Sunday, November 1, 2009

Favorite Gear - Osprey Atmos Series Packs

This is the most comfortable carrying pack I’ve owned to date. I own the 65 liter version which has a separate sleeping bag compartment in the bottom, and a secret zipper inside one of the outside pockets which allows you to access the main compartment without opening the lid.

The waist belt is nice and wide and conforms to the shape of your body so it distributes the weight well. This is the best fitting waist belt I’ve used. Other large packs I’ve worn rely on very thick dense padding, which leads to pressure points because it doesn’t conform well to your body. There are two mesh pouches on the waistband which are great for keeping snacks and other small items handy.

The mesh back is also nice for keeping your back cool in the summer. One thing I did not anticipate before I bought this pack is that the mesh back fills with snow if you use this pack in a blowing snowstorm. For technical terrain the durability of this mesh back would definitely be a problem. I’m sure it would not survive being drug up a cliff face on a haul line.

I don’t trust the bungees that are used to secure an ice-axe to the daisychain on the rear. I always clip a carabiner from the leash on my axe to the daisychain on the pack in case the bungees fail.

The curved frame makes these packs a challenge to pack, and limits the use of all available space, but they are light weight and carry very comfortably.

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