Osprey Atmos vs Aether: Compared – Key Differences [2022 Guide]

We have been asked too many questions about the Osprey Atmos vs Aether comparison. Therefore, we decided to write this article and compare the latest revisions of these two backpacking backpack.

We can assure you; this is the most in-depth study that compares the Osprey’s Atmos with the Aether line. All information is up-to-date. Everything you need to know about these backpacking backpacks is in this post! So, you can either read the entire post (strongly recommended – since these packs are far from cheap), or jump to the quick summary section.

Osprey Atmos AG 65 vs Aether 65: Full List of Key Points
Osprey Atmos AG 65 Performance Score
88%
Osprey Aether 65 Performance Score
84%

To begin with, the Aether line performs very well as mountaineering backpacks as well as backpacking backpacks. However, we thought the application and design intention of the Aether line is very limited & specific. On the other hand, we think that the Atmos line is more suitable for wider applications (also more comfortable & affordable & Feature-Rich compared to standard Aether 65 model), unless you are planning an extended trip or hauling heavy loads (Aether line is the best in this category).

We wil be focusing on the mostly the Atmos AG 65 vs Aether 65 since they are the best of their own product line. However, we will also mention about the different variations of Atmos and Aether, and provide their in-depth review links for Osprey addicts.

Quick Summary of Atmos Ag 65 vs Aether 65

As a short summary of the passage, the Atmos AG 65 designed for loads up to 40 lbs and suitable for  all day to a week-long trip (if you pack carefully). It is incredibly comfortable & breathable. Surprisingly, it is more feature-rich compared to the Standard Aether 65 model! On the other hand, above the 40 lbs, the Atmos does not maintain the same comfort level.  In this case, the Aether 65 takes the stage. It is a heavy hauler and suitable for extended trips (5 days and more) and can handle 60 lbs with ease. The feature-rich model of Aether line that beats Atmos AG 65, is the Aether Plus variations (has convertible top lid to daylite daypack).

We have put together the following details for Osprey Atmos vs Ather line to draw a clear picture. This chart could help you to understand their intention better, please take a look at them before reading further.

Comparison of #Atmos AG 65Aether 65Aether Plus 70Aether Pro 70
AccessTop, Sleeping Bag CompartmentTop, front, sleeping bag compartmentTop, front, sleeping bag compartmentTop
Volume (M Size)65 L65 L70 L70 L
Weight (M Size)4.5 lbs5 lbs5.6 lbs3.3 lbs
Load Carrying Capability40 lbs60 lbs70 lbs60 lbs
Hydration CompatibleYesYesYesYes
PocketsRemovable floating top lid with dual zippered pockets (2),
Front stretch mesh pocket (1),
Dual access stretch mesh side/water bottles pockets (2),
Zippered hipbelt pockets (2),
Fabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1),
Dual-access stretchy mesh side/water bottle pockets (2),
Dual zippered hipbelt pockets (2)
Fabric reinforced front shove-it pocket (1),
Dual front panel zippered pockets (2),
Large dual-access stretchy mesh side/water bottle pockets (2),
Dual zippered hipbelt pockets (2)
2 removable hipbelt pockets;
One zippered and one with a cinch closure
PriceCheck the latest RatesCheck the latest RatesCheck the latest RatesCheck the latest Rates
Trip LengthAll-Day to a WeekUp to 1 WeekMore than 1 weekAll Day + Up to 1 week
TypeStandardStandardExpeditionExpedition/Alpine
Women’s Counter PartsAura AG 50/65Ariel 55/65Ariel 60/70/85Ariel Pro 65
CampaRest Expert ReviewAtmos AG 65 ReviewAether 55/65 ReviewAether Plus Variations ReviewAether Pro 70 Review

Here, we have our expert review for Osprey Atmos AG 65 vs Aether 65:

Review of #Atmos AG 65Aether 65
Overall Score8884
Comfort10/108/10
Load Carrying Capacity6/108/10
Features & Organization9/108/10
Breathability & Ventilation10/108/10
Weight8/106/10
Accessibility8/1010/10
Adjustability & Fit8/1010/10

The Aether 65 is mostly designed for hauling heavy loads for extended trips. Therefore, the Aether 65 is very suitable for the trips up to a week long, above a week you may need to consider the Plus or Pro variations. On the other hand, the Atmos AG 65 is very suitable for all day and up to a week, if you pack very carefully.

