This “zero gravity” backpack has an insane suspension and weight distribution system so it feels like your carrying almost nothing (even if you decide to bring all that booze).
Osprey Atmos 65
If comfort is king, then Osprey’s Atmos 65 has a serious claim to the backpacking throne. Start with its contour-following AirSpeed™ mesh suspension, which lifts the pack frame an inch off your back to boost comfort and cooling air currents. Then dial in the fully-adjustable shoulder straps and hip-belt pads help to eliminate pressure points. Finally, ventilated foam panels improve breathability while ultralight aluminum stays keep its empty weight under three and a half pounds. And although this top-loader is built to haul, its streamlined profile lets you cinch it down for a quick overnighter, or fill its eight exterior pockets to supply an extended weekend on the trail.
Surviving in harsh mountain environments takes a combo of skills, wits and know-how. But it also doesn’t hurt to be outfitted properly. With backpacking season upon us, here’s the stuff you need, whether you’re planning an ambitious outdoor adventure or just want some cool gear for your next car camping trip. (For more wilderness wisdom, hang out with Eustace Conway and friends on HISTORY’s Mountain Men, Sundays at 9/8c.)
Osprey Atmos 65 Backpack
Any true mountain man needs the right pack, and this Osprey model has all the capacity of its more rustic, aluminum-framed counterparts while still looking damn good. It can hold enough gear for true backcountry adventures, but with an interior structure that makes it comfortable to carry while ventilating your back. Plus, it’s available in eye-catching red, blue or grey.
Ask Me: Advice on Buying a Lightweight Backpack
Any recommendations on a lightweight backpack for overnight to five-day trips?
I’d say get a pack around 50 liters that’s lightweight but not ultralight, so you can use it on a greater variety of trips, that will carry up to 35-40 lbs., but is light and compressible enough for a 20- to 25-lb. trip.
The Deuter ACT Zero 50+15 is an excellent example and reasonably priced.
The Osprey Exos 58 is one of my favorite packs for light to moderate loads; I’ve used it for years. It’s a pound lighter than the other packs I’m recommending here, but will handle 30 to 35 lbs. comfortably.
The Gregory Savant 58 would handle a somewhat bigger load, but is still not too big for what you’re looking for.
You might consider a slightly larger-volume pack if you want to have one that would allow you to also carry some of another person’s (wife, kid) stuff, like the Osprey Atmos 65.
Hope that helps. Make sure you measure your torso correctly to get the right size pack. Try on packs with weight in them before picking one. Good luck.
The Osprey Atmos 65 is a lightweight, highly breathable, and very comfortable pack. For those that demand the perfect fit, the latest Atmos pack features an adjustable harness on the shoulder straps, a super comfortable hip-belt, tensioned mesh on the backpanel, and Ospreys LightWire frame. All of these things add up to a pack that will feel like an extension of your body, while keeping your back nice and cool on those hot Summer days.
I have an Arc’teryx Bora 95 for long hauls, so I’m used to quality and good fit. The Atmos amazed me. It was SO light, and I don’t know WHAT it did with the weight … but … I was literally jumping up an down on the trail (I have a Marmot Swallow, so my tent has a chunk of base weight to begin with).
I read reviews of both the Arc’teryx Bora and the Osprey AFTER I bought the Osprey. I have been spoiled in my choice of both. The statement on Osprey that they lead the way, set the standards for other packs, is well noted. I looked at a Gregory as well as some EMS ones … the Osprey was awesome by comparison even in the store. I cautiously kept sales receipts and such for until I loaded and tested it … this one WON’T be returned.
13 Camping Items Every Man Needs
The weather is warm and the trails are inviting. It’s camping season, high time to strike out for a few days of life in nature, but first you have to gear up. Use this guide to pick the best new (and some classic) essentials for your next excursion.
It’s never easy going when you’re hauling a pack full of gear, but the Atmos 65 features lightweight materials and a sturdy alloy frame to help offset some of the strain you’re bound to feel on a daylong trek. The full-adjustable torso lets you customize the pack to your height, and there’s plenty of space for all your belongings with over 65 liters of capacity in the main compartment.
When you’re carrying a heavy pack on a hot day, a breeze across your sweaty back can feel like a plunge into a cool swimming hole. That may be the first thing you notice about the Atmos 65 (which also comes in a 50-liter version; the women’s packs are the Aura 65 and 50): the ventilated mesh back panel keeps the pack off of your back, allowing for excellent airflow. But you get more than just a cool back with the Atmos and Aura packs—you get high-end fit and organization. I carried up to about 55 pounds (including more than 20 pounds of water) in the Atmos 65 backpacking with my wife and school-age kids for three days down Spring Canyon in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park; and on a family trip to a backcountry yurt, skiing three miles in and three back out with about 35 pounds in the pack, while pulling a sled loaded with at least 60 pounds of gear and food attached to the backpack with carabiners. (Note: I’m not recommending the Atmos as a ski pack or for pulling a sled, and it’s not designed for either purpose; I just used it for that because I was testing it out and it worked well enough.)
For starters, the hipbelt is luxurious, thanks to foam that has good cushion and support under a heavy load. The length of the hipbelt’s padding can be adjusted while wearing it, for a more precise wrap around the hipbones. The adjustable harness—uncommon in a pack that’s available in multiple sizes—gives you three inches (7.5 cm) of latitude to dial in the torso fit. Mesh shoulder straps are nicely padded and breathe a little. I also like this pack’s organization for bigger loads and longer backpacking trips: two big front pockets; two spacious hipbelt pockets; a removable lid pocket; a sleeping bag compartment with its own zipper access, and, of course, a hydration sleeve and port. One small caveat: Be careful about not putting too much weight in the front pockets, or the pack will pull against your shoulders. But load it wisely and this pack carries 50 to 55 pounds with impressive comfort for a model that weighs in under three and a half pounds.
Some backpackers like to have a designated spot for every little item. The Atmos (and the women’s Aura) is ideal for the hyper-organized. After a five-day trip through the mountains of central Chile, our tester reported, “The big, top-loading main compartment swallowed my bag, clothes, food, and tent, while tons of pockets let me lay out everything for quick access during the day. Two lid pockets held my headlamp and beanie; the stretchy shove-it pouch fit my big puffy jacket; a pair of long, zippered pockets stashed my mini-crampons and gloves; and two hipbelt pockets held lip balm and sunscreen.”
There’s also an accessible sleeping bag compartment and two stretchy side pockets for water bottles. The suspension (adjustable from 17 to 21 inches), with an alloy frame, cross struts, and a tensioned mesh trampoline, negates pack sway with up to 50 pounds and kept testers’ backs cool during heavy exertion in hot weather. The hipbelt has strategically placed cutouts that create exceptional wrap around the hips and lower back for great load transfer and stability. The effective compression—two V-shaped straps on either side of the pack—adds extra stability. $239; 3 lbs. 9 oz.; 65 liters; ospreypacks.com