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Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???

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Offline dprather

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Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« on: June 26, 2017, 09:11:10 AM »
Leaving one church (under the best of terms) and moving to another (I'm too young at heart to stop accepting new challenges) I was given a hefty REI gift certificate as a going away present (the timing corresponds to REI's July 4th sale).

My old and beloved Kelty Lakota is wearing through.  I was planning to buy a new internal frame backpack anyway.

Does anyone have experience with either of the above so as to be able to offer an informed opinion?

Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 10:35:06 AM »
I have been using Osprey packs exclusively for the last ten years and can attest that they have the best warranty in the industry. That said, just make sure that whatever you get fits you under the same load that you intend to carry. It sounds intuitive, but knowing the kind of weight that you will carry and the space that you will need only comes with experience.
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline Cookie

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 10:35:56 AM »
Hey dprather! All three of us currently have Ospreys. ElHombre has a Volt60, Hiker Aura50 and I have the Aeriel 65. I can't speak directley about the Atmos but it looks pretty similar to ours.  I LOVE my Osprey. I have had it for about 2 years and my only complaint would be the weight. I saw the one you are looking at comes in at just over 4 lbs Not great if you are looking to trim weight. What I do like about it is the fit and the storage. It is very comfortable and fits well. I've hiked with it maxed out in weight and was well pleased with it's performance.  Happy with the 65L size as well. I am able to fit everything inside it (unless I strap flipflops or my Chaco's to the outside bottom section. I have done well over a doze 4-6nighters with it and would buy it again!

We just  got back from 3 weeks in Utah/Colorado and backpacked in CO the last 4 days. We realized about an hour in that Hiker had outgrown her 50L pack. Hard to believe she is taller than me now!  Luckily we were able to adjust out the waist straps and lengthen the pack out to make it work for the trip. She is going to inherit ElHombre's 60L and he is going to get a fancy ultralight pack. He offered the option to me, but I didn't want to give up my Osprey and it's comfortable fit to drop ~2lbs.

If you have the option to try them on at REI, I would suggest you pack your old one up with ALL your stuff and take it in to really see how it works. The weighted stuff they put in at the store just doesn't work as well as your own gear.

Hope that helps....and good luck!
~Cookie

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Offline Flash

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 11:46:08 AM »
I have used my burnt orange Atmos 65 for the last six years at Big Bend and also used it at Philmont.  Still in good shape and continues to serve me well.  I think some refinements have been made since mine was purchased, such as narrowing the air gap so it rides closer to your back and better hip belt pockets.  I have some minor gripes, but it hasn't been enough to drive me to another pack, so I am overall happy with it. 

- Flash

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 12:38:36 PM »
Ha! I just this moment responded to a request from Hang10er for feedback on Osprey packs. He was posting in the "Another Death in the Bend" thread. I've been using an Osprey Aether 70-liter for a couple years now for trips requiring big loads. It's good to about 65lbs. It's the old Aether, not the Anti-Gravity (aka AG), and is a little lighter, but still heavier than the Atmos that you're looking at. Still, I think there are several significant similarities. And I can give you a general review of  Osprey's build quality and customer service.

I like my Osprey Aether a great deal and it has served me very well, including during my cross-park hike in December 2015, during which I did actually use it to its rated load limit of 65lbs. It carried well and held up a lot better than I did. About half of that 14-day trip was bushwhacking, some severe, and the pack shows nary a scratch (well, OK, some scratches, but no real damage or degradation). I can pretty much echo everything Cookie said about Osprey's big packs: they're a little heavy, they're built extremely well, they can carry the weight they claim and generally comfortably. The hip belt, shoulder straps, and ventilated back suspension are all comfortable and effective under heavy loads. Their organizational options are first-class. The large mesh front pocket is great for wet stuff like rain gear or tents. Dunno about the Atmos, but my Aether's top pocket includes integrated straps that allow it to be used as a lumbar day pack. I've found that extraordinarily useful, though it adds to the packweight. There is no internal zippered pocket, just a key clip. So you'll have to store your personal items like cash or ID in secure manner that you create. And you can lash additional clothing layers to the outside of the top pocket, if needed. The hip belt pockets are also extremely useful, though slightly small for my tastes. The pack is not totally waterproof, but it's awfully water resistant. I don't use a pack cover, I just put my gear and clothing in waterproof stuffsacks.  Though if I were hiking in the PNW, I would use a pack cover. The compression system is so-so, not perfect but adequate. I find that an under-loaded pack can be a little floppy and the compression straps to be a little finicky. they can be moved around and re-routed a bit, but not easily. Definitely agree with Cookie: when you go to REI, bring your fully-loaded old pack, and then transfer everything to the packs you're trying out. That will give you a way, way better idea of how the new packs meet your needs. The standard "throw in some sandbags to test it" is a terrible substitute and will NOT tell you  much about how the pack functions or feels in the real world.

