If you’re on the lookout for that perfect hiking backpack, Osprey offers several fantastic options that promise durability and comfort for various technical levels and sizes.
Overall, we think that the Osprey Aether 60 is the better option, because it serves as a versatile bag with a convertible top lid that turns into a smaller daypack for short trail days. The Aether 60 also provides a balance of carrying a lot of important gear, with its extra attachment points and higher load weight, while still being comfortable with its built-in padded suspension technology.
On the flip side, the Osprey Atmos 65 provides a lighter weight option, albeit with fewer attachment points for technical gear and a lower load weight, so it’s better suited for shorter or simpler hikes. The Osprey Atmos 65 may be a better fit if you are a less experienced hiker or want to focus on overall comfort.
In this comparison of the Osprey Aether 60 vs Atmos 65, we will dive into the specifications and various qualities of both backpacks in detail, so you can find the best solution for you.
Osprey was founded in 1974 with the promise of creating gear to fit all outdoor lifestyles, shapes, and sizes using sustainable, environmentally friendly practices as a business model. The company backs its products with an impressive “All Mighty Guarantee,” promising to replace or repair their gear for life.
With this in mind, you can feel confident that Osprey is creating high-quality, durable, long-lasting gear for nearly any adventure.
Osprey Aether 60
- Removable top-lid converts to DayLid daypack
- Top to bottom suspended mesh wraps shoulders, back and hips for a fully integrated backpanel fit
- Front stretch mesh pocket and zippered hipbelt pockets for quick storage
- Side panel zip provides quick access to main compartment
- Internal hydration reservoir sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir (sold separately)
The newest version of the Osprey Aether line of backpacks, the Osprey Aether AG 60, features a novel Anti-Gravity harness that stays elevated off of your back for comfort throughout many miles of trails.
While the Aether 60 isn’t as padded as the Atmos 65, it is certainly still comfortable. We’ll discuss this more in the in-depth feature comparison below.
Another standout feature of the Osprey Aether 60 is its load weight capacity. While the Atmos 65 has a higher gear volume capacity, the Osprey Aether can carry heavier gear, making it a better option for longer treks or when you need to carry any bulky, yet essential, equipment.
The Osprey Aether 60 features a uniquely convertible top lid, which separates from the main bag into a compact, lightweight daypack for easy carrying of small items on short hiking days.
Lastly, the Osprey Aether 60 also boasts a custom moldable hip belt for additional comfort when traveling with heavier loads, a daisy chain for extra gear attachment points, and a convenient side zipper entryway into the main compartment of the backpack.
Osprey Atmos 65
- Anti-Gravity suspension - feels like you are carrying less weight than is in your pack
- Adjustable harness and Fit-on-the-Fly hipbelt to dial in perfect fit
- Front stretch mesh pocket for quick storage of rain gear or extra layers
- Removable floating top lid with dual zippered pockets and web attachment points
- Internal hydration reservoir sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir (sold separately)
Also featuring the new Anti-Gravity technology harness, the Osprey Atmos 65 offers a greater volume carrying capacity than the Aether, while still keeping comfort in mind. The Atmos 65 weighs only 4.48 to 4.64 pounds, depending on which size you choose.
The Osprey Atmos 65 is the ultimate in comfort, with its lighter weight body, softly padded mesh back panel, and even weight distribution across the back. It is also quite adaptable on the go, with an easily adjustable hip belt that will fit almost any size.
Finally, the Atmos has eleven exterior pockets, which makes it easier to keep your gear organized how you want it.
Features Face to Face
Weight, Carrying Capacity, and Size
The small size of the Osprey Aether AG 60 pack has a carrying capacity of 57 liters, the medium holds 60 liters, and the large carries up to 63 liters. On the other hand, the small Osprey Atmos AG 65 can carry 62 liters, the medium carries 65 liters, and the large carries 68 liters.
The overall dimensions of the two packs are quite similar. The largest Atmos is 36.22 x 15.35 x 16.14 inches, while the largest Aether is 34.65 x 15.35 x 12.2 inches. Thus, the Atmos is slightly taller and deeper, but the widths of the two bags are the same.
Despite its larger carrying capacity, the Osprey Atmos AG 65 weighs only 4.48 pounds for the small, 4.56 pounds for the medium, and 4.64 pounds for the large size. Comparing this to the Osprey Aether AG 60’s heftier 5.1 pounds, 5.15 pounds, and 5.2 pound options, it becomes rather clear that the Osprey Atmos 65 backpack offers a better balance of size vs weight.
Because it can hold a larger gear volume while measuring similarly in size and actually lighter in weight than the Osprey Aether 60, the Osprey Atmos 65 is the winner of this category.
It is important to note that while the Osprey Atmos 65 has a higher capacity volume, it cannot hold as much weight as the Osprey Aether 60, so the gear that it holds must be less hefty.
The Osprey Aether 60 is rated to carry a load range of 35 to 60 pounds, while the Atmos 65’s load range is a smaller 30 to 50 pounds. Because of this, the Osprey Aether 60 is the winner of this category, making it better suited for longer treks when your pack might need to be heavier.
Comfort and Suspension
The Anti-Gravity back panel is a suspension technology that is constructed of lightweight, breathable mesh from the torso to the lower back. This suspension aims to keep the body of the backpack away from your back, while the mesh provides ventilation to prevent sweat build-up and discomfort.
