is the type of pack that will satisfy the needs of most backpackers for 2-5 day trips - as long as they don't pack everything, including the kitchen sink. All of our testers loved this pack's overall design and found it helped keep us organized with its seemingly perfect size and number of pockets. Its Anti-Gravity suspension, while gimmicky at a first look, is a straight up dream, even after hours on the trail.
The Atmos 65 AG
earns a spot among the most comfortable in our fleet, earning a perfect 10 out of 10, alongside the Arc'teryx Bora AR
and Gregory Baltoro 65
. We tested for loads under 40 lbs and found it remains slightly more comfortable than average among packs in our review - even for loads up to 50 lbs. The Atmos "AG" or Anti-Gravity suspension
takes a "trampoline style" suspension (or "suspended suspension"), one step further and not only suspends the entire back panel but the hip belt as well.
The result of this design impressed us. Despite some initial skepticism, our testers all commented on how effectively it allowed the weight to be spread out over the surface of your body. In turn, this eliminated hot spots, pressure points, and higher friction areas for most users. All of our testers commented that it also just plain felt super nice. The face fabric Osprey uses is comfortable and extremely pleasant feeling when it was against our skin or while wearing a tank top.
You can see the Atmos's "AG" or Anti-Gravity suspension. This design takes a trampoline or "suspended suspension one step further and not only suspends the entire back panel but also suspends the hip belt as well. We found this pretty dreamy to carry, evening and effectively spreading out the load as long as it wasn't too heavy.
Another advantage of the AG system is that the Atmos 65 AG
is the most well-ventilated pack in our review. It's an awesome choice for warmer adventures or for folks who are just plain sweaty.
The AG or "Anti-Gravity" frame of the Osprey Atmos 65 AG pack is shown here. Frames like this one are often referred to as a trampoline suspension or suspended suspension systems. The idea is that instead of having your back right up against the pack, your back is against a mesh back panel that is suspended over a more traditional frame. The advantage of this type of frame is that they tend to produce less hot spots on the user because the weight is suspended over a larger area. It also allows more air to ventilate, making these backpacks cooler and less sweaty. Their only disadvantage: they don't handle super heavy (45+ pounds) as well before they start to feel mushy and the suspension sort of half collapses.
While we loved the suspension and comfort of this pack for most backpacking and light mountaineering loads, we started to feel that the frame and suspended nature of the frame felt "mushy" and less supportive when carrying loads over 45 pounds. It was not as supportive as other packs in our review; if you are someone that goes on extended trips or often needs to carry more than 45 lbs, we would recommend the Arc'teryx Bora AR 63
, Gregory Baltoro 65
or the Osprey Xenith 75
which will all handle heavier loads significantly better.
The back panel of the Atmos is highlighted here, showing its airy build.
The AG or Anti-Gravity suspension used on both the back panel and the hip belt executes a comfortable ride, setting the Atmos 65 AG
apart from the other contenders. The suspension is stiff and proved to be extremely effective at transferring loads up to 40 lbs. The Atmos
performed solidly when loaded to 40-45 lbs, but once above 50-55 lbs, our testers thought it didn't feel as comfortable, nor did it carry the load as effectively. Other packs with a more traditional suspension, like the Gregory Baltoro 65
or the Arc'teryx Bora 63
performed better at handling loads above 45 pounds. While the Osprey Aether AG 60
features a similar looking suspension, our review team felt it handled the weight better overall (than the Atmos
At 4 lbs 6 ounces, the Atmos 65 AG
is about a half a pound lighter than most of the top scoring packs in our review, with the exception of The North Face Banchee 65
or REI Flash 65
- both 3 lbs 10 oz. It carries heavier loads similarly and in the case of the Banchee
, it offers a similar design. Overall, our testing team found the Atmos
to be marginally more comfortable when carrying lighter loads.
While the Atmos AG
is hardly "ultralight", it is a respectable weight that gives up virtually nothing as far as comfort or features go when compared to heavier packs; it is on par with or lighter than most backpacking packs in its category. If you're considering a much lighter pack but still want a frame, check out our Top Pick for Light Weight, the Osprey Exos 58
, ringing in at 2 pounds 10 ounces.
In this photo you can see the four short lines just left of center (the horizontal gray "anti-gravity" runs right into them) that provide reference points to indicate the level of vertical adjustment. The Atmos features roughly four inches of vertical adjustment to better fit the wearer.
Fit and Adjustability
The Atmos 65 AG
is available in three sizes and features Osprey's
"Fit on the Fly" adjustment system. This system offers an above average amount of vertical range when adjusting the shoulder straps, which lets the user dial in the perfect torso length for their specific needs.
The Atmos 65 AG
also features an adjustable hip belt that offers up to six inches of adjustment to add or subtract girth from the pack. This maximizes the comfort of the waist belt and makes sure there is the appropriate coverage (or maximum coverage) of the wearer's iliac crest, in an attempt to further reduce hot spots.
The Atmos's "fit-on-the-fly" waistbelt adjustment allows the pack to be fit to a wide range of users.