One thing I do not like about my Aether, but might not bother you at all, is that the side pockets have large openings at the bottom so that you can carry water bottles in a forward canted angle and supposedly remove them and replace them while hiking on the fly. This works, just barely. But I don't drink on the fly. I take carefully timed breaks and drink carefully managed amounts while breaking. So, for me, the feature is unnecessary. However, the openings mean nothing small can be stored in the side pockets or it will fall out while hiking. I learned this the hard way. Lost some snacks, almost lost some tent snakes. One thing I very much DO like on my Aether is that the hydration pocket is on the outside, between the trampoline back and the main pack bag. That makes it very easy to add water as you find it....from creeks, springs, tinajas, etc., without having to open up the entire bag and wrestle your hydration bladder out of the pack. I keep a 4-Liter MSR Dromlite in that exterior hydration pocket and put pre-filtered, but unpurified, water in it. I carry my drinking water in a 1- or 2-liter bottle in a side pocket, and pill it when I fill it. My cooking water comes straight from the bladder and is sanitized by boiling when I cook. The bladder rides well and carries well in its position close to my back.

The interchangeable hip belts can be custom "heat-molded" to your shape at the store. I didn't do this, but I did discover I had the wrong size hip belt after using the pack for awhile and Osprey priority shipped a replacement to me ASAP, no questions asked. Good customer service.

For my money, the Osprey Aether is a darn good backpack for 35-60lbs loads. I like just about everything about it. I'll use something else for loads under 35lbs. I'll probably eventually get another backpack for loads above 60lbs, but not soon because that's a pretty rare load for me.

"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017, 12:39:49 PM »
BTW -- congrats on the new opportunity, dprather!!!
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Hang10er

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017, 03:25:32 PM »
Like HMOD said, congrats on the move DPRather!

Call me rookie, but one thing just dawned on me between reading this thread and countless others on here about equipment.  I'd say it's best to get most of your other equipment prior to getting your backpack, agree??

My thinking - Big recommendation is to take your gear to the store and pack your new pack to see if it works.  Someone wrote that a certain pack might not be good for a smaller weight and you obviously don't want to exceed the limit of a pack.  So for someone like me who camps but doesn't "backpack" (yet!) and has made a list of gear he needs for backpacking.  It would seem smarter to get the sleeping bag, pad, tent and other necessities, see what that weighs and pick a pack accordingly.   
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 03:34:39 PM by Hang10er »

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Offline andrwtzel

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 03:30:38 PM »
I have the Baltoro 65.

I've used it on the OML, a week in Yosemite, and an over-nighter in GUMO. I don't regret the purchase one bit (for the record, I was between the Baltoro and a lighter Osprey).

- It is on the heavier side when compared to today's new packs. It's not a back-breaking difference, but it's no ultra light either.

- With that said, this pack is made to haul heavy loads. Even though it is heavier in terms of pounds, in my experience it carries the weight better / more evenly then the ultra light packs. When you are carrying 6 gallons of water across the Dodson, I see this as a benefit.

- The lower back support on this feels great to me. I believe this a selling point that Gregory markets for this pack. They aren't lying.

- I have never had issues with the hip belt. No issues with rubbing, breaking, coming unbuckled, etc.

- The water bladder sits inside a day pack which you can pull out and wear like a small Camelbak. Should you have the desire to do a short side trip from your camp site and don't want to carry the whole pack, it's a nice feature.

- My main complaint is the pockets. The pockets are large for the most part. That makes it nice in the fact that it can fit just about anything you would want. But it all just falls to the bottom of the pocket and you have to dig when the time comes to pull something out. Perhaps if the pockets were separated into smaller pockets or had dividers it would be better.

All and all, I'm very pleased with it. Again, it is a bit heavier - but it is made specifically to carry heavier loads and the weight distribution is excellent. Most importantly go to REI and try them both out. Take some of your gear too and walk the store.

Hopefully this helps, let me know if you have any questions.


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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2017, 03:56:28 PM »
Andrwtzel brings up a very good point that distinguishes the Gregory Baltoro from the Ospreys: the size of the integrated daypack. Whereas the Baltoro's daypack is designed to carry water, the Osprey's is not. And that's a bit of a pain. It's taken me a while to figure out how to rig up a custom harness from webbing so that I can carry my 4-liter Dromlite on my back above my Aether's lumbar pack when I go on long dayhikes. If I'm on a short dayhike, I can usually fit a 16- or maybe even a 32-ounce softbottle in the lumbar pack, but that's not much.  Though it probably adds a few more ounces of weight, the Baltoro's removable hydration pack sounds like a really nice detail.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2017, 06:59:20 PM »
dprather good luck on the new situation, hope it is what you want.

Don't let the REI certificate burn a hole in your pocket or aspirations.  Make sure you get the pack that fits you best and does what you want it to do.  But or heavens sake don't buy a 5+ pound pack!  There is no reason this day in time that anyone should be carrying a pack over 4# and probably 3#.  With all due respect to andrwtzel, no one should ever carry 6 gallons of water anywhere much less across the 10 miles of the Dodson.

