First let me say that no matter what, you should go into your local store and try on several packs with weight in them. Packs are a very personal thing, what is amazingly comfortable on me may make your trip less than ideal. For me Osprey packs fit me the best so far.
- 3,900 cubic inches (63 liters)
- AirScape suspension – peripheral 7075 AL rods, ventilated nubbed foam backpanel and internal framesheet with single aluminum stay.
- Welded stretch woven front pocket, convertible top pocket and dual entry stretch woven side pockets
- Sleeping bag compartment and sleeping pad straps
- IsoForm harness with dual density foam, IsoForm CM hipbelt, and internal backpanel hydration sleeve with dual exit ports.
With my old Mountain Smith pack being old and heavy I decided it was time to upgrade to a newer style pack. I spent a month going back and forth to REI trying out packs and slowly singling them out to come to a decision. Within a week I knew that Osprey was going to be for me. I narrowed it down to the Aether 60 (5 lbs) or the Atmos 65 (3 lbs 12oz). I really liked the Atmos ventilation system and was almost sold on it. I had been testing the packs with 30 pounds in them (at the time that was my average) I would just load it up and stand there for a while then go back to the other. It can be hard to make up my mind sometimes.
After a few weeks of this I needed to just bite the bullet as some point and choose. So I loaded up all my gear in my car and asked REI if they minded if I loaded my pack with it, they let me and I did just that. This made all the difference. I wore both packs while walking around the store for probably 30 minutes each. What I noticed was at 20 pounds I didn’t really notice any difference but at 30lbs while wearing the Atmos I tended to lean forward just a little bit to balance the pack on me. Where with the Aether I stood nice and straight… After many miles on the trail I was betting that better form would be my friend. So I purchased the Aether 60 in the tundra (green) color and had REI swap out the large waste belt to a medium which they did at no charge.
Little about me: I am on the trails 2-3 times a month during the summer and try to be out at least once a month during the winter. Anything from a nice 15-20 mile overnight trip to multi day trips where I go much further.
Initial thoughts: Well built with no loose stitching and plenty of straps to cinch it down tight so your load doesn’t sway. Love the ability to access through the top, middle and bottom of the pack. Waste belt and shoulder straps have the perfect amount of padding and are comfortable. The color is pleasant and not overpowering.
Field Testing: I have now used this pack for most of a year. Its simply the most comfortable pack I have ever owned. I never get any hot spots from the shoulders and I don’t feel sore at the end of a long day. It breaths enough that I get minimal moisture build up on my back on hot days. I carry all the gear I like to carry and still have room for my Bear Vault inside the pack with room to spare. I have gone bushwhacking with this pack on and have seen no sign of any damage.
My only complaint is the lack of waste belt pockets for carrying snacks, camera ect. The bioform waste belts just don’t come with them. Osprey makes Accessories for there packs that give you options to solve this. I bought the best one for my needs but feel its going to need a little altering to make me completely happy.
Final Notes: If your in the market for a new pack, you should at least try this pack on. Its made a world of difference for me on my outdoor adventures.