View Full Version : Is the Osprey Atmos 50 AG worth it's weight?

01-06-2016, 17:37
We've all heard the rule of thumb, buy a pack between 2-3 lbs, but what if you find that one pack you have to have and it weighs a whopping 4lbs - 1oz? The pack I'm referencing is the Osprey Atmos 50 AG (size large), and the pack seems amazing to me other than its weight, which seems high in an equally priced pack. What are your thoughts and personal experiences? I love this pack, and I can't quite seem to find another that can content with it, my runner up being the Osprey Exos 58, which is only 2lbs - 12oz but lacking many features the Atmos offers, notably the "Anti-Gravity" suspension system. My intended use will be a 2017 NOBO AT thru-hike. Thanks for your input, it's greatly appreciated!

01-07-2016, 08:19
I had a very old (first generation) Atmos 50 about ten years ago. Loved the ventilated back but the straps were very uncomfortable. I recently upgraded to the newer Exos 46 last year. Love this pack. Comfortable, lightweight, and the straps are way better. Take a serious look at the Exos 58. If I was going on a thru tomorrow, I'd probably use an Exos 58. By the way, I don't know what an "anti-gravity" suspension is. Sounds like marketing hype. :)

01-07-2016, 08:28
Anti gravity is the mesh that you speak of on the older atmos, they've revolutionized it so that it covers the whole back side of the pack. It might be marketing hype, but it really does work and it really is comfortable. I got the Atmos AG for free when I sent in my old Atmos for repairs and have been struggling on whether or not to use it on my pct thru this year because of the weight. All I can say is that yes it is heavy but yes it's also very comfortable. It's up to you whether you want to sacrifice weight or comfort, but there are many lighter packs that are just as comfortable imo.

01-07-2016, 08:59
I used a 2013 Atoms 50 when I did and end to end of the Long Trail. It is the most comfortable pack I have ever owned. I like the long pockets on the front. The quest for a better lighter pack never ends though. Now I'm lusting after a Zpacks Blast or the ArcHaul for my AT attempt. I won't even get into my lust for lighter tent. I used the Nemo Obi 1 Elite on the Long Trail. Now I think thats too heavy.

01-07-2016, 09:42
I would have to know how much you plan to carry in order to give a meaningful answer.

If your max payload is 25 pounds or less, I think it would be foolish to use a 4 pound pack to carry it. There are sub-one pound packs available that will comfortably carry a 25 pound payload.

It's often said here to buy your pack last, to fit your load.

01-07-2016, 09:52
I would have to know how much you plan to carry in order to give a meaningful answer. If your max payload is 25 pounds or less, I think it would be foolish to use a 4 pound pack to carry it...Yeah, Ed Zachery. I loved my Atmos 50 when I used it, maybe 7-8 years ago, fine pack. But I replaced it with an Exos 46, because for my carried weight, the Exos was fine and lighter. THEN along came the ULA packs, the ULA OHM 2.0 was even lighter and definitely more comfortable and useable, so my Exos then went bye-bye (given to my son, who I had give my Atmos to before that). I've tried sub-1lb packs and I'm sticking with a sub 2lb pack (the ULA OHM 2.0) for the added comfort.

Old Hiker
01-07-2016, 12:16
Old (not 2016) Volt 75 is 3 lbs. 14 oz. Alleged 40 - 50 pound loads. I'm down to 33 and (hopefully) dropping as I continually re-evaluate and read here on WhiteBlaze.

I liked mine so well (took over a pound off my old JanSport) I bought a backup.

01-07-2016, 16:21
comfort is worth a pound, even a couple of pounds

01-07-2016, 20:02
I still use the older Atmos 50 pack, weighs a bit over 3 lbs. It is still my favorite pack of all. I tried the new Exos pack, did not like it. Many gear mfg are making their backpacks heavier and heavier.

01-13-2016, 01:07
I have the Atmos 50 AG pack and really love the way it makes you feel like you have nothing on your back. The only way I know I have different weights in the pack is how much my legs ache after a certain distance. I got the pack down to 3.5 lbs by taking off the lid and you need to start shorting the long straps that are just about everywhere on this thing. You can comfortably get it down to 3 lbs and still enjoy the packs suspension. The issue with most sub 2 lbs packs is there isn't much of a frame so unless you're carrying a superlight load they'll kill your back.

01-13-2016, 01:21
Most comfortable pack I have at the moment is an external frame 65L. It weighs almost 5 pounds. Still, I could not find anything lighter that I liked and I looked at the AG packs. While I liked some aspects of the pack, it just didn't feel as comfortable to me as my external which carries the weight high but more importantly for me, keeps the pack off my back (sweat a lot). But, same issue was the weight. I don't have it yet but I bought a Zpacks Arc Haul, still waiting on delivery but at least on paper, it seems close enough to a traditional external frame that I took the chance. What does all this mean? Well, if I can go lighter I would, but if this Arc Haul is not as comfortable as I am counting on it being, I will still wear the 65L I have.

