Osprey Atmos AG 65 Backpack (2022) Review

Recently updated with improved access and better comfort, Osprey’s leading backpacking pack remains one of the most well-rounded designs on

Table of Contents

4 lbs. 9.8 oz. (size S/M)

50, 65L

An exceptional all-rounder with great carrying comfort, organization, and ventilation.

Pricey and fairly heavy at over 4.5 pounds.

Osprey’s Atmos AG 65 backpacking pack has been our best-rated for many years. It is also one of the most popular designs on the trail. The Atmos AG 65 got a redesign for spring 2022. Osprey made a surprising decision to update the pack. However, the good news is they have addressed many of our issues with the old model. There’s now more padding at the hipbelt, easier access to the main compartment, a raincover is included, and more recycled materials. It is a well-rounded design that will appeal to comfort-minded backpackers. Here are our thoughts about the Atmos AG 65. Check out our article about the best backpacking bags to see how it compares to the competition.

Performance

Comfort

The Osprey Atmos AG 65 fit perfectly when I first tried it. It is almost like the pack hugged you because of its mesh backpanel. The pack makes a strong impression. It feels snug and comfortable even after long trips. Loads ranged from 25 to 35 pounds. The new model addresses a problem that some testers had with the previous-generation Atmos’ stiff hipbelt. This would cause pressure points by rolling inwards slightly. The new Atmos has a slightly modified hipbelt and more foam cushioning, so I didn’t have any complaints. I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable my pack felt even after a long day of hiking.

Osprey has lowered the Atmos’ recommended load range from 30 to 40 pounds to suit the current model. The previous model was capable of hauling 50 pounds. After loading up with water, my maximum weight was 35 pounds. However, the pack felt strong enough to carry another 5+ pounds. The pack’s strong full-metal frame and extensive side compression straps system and well-integrated suspension effectively distribute weight. I didn’t feel off-balance, or that I was pushing the limit, even on steep trails or crossing tricky creeks.

This makes the Atmos appear to be capable of carrying a similar weight to its predecessor. Osprey believes that its Aether collection, which has thicker padding, and a burlier construction, is better for heavy haulers. They rate the Aether PLUS at 60 lbs. The Atmos is comfortable enough for most backpackers. However, those who are interested in four-season adventure and light mountaineering, or carrying heavy water (or other heavy items), may prefer a burlier design.

 

Weight

The Osprey Atmos AG weighs 4 pounds 9.8 ounces in small/medium size. This is an average weight for what we consider a luxury backpacking bag. It is important to note that even backpacks with similar capacities can have different constructions and features. Ultralight models, which weigh in at around 2-3 lbs., are on the other end. These backpacks only have two pockets and are made of thin materials. Traditionalist packs have premium features and thick, durable materials that can often reach 5 pounds. Atmos AG is a premium pack. Other heavyweights in this category include the Gregory Baltoro 65, Osprey’s Aether 65 (both 4 pounds). 14.7 oz.) Aether Plus 60 (5.5 lb.) has more features. 10.5 oz). We feel that the weight is appropriate for people who value comfort, considering its durability and excellent organization.

Organization

The Osprey Atmos AG 65 has plenty of pockets, lash point, and gear loops if organization is your priority. The pack comes with the usual assortment of zippered pockets, two mesh water bottle holders and an exit port for a water tank and tube. There’s also a large mesh stuff pocket at the front. The sleeping bag compartment has its own zipper at base. However, the dual side zipper access makes it unnecessary. Osprey has two loops to carry ice axes and trekking sticks. There’s also a unique attachment point for trekking poles along the left shoulder strap.

We find the zippered pockets on the side of the large mesh front pocket to be the most useful. They can hold bulky items such as a water filter, rain jacket or fuel canisters. These are larger than the Atmos’ prior generation and can hold a large iPhone 11 in a bag (we even managed to fit a point and shoot camera in).

