Whether I’m going out hiking in the elements or cruising through South America one chicken bus at a time, a good backpack is vital to my travels. If you’re like me and like to mix up your adventuring with a bit of light hiking combined with some city slicking, the Osprey Atmos 65 is a trekker’s dream. But don’t just take my word for it — this Osprey Atmos 65 review will help you decide for yourself whether or not this backpack is for you.
My preoccupation with Osprey backpacks, in general, is easily explained. They have an excellent reputation and offer good value for your money. I recommend Osprey to pretty much everyone who is looking for a new backpack that’s big on versatility, quality and, most importantly, comfort. The Osprey Atmos 65
boasts all of these characteristics.
There’s no denying that sore shoulders and a strained neck will ruin an adventure. If you don’t have the perfect pack, you will find yourself struggling to see and do all the things on your travel list. I’ve been there and done that and don’t want you to experience the same thing.
These days it seems like there is a ridiculous amount of backpacks out there with all kinds of wild and far-fetched features. It’s hard to know which features are useful and which ones will prove to be pointless, annoying or just plain uncomfortable.
The best backpacks allow you to fit the essentials (and a few extras), and roam the streets, lanes and jungles comfortably, without having to worry about your gear getting wet, disorganized or banged around. Often, a backpack is one of the most significant travel accessories that we invest our precious dollars in, so we want to make sure that we choose the right one that will go the distance.
So, here’s my honest review of the Osprey Atmos 65, the most comfortable backpack I have ever used. Let’s dive in, my friends, and see if this pack is right for you, too.
The 65-liter capacity is perfect. For a light trekking pack, anything more is overkill.
It’s designed for men’s frames. Ladies, Osprey makes other great backpacks for women!
This Osprey boasts a great combo of comfort, organization, flexibility and storage (Yes, it is possible!).
The high-tech suspension makes it feel lighter than it is.
It comes with Osprey’s Almighty Guarantee (Yep, it lasts a lifetime).
Osprey Atmos 65 Pros
The Osprey is very comfortable: The mesh suspension system creates an anti-gravity effect that takes the weight of this fairly heavy backpack off your shoulders. Paired with a well-padded and nicely structured hip strap and a solid sternum strap, you’ll be able to hike pain-free for days.
There’s great adjustability: You can adjust your straps and flaps easily on the go for extra comfort and stability.
The Osprey offers fantastic storage: This backpack has pockets and compartments for pretty much everything.
You have a lifetime guarantee: This is one of the big reasons that I’m such a fan of Osprey; they take pride in the quality of their products.
Osprey Atmos 65 Cons
There may be wear and tear: The pack tends to wear prematurely on the bottom of the frame where it meets your back if you’re doing a lot of hiking.
It may snag: The mesh side pockets are prone to snagging on branches or doors or anything else in your way. This leads to inevitable tearing.
There aren’t any women’s option: It’s a shame that there isn’t a scaled down equivalent for women’s frames, because it’s an ideally versatile design.
Who is the Osprey Atmos 65 for?
The Osprey Atmos 65
is for the adventuring man who likes to mix up short trekking or hiking trips with extended hostel-based backpacking adventures across all corners of the globe.
It’s for travelers who like to always be prepared. Even if you’re planning to travel the world staying mostly in hostels, you never know what may happen. If you want to pack a bit of extra gear like a small tent and a sleeping bag, this is a good option for you.
If you’re going for short camping trips for around a week, this backpack is for you. Additionally, if you want to be prepared and don’t mind carrying the extra weight, this is a good option for short camping trips. Anything more than 65 is overkill for a backpack like this. Anything less, and you’re going have to practice Tetris as part of your camping prep.
This backpack is for stylish nomads who like the look of Osprey. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with judging a book by its cover. It’s a nice-looking pack, if not a little understated.
Who isn’t the Osprey Atmos 65 for?
