New Pack

7:57 p.m. on May 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Need some direction.  Looking for a new backpack I can use for no more than 2 night backpacking/camping.  Enough room to carry everything.  Tent, food, clothing, etc.  Was looking into the Osprey Atmos 65.  Seems nice.  Any feedback on this one or others?  Appreciate it.

8:38 p.m. on May 1, 2012 (EDT)
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I've never been a fan of frames that push the load away from the center of gravity like the Atmos.  I also like adjustable torso lengths.  However, if it fits then it is the pack to get.

I like Granite Gear packs, specifically the Blaze or Nimbus line.  ULA Equipment is excellent and made in the USA - the Circuit or Catalyst would be the ticket.  If you plan on hauling larger, heavier loads (i.e. over 50lbs) then Mystery Ranch is a good bet.  If you are interested in going custom, then Mchale Alpine Packs are the way to go.

As far as volume - no idea of your gear list so can't comment there.

9:37 p.m. on May 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks family guy.  I'm gonna do some more research.  Appreciate the feedback.

10:50 p.m. on May 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Just gonna throw these two out for you. 

Alps mountaineering Cascade-4200

I own both the 4200 and 5200 models of the Cascade.  My daughter uses the 4200.  They are comfortable to wear and well built.  You can ditch the top pocket/fanny pack and save some weight. 

Alps Mountaineering Orizaba-3900

This one is very close to the Osprey.  It's 3 oz heavier but that is probably the rain cover which has it's own pocket.  You can also ditch the top pocket on this one too which would make it lighter than the osprey and with the extendable top you wouldn't miss the space.

In case you don't know about Alps it's a family run business and the owner used to run Kelty.  They also make the Browning's line of camping equipment.

7:55 a.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
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i'm sure it's a very fine backpack.  good company, a lot of people like them.  if you google 'osprey atmos 65 reviews,'  you should be able to find good information.

i agree about backpacks having an adjustable torso length being helpful, if you are tough to fit.  osprey's aether series has that, so do the granite gear packs, so does deuter.  

worth factoring in how much your gear weighs.  if your stuff is truly light/ultralight, you might lean toward the lighter-weight brands like granite gear, or you could consider a ULA backpack like the Catalyst.  very well thought-of.  you won't find ULA in stores.  if your gear weighs a lot, you might benefit from a more robust suspension, like what you would get with the aether or argon lines, with some of the gregory backpacks, the larger deuter backpacks, the heavier golite backpacks like the terrono. 

you would have to pay a significant premium for a backpack like the mystery ranch trance, which is probably the model you would consider - and a super-premium for a true custom backpack.  because this is a piece of gear you will use for a long time, several years at least, and because the premium brands have such a great reputation for durability, i think it's worth paying a premium if the backpacks work for you.  amortize the cost over 7-14 years, it doesn't amount to much in the long run.  i have two mystery ranch backpacks, a large day pack and an expedition-sized one, and they were unquestionably worth the spend.  

 

9:29 a.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
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I can't truly comment on the Atmos series of packs being I don't own one and they have been redesigned but Osprey packs as a whole I can being I have owned 3(Stratos 26(reviewed here), Aether 70(which I handed down), and the Argon 85 (which I am wearing in my avatar photo.)

Quality wise they make a great pack. No problems with durability. If you are going to hover at around 30-35lbs max I would 86 the Argon from the equation.

The Argon utilizes their burliest suspension(bio-form cm hipbelt/thicker harness) for comfort under heavier loads. So my thought is this would be over-kill for a weekend pack(dependent upon your kit of course.)

The Aether 60 might be a nice option for you. I liked my Aether alot but the thing was I didn't like it when I was going heavy in the winter for my solo trips that were a week+ in length. The Argon was a total night and day difference due to the suspension. I have had 70+ lb pack weights with the Argon and to me it carries as well as my Aether did at 50lbs.

