Osprey Atmos vs Aether: Which should You Buy?

 

What is Atmos and Aether?

Made by Osprey they’re two highly prestigious types of backpack, that are arguably the best you can buy for long distance treks and expeditions.

They aren’t cheap bags, but all the features they have, their comfort and their durability are getting them a lot of attention and praise in the hiking world.

But which is better?

Well, that’s hard to say and is highly dependent on your personal preference. However, some do have some features that others don’t and of course, size and price vary.

So you can pick the best one for you wants and needs I’ve done a rundown of the six top packs in both series.

Osprey Aether 60 vs Atmos 65 Comparison

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What We Know About Atmos Vs Aether: Which You Do Not Know

Atmos and Aether are both some of the most revered on the market but what sets them apart from each other?

Well, in general, the Atmos series tends to be lighter, slightly more expensive and has a few less features. However, it really depends on the specific model.

Within each series some have a removable daypack, internal rain covers, front access and loads of pockets and others miss out on these features.

I’ve written a rundown of each one below, so check that out if you want to see the specific features each has.

Do You Want A Highly Ventilated Pack? Look 2018’s Guide And Feature!

Both series have been designed with ventilation in mind. Back panels are heat molded so that they contour especially to your back leaving space for air to flow through.

Weight

Depending on the size and design the total weight can vary pretty heavily from around 1.8-2.7 kg.

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What’s also worth bearing in mind is the bigger the size the more inclined you’ll be to fill it with stuff you don’t need thereby increasing the weight even more. I always suggest to go with a smaller pack and then you’re forced to go light.

Hip Belt extender

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With hip belt extenders, they’ll fit anybody, even if you are a little bit larger than the average person.

Hydration Compatible

All these packs have hydration sleeves to fit hydration bladders into.

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The Aether series, however, has an internal and external sleeve so you can choose between the two or even carry two hydration bladders at once.

Removable daypack

This is a really cool feature that some of these have, that I absolutely love. The top can be removed and is completely functional on its own as a daypack.

This is insanely handy.

It means no longer unnecessarily lugging all your gear around with you when you only need a few bits and bobs.

On top of that, the main pack has a rain cover so that it can be used without the daypack attached. So if the daypacks to small and but taking everything would be too big then you’re still able to get that size which is just right.

Rain cover

Having a rain cover is an essential addition to anyone who’s going on a serious trek or expedition. The last thing you want is for it to start raining and for all your gear to get soaked through.

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Having the rain cover inbuilt into the pack saves you so much hassle. It saves you time and money as you don’t have to shop around for the right one, instead, you can just crack on.

Side By Side pockets

Something really cool about the Osprey Aether is the pockets that it has on the hip belt. Each side has one and they’re perfect for little snacks that you can grab easily without taking your backpack off.

Levity

The Osprey Levity focuses on being the lightest rucksack there is. If you’re looking for a something simple and lightweight it’s definitely worth checking this series out.

Volt

The Osprey Volt is very different from the rest and encompasses the ‘less is more’ approach. With none of the extras, it’s a simple, lightweight but good quality backpack.

 

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Osprey Atmos’s Anti-Gravity Is Amazing

Osprey Men's Atmos AG 65 Backpack (2017 Model), Graphite Grey, Medium

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Arguably this is one of the comfiest ones that are currently available on the market.

Atoms have designed something really special here…

What I liked about it

  • The uniquely designed anti-gravity suspension system is what makes this entire series stand out so much. It makes this one of the comfiest bags to carry and allows for extremely good ventilation. This is achieved through a back panel which is made solely of lightweight mesh that contours especially to the wearer’s body.
  • The top of the bag is extendable and detachable. Meaning you can both stuff it full to the brim and more or take it off completely if you have a smaller load and want to reduce the weight.
  • Osprey’s ‘stow on the go’ feature is pretty cool too, it enables you to attach trekking poles onto the side of the bag and then grab them without having to take anything off.
  • It has an internal sleeve to fit a hydration pouch in, so it’s easy to stay hydrated.
  • There is an integrated waterproof internal ‘FlapJacket’ which ensures your kit stays dry.