Unfortunately, this bag isn’t designed with women in mind. This pack is designed for men’s backs. It is a shame because I think it’s a top-notch backpack and very versatile for everyone who is not a woman. If you’re a female traveler, I recommend the Osprey Ariel
if you enjoy a bit of trekking.
This bag isn’t for you if you want to travel light. Yes, this bag is comfortable, but it is a big bag. If you often find yourself squeezing onto Guatemalan chicken buses and doing very little hiking, you’d be better off with something a bit smaller.
Going on a long hike? This bag won’t fit in the extra supplies you’ll need to pack. If you’re setting out for weeks, this bag won’t have enough room for you. You’ll want something bigger—unless you don’t mind running out of food and water supplies in a snowstorm.
Osprey: Who are They?
To really kick off this Osprey Atmos 65 review, let’s find out more about Osprey as a company.
Osprey is a backpacking heavyweight with a worldwide reputation for great quality. We’ve mentioned Osprey before as one of the best companies pushing out quintessential travel gear, as they’re the go-to brand for many seasoned trekkers. They’ve been around for about 40 years for good reason.
Osprey is based in Cortez, Colorado and is therefore surrounded by the very thing that inspires them to make great backpacks—dramatic and mind-blowing landscapes just begging to be explored. They are also passionate about making trekking and traveling accessible to pretty much everyone, so they have an incredible amount of sizes and styles.
I can’t think of many people who wouldn’t be able to find an Osprey product that doesn’t suit their needs. Osprey are masters at helping you get out there and experience the world.
One thing I really respect this company for is their focus on quality and customer satisfaction. They offer something they like to call the Almighty Guarantee. It’s a lifetime guarantee for all their products; that means they’ll fix any fault you might get with your pack free of charge. It doesn’t matter if you bought it five minutes ago or in 1978; they’ll repair it!
Osprey Atmos 65 Features
As part of this Osprey Atmos 65 review, let’s look at the backpack’s specific features.
The Osprey Atmos 65
is packed with features that bring the two most important factors of backpacking to the front and center: organization and comfort. There are precious few other backpacks that offer such a seamless experience allowing you to keep your hands free to grab onto rocks and move through cities without hassle.
Osprey has seriously thought of everything in the design of this backpack.
Dimensions & Specifications
Depending on your height and weight, you’ll need to opt for the size that’s right for you.
To determine your size, put your chin to your chest. Do you feel the prominent bone at the back of your neck? Grab a tape measure (or ideally, get someone to help) and measure from that big bone down to the top of your hip bone (the iliac crest, if you want to get technical). This gives you your torso length measurement and is how Osprey does their sizing.
Then you can choose between the small, medium and large sizes.
Osprey Atmos 65 Specs:
Torso Length 16”-18”
Torso Length 18”-20”
Torso Length 20”-23”
3783 in3 / 62 L
3967 in3 / 65 L
4150 in3 / 68 L
32.28″ H x 15.35″ W x 16.14″ D
34.25″ H x 15.35″ W x 16.14″ D
36.22″ H x 15.35″ W x 16.14″ D
Feature Rating: 9/10
Load Range: 30-50 lbs
The Osprey Atmos 65 can carry a beefy amount of weight for its size. It is not a light pack by any means, but it’s just about perfect for a trek that continues for a week or less. That’s because it will fit the basics like sleeping gear, personal items and adequate food and water.
If you’re using it to backpack around hostels in the world with a little extra gear like a tent for some overnighters, then it will serve you well for a six-month trip across all kinds of climates. If you’re not planning on camping out, however, opt for something smaller.
Feature Rating: 9/10
This is Osprey’s fancy way of saying that it has crafted some cool backpacking tech. The Osprey Atmos 65 feels like you’re carrying less weight than you really are. It seems like magic, but sadly, it’s not. It’s just an amazingly high-tech suspension system. It definitely lightens the load from your shoulders, keeps your posture correct and makes sure that the weight is evenly distributed.
Having said that, the part that meets your back is a little prone to wearing out more quickly than you might expect. Despite its comfort, I have to take a few points off in that regard.