01-13-2016, 01:30
....buy your pack last, to fit your load.

As a section hiker, I am on my 3rd pack...the first one (a nice solid Deuter) fit the heavier weight I carried - 40ish pounds - in the pack alone - NOT skin out! I was excited when I hit 30's in the pack alone. Now, I am down to 27 - skin out, including food for 5 days and 2 liters of water - using an Osprey (sorry, I don't know which one...).

Harrison Bergeron
01-13-2016, 10:10
It's a shame they ruined the Atmos. I love mine, but it's only 3 lbs. I don't know what "antigravity" suspension is, but it used to be that both the Atmos and Exos had the same suspension -- a springy mesh thing that holds the pack away from your sweaty back. Did they screw up the Exos, too?

I've been tempted to switch to a lighter pack but just can't bring myself to give up the bottom "sleeping bag" compartment, which I actually use for my tent and Neoair instead of my sleeping bag. I don't know why you can't buy a lightweight pack that has one. How much can a zipper and a flap of nylon weigh? Without it, half your camp gear winds up on top, so you have to unload just to stop for lunch.

And yeah, the weak point on the old Atmos was the straps. I use a pair of sheep-skin covers.

Maybe you could find someone who wants to sell an old Atmos?

Uncle Joe
01-13-2016, 10:54
I think where Osprey shines is the ability to bear more weight. If you're trimming your pack weight you might find the Atmos a bit much to carry.

I never cared for the Exos straps. They were narrow and seemed to roll a bit laterally.

01-13-2016, 11:43
1) There seems to be a lot of uncertainty around the differences between the Atmos and the Atmos AG packs. The new AG (2015 and newer) packs use a completely different tension mesh system than even the Exos. The AG is amazingly comfortable with light loads (<30 lbs) and, in my opinion, fails amazingly with heaver loads (>35 lbs). I see the AG as a brilliant and failed design because it is not light weight, and it's real forte is making lighter loads disappear on your back.

2) The Osprey Exos is a wonderfully light bag and will carry lighter loads almost as well the the AG, and fails, similarly to the AG, as loads get up over 30-35 lbs.

Good luck on making your decision.

01-13-2016, 17:47
My husband loves his.

01-13-2016, 19:57
You have to use a pack that is comfortable for you. End of story. You are the one that is wearing it.

I know people with lighter packs that hate thiers but loves mine even though it is heavier by a pound. I have the old design Atmos 65. I love it for winter it is a great pack. Summer I do not need the room.

That being said, I have a smaller pack weight for the summer and still use it, even though I don't come close to filling it. I really crank hard on the compression straps and make it a toothpick.

I'm also concerned about my pack weight but their are other trails besides the AT that during the summer, I have carried 7 days of groceries. I was glad it could take the weight.

Again, it is on your back, get what is the most comfortable with reasonable weight.

I like my old one, and would not consider getting rid of it.


01-17-2016, 19:47
I have one, you won't really notice the extra weight because it's a very comfortable carry. I was using a smaller, lighter GG, priorly.

01-18-2016, 09:34
I have an old style Atmos 50 as well as a newer Atmos 65 AG. Previous to these I used an Equinox Pamola, a Mountainsmith Haze 50, a Kelty Illusion 3500, and a couple externals here and there. The Atmos 50 became my go to pack. I am a back sweater so I really like the extremely well ventilated suspension on this pack (and the 65 AG). I also like having the structure/support these packs provide as compared to the frameless styles I have used. I purchased an Atmos 65 AG to give me a bit more room for winter backpacking and so far am as pleased with it as I am with the Atmos 50. I don't worry about the weight issue too much. My loaded pack for weekend trips is usually under 20 lbs. and for up to 5 days (including food and 2 liters of water) is rarely above 25 lbs. and never above 30 lbs.. Sometimes it has more to do with what you put in the pack than the pack itself. I can do all the miles I need to do with those load weights. You need to find what works well for you and your style of backpacking. A poorly fitting/riding/loaded ultralight pack will be more tiring than a good fitting/riding/loaded heavier pack and vice versa.

01-25-2016, 11:26
I'm on my third Atmos 50. This new one is the AG and I love it. My older Atmos packs were great, but the way the AG wraps around my back makes it ride like a Cadillac. A 1/2 pound heavier than my older Atmos packs, but I don't mind at all. My weight with food and water for normal trips is right at 22 lbs (That was before I bought my new REI Flash sleeping bag to cut weight with my bag), so I'm not all too worried about being much heavier.
Now, that being said, I'm currently looking to get a ULA Circuit to try out and to motivate myself into going much lighter. But if the ULA isn't as comfy as my AG, I'll just have to lose weight in other area while continuing with my pack.