TESTED // OSPREY ATMOS AG 50
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.
ANTIGRAVITY TECH BUILD QUALITY ADJUSTABILITY