Feature Rating: 8/10
Well-Fitting Hip Belt
One of my favorite things about the Osprey line, in general, is their fantastic hip belts. I’ve gone through a few Osprey backpacks in my time, and the hip belt has been my favorite feature on every single one of them.
All the anti-gravity suspensions in the world help, but nothing will take the strain off your back and shoulders like a well-made hip belt. The Osprey Atmos 65 utilizes one of their better hip belts. It is durable, strong and super easy to adjust on the go. It is nicely padded and, therefore, comfortable on the hips and does not cut into your hip bones.
Feature Rating: 9/10
Hip Belt Side Pockets
Who doesn’t love a pocket full of snacks? Whether you’re a jerky fanatic or a sucker for a good almond, the Osprey Atmos 65 has got you covered.
An extra bonus on the already fantastic hip belt is the little storage compartments on the side so you can reach in and grab your essential snacks or other sundries. And you can do this without having to fumble around with straps to gain access to your pants pockets or the main compartment of the backpack.
Feature Rating: 9.5/10
Dual Access Stretch Mesh Pockets
Other Osprey designs tend to put the stretchy mesh pockets at the front of the pack where I would generally store my water bottle. The result? When you’re feeling thirsty, you have to do an awkward backward reach to grab a drink. The Osprey Atmos 65, however, includes an innovative feature to put an end to this. It has two mesh pockets that sit on the side of the pack, allowing for easy access to your water bottle or whatever else you might need on the regular.
However, I do have a gripe with these pockets. If you’re in a heavily forested area or scrambling between rocks (or hostel doorknobs), these pockets are a little prone to snagging objects. If you’re not careful, you can rip them. So if you’re one of those people who always get their clothes stuck on doorknobs, these might be annoying for you. If you keep your mind on the job, however, you’ll be fine.
While I like the innovation, I’ll rate this feature down a little because it adds to the degradation of wear and tear. Also, some styles of drink bottle tend to dig in a bit.
Feature Rating: 7/10
Inside-Out Side Compression Straps
There will undoubtedly always be a time you need to cram your backpack into a small space. Don’t join the sad ranks of backpackers who have smacked a local with their big bag swinging to-and-fro! The compression straps are a great feature that let you make the Osprey Atmos 65 way smaller than you would ever think possible. There’s two of them, so you can really make that pack extra small at a pinch.
They also offer fantastic stability to your bag. There’s nothing worse than having a wonky backpack while you’re trying to traverse the globe, so these keep you straightened out.
On top of that, they provide a great place to store your tent poles or anything else that is vertical and non-flexible.
Feature Rating: 9.5/10
Internal Hydration Reservoir Sleeve
This feature is definitely more suited to people going on treks than people who are using this backpack to go from hostel to hostel. The sleeve in the Atmos 65 allows you to stow a 3L reservoir, which should keep your going for a day or so, weather depending.
But who said it’s only for water, anyway? Any slim piece of gear for you hostel travelers can slide down into this sleeve for easy storage. Or, as some globetrotters have pointed out, your alcohol can go here as well. Take your pick.
Feature Rating: 9/10
Removable Floating Top Lid
The design of the Osprey Atmos 65 has accessibility as its focus. On top of all the extra side pockets and hip belt storage compartments, this backpack has a lot of room in the large brain pocket.
If you’re sick of digging to the bottom of your pack for things that you wouldn’t necessarily keep in your front pockets (TP and flashlight, anyone?), this helps you keep the daily essentials handy.
The downside is that it can get a little bulky, but you can always remove it and use the flapjack cover instead to keep things a bit lighter.
Feature Rating: 8/10
Sleeping Bag Compartment with Removable Divider and Sleep Pad Straps
After a long day of hiking through ravines or negotiating the tough streets of a Vietnamese village, who wants to dig around in their pack to find their sleeping bag or sleep pad?
Hit the hay quickly and easily with a specialized sleeping bag compartment and a place to keep your sleep pad.