Who’s it for?

Famous for its use by hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail this is great for those planning a long multi-day trek.

It’s one of the comfiest packs out there and is less than 250 bucks, so if you’re looking for comfort without breaking the bank, this is the one for you.

Some other sweet features

  • Comes in three sizes, a small 62 liter, a medium 65 liter and a large 68liter. So it doesn’t matter if you want a small and compact or something bigger to fit more gear in, they’ve got you covered.
  • You can open it at the top of through a zippered front panel so you don’t have to unpack everything if you need something that’s at the bottom of your bag.
  • With five zip pockets on the outside and three slip pockets, you can keep essentials organized and easily available.
  • The amount of external and internal compression straps on this means having your load sliding around and shifting the weight on your back is a thing of the past. You can also use the exterior lower and upper straps to strap your extra gear to the outside of the bag.
  • There is also a hip and torso belt so you can distribute weight evenly and comfortably across your body.

Typical Osprey Aether

Osprey Packs Aether Ag 60 Backpack, Adriondack Green, Md, Adirondack Green, Medium

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No matter what outside adventure or trek you’re going on this has got you covered. This is one of my favorites from the Osprey Aether series and there are a few good reasons why…

What I liked about it?

  • With anti-gravity suspension and a light wire tensioned full peripheral frame, the load is nicely transferred off of your shoulders and down into the ground. With the shoulder, back and hip panels all filled with mesh padding this is damn comfy.
  • The internal padding and the hip belt are both interchangeable with customized components so that maximum comfort levels can be achieved.
  • A separate internal zippered sleeping bag compartment is built into the pack. I love this, such a unique and handy extra feature.
  • As well as the ‘stow on the go’ feature to fit your trekking poles into there is also an outer ice ax holder with bungee ties, that makes sure your ice ax stays secure and easy to grab when needed.
  • There is a zip pocket on each side of the hip belt, perfect for keeping emergency snacks in.
  • There’s even a stash pocket on the front panel. Small and discreet it can be really handy for any little bits you want to be hidden away.

Who’s it for?

Whether you’re going on a thru-hike or a winter expedition this will see you through it well.

The use of their famous Anti-Gravity technology linked with the customizable fit this has means that even if you’re wearing it for long periods it should stay relatively comfy the whole way.

If you’re carrying heavy loads for multiple days this is a good choice to go for.

Some other sweet features

  • The top-lid can be taken off and converted into a smaller daypack.
  • Has an internal sleeve to fit a hydration pouch in.
  • There are zip pockets on both hips of the belt and a large mesh pocket on the front panel.
  • Internal and external compression straps ensure the weight of your gear is well distributed and that the space inside is utilized to the best degree possible.
  • A safety whistle is attached to the sternum strap which is super helpful for getting people’s attention or to warn bears and other animals of where you are.
  • Contents can be accessed through the top of the bag or through the zippered side panel.
  • Comes in green, blue or red.

Atmos AG 65 Liter Hiking Backpack

Osprey Packs Pack Atmos Ag 65 Backpack, Abyss Grey, Medium

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This is another super badass one, that’ll do any serious trekker well.

What I liked about it?

  • It has the famous AntiGravity suspension, which reduces the weight and stress on your shoulders while fitting comfortably and securely around your body.
  • Includes the Stow-on-the-Go attachment meaning you can easily clip your trekking poles to your pack. It also has dual loops with bungee tie-offs to store any ice tools you might need with you and keep them easily accessible.
  • There are two side mesh pockets which are ideal for keeping your water bottle or umbrella in.
  • The hip belt has two zip pockets on it, which are great to keep little snacks in and there are also two top lid pockets, a large front mesh pocket, and two zip pockets on the front.
  • The sternum strap has a safety whistle attached to it for emergency use

Who’s it for?

If you want a solid bag that’s not too big and not too small this would be a good choice to go for.

It’s the only bag I know of that has had extra improvements made to it, over a year after it originally started being sold. From 2018, they are now designed to be even more durable, have a comfier, more streamline fit and there are more colors to choose from with them now being produced in grey, green or blue.