There are alot of great packs out there alot of which have mentioned above. Some like MRs, some like McHales, some are in the GG camp so on and so forth. All of which are truly well made products that will last you a long time with proper care(cleaning, etc.)

From what I can see that Atmos looks like a decent pack and based on my personal experiences with the brand I would consider giving it a closer look.

As I always say though the best pack for you is the one that fits you the best/correctly. 

You could purchase the highest end/best rated pack on the planet short of a custom. If it doesn't fit you it isn't worth squat. Doesn't mean its a bad pack...

Its just a bad pack for you.

Oh on a side note regardless of when ya got an Osprey or what ya damage is done to it(ie your fault) Osprey will fix the pack free of charge or replace it(see below:)

"Osprey will repair for any reason, free of charge, any damage or defect in our product – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday. If we are unable to perform a functional repair on your pack, we will happily replace it. We proudly stand behind this guarantee, so much so that it bears the signature of company founder and head designer, Mike Pfotenhauer."

9:35 a.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
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Family Guy said:

I've never been a fan of frames that push the load away from the center of gravity ...

Have to agree, especially if intended uses include activities where balance is critical, such as off trail or any mode of travel over snow.

Ed

10:17 a.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
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leadbelly2550 said:

you won't find ULA in stores.   

 Actually, Chris of ULA has been pushing hard on getting the packs to retail outlets, even overseas in England (they have quite a following there).

Here is a list of retailers, some of which are in the USA - locations which may be close to where you are:

http://ula-equipment.com/community.asp (click under Retailers)

Backpacking Light : fredensborg, dk

Bluff Mountain Outfitters : hot springs, nc

Diamond Brand Outdoors : arden, nc

Down Works : santa cruz, ca

Little River Trading Company : maryville, tn

LowerGear : tempe, az

Midwest Mountaineering : minneapolis, mn

Laguna Mountain Sport and Supply : mount laguna, ca

Mt. Rogers Outfitters : damascus, va

Mountain Crossings : blairsville, ga

Nantahala Outdoor Center : wesser, nc

Next Adventure : portland, or

Nomad Venture : southern, ca

Ultralight Outdoor Gear : billingham, uk

11:17 a.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
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osprey have good bags

8:45 p.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
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thanks for correcting my bad/outdated info about ULA.  it's a company that deserves broader exposure and distribution.  

11:41 p.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
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leadbelly2550 said:

thanks for correcting my bad/outdated info about ULA.  it's a company that deserves broader exposure and distribution.  

 Hopefully, if that happens, they can handle the growth.  It's always sad to see companies grow beyond their means, ruining the reputation they worked so hard to earn, only to slowly produce lesser and lesser quality products.  Unique companies that manage to produce qualities goods in a world of garbage, only to join the status quo in search of higher quarterly projections.  It takes a unique company to produce quality products, but it might take an even more unique company in the business climate of today to maintain that quality as they aggressively seek mainstream growth.  It's often the death knell.

1:09 a.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
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OSPREY EXOS  58

 Osprey has (2 years ago) changed their frame/mesh depth to make it shallower and bring the load closer to your back but still have good ventilation and comfort. Their packs have very comfortable carrys.

The Osprey ATMOS is a good choice for a medium weight pack.

The EXOS 58 is their lightest multi-day pack (smaller than the ATMOS) and my next pack.

Personally I'd get the 58 size B/C you'll need it from time-to-time, especially in spring and fall when temps are colder and you need more and bulkier clothes.

Let's face it, aside from food, a two night trip takes as much gear as a 7 night trip.Plus, for that occasional longer trip you'll have room for more food as well.

And you can always add aftermarket side pockets to it, as with most packs. I like side pockets for gear I want during the day like water treatment gear, potty kit, 1st aid kit, stove stuff, toilet kit, etc.

10:51 p.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
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I have to take exception to the comments about the Atmos and similar packs & wonder if you've ever used them.