Several of our testers used the Atmos 65 AG
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 original reaction, in which we found that theAtmos
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 two pockets featured on the lid of the Atmos (the smaller higher pocket is slightly more difficult but look for the upper gray zipper pull). We liked that there were two zippered pockets to help keep us more organized. We liked the Atmos's lid and found it relatively easy to search through, particularity considering its access zipper is on the side, but we did have to be slightly careful that items wouldn't fall out (which its design makes easy to happen).
Features and Ease of Use
The Atmos 65 AG
has one of our review teams favorite all around designs among packs in our review. It has a sweet array of pockets, adequate access, and a handful of other rad features. Our testers loved the two oversized zippered hip belt pockets that were among the biggest in our review. The pockets easily accommodated items like a point-and-shoot camera so we didn't have to carry it in our pant pocket. These pockets also are designed so that opening and closing them while hiking was pretty easy and we were able to operate the zipper while hardly breaking stride.
Our reviewers dug the dual sided mesh water bottle pockets that allow a water bottle to be inserted either vertically in a traditional fashion or angled forward, making it far easier and more accessible for the wearer to snag (without having to remove the pack). A small but fantastic feature is the large stretch mesh back "beaver tail" pocket; during our field test, it proved to be perfect for camp sandals, fuel bottles, a Frisbee, or other awkward to pack items.
Our review teams favorite features on the Atmos was the stretchy mesh back pocket which proved great for drying things out or for oddly shaped items (like flip flops). The dual zippered pockets (which each one of our review team testers who used this pack loved) helped tremendously, allowing us to stay organized.
Behind the mesh beavertail pocket, you'll find two fairly large zippered pockets. We felt these pockets really added to the Atmos'
ability to help keep us organized. Like many packs, the Atmos
also features a lower zippered sleeping bag compartment with a removable divider. It also has two zippered lid pockets and two straps over the sleeping bag compartment that are big enough to hold an average to larger sized closed cell foam pad or other items.
Having two straps for a sleeping pad or other oddly shaped items is a small but excellent feature to have. We particularly liked how long the Atmos' straps were and found they were able to fit around pretty much any sleeping pad (something that can't be said about the majority of backpacking packs).
The Atmos features a removable lid that can be left behind to save weight (we like this); however, there is an additional flap built into the draft collar (basically a second simple nylon lid). This was the only real feature our testers didn't like as much once we tested it out in the field. While it seems like a cool idea in theory, our testing revealed it was really just extra weight and we never once found ourselves using it. For folks who might just leave their lid at home from the start of the trip, it will help keep the interior of your pack drier by covering the opening at the top of the pack.
The lid of the Atmos is removable (and can be turned into a fanny pack, utilizing the pack's waist belt) or can be left behind entirely to save weight. In the draft collar is extra material that Osprey calls their "Flapjacket", which can be pulled out and pulled over the opening in the draft collar to serve as a lightweight lid, keeping the contents of the pack dry.
The Atmos 65 AG
is an extremely 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 (if not the most well ventilated), it's a perfect choice for backpackers who travel in warmer climates. While we'd totally take this backpack on many moderate, general mountaineering type 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 somewhat of a pain to deal with as it slowly melted.
Another small but sweet feature is that the mesh water bottle pockets found on either side of this pack have two openings. One opening is on the top for carrying a water bottle more traditionally (vertically) or for other oddly shaped items like tent poles. A second opening towards the front of the pockets points the water bottle diagonally forward, making it far easier to retrieve and stow while wearing the pack (and without any assistance).
At $260, the Atmos 65 AG
is average priced, comparable to most packs on the market. When compared to similarly weighted models that have similar features, like The North Face Banchee 65
($240) or the Gregory Paragon 68
($250), are comparable in price, but the Atmos
scores higher, finishing second in our overall testing. For its price, the Atmos 65 AG
does sport an above-average amount of features and usability, proving itself as one of the most comfortable packs out there. The Atmos 65 AG
is almost $200 less expensive than our Editors' Choice, the Arc'teryx Bora AR 63
, and we'd contend that the Arc'teryx model certainly isn't twice as good.
The Osprey Atmos 65
is an exceptionally comfortable and well-ventilated pack that has all the features our testers are looking for - all at a reasonable price and respectable weight. For moderate weights (less than ~40 lbs), our testers thought the Atmos 65 AG
was the most comfortable pack in our review; its AG system distributed the load wonderfully across our hips, back, and shoulders. For warm weather hikers, the Atmos
also brings an unprecedented amount of ventilation. It's worth taking a look if you log many days in these types of climates.
We also thought the Atmos
had either the best or second best set of features as far as pockets and organizational ability, without much weight penalty. The Atmos'
only drawback is that if you carry a lot of heavier loads (45+ pounds), either because your preference is for mostly extended trips or you just typically pack heavier, we'd recommend a different pack. For most people that are going on 2-7 night trips, or for folks that tend pack lighter, the Osprey Atmos 65
should be a top consideration.