The most popular bags from Osprey as the Osprey Atmos and Aether. They are highly regarded hiking and backpacking packs that sports a perfect combination of construction, versatility, and functionality.
In this article, I will go head to head with the Osprey Atmos and Aether backpack by drawing a comparison to help you understand which of them is the better backpack!
Osprey Atmos vs Aether
The Atmos and Aether are quite similar in many aspects but each has some differentiating factors that make one better than the other for those particular things. In this section, I break down what the key differences between Osprey Atmos and Aether to draw a final verdict as to which is better than the other.
Osprey Atmos: A Quick Glance
This backpack is built and designed with comfort being the number one priority. You can see this in the extremely adjustable suspension system that will mitigate weight perfectly wherein you forget you’re even wearing the pack!
The suspension system provides great ventilation with anti-gravity mesh that keeps you dry even during hot weather conditions. All of these components combine together makes the Osprey Atmos a very versatile and comfortable backpack for the Outdoors.
Osprey Aether: A Quick Glance
The Osprey Aether is the slightly bigger version of the Atmos that’s best suited for extended trips. The suspension system is bulkier and performs better with very heavy loads only.
Other components like the Zippered front access and convertible top lid are different in the Osprey Aether as compared to the Osprey Atmos. (more on this later)
Osprey Atmos vs Aether Harness System
The harness is an area where these backpacks differ so pay attention to this part of the article.
Osprey Atmos Harness System
Back Panel: The Back Panel Mesh is stretched along the back and all the way to the bottom across the hip area. This acts a comfortable medium that connects your body to the backpack and reduces sweat making it really comfortable to carry for long periods.
Hip Belt: The hip belt is super adjustable (up to 6 inches) and can fit people of most sizes. (even those with wider hips lol )
Shoulder Straps: The upper portion contains adjustable stiffeners that help with effective load distribution
Osprey Aether Harness System
Back Panel: The Aether harness is a combination of the old-school system of adjustable torso integrated with some of the features from the Atmos (anti-gravity mesh).
The mesh is on the bottom half of the back and hip area with the top half having more padding with airflow holes and mesh. Thus this isn’t as breathable as the atmos
The Harness is also interchangeable to help you get the perfect length.
Hip Belt: The hip belt is quite conventional but it has a moldable foam for a more comfortable fit to your hips.
Shoulder Straps: Lacks adjustable stiffeners
Osprey Atmos vs Aether Compartments
Both the backpacks have an excellent organization with ample space for all gear and packing needs.
Both the products are traditional top-loading designs but with an additional entrance to the main compartment. (when the removable compartments are removed)
Both the backpacks feature a kangaroo pouch which is an extendable mesh pouch buckled to the front panel that’s suitable for any wet, smelly or dirty items.
Osprey Atmos vs Aether Pockets
On the whole, the Atmos AG 65 has 8 external pockets against Aether 70s 7 external pockets.
Hip Belt Pockets:
These pockets come in quickly reach to items quickly and these pockets are large enough to store smartphones and more.
- Atmos AG 65: 2 pockets
- Aether AG 70: 2 pockets
Front Zippered Pockets: These pockets are good for storing flat items like a boarding pass, passport wallet etc.
- Atmos AG 65: 2 pockets
- Aether AG 70: 0
Top lid zippered pockets:
- Atmos AG 65: 2 (One large and one smaller pocket in tandem from the top)
- Aether AG 70: 1 (One big zip pocket)
Mesh water bottle holders:
- Atmos AG 65: 2
- Aether AG 70: 2
- Atmos AG 65: A dual upper and lower strap system with one internal top compression strap
- Aether AG 70: A dual upper and lower side compression system with 2 front straightjacket compression straps
- Atmos AG 65 comes in Cinnabar Red, Graphite Grey, and Absinthe Green.
- Aether AG 70 comes in Neptune Blue, Adirondack Green, and Outback Orange.
These are features common to both the Osprey Atmos and Aether but with some key differences that make one backpack better than the other in terms of that feature particularly.
The Top Lid / DayLid Pack (Better in Aether)
One of the unique selling points of the Osprey backpack is the removable top lid. This is good for two things:
- Lighten your load when you don’t need space on the top
- To use it as a separate pack
Aether excels in this feature as it has a removable lid that can also be used as a daypack! The pack has enough space and sports nifty features like a hydration sleeve, bungee cord (for gear) and straps with some nice mesh. The only tradeoff is this feature adds weight to the pack.
Side Zipper (Better in Aether)
Both the backpacks have top access pockets and bottom access pockets like any premium backpack and
However, the Aether has a long vertical side access pocket which gives you more access and is much more practical. Of course, this adds more weight to the back but gives you another compartment and a store your gear for quick access way.
Other Shared Features worth Highlighting:
These are some of the awesome feathers that make these Osprey backpacks a popular choice among travelers:
- Flapjack Top Cover: Keeps your pack covered and dry in case you remove the top lid
- Separate bottom Compartment: Good for storing gear that deserves a special place.
- Front Stash Pocket: Great for quick access to gear like a poncho/rain jacket.
- Trekking pole attachments: Cool loops to put your poles on the side when you don’t need them
- Lifetime warranty: Should the backpack fail to endure what you put it through you will be covered by Ospreys lifetime warranty where you can simply get a replacement or repair.
- Sleeping bag compartment: It’s big enough to fit a bear canister and a tent (when split with a friend).
Note: The removable compartments on these backpacks have detachable dividers that can be used to join into the main when needed.
Osprey Atmos vs Aether: Which is the better Backpack?
In my opinion, both the backpacks are good in their own way, after all, they’re by the same manufacturer. The only real difference will come in depending on the period you will need these backpacks for:
The Atmos AG 65 is better for shorter and longer trips
The Atmos AG 65 is a versatile backpack that can be used for both long and short periods. It can be used for long periods but only if you’re a minimalist traveler that doesn’t really pack a ton like the normal traveler. (which is the way to go!)
The Aether AG 70 is better for longer trips:
This backpack is BIG and has a bulkier suspension system that’s going to be an overkill for shorter trips.
So if you’re looking to pack for long periods of a week or more or basically living out of their backpack or usually pack heavy loads that need the most amount of room possible then the Aether AG 70 will be more compatible for you.
The bottom line in Atmos vs Aether comes down to which backpack is more compatible with your travel lifestyle. If you know what you usually pack and how long you want to pack with it’s clear which backpack is right for you!