Application to test the Osprey Atmos backpack
My wife says I'm as stubborn as a mule at times -- does that count? Either way, please accept my application to test the Osprey Atmos backpack. I have read the BGT Survival Guide v. 0609 and Bylaws v. 0609 and I agree to comply with all requirements and timetables. My signed Tester Agreement is on file with BGT.
Name: Ryan L. Christensen
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Torso Length: 20 in (51 cm) [based on my son measuring me]
Weight: 235 lb (107 kg)
Waist Measurement: 38 in (97 cm)
Email address: bigdawgryan (at) yahoo (dot) com
City, State, Country: Idaho Falls, ID, U.S.A
I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago and began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. For several years, we have hiked or camped nearly every month, year-round. We vary our experience: desert, forest, meadow, and mountain; spring, summer, fall, and winter; sunshine, rain, wind, or snow. I am a lightweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.
I live in Idaho Falls; a town in southeastern Idaho, with an elevation is 4,700 ft (1,433 m) above sea level. Presently, I plan is to test the Osprey Atmos Backpack within a 200 mi (322 km) radius of my home.
MONTH HIGH / LOW TEMPERATURE PRECIPITATION
April 58 F / 44 F (14 C / 7 C) 1.1 in (2.8 cm)
May 68 F / 40 F (20 C / 4) 1.3 in (3.3 cm)
June 78 F / 47 F (26 C / 8 C) 1 in (2.5 cm)
July 88 F / 54 F (31 C / 12 C .5 in (1.3 cm)
August 86 F / 52 F (30 C / 11 C) .6 in (1.5 cm)
September 76 F / 43 F (24 C / 6 C) .7 in (1.8 cm)
In April I will be doing an overnight camping/bike ride in either Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone National Park with my boys’ Scout units. This will be my initial opportunity to test the Atmos.
In the late May/early June timeframe, I am considering an overnight backpacking trip to Caribou Mountain near the Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Idaho. Caribou Mountain is a 9,803 ft (2,988 m) peak in the Caribou Range of southeastern Idaho. The elevation gain to the top is 1,763 ft (537 m). This is a fun climbing experience without the need to pay a large price physically and will be a great first peak bagging experience for my youngest son. This area has abundant wildlife including moose, deer, and sandhill cranes on the Grays Lake marshes.
In July, I am planning an overnight (possibly multi-day) backpacking trip to Goat Lake in the Copper Basin area of central Idaho. Goat Lake is approximately 10,438 ft (3,182 m) and is reportedly the highest lake in Idaho. Again, afternoon thunderstorms and lightning, rain showers and even snow are common at these elevations.
In mid-August, I will be accompanying my older sons on the BSA Venturing High Adventure. On this week-long trip, we will be backpacking in the Teton Range. However, the boys have yet to plan the details.
Below are average weather conditions for the Grand Teton National Park and surrounding area. Again, at higher elevations, temperatures can easily be 10 to 15 degrees cooler.
MONTH HIGH / LOW TEMPERATURE PRECIPITATION
April 49 F / 22 F (9.4 C / -6 C) 1.45 in (3.7 cm)
May 61 F / 31 F (16 C / -1 C) 1.96 in (5 cm)
June 71 F / 37 F (22 C / 3 C) 1.8 in (4.6 cm)
July 80 F / 41 F (27 C / 4 C) 1.22 in (3.1 cm)
August 79 F / 40 F (26 C / 4 C) 1.37 in (3.5 cm)
September 69 F / 32 F (20 C / 0 C) 1.44 in (3.7 cm)
In September, we will be doing an overnight backpacking/peak bagging trip with my sons BSA Venturing Crew. We will be climbing Mt. Borah. At 12,662 ft (3,859 m) Borah Peak, which is located in the Lost River Range, is Idaho’s tallest mountain. The standard climbing route ascends 5,262 ft (1,604 m) from the trailhead to the summit in just over 3.5 mi (5.6 km).
In addition to these trips, there will undoubtedly be a few other outings on which to put the Atmos through its paces.
Proposed Test Plan:
Osprey has redesigned the Atmos for 2009. They advertise it for both overnight and weeklong trips. I am keenly interested in testing the Atmos to see how well it accommodates. Therefore, I plan to wear the Osprey Atmos backpack on all backpacking trips during the test period. Having had lower back problems, fit, including a snug fit against my back, and limited bounce are important to me. A good fit enables me to hike longer and farther with less low back fatigue and pain. Accordingly, Fit and Comfort are the first two elements in my test plan. Performance and Durability are the final two areas I will address in my testing.