The most important change in the Atmos AG’s new Atmos AG is access to the large, bear-canister-friendly main compartment. The long, curved side zippers provide excellent visibility into the interior of the pack. This is very useful for finding hidden items at camp and on the trail. Although the Baltoro 65 ‘s central U-shaped opening (which folds almost like a travel bag) makes it easier to find and retrieve gear, the Osprey’s dual accessibility is a great addition to the design.

Ventilation

The latest Osprey Atmos AG65 has a large suspended mesh panel. It covers most of the back, as well as the hipbelt. To limit sweat buildup, even the shoulder straps are Anti-Gravity. It works in practice: We’ve never worn a pack that allows for this much airflow. The breeze is a welcome relief from the heat. As I mentioned above, the pack’s comfort and carrying capabilities are greatly enhanced by its trampoline-like, mesh-heavy build.

Quality and Durability

The Atmos’ ventilation design is not only great, but it also doesn’t compromise other parts of the backpack. This pack is another Osprey quality item. It can carry a multi-day load comfortably, has thoughtful organization, is made of durable materials (210D nylon main part and 500D bottom) that have not shown signs of excessive wear. They are noticeably thicker than lighter-weight designs (many are 100D). The pack is built to last. I didn’t have any issues setting it down on rocks or climbing through branches. Osprey now offers a raincover, which can be stored in a pocket on the bottom of the pack. The latest 65-liter model has a $30 to $300 increase in price, but the added pack cover makes it worth the extra.

Sizing

Osprey reduced the size options in the Atmos 65, from three to two. However, the new model has more customization options that its predecessor. The bag is very comfortable and fits well on your back. You can adjust the height of the shoulder straps to suit your body by sliding them along the back panel. The brand’s Fit on the Fly padding is now used in the shoulder and hip belt straps. This allows you to adjust the padding where you want it (it attaches with Velcro). This customization allowed me to customize the pack in the right size for my 18-inch waist.

Sustainability

Osprey also made a final modification to the Atmos AG65 pack by using more eco-friendly materials. The entire pack now contains recycled nylon that has been approved by bluesign. This means that chemicals and materials used are safe to the environment, workers and consumers. Durable water repellent (DWR), is free from PFC and PFAS, which means it doesn’t contain any harmful fluorinated chemicals. It’s a smart upgrade to a well-rounded design. We appreciate Osprey’s efforts to improve the collection.

Other Capacity – Osprey Atmos AG 50

Osprey also offers a smaller 50 liter Atmos version. The Atmos AG 50 is a smaller version of the 65 and weighs in at around 5 ounces less (in a size M). It retains all of the storage options that its larger sibling, the Atmos AG 65, but it is lighter at $280. The 65 is our favorite size, and it is worth the $20 extra. However, for those who travel less frequently and are more comfortable packing light, the Atmos AG50 is a great way to save.

 

Women’s-Specific Osprey Aura

The men’s Atmos AG was tested, but Osprey also offers a Aura AG for women. The Aura, like the Atmos, is available in 50- and 65 liter capacities. However, it also offers a female-specific fit as well as different color options. Both designs share the Anti-Gravity System and key features like the pocket layout, high-quality fabric, and attachment points to attach trekking poles or an iceaxe.

What Do We Like

  • The generous padding, the well-executed suspension system and full metal frame help to distribute weight well, resulting in great comfort for loads of up to 40 pounds.
  • The suspended mesh backpanel promotes airflow more than any other pack that we have tested.
  • The new Atmos addition of dual side zippers allows for great visibility inside the pack. They also make it easy to quickly retrieve items.
  • Plenty of organization, including plenty of pockets, lash points and gear loops.
  • Made with recycled fabrics that have been approved by bluesign and an anti-PFAS DWR coating.

What We Do Not

  • The Atmos weighs in at 4 pounds 9.8 ounces. It’s not a light product, but it’s ideal for people who value comfort more than weight savings.
  • The pricier model is $300, a $30 increase in price from the previous-generation model (although it comes with a raincover).
  • Burliers are a good choice for those who want to try light mountaineering, or carry heavy loads (40+ lbs),
  • Only two sizes are available (though you can customize your fit quickly and easily).

