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Review: Osprey Atmos AG 50 backpack


STAFF REVIEW: OSPREY ATMOS AG 50 BACKPACK  

James Reader, keen hiker-climber and Snow+Rock Copywriter, tests the award winning Osprey Atmos AG 50 backpack on a weekend of sunny camping.


 

I got my first glimpse of the Atmos AG back in May 2014, when I visited Osprey over in Poole to write an article for The Great Outdoors magazine on how the company develops its backpacks and to interview the big ideas man himself, Mike Pfotenhauer.

 

After a sneak peek of the pack and its AntiGravity back system, which made the load feel remarkably light, and its unique, fully-ventilated, hugging hip belt, I wanted to take it for a proper test ride.

 

Thankfully, roughly one year later at a Snow+Rock training day in the New Forest, the good people at Osprey granted my wish and sent me back with a new and shiny Atmos AG 50 to trial.

 

 

The Pack

First, let’s talk about the Atmos AG’s unique back system. The AntiGravity 3D suspended mesh back panel and hip belt elevate the pack away from your body allowing a generous gap for cool air to flow between you and your load.  

The Hip Belt

The Atmos AG also features the world’s first ventilated hip belt, which is a great feature considering how wide and padded it is for extra comfort.

 

The hip belt includes two roomy and easily accessible zip pockets which are perfect for stocking anything from energy bars and gels to other items which you might want to access quickly and conveniently, like a compass, mobile phone or GPS. The hip belt also gently hugs your waist (it feels like giving a koala bear a piggyback) to anchor the pack to your body, so that you don’t lose any support if you decide to unstrap while on the move. 

 

The ExoForm/BioStretch harness with load lifter ‘bar’ and Fit-on-the-Fly adjustable hip belt, which are responsible for the pack’s load support, disperse the weight across your entire back for lighter walking. Maximising support and comfort with the pack’s various straps and harnesses takes some getting used to and a little experimentation while on the move, but once you nail it, you’ll really feel what all of the fuss is about. The Atmos AG also has external compression straps so that you can centralise and concentrate the pack’s load to make it feel even more lightweight. Check out the video below to take a closer look at how the AntiGravity back system functions:

Osprey Packs | Atmos/Aura AG™ | Product Tour

The Atmos AG has a number of other features which make it an excellent pack: the stretch mesh side pockets are ideal for storing bottles; the sleeping bag base compartment with internal divider is large enough to squeeze in a two-man tent; the integrated rain cover sufficiently coats the pack and the removable top lid means that you can cut back on weight for smaller trips (for longer treks, the Atmos AG 65 has a little more room, but the AG 50 easily carries a two-man tent, sleeping bag, inflatable sleeping mat, clothing and accessories for two nights of camping). There are even loops and attachments for walking poles, ice axes and a shovel handle sleeve for even more easy access.

The Verdict

The Atmos AG is another example of why Osprey arguably produce the best packs in the world. Their latest effort is ideal for summer hillwalking where staying cool and comfortable on hot and strenuous days can make the difference between a sweaty slog and a light and manageable challenge. I’m looking forward to testing this on some longer hikes and expeditions over the coming spring and summertime months. 

Osprey Women's Aura AG 50

Snow+Rock also stock the Women’s Aura AG 50, which has all of the features of the Atmos AG, including the AntiGravity back system, but with a women’s specific fit. If the Aura supports as well as the Atmos, this will be an excellent choice for weekend camping and backpacking. 

 

 


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