From the comfort & breathability & ventilation perspective, the Anti-Gravity Suspension of Atmos AG 65 (Suspended mesh from top to the bottom including hipbelt & shoulder straps) does way better job than AirScape Suspension of Aether 65.

However, from load carrying capability vs comfort stand point, for hauling more than 40 lbs, the Aether is more comfortable.

Osprey transferred some of highly admired features (extra external storages convertible top lids to daylite daypack and stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment) of Aether AG 70 (prior generation) to Plus variations. So the standard new Aether 65 model is poor considering the features. Thus, we found Atmos AG 65 more feature-rich than the standard Aether 65. On the other hand, from the features and organization perspective the Aether Plus series beat the Atmos AG 65.

One more point, the Aether 65 is pretty heavy (5 lbs), although it has very limited features and external storage compared to the Atmos AG 65 (4.5 lbs).

The accessibility to the main compartment of the Aether 65 is unquestionably perfect. There are three ways to do that.

  • From the Top
  • From the Sleeping Bag Compartment
  • From the Front via J-Shaped Zipper (the part we like the most)

For the Atmos AG 65, there are two ways to access to the main compartment. Those are from the top and the sleeping bag compartment.

From the adjustability stand point, the Aether is the best! It has fit-on-the-fly system on both its hipbelt & shoulder straps. This system provides custom fit for wider range of body size. The Atmos has the fit-on-the-fly on its hipbelt only.

From the weater protection stand point, the Aether has fully weather protection (It has PFC-free DWR Coating and integrated rain cover), and therefore it is more useful for inclement weather.

The most of the backpackers are happy with the light and highly comfortable Atmos. Therefore, we prefer Atmos AG 65 over Aether 65, as long as, we are not planning extended trips with a hauling more than 40 lbs. Otherwise, Aether 65 is very durable and comfortable when carrying plenty of items over long distances.

If you are wondering the details, technical terms (such as Anti-Gravity and AirScape Suspension, fit-on-the-fly system etc), the full list of features, attachments and more, we have explained everything in the following sections of this post! Keep reading!

Short Summary for Atmos AG 65:

The Atmos AG 65 is a complete backpacking backpack to participate a wide range of activities that performs very well with both heavy (up to 40 lbs) and light loads. It is a multi-purpose backpack, and most of the backpackers found it extremely comfortable. It has completely adjustable hardness that provides great comfort. The Anti-Gravity suspension (the suspended mesh) works very well and keeps your back, hip, and shoulders ventilated.

Pros:

  • A Great Organization Overall.
  • Large pockets
  • Perfect Ventilation system (AG- Anti Gravity)
  • Great carrying comfort.
  • Very well Weight balancing
  • Very durable material
  • Relatively Lighter
  • Very versatile

Cons:

  • The Edges of the hipbelts are not so padded. Therefore, rolls a bit inward. This could be uncomfortable for a long trip

Highlighted Features

  • Adjustable harness
  • Fit-on-the-fly hipbelt

Compartment

  • Main compartment
  • Sleeping bag compartment with a removable divider

Accessibility

  • Top
  • Sleeping Bag Compartment

Related Article: In-depth Osprey Atmos AG 65 Review

Short Summary for Aether 65:

The Aether 65 is a pack specifically designed to participate very long (3+more) trips, winter trips, trips with kids or with very heavy loads (up to 60 lbs). The older generation Aether AG was using Anti-Gravity (AG) suspension. It has been replaced by the AirScape suspension in the latest version.  There are good things and bad things that came with this update.  The comfortably load carrying capacity is increased, but the comfort due to ventilation & breathability is degraded. Since this is a heavy hauler, this situation is pretty much normal considering its design intention.

