Osprey Packs – Spring 2015 Preview
Latest in our series of spring 2015 gear previews from the OutDoor show in Germany is Osprey Packs, who launched a pair of innovative new, Gold Award-winning big packs, revamped its accessory range and added to its range of trail-running packs as well as tweaking a number of other models.
New Atmos AG And Aura AG Packs
That’s the Atmos AG65 in the image at the top of the page, one of four new models – two men’s and two women’s – that wowed the jury in the show awards to land a sought-after Gold prize. The ‘AG’ bit of the name stands for ‘AntiGravity’ and hints at a back system that’s a little bit different in the world of big packs.
It’s a hard one to explain, but the whole back of the pack, including the hip-belt, uses a highly-tensioned, seamless mesh that’s vented but also supportive enough to spread the load right across back and hips and allow you to carry a substantial load in comfort. Or that’s the theory.
The Fit-On-The-Fly mesh hip-belt’s particularly distinctive and a bit of a stand-out – we’ve never seen anything like it before – but it also has the impressive Exo-Form harness we first encountered on the new Exos pack this spring.
The idea of a ventilated back system on a big load lugger – the packs come in 50L and 65L versions – seems a little counter-intuitive, but Osprey had a fully-loaded pack we were able to try on and we were genuinely, pleasantly surprised.
Once on and adjusted, the AG back-system kind of moulds itself across your back and round your hips giving what does feel like a really even load distribution right across your shoulders, back and hips. It’s a bit like being enveloped in a snug bear-hug and a little bit different from conventional packs which tend to focus on feeding the load down onto your hips.
Of course there’s a world of difference between pottering round a show stand for five minutes and a multi-day backpacking expedition, but as an introduction, it was promising.
The rest of the pack is conventional in Osprey terms at least with top notch materials and components, Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment, sleeping bag compartment, inbuilt raincover and removable FlapJackettop cover.
Not the lightest pack in the world – the Atmos 65 is a claimed 2120g in medium – but not ridiculously heavy either. The 50L versions are just a smidgeon under 2000g. Nor is it cheap at £180 for the 65L versions and £160 for the 50L variants. Interesting stuff for anyone looking for a largish vented pack that should have an impressive carry.