Are you planning a big backpacking trip and need a new pack? Known for making high-quality hiking backpacks, Osprey offers a full line of backpacks for serious hikers. Because Osprey backpacks get incredibly technical, it can be challenging to know which pack to buy.
The packs are often designed for the types of hiking you plan to do, whether it’s a weekender or long mountaineering trek. That’s where we can help. We’ll compare Osprey Atmos vs. Aether to help you decide which Osprey backpack is right for you.
Osprey makes high-quality backpacks and luggage to outfit your next adventure. And all of Osprey’s products come with a lifetime guarantee. Two of their best technical hiking backpacks are the Osprey Atmos and Osprey Aether.
Comparing the Osprey Atmos vs. Aether is sort of like comparing oranges to bigger oranges. Both packs have similar functionality and features, but the Atmos is a better all-round pack vs. the Aether that’s more geared toward longer treks. The trip you are planning will heavily influence which pack is right for you.
The Osprey Atmos AG 65 hiking backpack is perfect for weekend or week-long hiking trips. The Osprey Atmos is a men’s hiking backpack that comes in a weight capacity of 65 L. The load range is about 30-50 lbs for the Atmos AG 65.
The Osprey Atmos AG 65 is a very technical hiking pack with loads of features to accommodate different backpacking needs. The Atmos has several specialized pockets and compartments to store water hydration, a sleeping bag, hiking poles, and other small hiking tools. The Atmos also boasts of Anti-Gravity suspension, which feels like you are carrying less weight.
For hikers looking for an efficient backpack for trips lasting under a week, then the Osprey Atmos is a solid choice.
The Osprey Aether AG 60 hiking backpack can accommodate heavier loads for backpacking, thru-hikes, and mountaineering expeditions for week-long or month-long trips. The Osprey Aether is a men’s hiking backpack that has a weight capacity of 60 L. The load range is around 35-60 lbs for a more massive load than the Osprey Atmos.
Like the Osprey Atmos, the Osprey Aether utilizes the Anti-Gravity suspension to relieve the weight load. The Aether also includes a water filtration compartment, a removable lid, and several technical pockets and compartments for poles, picks, tools, a sleeping bag, and pad.
Designed for heavy loads and long miles on the trail, the Osprey Aether is an ideal pack for extended backpacking trips and expeditions.
The Osprey Atmos and Aether have several similar standard features. We’ll examine each of these features and select a winner for which pack does it best in Osprey Atmos vs. Aether.
Load Capacity is the amount of gear each backpack can carry in terms of volume and weight. As a general rule, a loaded backpack should not weigh more than 20% of your body weight. For a person who weighs 150 lbs, your ideal pack weight is 30lbs. And Backpacker.com sites that every 1% of your body weight in your pack will slow you down six seconds per mile.
The Osprey Atmos AG 65 L has a maximum load of 50 lbs. In comparison, the Osprey Aether AG 60 L has a maximum load of 60 lbs. And the Aether pack weighs an additional half-pound more than the Atmos pack.
While the Aether product line offers more volume sizes and weight capacity, the Atmos AG 65 L still provides adequate space and maximum load weight for an adult man. So then it becomes a question of pack purpose.
The Anti-Gravity suspension is a proprietary Osprey technology that wraps seamlessly around the body for customizable comfort where you don’t feel like you’re carrying a full load. The Anti-Gravity suspension uses a lightweight 3-D suspended mesh back panel for maximum ventilation.
The Anti-Gravity suspension system consists of a frame, stays, load lifters, harness, hipbelts, and the back panels to transfer the gear's weight from the person to the structure. The suspension system gives the hiker a natural range of motion while balancing and dispersing the pack’s load.
Both the Osprey Atmos and Aether utilize the same Anti-Gravity suspension system. This system gives both packs a competitive edge over other technical packs brands even when the Osprey packs are a bit heavier than their competitors.
Feeling like you’re carrying a lighter load is always desirable, even when it’s a just a weekender trip. While both packs benefit from the system, this is a significant advantage for the Aether AG 60 L pack that’s made for really long expeditions and mountaineering.
Osprey backpacks are known for their many pockets and organizational compartments for various hiking tools and supplies. These compartments and pockets make for easy access to gear, water, and food while on the trail.
When comparing the compartments and pockets of the Osprey Atmos vs. Aether, both packs share a majority of the same organizational features:
The Aether also includes additional main compartment access. While these are very similar, the Osprey Aether backpack wins out because it gives hiker’s more capacity to store items in each of these pockets and compartments. The Aether’s zippers are also easier to manipulate on the trail vs. the Atmos.
Straps and padding are essential when assessing a technical hiking backpack. If straps and pads are uncomfortable, it can make for a miserable trip. And not all body shapes are alike. Having customizable and adjustable straps and padding allow the hiker to form-fit the pack for maximum comfort.
Compression straps are essential for hiking packs to keep everything in place and to allow you to fit more into your bag. The more straps you have, the more you’ll reduce the bulk of your pack and keep the contents balanced.
When it comes to straps and padding on the Osprey Atmos vs. Aether backpack, they share a similar design. Both backpacks have:
The Aether backpack also has dual front compression straps with straightjacket compression. This offers a little more compression than the Atmos backpack. If you’re planning to take longer hiking trips, then you’ll want the Aether backpack for more compression.
Removable floating top lids on a technical backpack allow hikers to lighten their pack if they don’t need all the storage space. This allows more versatility for backpack usage, making it easier to carry for a shorter hiking trip.
Both the Atmos AG 65 L and Aether AG 60 L have a removable floating top lid with a fixed flap jacket to protect your gear. How Osprey Atmos vs. Aether differ is in the design of the top lid.
The Atmos top lid has dual zipper compartments for easy access and storage. And the top lid has web attachment points for quickly removing and reattaching the top lid. This makes the Atmos very versatile for short weekend hikes or to accommodate a week-long trek.
The Aether top lid converts into a lightweight daypack. This allows a hiker to ditch the larger pack at camp and use the daypack to explore without the bulk of the full-size backpack. The daypack also has web attachment points for effortless removal and attachment.
While having a removable lid on both packs is very desirable, the Aether wins for the daypack design. Being able to leave your big pack and camp but still have storage for exploration is a superior feature. This also makes the Aether more versatile for shorter trips because you don’t need to take the bulk of the daypack.
While the Osprey Atmos 65 L and Aether 60 L are very similar, the Aether 60 L has a few more features to assist hikers on longer journeys:
While we’ve compared the Osprey Atmos vs. Aether backpacks, we need to acknowledge that both packs are durable, well-designed, technical packs. And you’ll probably gravitate more toward one of the packs based on the type of hiking you enjoy doing.
While the Osprey Atmos AG 65 L has a smaller load capacity and has fewer features than the Aether AG 60 L, you should buy the Atmos if:
The Atmos AG is actually a better all-around backpack for most backpacking adventures. And because the Atmos AG 65 L holds about the same as Aether AG 60 L and 70 L, there isn’t much difference.
Is the Osprey Atmos the right pack for you? Get a great deal on the Osprey Atmos.
The Aether won out in most categories because it’s intended for longer trips and requires more features to accommodate longer expeditions. You should definitely buy the Osprey Aether backpack if:
The Aether AG backpack is a fantastic pack for long expeditions, mountaineering, or adventures that require a heavier load. The Aether AG is similarly priced to the Atmos, so getting an Aether AG 60 L could be a solid choice that allows the versatility of shorter and longer trips.
Ready for a long adventure? Take an Aether AG to hike in well-ventilated comfort.