Looking to lighten your load? If you’re looking to shed some pack weight so you can enjoy the journey more or perhaps just carry some more luxuries, then this may be a pack worthy of your attention.
Design & Durability (Rating: 100%)
The Atmos is, in essence, a traditional style backpacking pack with loads of features combined in a highly functional and lightweight package.
The two main weight savings in the Atmos are as a result of the lightweight suspension set up and lighter materials used compared to heavier materials used in the heavier Osprey pack range such as the Aether model.
The Atmos sits roughly in the middle of the Osprey pack range weight wise and is really aimed at people who want a pack suitable for three to five-day trips carrying 12-18kgs in weight. If you were closer to the 18 kg’s though, it might be more comfortable carrying that in something slightly heavier such as the Aether model mentioned above.
The suspension aptly named ‘Anti gravity’ consists of two light but strong rods inside the pack frame and a full mesh back. The mesh allows for fantastic breathability when you start working up a sweat compared to packs that just rest the body of the pack against your back.
The Atmos has loads of features. Starting at the top of the pack, the top pocket is removable and able to be used as a small day pack. The lid has a built-in strap so you can wear it around your waist and the pack has an integrated ‘flap jacket’ cover meaning you can seal off the main pack when the lid is removed and used on its own.
Internally, the Atmos has a top to bottom hydration pocket, fitting up to a 3-litre water bladder and holding the weight against your back where you want it. The pack also has a lower external accessed zip up sleeping bag compartment with removable internal divider. This basically separates the main pack into two when the internal divider is in place and you can then access the bottom section using the external zipped up section on the bottom of the pack.
The ‘Stow on the go’ trekking pole attachments mean you can easily attach your walking poles to the pack on the move. It also has dual access stretchy mesh side pockets which are a good size.
The Atmos has plenty of side, top and front compression straps, and also removable external sleeping pad straps on the front at the bottom of the pack. It’s also has two large zip-up hip strap pockets, one on each waist strap.
On the front of the pack externally, there is a large stretchy panel which runs from just below the lid to just above the zippered sleeping bag access section.
All these features combined make the Atmos an absolute pleasure to carry and use.
Personally, I use almost all the pack’s features on most walks, except the trekking pole attachments as I don’t carry trekking poles. My current Osprey Aether has been going strong for 3 years or so now and apart from being a bit grubby is still as good as the day I picked it up.
Functionality & Ease of Use (Rating: 100%)
As I mentioned, I have until now been using an Osprey Aether pack. The rest of my family members also use Osprey packs and I have 5 in my house so far so it’s safe to say I’m a fan. From my wealth of experience, I can confidently say that they are well designed, well built and very comfortable to carry.
I’ve been using an Osprey Aether 65 litre pack for several years now as my main pack for multi-day hikes and as I’ve improved the quality of my other gear, I’ve managed to reduce quite a bit of weight and bulk as well. As a result, I was keen to try a lighter pack more in line with the lighter weight I was now carrying on most trips. Enter the Atmos. Size wise its 15 litres less than my 65 litre Aether but my gear has become a lot smaller as I’ve sought out to save weight so the reduction in size isn’t an issue for all but the longest trips.
When I hike, I often make use of the lower external zippered section on the Osprey packs. I place my quilt, mat, headlamp and thermals down the bottom section in a small dry sack and then use a smaller dry bag on top in the main section for the remainder of my gear. I will then usually place my shelter in one of the side pockets or on top of the dry bag just under the top lid. I like this as it saves me having to unpack my entire pack at every campsite to set up my bedding and shelter. Some people would rather keep it all in one dry bag in the main section but that feature works well for me.
The hydration holder is great as you can slide the bladder down the back of the pack and clip it in place which keeps the weight of the water low and hard up against the back of the pack. The hose also feeds out to the sternum straps via a hose port meaning your water is easy to access and I always find I’m more likely to stay hydrated while on the move. I use a top opening bladder, one because they are easier to clean and dry but the added bonus of that is you don’t have to remove it once inside the pack. If the water source is high enough you can just open the top and fill it up in place leaving it inside the hydration holder in the pack.
The dual zip-up hip pockets work well and are easy to access when on the move. They’re big enough to fit the essentials such as a Cliff Bar and some lip balm or sunscreen in one side and a phone or small camera in the other.
The side pockets are big enough to easily accommodate a decent size water bottle both sides. I can easily fit a 1.5-litre bottle in them. The side pockets are great as they have 2 entry points to the pocket. One is the standard top entry, but they also have a side opening as well. The side opening faces you when it’s on your back which means you can pull a bottle in and out the pocket without removing the pack. Simple but really useful not having to remove a pack to get a water bottle out if that’s how you carry your water.
The ‘Anti-gravity’ suspension is basically a full piece of mesh that runs behind the top of the shoulder straps all the way down to join into the waist straps. It’s strong but stretchy and does a good job of ventilating your back when you’re on the trail. As with most quality packs the suspension is adjustable, as are the waist straps. The pack also has an adjustable sternum strap which has a built-in safety whistle in the clip.
The top lid has 2 external pockets, the top one smaller and perfect for a rain jacket and rain cover. There’s a small clip inside the top pocket as well if you’re worried about losing something like your keys when you open the pocket. The bottom pocket on the lid is the bigger of the two and easily fits maps, snacks, jacket and first aid kit and lunch. It’s good for carrying stuff you need during the day and saves constantly opening and unpacking your pack during the day.
Removing the top lid is simple, it’s just a few clips and you can venture away from camp or your pack and still take some essentials with you. The ‘flap jacket’ closes over the top of the pack with a few clips as well when meaning your main pack isn’t left open to the elements.
The Atmos has plenty of side, top and front compression straps and also has removable external sleeping pad straps on the front at the bottom of the pack. The straps do well to compress the load in your pack and keep it nice and compact.
The front stretchy mesh panel is another great feature that’s good for stuff you don’t want inside the pack pockets. I usually use it to keep my rubbish in a large ziplock bag, my wet rain jacket and a tent footprint. It’s quite stretchy so it’s easy to fit a bit of gear in it. It has some well-placed drain holes at the bottom as well if you do put some wet stuff in it.
Overall the Atmos is a really nice pack with similar features to my Aether model. The main difference being the weight of the pack and the ‘toughness’ of the materials used in its build. Like anything lightweight, the Atmos will require a little more care, but in normal use, it should give the wearer no issues. It’s probably not the best option for hardcore scrub bashing but for normal hiking, it’s a great pack. I’ve carried around 12 kilograms in the Atmos which is my usual multiday hike pack weight these days. That weight gave me no issues and was comfortable to carry over a three or four-day walk.
What I Like
Pretty much everything about it. The Atmos is full of features, most if not all are really useful, well designed and well thought out. The Atmos carries well, is comfortable and has heaps of room and different places to pack gear.
What I Don’t Like
Nothing comes to mind from my experience with the Atmos so far. As I said above if your scrub bashing or generally very rough with gear, you might want something a bit tougher. Keep in mind, though, with a tougher backpack comes a heavier backpack.
The Osprey Atmos is available online from Wild Earth.
Disclaimer: Osprey provided an Atmos backpack for review. The above link is an affiliate link, meaning I make a small percentage if you buy a product after clicking on the link but you don’t pay a single cent extra. This has no effect whatsoever on the opinions presented in the review.
Have you tried the Osprey Atmos? Got any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting below.