Pros:

  • Strategically placed extremely durable fabric: 420-denier (at the front, top and bottom), elsewhere 210-D.
  • Weather Resistant
  • Ease of movement on the technical terrain
  • Snug & comfortable fit
  • Heavy load carrying capability on the rough terrain
  • Tear & abrasion resistant material application on the Shove-it pocket
  • Sustainable material (PFC-Free DWR & bluedesign)
  • Easy access to the main compartment via J-shaped zipper along the front

Cons:

  • 5 pounds- relatively heavy
  • Less exterior storage (more is available on Aether Plus)
  • AirScape backpanel offers decent breathability but not as great as the ventilation of past generation Anti-Gravity design.

Highlighted Features

  • Fit-on-the-fly hipbelt & shoulder straps
  • Front access to main compartment
  • Has no longer convertible top lid to daylite daypack and stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment (transferred to the Plus variations)

Compartment

  • Main compartment
  • Sleeping bag compartment with a removable divider

Access

  • From the top
  • From the Front via J-shaped zipper
  • From the Sleeping Bag Compartment

The main reasons for picking the Aether 65 should be the followings:

  • Comfortable bulkier suspension for heavy hauling.
  • AirScape Suspension for maximum stability for carrying heavy load
  • Fit-on-the-fly system on hipbelt & shoulder straps (adjustable & provides custom fit, yet not available on PRO Variation)
  • A central access to main compartment through from the top, front & sleeping compartment (Pro version has only top access to main compartment).

Related Article: In-Depth Osprey Aether 65 Review

Anti-Gravity (Atmos) vs AirScape (Aether) Suspension

Osprey introduced the Anti-Gravity (AG) suspension in January 2015. The first pack that was introduced with this system is the Atmos/Aura AG line. It has been implemented on the Aether line as well. The Atmos AG series still use the same suspension system. However, the Aether switched to the AirScape Suspension due to its design intention.

Basically, the AG suspension consists of suspended mesh foam reaching from top of the backpanel, all the way down to the hipbelt. Its primary purpose is to provide the excellent carrying comfort, effective load distribution and ventilation. It forms a space between the back of backpack and your back. Therefore, AG system keeps you less sweaty and exhausted. However, when we loaded the Atmos AG 65 above 40 lbs, we noticed it is not as comfortable as it used to be. Therefore, Osprey introduced the AirScape suspension for its heavy hauler Aether line!

The AirScape is more suitable for hauling heavy loads. This is an injection-molded, die-cut foam backpanel. The AirScape Suspension is very breathable and ensures close to body fit.  Basically, this lightweight mesh-covered 3D foam sets the standards so high in terms of suspension.

The stability is increased owing to AirScapeTM, the weight of the pack is very close to the body. Although, there is less suspended mesh along the back, it features large cutouts in the foam to increase the breathability. The ventilation and the cushioning still provide a great gear-carrying experience.

So, who is the winner of Osprey Atmos vs Aether comparison from Suspension stand point? Well, it depends! You can conclude that the Aether 65 is less breathable & ventilated than the Atmos AG 65 due to the different suspension system being used in their constructions. However, Aether 65 can haul more loads than the Atmos 65 with ease.

Load Carrying Capacity Comparison of Atmos vs Aether

Although, it has been stated that Atmos AG 65 can be loaded up to 50 lbs in the user manual of Osprey’s, we definitely do not recommend hauling loads above 40 lbs with it. The Anti-Gravity suspension cannot handle the loads over 40 lbs. Atmos can’t shoulder as much weight as the Aether. If you insist on this, you will sacrifice the comfort that you get from the Anti-Gravity Suspension. This is why Aether line switched to the AirScape suspension. The Aether line (heavy hauler) can handle loads up to 60 lbs. We tried it, and saw no noticeable change in the comfort, ventilation or the load distribution.

Breathability & Ventilation Review for Atmos vs Aether

The suspended mesh backpanel of Atmos provides a standout ventilation. As we mentioned before, it is due to the Anti-Gravity suspension system. So, Atmos AG 65 is more breathable and very well ventilated compared to the Aether 65. The reason is the AirScape suspension of Aether 65 has less suspended mesh at the back.

Even the harness of the Atmos AG is very well ventilated and it is the top-pick for the warmer adventures.

