twin zippered front pockets, base zip and top-lid entry points mean that no matter what you’re faced with, you can easily grab your kit. Our Osprey Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachment allows you to either stow or access your poles without removing your pack. A large sleeping bag base compartment with internal divider allows you to store your gear separately when required. When the weather turns for the worst deploy the integrated & detachable raincover contained within the lid. If you’re looking to cut weight to the last gram then the FlapJacket™ means you can remove the lid and still keep your gear protected from the elements. All of these reasons and many more explain why the Atmos AG has won an Innovation Gold award.

Features:

•AntiGravity™ 3D suspended mesh backpanel/hipbelt
•ExoForm™/BioStretch™ harness with load lifter 'bar'
•Sternum strap with emergency whistle
•Top lid access
•FlapJacket™ top cover for use without lid
•Stretch front pocket
•Twin zippered hip belt pockets
•Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachment
•Twin ice axe loops
•Integrated & detachable raincover
•Sleeping bag base compartment with internal divider
•Fit-on-the-Fly™ adjustable hipbelt
•Compatible with Hydraulics™ Reservoir
•Base zip entry
•External probe and shovel handle sleeves
•Internal hydration sleeve
•Internal top load compression strap
•Light weight peripheral frame
•Adjustable AntiGravity™ trampoline suspended mesh backsystem
•Removable sleeping pad straps
•Stretch mesh side pockets
•Twin zippered easy access front pockets
•Weight : 2.18 kg
•Female Aura version Available


Osprey Atmos AG65 on test:

I’ve used an old pack for years for wild camping and longer treks so when I got an email about the new Osprey multiday/ camping pack I thought it was time to get an update.

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When the Osprey Atmos AG 65 arrived it is quite obviously big and on first inspection it has a lot of nooks, crannies, stretchy bits and straps. This is the norm for Osprey and can sometimes be frustrating to adjust to get it right, one view point could be over-engineering. On the other hand though if you spend the time figuringout what each strap does it can pay off and the pack will sit well, especially when fully loaded.

The AG stands for Anti-Gravity and this is the new back system that Osprey has developed. The principal is, asyou would expect, to make the pack float along behind you (not Osprey’s words, just my interpretation). The list of features on this pack are extensive, the AG though is undoubtedly the main one. From the moment you start to poke and prod at the ruck sack until you fill it up and go this the back panel is the thing that intrigued me the most.

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The back panel is a high tensioned mesh, the shoulder straps are then fixed through a bar which has back height adjustment and the top of the pack. The adjustment is made by straps and the bar sliding on the edges of the hard plastic behind the mesh. Hopefully the pictures will give an idea of how the systemis set up.

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The next part is the hipbelt, this is also part of the mesh, with an added bit up the sides. From a practical sense, when putting the pack on they are a bit of a nuisance to begin with. The belt is “spring loaded”, once the pack is on the shoulders you need to peel it apart and bring it around the waist. This is where the hug comes in, actually when it’s empty the hipbelt will make a good effort of holding the pack in place without shoulder straps, it’s a bit top heavy to stay put.

This doesn’t mean that the hipbelt is too tight though, the way the mesh is connected to the back system and around the inside of the hipbelt has obviously gone through a long process to give it the feeling of floating. And it does float along behind you. Obviously not literally but even packed to the gunnels it just feelsthat much nicer to have on your back.

The feature I don’t really get is the ‘fit on the fly’ extensions to the hipbelt, in my experience it doesn’t actually gain much more space the way the straps are fixed. It may give a little more padding, however, I didn’t benefit from it

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The lid is floating and has a lot of room inside the zipped pocket for all sorts of paraphernalia. There is also another pocket which holds the pack cover. It’s quite weighty and the pocket is a reasonable size andcould be utilised for other purposes if you’re not a pack cover type person, which I’m not.

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The lid can be removed and there is an integral second cover/lid, the FlapJacket, which will seal the pack from the elements. This will reduce the weight of the pack if required, losing the lid and the pack cover will bring the grams down.

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The pack weighs a little over 2 kilos, full specced. This may seem a bit heavy but when I went looking possible equivalents actually it fairs pretty well and with the unique back system it is probably on the low end of the scales to its peers. There are lighter 65 litre packs I agree but none that feel like this on your back I’ll be willing to wager

The pack also holds a couple of interesting features for the winter wanderer. Under the floating lid there is another compression over the mouth of the pack, this will grip a rope and the floating lid will seat over it comfortably. Along with this there are loops and elastic compression straps which will take a pair of ice axes.A whole range of possibilities open themselves up with the Atmos

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The pack has features all over it, there is stretch pockets on the side that can be accessed by reaching behind you, good for storing a Sigg bottle or equivalent. There is a pole storage system for whilst you are on the move, stretch panel in the front and two front zipped pockets which are a good size too. Pockets on the hipbelt for snacks, phone etc. I have detailed Osprey’s features list as there is so many of them

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Conclusions:

This pack is huge and packed well you could be out for 5/6 days I reckon. It comes with the usual strap-tasticdesign that you find with a lot of Osprey packs, however, every strap does something. As you see the feature list is extensive, I looked for the kitchen sink but it didn’t seem to make the cut.

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The back system though is brilliant! It’s comfortable, it takes the stress directly off the back and it works. I’m not saying you’ll be able to carry your own body weight, the Anti-Gravity isn’t quite that advanced but it’s not far off. There is a 50 litre option that is almost as high specced this would be a great summer pack, I could actually see it as being a contender for some of the TGOers next year. This 65 litre has a lot of potential for the right adventures, ski touring, big climbing trips, and unsupportedexpeds. I’ve certainly got it earmarked for future plans.

For further information on the Atmos/Aura range check out the Osprey website or watch the video here

 

Last modified on Thursday, 26 November 2015 20:46
Davy Wright

Most at home in the outdoors, preferably on top of something big and pointy. Scotland is Davy's playground, which is why he doesn’t mind getting wet. But winter is where it’s at. Hiking, scrambling, camping and a bit of climbing when I can. Sucker for a ridge. At a lower altitude he try getting out on his bike and run if he has to.

Davy describes himself as "a bit of a gear geek, maybe less of the bit. I like to see how things work or don’t!" In following this line Davy has become a respected and authoritative blogger over the last few years, working with many of the UK's major manufacturers and retailers.

Preferred activities: Hillwalking, camping, scrambling, trying to get better at climbing/ice climbing, cycling/mountain biking

Areas commonly visited: Lochaber, Cairngorms, Lake District