Feature Rating: 8/10
Sternum Strap with Safety Whistle
Like the hip strap, the sternum strap adds another level of stability and comfort and balances out the load nicely. This will help keep the load nice and snug across your torso, instead of flopping every which way on your back. Perfect for those intense hikes!
Although we all hope you never need to use it, Osprey has included a safety whistle in the buckle of this sternum strap. Use it to get someone’s attention or let the local bears know you’re in the neighborhood. Safety first!
Feature Rating: 9/10
Dual Ice Tools Loops
Heading to the colder reaches of the world? Then the Osprey Atmos 65 is two steps ahead of you, with loops to store your ice tools ready to go! Perfect when traversing a glacier, making your way to the top of an epic mountain, or any other snowy adventure you may have in mind.
Feature Rating: 9/10
Water Resistant Material
While it would be extra great if it were, the Osprey Atmos 65 is not waterproof. However, it is water resistant, which is certainly the next best option we could hope for. A lot of packs are designed for hostel-centric backpackers who tend to spend more time indoors.
As this is primarily a pack for hikers, it holds its own against the occasional tropical downpour. I’ve been in near hurricane conditions with this backpack, and I’ve opened up my bag and been pleasantly surprised by how dry everything stayed.
If you’re expecting to hike into some fairly damp weather, however, I certainly recommend you look into getting a water-repellent bag cover from Osprey. There’s nothing worse than a wet sleeping bag at camp!
All sizes of the Osprey Atmos 65
are made of the same high-quality synthetic fabrics.
The main section of the bag is made of 100D X 630D Nylon Dobby. The accent is made with 210D High Tenacity Nylon. The bottom is made of 420HD Nylon Pack cloth.
The whole thing is water resistant but not waterproof. I think that’s unfortunate but, as I said, it does a pretty good job. Just be aware that water can definitely find its way in.
Style & Aesthetics: How Does It Look?
I want to talk about the aesthetics in this Osprey Atmos 65 review. And that’s because Osprey isn’t about aesthetics; they definitely value function over look. While it’s not ugly, the Osprey Atmos 65 doesn’t stand out.
However, this is actually a huge bonus for most traveling folks out there. As most of us nomads know, there are plenty of circumstances when you would actually prefer not to stand out with a big flashy pack that just screams “valuables” to whoever looks. Osprey’s low-key design is, therefore, a pleasant feature that still looks good.
That being said, the Osprey Atmos 65 does come in three fairly unique colors: rigby red, abyss grey and unity blue. The colors are unique enough so you’ll instantly recognize your bag at the airport carousel, but you won’t stand out like a sore thumb.
If this just isn’t quite slick enough for you, then you have our permission to go crazy with your stickers, pins and custom decorations to get it just how you’d like!
Comfort: Is It Easy to Wear?
Of course, this Osprey Atmos 65 review wouldn’t be complete without diving into the backpack’s comfort.
It’s one of the most comfortable backpacks I’ve ever come across. The combination of the high-tech, antigravity suspension system with the supportive hip and sternum strap takes the weight right out of the pack and keeps it all evenly distributed. Most users also report that these features all work together to assist with your hiking/walking posture, keeping your back straight and your shoulders squared. So you can walk with confidence!
Another massive plus is that the mesh design wicks away moisture and makes the whole pack very breathable. Nothing is worse than sliding out of your pack at camp and being absolutely doused in your own sweat. The mesh design on the Osprey Atmos 65 takes care of this problem; so you can tell your skin to breathe easy.
Organization: Does It Stack Up?
The organizational and storage options of this backpack are quite frankly amazing. I’m astounded by how Osprey has managed to think of everything and streamline the backpacking experience so well.
Nothing’s worse than needing to pull absolutely everything out of your bag, Mary Poppins style, to find the one thing you’re looking for. Furthermore, packing properly with other bags sometimes feels like you need an engineering degree, or should at least be a Tetris genus.
