Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Gear Reviews - RRP $329.95 www.os­prey­packs.com /au /en/ TESTED BY JUSTIN WALKER

ANY­ONE WHO HAS hiked for more than a day with a fully loaded back­pack knows how im­por­tant a sup­port­ive, ro­bust and well-en­gi­neered har­ness sys­tem is. Osprey Packs has been in the back­pack busi­ness for decades and its highly re­garded rep­u­ta­tion has come about through de­liv­er­ing well thought-out pack de­signs, with killer har­ness sys­tems that pro­vide fan­tas­tic sup­port and com­fort to the wearer.

The At­mos 50 AG is one of the com­pany’s new packs – and one that utilises its all-new Anti-Grav­ity (hence the AG in the ti­tle) sus­pen­sion sys­tem to en­sure max­i­mum com­fort and ease of car­ry­ing. This new sys­tem is se­ri­ously in­no­va­tive: it uses a back panel that is both seam­less and com­posed of light­weight mesh that stretches from the hip belt up to the top of the pack’s back panel. The idea is the sys­tem is sup­posed to con­tour to the in­di­vid­ual’s body and min­imise any in­hi­bi­tion of your nat­u­ral move­ment when walk­ing with a pack. The hip belt does its own job; dubbed a Fit-on-the-Fly hip belt, it is highly ad­justable and also fea­tures the same mesh ma­te­rial as the sus­pen­sion sys­tem to en­sure max­i­mum com­fort.

The AG har­ness is ad­justable, as you would ex­pect, and fea­tures what Osprey calls a “struc­tural load lifter bar” which is de­signed to en­sure your load is po­si­tioned in just the right place for min­i­mum stress on your back and thus less car­ry­ing ef­fort.

The AG sys­tem’s back panel re­ally does con­tour to your body. I got a per­sonal fit by the folks at Paddy Pallin in Kent Street, Syd­ney, and was amazed at how com­fort­able the har­ness sys­tem is. It re­ally does en­ve­lope your torso/ back/hips, but with all that mesh, it does not in any way feel hot – the ven­ti­la­tion be­tween the sus­pen­sion sys­tem and the pack it­self works bril­liantly.

To date I have only been out for a few overnight hikes with this pack, but even in Syd­ney’s re­cent warm and hu­mid sum­mer, I found it to be far less sweat-in­duc­ing – and far cooler – than any other large pack I have used over my 25-plus years of fully packed trekking.

We hope to keep the At­mos AG 50 in the AG Out­door test shed for a lit­tle while yet; so far we’ve been im­pressed and the per­for­mance of the AG sus­pen­sion sys­tem ap­pears to match the mar­ket­ing bravado.



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