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78782EDIT: REVISED - OR - Osprey Atmos 35 (Fall 2006) - Leif LeBaron

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  • a_henrichs
    Feb 4, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Lief,

      Your link did not work. Please post a working link to the html version.

      Thanks,

      Andy

      --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, mistlail <mistlail@...> wrote:
      >
      > ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
      > ===========================
      > Osprey Atmos 35 (Fall 2006)
      > ===========================
      >
      > An innovative 35 L backpack with excellent ventilation.
      >
      > **18 Dec 2009**
      >
      >
      > Reviewer
      > ====================
      >
      > Name: Leif LeBaron
      > Age: 37
      > Gender: Male
      > Height: 183 cm (6')
      > Weight: 70 kg (155 lb)
      > E-mail: (to be included in HTML version)
      > Home: West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
      > {.compact}
      >
      > Backpacking Background: I began backpacking in my teenage years, and hiking, years before that. I backpack while travelling in both urban and wilderness environments. My travels have taken me through a wide range of landscapes, both in North America and overseas. I generally feel at home in the wilderness and I enjoy extreme terrain and weather but I'm not an ice climber nor a peak bagger. In 1999, I became interested in reducing my load and I now go more or less ultralight. I sleep in a hammock.
      >
      >
      > Product
      > ====================
      >
      > ![](osprey-atmos-35.jpg)
      > [Photo: Osprey Packs]{style="margin-right:4em"}
      > {style="float:right;text-align:right;margin:0 -4em 3em 1.5em"}
      >
      > Manufacturer: Osprey Packs
      > Year of Manufacture: 2006
      > Manufacturer's Website: www.ospreypacks.com
      > Listed Weight: 1.16 kg (2 lb 9 oz)
      > Measured Weight: 1.2 kg (2 lb 10 oz)
      > Size: medium
      > Capacity: 35 L (2100 cu in)
      > Type: panel loading
      > {.compact}
      >
      > Review
      > ====================
      >
      > I used this pack during three separate trips (approximately four months total duration) on the Hawaiian islands, and during numerous shorter trips in British Columbia throughout the seasons. This has been my primary pack for the past three years, used in varied conditions throughout a wide range of terrain, elevation and weather.
      >
      > I purchased an Osprey Atmos pack primarily because of the ventilated suspension. An open mesh is stretched over a lightweight aluminum frame. The shoulder straps and hip belt pads are textured and perforated. I do not recommend the pack for use with snow because it may collect in the air space beneath the mesh back panel. In cold conditions (regardless of snow) ventilation seems unnecessary and I would prefer to remove the space, bringing the load closer to the body. Occasionally, I had to remove twigs and other small debris from the space but that was easy and infrequent.
      >
      > The construction is excellent. Stitching is strong and binding tape covers all seams. The fabric is light but it has endured significant stress without fail. There are two layers of fabric on the bottom panel of the pack. The fabric is waterproof (coated inside with urethane) but I would expect some leakage even in light rain. I kept mine dry under a poncho; however, on several occasions the pack was splashed by rogue waves and endured mist and light drizzle without significant leakage.
      >
      >
      > Panel Loading
      > --------------------------
      >
      > My Atmos is a panel loader. The main compartment has two large zippers which caused me no trouble and I found the contents to be very accessible. This was especially useful when conditions prevented the unloading of pack contents (i.e., for lack of a clean and dry place to put them); something which is very difficult if not impossible with a top-loading pack.
      >
      > The zippers run down each side, not all the way to the bottom but low enough that contents can be accessed without unpacking. *Note: Newer models have shorter zippers, effectively making the pack panel-loading at the top and top-loading at the bottom.*
      >
      > Fit
      > --------------------------
      >
      > Having grown accustomed to the excellent range of motion in the "floating" hip belts of Arc'teryx packs, I found the Atmos hip belt to be somewhat restrictive but also more comfortable and ergonomic than many other packs which I've used. In practice, however, I usually carry a light load and often leave the hip belt unfastened.
      >
      > I do appreciate the straps on the hip belt which slide freely through the attachment to each piece of the buckle and run back to the friction lock on the pad. This V-shaped arrangement spreads the stress across the pad, so it hugs the top edge of the pelvis rather than pressing in the middle. It also means the straps are tightened by pulling in the opposite (and more comfortable) direction, as though one were pushing something forward and away from one's waist.
      >
      > The ventilated shoulder straps were mostly comfortable, though perhaps riding a little too wide on my shoulders (which was only a problem if the chest strap was open). The stub at the lower end of the shoulder pad (where the lower strap is attached) protruded enough to press on my side giving me some grief during extended hikes; I think that detail could be improved. *Note: The shoulder strap stub remains remain essentially unchanged on newer models.*
      >
      > Pockets & Straps
      > --------------------------
      >