Well, all the organization features and pockets eliminate this problem, and it’s an absolute breeze to keep your gear where you want it! The generous offering of pockets, hooks, and different compartments make it so easy to keep everything organized in the Osprey Atmos 65. For a mid-sized trekking backpack, you can fit in a whole heap of gear to keep you going on a hike for up to a week or an extended hostel-centric trip for months, maybe even years.
Durability: Will the Osprey Atmos 65 Last?
While this backpack is excellent quality, it does tend to wear out a bit too soon at the bottom of the pack where it meets your back if you’re using it to go on a lot of strenuous hikes. Additionally, the stretchy mesh pockets are prone to snagging on obstacles and tearing apart.
Having said that, one of the many great things about Osprey is their lifetime guarantee. If something goes wrong with your pack, Osprey will fix it for you for free. So you can buy the backpack stress-free and know Osprey (literally) has your back.
Price: How Much Does Osprey Atmos 65 Cost?
This wouldn’t be a solid Osprey Atmos 65 review without money talk.
Like any good backpack, the Osprey Atmos 65
is not a budget option. The pack will set you back around $270 US. It may seem like a significant investment, but Osprey delivers a product that is great value for money. For something that is guaranteed to last you a lifetime, it’s a fair price.
As the backpack is so versatile, you will definitely get a lot of use out of it. Because it’s not too big and not too small, it’s suitable for a range of travel styles. If variety is the spice of your life, I firmly believe the cost will be worth it.
Like most things in this world, good things cost more money; trekking backpacks are the same. If you cheap out on a backpack, you’re going to have a bad time. There’s no point going on an adventure and coming home stooped over like a 90-year-old version of yourself.
Warranty: What Kind of Warranty Does Osprey Offer?
Osprey has a great reputation, and a big reason for that is because they offer their Almighty Guarantee. This is a lifetime warranty.
If you’re in the US and you need a repair done on your backpack, you can contact Osprey directly on their website. You cover the postage costs, but you can send your backpack to the factory and the repair team will fix it for free.
And, if you’re outside of the US, you can contact their International Customer Service team, and they will point you to your national distributor who will help you out. Repair policies differ slightly from country to country, but Osprey 100% has your back.
Shipping: Does Osprey Ship Internationally?
If you purchase your product on the Osprey website, they provide free and direct shipping to the US and Canada with easy returns available.
If you’re outside of the US or Canada, you’ll need to purchase your Osprey Atmos 65 via a local supplier. A list of local suppliers is available on the Atmos 65 product page. Shipping costs will vary depending on which supplier you go for.
This Osprey Atmos 65 review recognizes that the Osprey Atmos 65
is a great, versatile backpack. In fact, it is, without a doubt, one of the best backpacks on the market.
Of course, no bag is perfect. But this one comes pretty close.
That said, it’s important to remember that this backpack isn’t for everyone. Again, it is not suitable for longer hikes, so you’d have to keep your adventures to under a week.
As a backpack for travelers moving from hostel to hostel, it might be overkill for some, as well. It is a reasonably heavy pack. You’d be much better off opting for a simpler backpack that is a little smaller. There’s nothing worse than trying to maneuver a big bag around public transport in big cities.
Given all the specially designed features, the Osprey Atmos 65 is clearly aimed mostly at lighter hikers and trekkers. It has all the bells and whistles you could ever need for a short trek. They’ve put a lot of thought into ways they can streamline the adventuring experience. So you can enjoy the sights and the journey from sunset to sundown. Rather than having to think about where you stashed that bag of peanuts.
And if you are primarily hostel hopping but planning a few camping trips, the Osprey Atmos 65
is definitely worth considering. But if you want something lighter and more carry-on friendly, we recommend checking out the Osprey Fairview 40 (for women) or the Osprey Fairpoint 40 (for men).
I hope this Osprey Atmos 65 review gives you some food for thought! Now it’s up to you to decide whether or not the Osprey Atmos 65 is right for your upcoming adventures.