I've never been a fan of frames that push the load away from the center of gravity like the Atmos

Have to agree, especially if intended uses include activities where balance is critical, such as off trail or any mode of travel over snow.

I had my eyes on the Atmos 65 for a long time and was ready to pull the trigger on it when I discovered Deuter packs and was waiting for the new Air Contact to come over from Europe where it had been the Air Contact Pro for the past couple years. (some nice improvements)

Anyway, I also had my eye on the Deuter Futura pro, having the back standoff screen like the Atmos and/or the Futura Vario (Bigger with some nice additional features). I don't typically stop hiking in the hot weather and the heat/humidity here can be killer.  After coming back from a trip to the rainforests in Puerto Rico a few weeks ago, I decided it was time and that I wasn't going through another Jersey Summer with a soaking wet back. I bought the Deuter Futura Pro 38 figuring it was good for day trips with the family & still big enough for warm weather overnights and maybe two days if I was solo.


P1000868.jpg

I have to say it's probably the most comfortable and stable pack I've ever worn. The way the standoff is does not in any way make me unstable. I loaded it up with 35 Lbs and was amazed at the way I can stand straight up, not leaning forward at all to compensate for the weight. And the more I stand up with a straight posture the more I feel the load go straight to my hips and pelvis & right to my legs. I don't get the, "I'm going to tip backwards!" feeling AT ALL. In fact, I could leave the shoulder straps quite loose and it still stands up straight on my back. The Vari-flex hip belt that moves independent of the pack is really comfortable too. I like it a lot more than the Atmos.

This part of the back pad that does make contact, shapes itself into my sacrum and transfers the load perfectly.


P1000867.jpg

It also comes in a 42 liter size that might be better for weekend trips and like I said the Futura vario is bigger, comes in a 50 + 10 size.  The only thing I don't like is, due to the shape, getting a bear canister in is likely not going to happen. If I ever start using one. Wish I had this in the Rainforest, and those trails were as precarious as anything I've ever been on.

I'm going to wait till I put some real mileage on it before I do any reviews...

10:00 a.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Sorry, no, physics works against the reality of these packs.  The center of gravity is pushed away from the body.  Suddenly a 20lb load is made to feel like a 30lb load because the load is too far away from the fulcrum.

In the quest for ventilation, the load carrying ability of the pack is reduced.

Glad yours fits but you cannot alter physics.

FWIW - the pack you show is a daypack and the effect would not be as great given you are limited by volume and load in a smaller pack.

11:36 a.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Well, aside from the fact that I've actually worn the thing.... Physics & Engineering being my majors in college, I'm pretty sure the Physics of the applied load is a bit more complex than the application of a single vector. And if you want to show me the calculations that result in a 50% amplification of perceived load from a minuscule three inch (at the widest point & tapering back to the body at both top & bottom) bump out, I'm listening...

I'm yet to see a daypack with a sleeping bag compartment, again, 38 liter which doesn't include the side bellows pockets. I bought it figuring it would work well enough as a somewhat large daypack for family trips (Myself, my wife & my son) where I carry the load for everyone.Then still be usable for an overnight or two night where my wife & son are sharing the load or I'm solo and not loaded war.

Size aside, 35lbs. is an impressive load for a daypack to handle so well.

The simple act of wearing any pack hanging off our backs instead of balanced over our heads alters the way gravity plays with us... We all seem to get by just fine. Or do you have one of those packs that has equal storage in the front and the back?

12:03 p.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
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The biomechanical basis for backpacking involves three primary things:

-impact forces absorbed by joints, bones, etc, during downward movement and a function of the pack's weight.

-gravity forces which is counteracted by muscle contraction and is also a function of the pack's weight.

-joint stabilization - forces that work against tendons and ligaments during up, down, side to side, forward, and backward which is a function of the torque exerted by the pack.

