Sunday, February 04, 2007

Osprey gear review

Saturday I took my new backpack for a test run on the Cape Lookout trail. It was a nice windy slog on the coast through Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock on a volcanic ridge jutting out into the Pacific Ocean.

When I got to the end of the trail I met a couple of hikers that worked for an agriculture dept in Tillamook and we talked about packs for a bit. I was humping my Osprey Atmos 65, loaded with about 25 pounds of gear. The guys oohed and ahhed about my pack, too polite to make any criticisms, but I’ll lay out a couple here.

First, I don’t like the bottom chamber. I bought it in a bit of a rush (on a lunch break) and hadn’t noticed that the bag wasn’t a single stuff pack. It has a bottom compartment that zips open for you to put your sleeping bag in. I’ve got an old sleeping back and it doesn’t fit. It probably means I need a new sleeping bag, but I still didn’t like it. The bag makes you pack the way it wants you to, and zippers leak.

Second, it rode a little high on my hips, seeming to move up as I walked. I did some adjusting to make it fit better, loosening the shoulder straps, tightening the sternum. There are probably some things I could do with the internal frame. I’ll have to check that out.

The mesh back panel design was meant to keep the pack off of my back, giving my skin some room to breathe, but I was still sweating even stripped down to my base layer. Still, I think it’s a cool idea and it’s really comfortable.

All in all I think it’s a good pack. But maybe that’s because I spent the cash already. Regardless, I did 5 miles with 25 pounds and had zero strain or pain. I need to spend more time learning how to pack it better.

Osprey Atmos 65 Specs
  • Cubic inches: 4,000
  • Liter 65
  • Weight 3lbs 10oz
  • Max recommended carrying weight 45lbs
  • Removable Sleeping Pad Straps
  • Water Resistant Zippers
  • Cost: $229.
  • 1 comment:

    Justin said...

    I have never used any of the Osprey Packs but have used the Dueter Packs that are similar in the air mesh back panel. The Deuter seemed to do a decent job at keeping my back a bit cooler. I did notice that the way I packed the bag made a big difference in how it rode. heavy stuff close to the back and lower in the pack. Also play with the hip stabilizers a bit to get it to better fit around the hips. Enjoy the pack, I am sure it will adjust a bit more to you as you also adjust to it.