Hang10er is dead on to dial in your other gear first and then make sure it fits in the pack and that you have an idea of what your max load might be for most or any trip.  You and I are getting too old and too smart to be carrying crazy heavy loads.  Anything over 45# should be suspect unless a rare expedition or super long period between resupplies.  The kinds of trips you usually do are well within those limits.  And don't get blinded by bells and whistles.  Sure a top pocket that double as a daypack might be nice but not at a big weight penalty.  I have a 3 oz. daypack that doubles as a stuff bag that is more than sufficient for any dayhikes or summit attempts that I might consider.

Packs are second only to shoes/boots in the importance of fit and comfort, choose wisely, not just because you have a get one free card.
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Offline CC

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2017, 07:22:13 PM »
I also have the Baltoro 65 and pretty much agree with andrwtzel.  It's heavy but comfortable, and handles hauling a lot of heavy gear or water.   I have used it for single-night trips where I carried the bulk of the gear and water for myself and two younger daughters.  Now that they are older and hauling their own weight I might start looking for a lighter option while I also look to reduce the weight of my other gear. 

Best thing about REI is that they still have a fairly generous return policy.  You can buy a pack, load it up and hike with it for a few trips and then take it back if its not working out.   

-CC


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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2017, 07:27:55 PM »
I have a 3 oz. daypack that doubles as a stuff bag that is more than sufficient for any dayhikes or summit attempts that I might consider.

ME, I know everything you do is carefully considered. How do you carry water on your dayhikes or summit attempts away from camp, and how much water do you carry? I often take a gallon for daylong forays (just in case) and I find that the superlight, structureless daypacks just don't provide enough support or comfort to keep me happy.

And +1 on not letting the coupon burn a hole in the pocket. Pack selection is just about the most important decision a backpacker can make.  On the other hand, like CC says, you can always return gear to REI. I've never returned a pack, but lord knows, I've returned just about everything else under the sun.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2017, 08:35:47 PM »
House, you mentioned in another thread that you recently went ultralight after having been a mostly heavyweight hiker. I'm curious, and it might be illuminating to the dprather, to know how that experience went. Did the scales fall off your eyes? Or are you never going ultralight again? How did the knees hold up?

As for the two packs in question, I've tried them on when considering trips that would require 40+ lb. loads, but I've not bought one because I have always come to the conclusion that if my pack weight is over 40+ lbs for more than an hour or two, I need to plan a better route. For under 40 lbs there are much lighter packs out there. My GoLite Quest weights 3 lbs and carries 40 fine. I have a 1.5 lb. pack that carries 35 when needed. I don't know what all REI offers, but there are likely lighter options, such as the Gregory Volt or Stout if you want a pack with lots of pockets and zippers.

REI also carries the NeoAir X-Lite sleeping pad which is a pricey but very light pad if you're trying to lighten your load.
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
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   This land was made for you and me

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2017, 09:02:19 PM »
Great questions, Shorty. I've been thinking I should put up a dedicated post on my experiences in weight-shaving. Carrying a 9+ pound base weight versus a 20+ pound weight was hugely better. Especially on the knee, which survived the trip in pretty good shape. Though I will say that 95% joint functionality in Dallas translates to about 85% functionality in Big Bend. I carried a brace but didn't have to use it. I made it through and so far haven't seen any post-trip degradation.  However, 9lbs is a lot easier to achieve on a 5-day trip in summer than it is on two-week trip in winter. I'm planning an even longer winter trip right now, and even with all my shaved weight, I'm still looking at a 17lb baseweight...figuri ng for a maximum of 3.5 gallons of water carried during one particularly difficult, but obligatory, stretch. I will admit, my baseweight includes a few things others probably don't take....e.g., some gear for solo self-rescue like a PLB, smoke signals, an emergency bivy sack, and then some luxuries like my Feathered Friends Winter Wren bag that helps me sleep like a baby, and my backpacker's flute that makes me happy.

My newest pack, a 2lb 4oz Granite Gear Crown V2 easily carries 35lbs and its bomb-proof. AND it's available from REI. The only other very light pack available at REI is the Osprey EXOS series. I tried them out, but found them to be flimsy.  I know Elhombre uses and likes the Volt. I've never tried one, so can't comment. I'm curious, Shorty, which pack do use that can handle 35lbs but only weighs 1.5lbs? That's impressive.
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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Osprey Atmos 65 or Gregory Baltoro 65, or???
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2017, 09:32:11 PM »
I'm curious, Shorty, which pack do use that can handle 35lbs but only weighs 1.5lbs?

Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus FS. It's somewhere between an internal frame pack and a frameless pack -- it has a wire stay and an inflatable back pad insert to provide support and cushion. I just checked MLD and they don't seem to offer the FS (full suspension) option any more, I'm not sure why.
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
   To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
   And all around me a voice was a'sounding
   This land was made for you and me

 


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