This torque is what gives one issues if the load in the pack is not as close to the center of gravity  for the person as possible.  Ex. a pack that has a load that weighs 25kg and this load is 10cm behind the body (assuming both a larger pack and one with a bowed suspension).  Removing the bow and moving the load against the back results in a reduction of pack torque from approximately 250 kilogram - centimeters to approximately 25 kilogram - centimeters.  The latter will provide less torque on the body and more outright stability.

Of course - based on the above, if one simply packs lighter then the torque is also reduced.

When packing heavier loads, the center of gravity for a man is a little bit above the hips so that is where you want most of the load.  If a bowed suspension prevents this, then one is not getting full benefit of both weight transfer and minimal torque on the body.

Are all of these types of packs crap?  No.  Because some like to have the extra ventilation that these models offer.

I feel that for a larger pack that is 65L (like the Atmos) that is intended to carry a larger volume, heavier load, these types of suspension are not ideal. 

Next time you are at an outfitter, try on the Atmos with 30lbs and then try on an Argon (both made by Osprey) and compare the torque on the body.  You will feel a difference after 20 minutes.

12:33 p.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Jersey said

 "The way the standoff is does not in any way make me unstable. I loaded it up with 35 Lbs and was amazed at the way I can stand straight up, not leaning forward at all to compensate for the weight."

Like an external frame pack? I have a Kelty Trekker that doesn't move around at all, even packed up to 50#. If you don't do any climbing or real bush whacking why would one want a internal pack? 

 skibum12

Just what are you hauling on a 2 nighter that would justify a 65 pack?  I know in the summer I carry no more than 20# for weekend trips. And a 35 is plenty big to hold everything.

 

1:38 p.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Family Guy said:

Sorry, no, physics works against the reality of these packs.  The center of gravity is pushed away from the body.  Suddenly a 20lb load is made to feel like a 30lb load because the load is too far away from the fulcrum.

In the quest for ventilation, the load carrying ability of the pack is reduced.

Glad yours fits but you cannot alter physics.

FWIW - the pack you show is a daypack and the effect would not be as great given you are limited by volume and load in a smaller pack.

Actually the center of gravity is always going to be over your feet; otherwise you would fall over!  I think what you are trying to describe is in order to keep the center of gravity over your feet, the hiker must bend forward more to compensate for the weight in the pack being placed further away from the spine.  This is one problem with this type of design.  The other problem is it slows down your ability to make quick compensations to maintain balance.  The effect is called swing weight in ergonomics (you call it torque in a later post).  It can be demonstrated by attaching a weight to the end of a short stick and swinging it, then placing the same weight on the end of a long stick and swinging it.  You will notice the greater inertia resulting from the weight being a greater distance from the pivot point.  If you are hiking a normal trail, the affect of these types of packs is negligible.  But if you use these packs skiing or cross country, where balance and reaction are more critical, you will feel less control overall.

Ed

7:35 p.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
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I don't like packing backpacks that are curved in design like that.  Small consequence to some, and bigger to others.  It's a nuisance for me.  Ventilation is obviously cool, though.  I'd like to see someone use the Dana Design external layout and make a 3500c sized pack or so.  I believe their T-1 was 4100c, but it was on their full-sized frame.  3500c pack body and a frame sized for it.

8:19 p.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:


... the hiker must bend forward more to compensate for the weight in the pack being placed further away from the spine.  This is one problem with this type of design.  The other problem is it slows down your ability to make quick compensations to maintain balance.  The effect is called swing weight in ergonomics (you call it torque in a later post).  It can be demonstrated by attaching a weight to the end of a short stick and swinging it, then placing the same weight on the end of a long stick and swinging it.  You will notice the greater inertia resulting from the weight being a greater distance from the pivot point.  If you are hiking a normal trail, the affect of these types of packs is negligible.  But if you use these packs skiing or cross country, where balance and reaction are more critical, you will feel less control overall.

Ed

 So you've had one of these packs then and used it in the field... Which one?

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