Osprey Atmos AG 65 / Aura AG 65 Review (Best Hiking Backpack Ever?)
Photo by Eric Sanman

Our Oregon Discovery crew went on hundreds of adventures for over a decade and it always involved carrying a backpack (whether to collect cool rocks, carry hiking essentials, etc.).

Over that time, we've torn apart a few backpacks (and plenty of other things along the way) and left even more packs in the closet because those were unfit for the task.

These backpacks (from cheap Walmart variety to much pricier models) carry the stuff at the expense of your body!

Do you remember that feeling?

You went out for a long-distance adventure with a cheap backpack (loading your pack full of beer at your local 7/11 doesn't count). The following day, you feel like you returned from the CrossFit competition.

Your back is killing you!

But the worst part is not the temporary pain.

A bad backpack will ruin your back eventually! And it doesn't require that much. Sometimes, one long outing will put you out of the commission!

With our extensive experience, we found the best overall backpack to prevent it!

The Atmos AG 65L (male version) and Aura AG 65L (female version) by Osprey are THE BEST all-around backpacks.

Let me explain.

Key Features of the Osprey AG 65L

All Day Comfort. The full-metal frame, expansive side compression strap system, and well-integrated suspension distribute weight effectively. No falling off the cliff because one side was too heavy (unless you do it on purpose, but we don't judge).

Light Weight. 4 to 5 pounds depending on the backpack size (approximate weight of a bag with 12 apples or 7 cans of beer if you are me).

Practical Compartments. Hella lots of pockets, water bottle holders, and a sleeping bag compartment (Marie Kondo would be envious of you).

Good Ventilation. Imagine a light breeze around your back and shoulders instead of being sticky and wet. No more getting to the camp looking like you just ran the marathon.

Durability. Made with durable materials: 210D nylon on the main portion of the pack and 500D on the bottom. Rain cover (included), turns the backpack into the duck's back – water slides off effortlessly. Without rain cover, it is still resistant to the rain. But it is best to put the cover on if it is pouring.

Atmos AG 65 And Aura AG 65 Differences

osprey atmos reviewOsprey Atmos AG 65 (Men Version)

  • Designed To Suit Male Body: Shape with broader shoulder straps and a differently contoured hip belt. 
  • 3 Colors: Green, black, and blue (Now, you won't look like a bum who just moved their tent to the woods. By matching your gear to the backpack with vibrant colors, you can confidently make friends with girls in your hiking group ;)). 


Osprey Aura AG 65 (Women Version)

  • Designed To Suit Female Body: Offers a design and sizing that cater to the female physique, including narrower shoulder straps and a contoured hip belt (which feels like having a cozy hug from your backpack) 
  • 3 Colors: Three main colors - red, purple, and grey (Colors that show grace and make it easy to match other hiking gear by color, which may be a pain, so now you even look wonderful and put together during a hike).  


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  • Very light
  • Durable, so you will handle it for your grand kids
  • Smartly projected (There is enough compression to make the bag MUCH thinner when it's not fully loaded)
  • Can be overloaded (rated for 40 pounds, but can carry more weight)
  • Variety of different styles (so you won't look like a sabotage-reconnaissance group when going out with your buddies, raising suspicions from the FBI)


  • It may seem pricey (Still cheaper than buying trashy backpacks again and again and then paying for the back doctor to fix you)

Osprey Atmos AG 65 / Aura AG 65 Review (Best Hiking Backpack Ever?)

Sizing Guide

X-Small/Small: Under 5' 4'' inches (163 cm) tall.

Small/Medium: Between 5' 4'' to 5 10'' inches (163-178 cm) tall.

Medium/Large: Between 5' 10'' inches to 6' 3'' inches (178-191 cm) tall.

Large/Extra Large: Over 6' 3'' (191 cm) tall.

Still curious about why Osprey Atmos/Aura AG 65L is so special?

While on a trip, intrusive thoughts attack your mind.

"Why the heck does my backpack FEELS so heavy? "

"Do I need those extra items with me?"

Lightweight AG 65L solves the problem. It is one of the lightest backpacks in its class!

Osprey Atmos AG 65 / Aura AG 65 weighs just 4 pounds (5 pounds for larger models). The similar model Gregory Baltoro 65 weighs up to 6 pounds. (Yes, we also know that after a few miles, every ounce counts).

The Osprey's AG65L suspension system feels like a dream on your back and prevents pain, even when you're hauling a full load of rockhounding treasures or hiking essentials (JBL Xtreme doesn't count).

It's easy to adjust and makes the pack feel lighter than it is by effectively spreading the weight.

The 65 liters of space gives you enough room for everything you need without sacrificing comfort.

Easy access from both sides, it is the right spot for your sleeping gear and a stretchy pocket for quick grabs like your favorite hoodie or snack.

The best thing about the AG65L is that it can be the most comfy pack, even when it's half empty.

Compression is better on the Atmos AG than the Osprey Exos models since it is not over the external pockets. There is also a compression strap inside at the top of the bag, so you can make it thinner when it's not fully loaded.

Also, the bag's brain (the top lid, in plain English) is detachable if you don't need the extra space.

It looks sick, too! Talking about a conversation starter with other adventurers, this is it.

Osprey AG65L is stylish enough to get you a partner with common interests (IMO, it already covers the price)...totally not dating advice!

My Experience

So, there I was, venturing into the Seekseekqua (aka Mount Jefferson), armed with this backpack, a bear can (because bears and I go way back), and enough snacks to make a squirrel jealous.

The hike took me roughly 11 hours with enough elevation to think, "I should have stayed home." The loaded pack was 33 lbs + water. So roughly 38-39 lbs total. On mile 6, who had the sweaty back? Not me.

Who's shoulders were sore? The guy who got a cheap Walmart backpack, not me. I specifically paid attention to those factors since it was my experience with lesser quality (or lack thereof) backpacks. During the hike, I felt no discomfort at all in my back.

The comfort was top-notch, but the shoulder straps felt like they needed a bit more padding (To be fair, it ALWAYS feels like this, from my army day to hiking around today).

The next morning, I felt good enough to hit the gym, aka no excruciating pain to stop me. I became a believer.

Three years in, and this backpack is still my ride-or-die. Sure, I wish it was a bit cheaper, but hey, it's like choosing between a fake Casio watch from Aliexpress and Garmin Fenix 7. You get what you pay for.


If money isn't an issue – take your shot and get the AG 65L.

If money is an issue, it will become even worse when you receive the bill from your physical therapist (plus the money spent on the cheap backpack).

You should show yourself some kindness and invest in quality gear.

It will last many years or even generations (Osprey warranty and customer support will help you with this).

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