The Osprey Aether 60’s suspension style is flatter, meaning the bag will fit closer to the back, enabling it to carry more weight overall while remaining stable against your body. The Anti-Gravity back panel offers a contoured fit that evenly distributes the weight of the bag for added comfort, rather than holding all the weight in your shoulders.
On the other hand, the Osprey Atmos 65 back panel is more cushioned, making it less stable along the back, and therefore suited for less weight. However, the added cushion makes it more comfortable in the long run. The Atmos 65 will also feel more lightweight and ventilated due to the bag being stabilized further away from your back.
Overall, while both backpacks offer the Anti-Gravity suspension technology with a ventilated mesh back panel, the Osprey Atmos 65 is slightly ahead in this category due to its focus on comfort and lightweight style.
Both bags are adjustable overall, featuring adjustable compression straps along the sides, harness straps, and hip belts. The hip belt on the Osprey Aether 60 can be more custom-fitted, however. It is heat-moldable for a fit that is specific to you, providing even more stability and comfort.
While the hip belt on the Aether may be more stable when fitted correctly, the Osprey Atmos 65 hip belt has a “Fit-on-the-Fly” style. This means it is more easily adjustable when walking along the trails on-the-go, while the Aether’s hip belt requires more effort to mold it properly.
For the sake of ease of use, the Osprey Atmos 65 is the winner of this category, with its more quickly adjustable hip belt.
Both packs feature fully removable top lids, which is a nice option for lightening the load for shorter hiking days.
However, the top lid of the Osprey Aether AG 60 can also be converted into a small, lightweight daypack, complete with a hydration compartment, bungee cord attachment, and mesh straps, perfect for short hikes when you want to carry only the essentials. This feature makes the Osprey Aether 60 more versatile for either longer or shorter hikes.
With its detachable top lid that converts into a daypack, providing more options for organizing and carrying important gear for shorter hikes, the Osprey Aether 60 is the more versatile option of these two bags.
Access to Main Compartment
Both the Osprey Aether and Atmos feature top access to the main compartment, which is a typical finding on quality backpacks. Also, both packs have access through the bottom via the sleeping bag space, which also has a separation panel for organization purposes.
In addition, the Osprey Aether 60 features side access via a diagonal zipper along one side of the bag for easier gear access. The Osprey Atmos 65 does not offer such a zipper, so it is limited to top and bottom main compartment access only.
Because of its long side zipper that provides an additional option for accessing the main compartment, the Osprey Aether 60 is the winner in this category.
The Osprey Atmos 65 boasts eleven exterior pockets in total, while the Osprey Aether 60 features seven. Notably, the dual front zippers on the Osprey Atmos 65 make it easier to access the front pocket while in the middle of a trek.
Also, the Atmos features two stretchy mesh side pockets, where you can conveniently store water bottles or other gear that you want to keep handy.
With its extra front zippers and dual mesh side pockets, the Osprey Atmos 65 is the winner of this category, making organization a breeze.
Both packs feature trekking pole attachments and ice tool loops. However, the Osprey Aether 60 also features two daisy chain attachment points along the sides of the bag, so you can attach even more important gear for those difficult hikes. The Osprey Atmos 65, built with fewer gear attachment points, seems less focused on the technical side of things.
Because of its extra attachment points, the Osprey Aether 60 is the winner of this category. If you’re seeking a bag for more challenging hikes that require more technical gear, the Osprey Aether 60 is the better option.
Standout Features of the Osprey Aether 60
Convertible top lid: The top lid of the Osprey Aether 60 can be fully converted into a functional, compact, lightweight daypack for holding essential gear on shorter hikes. This makes the Osprey Aether 60 the more versatile option, whether you’re planning a short or longer hike.
Heavier load weight range: With a load weight range of 35 to 60 pounds, the Osprey Aether 60 is better suited for carrying heavier gear. This may make it a better option for longer hikes.
Additional main pocket access: The long side zipper of the Aether makes it easier and more convenient to access the main compartment when on the go.
Additional attachment points: Two daisy chains on the sides of the bag serve as additional places to attach technical gear for more difficult hiking ventures.
Standout Features of the Osprey Atmos 65
More comfortable: With its better padding in the Anti-Gravity back panel, the Osprey Atmos 65 offers a higher degree of comfort, both in softness and ventilation.
More easily adjustable: The Osprey Atmos 65 has a “Fit-on-the-Fly” hip belt, which is much easier to adjust when you’re in the middle of an active hike.
Lighter in weight: While it holds a larger volume, the Osprey Atmos 65 is built in a more lightweight style, so it is less encumbering on the back.
More pockets: Two stretchy, mesh pockets along the side of the Osprey Atmos 65 offer additional storage spaces that can be easily accessed on the trails. The Atmos overall features a whopping eleven exterior pockets and an additional two front zippers.
Use the Osprey Aether 60 if:
- You are planning a long hike and want to carry a lot of heavy gear
- You are a more technical hiker who wants the extra attachment points for specific gear
- You want the removable top lid that converts into a smaller day pack for more versatility
Use the Osprey Atmos 65 if:
- You want a more lightweight bag
- Comfort is your main priority
- You want more exterior pockets for better organization
Whether you’re seeking a backpack for a day hike or a longer hike of a few days, Osprey has several comfortable, durable, reliable options.
Check out the Osprey Aether 60 if you’re seeking a more versatile bag for those technical, difficult hikes when you need heavier gear. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a well-rounded bag where comfort is the true focus, the more lightweight Osprey Atmos 65 may be your best bet.