      > There is one zippered pocket inside the pack. It is quite small but well designed, accessible from both inside and outside, with mesh fabric on the inner surface for visibility of contents, and a key clip. The outer zipper is urethane-coated for water resistance.
      >
      > The hip belt has a zippered mesh pocket on each side. I found these to be quite useful for carrying energy bars and other small items for frequent access.
      >
      > There is a large outer back pocket made of elastic fabric. The design includes a folded lip which helps keep things from escaping. The lip is also attached to a compression strap which connects to the top of the pack, running over the zipper of the small inner pocket. This appears to be a possible nuisance but I like it, especially because the long compression strap provides a place to put a frequently used jacket or the like. *Note: Newer models have a much shorter strap which attaches below the zipper.* The stitching failed along the lip of the elastic pocket (not surprising considering that the thread was not elastic) but I it has endured since I repaired it with stronger thread and a more resilient stitch pattern.
      >
      > There are two outer, side pockets made of elastic fabric. These pockets worked well for me. Compression straps run across the openings, and I thought this might be a problem initially, but I came to appreciate the arrangement. *Note: The straps on newer models can be threaded over or under the pocket.*
      >
      > There is a deep and narrow inner pocket for a water bladder but I did not use it for water or for anything which I needed to access frequently. There are also two small straps to optionally hang a water bladder in the ventilated air space (created by the frame), which is easily accessible through a large, zippered opening. There is a small opening at the top of the pack for a water tube, and elastic loops along the shoulder straps for attaching the tube to either side.
      >
      > There are two removable straps at the bottom of the pack, apparently for a sleeping pad, but I found the location to be awkward and I preferred to use the top strap of the outer pocket.
      >
      > I never carried an ice axe but I occasionally made use of those attachments to fasten other things.
      >
      > Shape
      > --------------------------
      >
      > I developed a great appreciation for the smooth, rounded profile which allowed me to duck under branches and drop over ledges and logs with greater ease than any other pack I've used. The pack also performed well at shedding branches and other potential snags as I burrowed through bush. These features are especially important to me as I often explore wilderness with dense vegetation. *Note: To date, all newer models of the Atmos 35 have a more conventional angular, protruding profile on the top.*
      >
      > It does protrude in the back but I only found that to be an occasional problem in urban environments. This humpiness is partly related to the frame which maintains a ventilation space behind the back. This space appears to be perhaps too large when looking at it but it is reduced when the pack is actually worn.
      >
      > Frame
      > --------------------------
      >
      > The internal aluminum frame is strong enough for its intended purpose but it is vulnerable (don't sit on it!). My pack once became stuck in an airport x-ray machine and the conveyor belt compressed it with enough force to distort the aluminum frame.
      >
      > This prompted me to remove and disassemble the frame which consists of two bent aluminum tubes connected by two short titanium rods. I noticed that these rods were greased and that the grease had spread onto the fabric which is likely to cause long-term problems. I removed the grease and replaced its function by applying bushings of heat-shrink tubing (the kind used in electronics) to the ends of the rods (it fit perfectly).
      >
      > Finally, I bent the frame back into shape and subsequently decided to modify it to improve the geometry and increase the tension on the mesh back panel (which had over time become somewhat less than taut). During this process, I removed and replaced the frame several times. I am pleased that the frame is removable and I think it's an important point to note, as eventually it will very likely require adjustment. I have seen no mention of frame removal in Osprey's documentation but the procedure is evident. *Note: The frame on the 2009 Atmos is different and and apparently improved (though I expect it is similarly vulnerable and I don't know how easy it is to remove).*
      >
      > Air Travel
      > --------------------------
      >
      > Air travellers should note that the medium size conforms almost exactly to the upper limit of common carry-on luggage dimensions: 56 x 36 x 23 cm (22 x 14 x 9 in.). The large size exceeds this, but not by much.
      >
      >
      > Summary
      > --------------------------
      >
      > I remain pleased with my Osprey Atmos pack and I recommend it. It's not ultralight but it is lightweight, ventilated and durable, ready to go cross country off the beaten trail, and carry on in the urban jungle. Osprey has revised the model at least twice, making some things better and others worse (as noted throughout the review).
      >
      > --- Good
      >
      > - excellent ventilation
      > - smooth profile (not easily caught on things)
      > - fits airline carry-on dimensions
      > - panel loading
      > {.compact}
      >
      > --- Bad
      >
      > - weight (it's lighter than most but it could be lighter still)
      > - hip belt is somewhat restrictive
      > - frame is vulnerable to being bent out of shape
      > - shoulder straps could be more comfortable
      > {.compact}
      >
      > ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: {style="margin: 0 3em"} :::
      >
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