My usual winter overnight pack is 40 litres and I’ve even been known to stretch to 50L to make room for more pies and whisky, but I’m supposed to be all about dropping weight and upping enjoyment, so what the dickens am I doing with a monster 65 litre pack?

Good question.

This is the Osprey Atmos AG 65.

Osprey Atmos AG 65


The Atmos (and the women-specific version, the Aura) is marketed as ‘ground breaking’ due to the new AntiGravity back system. As you know, I’m not one to truck with the marketing flannel so I had to take a look for myself.

The first impressions when I pulled it out of the box were twofold:


2) It weighs a TON.

I’m not kidding. So noticeable was the weight that I got the luggage scales out and gaped as it racked up to 2330g for my long back version. Yup, thats over 2kg just in the empty pack. Lightweight my arse. I’ve spent many years whittling down the weight and bulk to find the wonderful sweet spot of joy (which is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between hauling a load like a mule and sleeping under a polythene bag in your pants) so the prospect of  going back up the scale to a monster bag seemed counter intuitive, to the extent that I was sure I was going to hate it. It mainly reminded me of my old Karrimor Jaguar and that was a step too far back into the past. I left it in the box for some time.

Eventually the guilt kicked in and I pulled it back out, loaded a box of gear into the car and headed out. Then did it all over again and again over the course of 4 months.

Osprey Atmos AG 65

Out on the hill, the most obvious piece of interest was the harness, and in particular the hip belt. Putting it on resembles triggering a man trap. It clamps round your hips and won’t let go. So much so, that you don’t even need to put your arms through the shouder straps to keep it attached to you. Interesting.

Even more interesting was that the 2-and-a-bit kilos just vanished as soon as I put it on and cinched the belt together, the load transfer is outstanding. What felt like a ton weight coming out of the box was suddenly unnoticed on my back. I get why they call it AntiGravity.

Osprey Atmos AG 65

In terms of features, there are other elements worth checking out. There’s a split main compartment with divider, they say it’s so you can put your sleeping bag in the lower part and keep it segregated, but it’s handy for storing wet kit too. There’s a detachable lid which had a large pocket that houses the raincover. Take the cover out and the pocket is very large.  If you ditch the lid, there’s a flap cover to take it’s place.  The belt features some good-sized zip pockets, and is super-adjustable.

There’s the usual Osprey bits and bobs, like the elastics to store walking poles, stretch mesh pockets and the like. It’s hydration compatible too, with an internal sleeve. So much, so good but quite frankly it’s all about that back system.

And when it comes to hauling big loads, I’ve never worn a more comfortable pack. It’s super comfy. Load transfer is excellent and the ventilation is good. The first few jaunts were with my usual load out, somewhere between 8 and 10kg and it was great. To push it, I loaded up with multiple tents and stuff just for fun to see how it coped with 20kg and despite feeling it in my legs, it handled it very comfortably. If I really had to haul some heavy loads, this would be my go-to pack.

Osprey Atmos

Osprey Atmos

There are some downsides, the weight of the pack itself being the most glaring, that back system comfort comes at a cost in grams. The rain cover is an utter waste of time in the Scottish mountains, it flaps like a sail in the wind and basically works as a rain gatherer to help swish water around the base of your pack. If you lose the cover (and you should) then the lid becomes a questionable item too, you don’t really need the large pocket when you have 65 litres to work with, so it can go and just use the top flap cover instead.

My advice, go for the 50 litre version and strip it down. If you do, you’ll get one of the most comfortable carries available, the back system really does live up to the marketing which is a rare and wonderful thing.  Bothymongers will love it, loads of room for whisky and no sore shoulders when you get there.

If you are a hauler of loads, the Atmos comes highly recommended.

Osprey Atmos




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September 27, 2015
Hi M. Nice review. On a different note, I was wandering if your a cold sleeper?,as I'm the same height and build as you.. What bag do you use?, I have a marmot never summer. Seems to do the trick but damn heavy once compressed.
September 27, 2015
I used to sleep warm, until about 3 years ago and I've started having to go up the ratings. Must be old age. In summer, I just grab whatever the lightest bag I have is at the time, for Spring and Autumn I find the Mammut Sphere Spring works well as a balance between weight and warmth. It's rated to zero. Used it last night in fact and was far too hot in it. When it gets colder I'm quite partial to the Thermarest Altair.
June 26, 2016
I have the Osprey Atmos 65 myself and I have to admit, while it is comfortable, it is a bit unwieldy to use. Frankly, if I am going to be hauling large loads, I like my Bergans of Norway 75 L Trollhetta pack and for the super large loads where I have to carry more than anybody else its the Bergans of Norway Alpinist 110 L. Those Scandinavians really know how to make excellent rucksacks. If you had a "cost is no option" rucksack for something in the 65 L range, what would you get? I already tossed two smaller packs, a Mammut Trion Guide 45 and the Mammut Nordwand Pro 25 pack. Well, I gave them to the Salvation Army really, I did not literally throw them out. Thanks!
March 28, 2017
Thanks for the useful review - I'm gearing up for my first trip into the Scottish landscape (West Highland Way) soon, and happen to own the very same pack. Did you find it fairly water resistant without the rain fly? Wondering whether or not to purchase one now after reading your review. Thanks!
March 29, 2017
Rain covers are generally useless in Scotland. They tend to flap about in the wind, fly away occasionally and fill with water at the bottom. The pack itself is fairly weather resistant, but almost all packs leak eventually. The key is to use drybags for your gear inside. I split my gear over six or seven drybags that are different sizes and colour coded. Makes it easy to find what I need and makes sure my stuff stays dry on wet days.