Q&A time: Osprey Anti Gravity pack

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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RonnyRonin
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Q&A time: Osprey Anti Gravity pack

Post by RonnyRonin » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:29 am

Just picked up one of Osprey's new "anti gravity" packs, the Atmos 65. REI and lots of places online have been pushing it hard and it has been the golden boy of many gear blogs lately so curiosity got the best of me when I saw a good deal. I have no intention of keeping it (in fact it is already on eBay) but I wanted to keep up on trends and technology so I will be using it as much as I can in the week or so that I have it.

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I thought I would offer anyone who had been looking at this pack the chance to ask specific questions about it while I have it and see if I can answer them. There are a lot of unique features, both good and gimmicky, that I am trying to wrap my head around and can hopefully clarify some them by the end.

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I will try to post my short-term feedback after I have digested my experiences as well.

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Re: Q&A time: Osprey Anti Gravity pack

Post by Murph » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:59 pm

From what I've heard of it, the key point is the mesh / internal square frame system. I'm curious if that can keep your back and shoulders cooler without giving up a solid back structure. Have you put weigh / miles on it yet?
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Re: Q&A time: Osprey Anti Gravity pack

Post by majorhavoc » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:10 pm

Is the "anti-gravity" moniker because the bag itself is particularly lightweight? Or is it because the suspension system is such that [supposedly] you hardly feel the weight?

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Re: Q&A time: Osprey Anti Gravity pack

Post by ROCK6 » Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:19 am

The "anti-gravity" is the marketing for their fourth-generation Atmos suspension system. It's actually quite comfortable and Osprey continues to innovate while keeping excellent features most backpackers crave on their packs. The 65L pack is a little heavy for the load limits and it's been said that heavier loads make the one-piece back/hip mesh slide down and put more weight on your shoulders. The 65L is rated between 30-50 pounds and the 50L is rated between 25-40 pounds; that higher end is where gravity overcomes the anti-gravity suspension. My pack weight is rarely over 30-35 pounds, but the larger capacity is nice during colder weather when you just need some extra, bulky (but lightweight) insulation. The biggest challenge is to know your pack's weight-load limits and try and keep it a few pounds under that so you don't over-stress the suspension and lose the comfort-value.

Having tried this pack on, I really love the suspension and I've heard excellent reviews that the mesh really works well at minimizing the heat build up on your back. The mesh is somewhat similar to the mesh used by Badlands' hunting packs and with owning a few, it's pretty tough stuff. I'm a sweaty hiker and can really appreciate all that Osprey has done over the years to maintain a solid suspension while trying to increase air flow and breathability between your back and the pack.

I have a 3d generation 65L Atmos and I'm strongly considering selling it to fund the new 4th generation pack. Either that or getting the larger ULA Catalyst pack (my main pack is the Circuit) for trips where I need a bear canister or during colder weather when I have more bulky insulation. My wife loves her Osprey packs and they've continued to lead the industry; if they fit well and you understand the difference between capacity and weight-load limits, you really can't go wrong with them.

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Re: Q&A time: Osprey Anti Gravity pack

Post by unsung » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:26 pm

I picked this up and have used in on a few shorter hikes but also on 2 hikes of 25+ miles over 2-3 days each. I found that loading it with more than 30lbs (included food and water) might have been a bit much, but when I kept the weight at 25lbs it was very comfortable. My 30lb hike was considerably more difficult so that should factor into the discomfort level. One other thing that stood out was the pack suspension gets rather noisy when over 30lbs.

I'm going to keep it for those shorter hikes, but for 5 days or more I use another option.

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Re: Q&A time: Osprey Anti Gravity pack

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:11 pm

My general test load is usually 35-40 lbs, which I am starting to feel is pretty much the limit for the suspended mesh, I'm not quite bottoming it out but darn close.

while the mesh is the limiting factor the frame is also quite bendy, even if the mesh was up for more weight the frame might be on the light side for higher weights. the osprey exos frame is considerably stiffer.

I wouldn't call this a light weight pack, it is 4lbs 6oz for 65 liters. It is rather feature heavy and really seems to be designed with the general public in mind. Not a bad thing if you want to sell packs, but I think the Exos for example was made for a smaller demographic and thus ends up more focused and efficient.

still trying to fend off my personal biases while I test but it is getting hard.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

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Re: Q&A time: Osprey Anti Gravity pack

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:25 pm

Murph wrote:From what I've heard of it, the key point is the mesh / internal square frame system. I'm curious if that can keep your back and shoulders cooler without giving up a solid back structure. Have you put weigh / miles on it yet?
Osprey has had good success with the suspend mesh backpanel, and I've used a few of their older trampoline-backed packs and will say that there is a noticeable increase in ventilation. my main question is whether the belt and shoulder straps being changed to match will be a noticeable difference from just the mesh back, they are a relatively small increase in surface area, and a lot of the older ospreys had perforated foam in these spots already.
My guess is that despite the marketing there will be at most a 10-20% increase in ventilation over back-mesh-only osprey packs, with a noticeable reduction in durability, and a small reduction in load hauling; but this is just my hunch.
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Re: Q&A time: Osprey Anti Gravity pack

Post by ROCK6 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:20 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:
I wouldn't call this a light weight pack, it is 4lbs 6oz for 65 liters. It is rather feature heavy and really seems to be designed with the general public in mind. Not a bad thing if you want to sell packs, but I think the Exos for example was made for a smaller demographic and thus ends up more focused and efficient.

still trying to fend off my personal biases while I test but it is getting hard.
Yeah, if the comfort rating is under 30 pounds, it's too heavy. Most 65 liter packs should have proper suspension for 50-55 pounds. It just seems too heavy for the intent pack weight regardless of having a 65 liter capacity. I like the concept, but Osprey is going to have to either lighten the pack or beef up the suspension to carry more weight.

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Re: Q&A time: Osprey Anti Gravity pack

Post by Woods Walker » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:59 pm

I have an earlier Atmos 65 and really like it though the webbing/ventilation backing is getting a bit frayed. I like to keep this type of pack under 30 lbs if possible. Looks good brother and thanks for posting the pics etc.
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