Comparison Table

PACKPRICEWEIGHTFABRICCAPACITIESACCESSPOCKETS
Osprey Atmos AG 65$3004 lb. 9.8 oz.Nylon (210D and 500D)50, 65LSide, top8 exterior
Osprey Aether 65$2904 lb. 14.7 oz.Nylon (210D and 420D).55, 65LFront, top7 exterior
Gregory Baltoro 65$3004 lb. 14.7 oz.Nylon (210D).65, 75, 85LFront, top9 exterior
REI Co-op Traverse 60$2294 lb. 4 oz.Nylon (300D).32, 60LTop10 Exterior
Granite Gear Blaze 60$2703 lb. 0 oz.Nylon (100D and 210D).60LFront, top6 exterior
Osprey Rook 65$1653 lb. 8.3 oz.Nylon (600D and 100D)50, 65LTop5 Exterior

The Competition

Osprey’s top backpacking pack is the Atmos AG, but the Aether is more of an all-purpose heavy hauler than a lightweight backpack. The Aether65 has been updated a few seasons ago to remove the Atmos’ Anti-Gravity panel, but the AirScape design is still decently breathable. The main compartment is easily accessible via a J-shaped zipper, which allows for adjustment and attachment, as well as the rain cover. The price is in the weight (4.4 lb. 14.7 oz. 14.7 oz. We would recommend the lighter Atmos in most cases.

The Gregory Baltoro65 is another option for carrying a full-loaded pack. The Baltoro has a U-shaped main compartment opening that provides better access than the Osprey’s side zippers. It also features generous padding, ventilation, excellent organization, and good ventilation. The hip-hugging suspension, pivoting shoulder straps and stability of the pack on uneven terrain are also great features. The pack’s feature-rich design adds weight to 4 pounds 14.7 ounces in a medium frame. Gregory also omitted a raincover with the new edition. The Atmos has one. The two packs are both capable of handling long days on the trail. However, we would break it down this way: If heavy-hauling comfort is your priority, the Baltoro. The Atmos is the better option for multi-day and overnight trips, and it gets the nod.

The Traverse series by REI Co-op has been a favourite of ours for many years. The most recent Traverse 60 offers solid organization (we love the large hipbelt pockets), and solid durability–all at a price of $70 and 6 ounces lower than the Atmos. The Traverse’s padding and backpanel are not as comfortable, and they have a surprising budget feel. Overall, the Traverse is an excellent value. However, we still recommend the Atmos for backpackers who are more concerned with comfort and ventilation.

Like the Atmos, Granite Gear’s Blaze 60 design is also comfortable and well-designed. The Blaze is unique in one area: its weight. Even at 3 pounds, the Blaze is lighter than the Atmos’s 4-pound-9.8-ounce, but you have to make sacrifices when going light. The Atmos has better padding around the hipbelt and shoulder straps, more pockets and a mesh-heavy backpanel that is more breathable than Blaze’s foam design. The Atmos is the better-rounded pack for $30 less, while the Blaze is an option for those who prefer to keep it simple.

Osprey also offers a budget-friendly Rook 65, which is an in-house option to the Atmos. The Rook is a great choice for budget-friendly Rook 65. It costs $165, which is a substantial $135 less than the Atmos. We were not impressed with the Rook’s performance on a Grand Canyon trip in the early season. We found the pack lacking in organization and comfort, which is something that the Atmos excels at. The Rook is an excellent entry-level pack. However, if you plan to get out often, we recommend the more comfortable, feature-rich Atmos.

Switchback Travel reviews can be used to help you buy gear. Click on the links to make a purchase. We will receive a small commission if we are successful in completing the transaction. Although the product cost is the same for you, this allows us to continue testing and writing about outdoor gear. We appreciate your support.

Most products are free to ship in the USA if you spend $50 or more, depending on the seller. Shipping rates and availability to international destinations vary depending on the seller. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies.