With the right rucksack back system you really can carry everything you need for a night of camping, including the proverbial kitchen sink, and still remain comfortable throughout the day when backpacking. The Osprey Atmos range of rucksacks has been popular for many years, but now there’s a new Anti-Gravity (AG) back system available to supercharge their performance for 2015 – plus a new 65 litre capacity flagship pack at the top of the range.
The AG back system is built into the Atmos AG 50 for men and Aura AG 50 for women (£160), as well as the larger men’s Atmos AG 65 featured here and the women’s Aura AG 65 (£180). Osprey claims this suspended back system includes the world’s first fully ventilated hipbelt.
The back system works by having a tensioned mesh panel that is held away from the body across the back and hips to create a three-dimensional cavity in these body contact areas to allow more airflow. This increases comfort by not only reducing the build-up of sweat but also by providing a flexible contact area that contours to the wearer’s body shape as it moves – which Osprey describes as ‘true anti-gravity realized’.
Of course the proof is in the wearing, and I was stunned by how comfortable this pack was – even with its 65 litre capacity crammed to the seams with camping kit. There are no pressure points, the pack is very stable while allowing great freedom of movement, and you get all that airflow across the back and hips as well. These benefits are a mammoth achievement that few packs are capable of achieving as effectively.
The rest of the rucksack is typical of Osprey and includes its Stow-on-the-Go attachment system, which allows trekking poles to be attached to the shoulder straps. You also get stretch mesh pockets on the sides and front, plus compression straps. There is a pair of large zipped front pockets, another large lid pocket, and the main compartment boasts base and top opening. The lid has a floating design, which I don’t normally like for fear of water leaking into the main compartment. But on this pack you also get a second FlapJacket cover over the main compartment opening, which would keep any water at bay as well as meaning you could simply remove the lid if preferred to save weight.
So while it’s fashionable to try to reduce your camping gear to save weight in your rucksack, the Atmos AG 65 allows you to keep some of those heavier camping essentials and still remain comfortable when carrying them.
Capacity 65 litres
Weight 2127g (sample)
Anti-Gravity back system; adjustable back length; two main compartments with top and base access; removable lid; FlapJacket cover; compression straps; stretch wand/side pockets; front compression pocket; hipbelt zipped pockets; 2 external zipped body pockets; 1 external lid pocket; rain cover
Once again Osprey has raised the standard of rucksack comfort with the Atmos AG 65. The new Anti-Gravity back system means you really can take the kitchen sink and still enjoy backpacking.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2015