Some other sweet features

  • New and improved in 2018,
  • Compression straps on the inside and the outside keep your load secure and stable while also minimizing your profile.
  • It has an internal hydration bladder sleeve which can fit a 3-liter bladder of water in it.
  • Comes with a pretty solid warranty.
  • Has a 65-liter capacity

World Renown Osprey Aether Pro

Osprey Packs Aether Ag 85 Backpack, Neptune Blue, Lg, Large

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A solid choice with a custom fit, this is one is all about comfort.

What I liked about it

  • Has Anti-Gravity Suspension which comfortably moves the load off of your shoulders.
  • Made with an interchangeable IsoForm5 harness and CM hipbelt that creates a truly custom fit.
  • The top lid is detachable and converts into a daypack for when you don’t want to carry all your stuff with you.
  • Stow-on-the-Go attachment makes it easy to store your trekking poles and ice ax holders mean you’ll be ready for any adventure.
  • It has loads of different pockets to store your extra gear in with zip hip belt pockets, a large mesh pocket on the front panel and even a small hidden ‘stash’ pocket.

Who’s it for?

If you’re going on a serious thru-hike, a long backpacking journey or an alpine expedition the Aether AG has you covered.

The combination of Anti-Gravity technology and the customizable fit makes this one of the most comfortable ones out there.

Some other sweet features

  • Internal and side compression straps makes the most of the space inside and keeps the weight equally balanced.
  • Has an internal and external hydration bladder sleeve so, in theory, you can carry an excessive amount of water.
  • Access to the bag can be done through the top or through the large front zip, so no need to unpack everything to find something at the bottom.
  • Has an inbuilt zip sleeping bag compartment.
  • Comes in blue, orange and green.

The Atmos 70 Extra Large AG Has Tons Of Functionality

Osprey Packs Aether Ag 70 Backpack, Adriondack Green, Md, Adirondack Green, Medium

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This is huge.

Perfect for if you think you’re going to be carrying big, heavy loads.

What I liked about it

  • Anti-Gravity Suspension and a custom fit IsoForm5 harness and CM hipbelt makes this another damn comfy bag.
  • Top-lid is removable and converts to a smaller daypack.
  • Easy to attach both trekking poles and ice picks onto.
  • Loads of easily accessible pockets to keep your gear organized in. Hipbelt pockets, side mesh pockets, small stash pocket and a large front mesh pocket.
  • Loads of internal and external compression straps to utilize the most of the space and keep your loads weight central and well distributed.

Who’s it for?

If you’re planning on carrying heavy loads for long periods, the Aether series is a good one to go for, and the Aether AG 70 is a particularly capable pack.

Some other sweet features

  • Has a safety whistle on the sternum strap in case of emergency.
  • Access to the pack can be through the top zip or through a large J-zip on the front.
  • Has a built-in compartment to store your sleeping bag in.
  • External hydration bladder sleeve.
  • Comes in three different colors to choose from green, blue or red.

Osprey Men’s Atmos 50 AG Backpacks

Osprey Men's Atmos AG 50 Backpack (2017 Model), Cinnabar Red, Large

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A lightweight one that still has all the features of bigger heavier bags. This is another beauty from Atmos.

What I liked about it?

  • Features the wicked AntiGravity suspension that contours around your body.
  • Has 3 interior and 1 outside pocket to keep your gear organized with.
  • Osprey’s Stow-on-the-Go feature has been added on, so carrying your trekking poles is nice and easy.
  • The top lid is extendable so that if your bag is overfilled you can still fill it a little bit more. If, however, you don’t need the extra space it can also be detached to reduce bulk and weight.

Who’s it for?

If you don’t want any extra weight on your back and don’t mind having slightly less space then this is the one for you.

It’s still got it all just in a compact, lighter package.

Some other sweet features

  • There is an internal sleeve in the main compartment to store a hydration bladder in.
  • Harness and hip belt are both adjustable and provide a comfy custom fit.
  • Choice of three colors, red, green or grey.
Scott Moey
 

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