With history of back problems, fit is my first priority in a backpack. Will the “ultra-comfortable waffle foam harness and hipbelt provide superb fit” as Osprey advertises? Will the harness and hipbelt enable me to get a “personalized” fit? Once fitted to my frame, will the AirSpeed suspension system effectively distribute the load to shoulders, back, and hips? Will the Osprey LightWire™ alloy aluminum hoop frame with twin cross struts provide excellent load carrying support as Osprey claims? Can I secure the ergonomic frame close to my body regardless of how much weight or volume I carry? Will the hipbelt fit my 38 in (97 cm) waist? Will it sit nicely and comfortably on my hips? Can I easily adjust the shoulder straps to accommodate various layers of outerwear required to protect against the given weather conditions? How large of hydration bladder will the Atmos accommodate? How roomy are the two zippered mesh hipbelt pockets? How
roomy are the two side stretch woven pockets? Will they easily accommodate a 1 L Nalgene bottle? How roomy are the dual zippered vertical pockets? How roomy is the Floating, removable top pocket? Will the sleeping bag compartment easily accommodate my 15 F (-9 C) and 40 F (4 C) sleeping bags without drastically limiting room for other gear? Will the sleeping pad straps easily accommodate my Therm-a-Rest Toughskin sleeping pad or other pad? How easily can I remove the sleeping pads? Will this top-loading pack truly accommodate everything I need for a week long backpacking trip?
Will the Tensioned breathable mesh fabric provide superb airflow through back contact zone as Osprey suggests? Will the BioStretch™ thermoformed/perforated waffle foam
harness and hipbelt enhance ventilation? Will the AirSpeed crescents enhance side ventilation? I am especially interested in the ability to secure the pack snugly against my back during the most rigorous workouts. Once secured, how comfortable is the suspension and hip belt? Will it remain snug and comfortable after several miles of hiking? Will the harness and ergonomic frame fit my body size and shape comfortably? Will the padding in the shoulder straps be thick enough to protect my shoulders when the pack is fully loaded? Will the shoulder straps and chest strap remain comfortably secure, without binding, as I move my arms? The Atmos is rated for 35 – 50 lb (16 – 23 kg). How comfortably can it carry loads at the higher end? Overall, how well will the entire suspension secure and distribute the load to my shoulders and hips thereby reducing what I feel in the lumbar area?
Will the 210D Twill Velocity Cordura and the 160D x 210D Window Ripstop Cordura fabrics hold up to the rigors of hiking in the backcountry? The Osprey Owners Manual states these are “high quality but lightweight fabrics. Take extra care when using your pack to lengthen its life.” Just how much “extra care” is necessary with these fabrics to avoid punctures, snags, and tears? Will the weight savings and overall performance compensate for the “extra care” necessary? How will the fabrics shed moisture and keep my gear dry? How easy are the Stow-On-The-Go Trekking Pole attachments to use? Can I use the daisies and bungee tie-offs to easily secure skis, snowshoes, or other gear? The Atmos is rated for 35 – 50 lb (16 – 23 kg). Will it hold up to carrying repeated loads at the higher end? Will I find any issues with the Atmos being only a top-loader? I like the idea of dual zippered front pockets. How well will I be able to use
them? How will the zippers function, will they snag easily? Will I be able to easily adjust the straps and buckles while wearing gloves? Will they remain secure once adjusted? Will the side pockets be large enough for my Nalgene bottles? With the pack on, will I be able to reach the side pockets, or will I need assistance from a hiking friend? How easy is the ErgoPull on the BioStretch™ hipbelt to operate? Will it remain secure, or will it require adjusting from time to time?
Quality and Durability:
Osprey has a reputation for high quality backpacks. Will the materials and workmanship of the Atmos Backpack be consistent with the Osprey reputation? Will the components in this pack (fabrics, AirSpeed suspension, straps, buckles, zippers, etc.) function smoothly as designed? Will the stitching be tight and remain so with use? Will all seams and edging be even and nicely finished? Will the initial quality and finishing of the Atmos continue with use, thereby extending the usable life of this backpack?
Will carrying full-volume loads cause noticeable stress on the fabric or seams? Will the nylon fabrics stretch out after several full-volume loads? Will the fabric hold its color or will it fade with extended exposure to sunlight? Will the fabrics resist soiling? How easy will they clean up? Will the zippers, straps and buckles continue to operate smoothly as designed? Will the harness system hold up with continued use? Will the fabrics Osprey uses in the Atmos be durable enough to provide years of backpacking pleasure?
I will address these and other pertinent issues which may arise during the test period.
If selected to participate in this test, I would like to test the L (68 L) pack. My color preferences are first - Green Apple, second - Aspen Gold, and third - Graphite Grey.
Thanks to Osprey and BGT for considering me to test the Atmos Backpack.
• Montrail Helium GTX hiking boots – LTR submitted 3/31 for editing
• GoLite Adrenaline sleeping bag – (FR waiting edit) LTR due 5/26
• Guyot Squishy Bowls – IR due 4/5
Test Applications Currently Under Consideration:
Please click the link below to access my previous reports.
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