Long story short, the winner of Osprey Atmos vs Aether comparison from breathability & ventilation stand point is the Atmos AG 65.

Adjustability & Fit

For a backpacker, considering the harness, the fit comes in the first place. Any issue with the fit comes with a really uncomfortable feeling and pain at the end of the day.

Therefore, no matter what type of backpacking you will have (mountaineering, expedition, backpacking backpack, travel, or daypack), the fit & adjustability should be the top priority as much as the ventilation, comfort and organization & features.

In regard to adjustability, the Aether 65 is way better than the Atmos AG 65. The Aether 65 has fit-on-the-fly hipbelt and shoulder straps. However, only the hipbelt of Atmos AG 65 has the fit-on-the-fly. On its shoulder straps, Atmos AG 65 has adjustable suspended mesh harness. From top to bottom this suspended mesh wraps the shoulders as well as back and hips for integrated fit. However, it is not as perfect as the fit-on-the-fly!

So, how does the Fit-on-the-Fly system work? Hipbelt and Shoulder straps have a rip-and-stick Velcro design. You can move the padding via this feature to the place where you meet the best support and comfort (extendable hip-belt that can be elongated for customization by basically pulling the lid inside). Long story short, they can accommodate different size very well. It is a great system for fine-tuning the shoulder strap and hipbelt padding and we found it very customizable.

Here is a useful video that shows how the fit-on-the-fly hipbelt works:

Previously on Aether (AG 70): The older generation of Aether was having IsoForm which is a heat moldable hipbelt. How does it work? When you visit an Osprey dealer they were heating up the hipbelt and mold it to your own hip. It can be remold up to 3 times, in case you gain or lose weight. However, the new application fit-on-the-fly system is more robust and fast. The good thing is that you can readjust it depending on the amount of load you are carrying.

Long story short, the winner of Osprey Atmos vs Aether comparison from Adjustability & Fit stand point is the Aether 65. The Atmos AG 65 is not bad. However, the Aether 65 stands out and exceeds expectations.

Comfort

In the interest of brevity, the winner of Osprey Atmos vs Aether comparison in terms of comfort is the Atmos AG 65.

The Atmos AG 65 is more comfortable than the Aether 65. The primary reason is that the Anti-Gravity suspension works better than the AirScape.

Honestly, we usually prefer our Atmos AG 65 from all day to a week long trips. It is very comfortable up to 40 lbs load. However, if we plan to haul more than 40 lbs, to maintain the same amount of comfort, we switch to Aether line!

Features & Organization Comparison

We have prepared the following chart and compared the features of Atmos AG 65 with the Aether 65, side by side.

Atmos AG 65 Features:Aether 65 Features:
PocketsPockets
Dual zippered pockets and web attachment points on floating top lidN/A
Front stretch mesh pocket stores (stove-it)Fabric reinforced front shove-it pocket
Dual access stretch mesh side pocketsDual-access Stretch mesh side water bottle pockets
Dual zippered hipbelt pocketsDual zippered hipbelt pockets
Straps & AttachmentsStraps & Attachments
Dual upper and lower side compression strapsDual upper/lower side compression straps
Removable sleeping pad strapsRemovable sleeping pad strap
Sternum strap with integrated safety whistleN/A
Dual ice tool loopsDual ice axe loops with bungee tie-offs
Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachmentOnly on Plus Variation
Other FeaturesOther Features
Internal hydration reservoir sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoirInternal hydration reservoir sleeve
N/ARaincover (removable)
N/AMain Compartment has large front panel zip access.
Removable floating top lid with Floating top lid with lash points
Integrated FlapJacket protects gear when top lid is removedOnly on Plus Variation
Adjustable harness and Fit-on-the-Fly hipbeltFit-on-the-fly Hipbelt & Shoulder Straps
Lower zippered sleeping bag compartment with removable dividerZippered sleeping bag compartment with removable divider
N/ADual front panel compression straps with StraightJacket compression
N/AAnchor loops for an optional Osprey Daylite® daypack for short forays

Feature and organizations were used to be great on the standard Aether models (AG 70), however, current version is less feature-rich. They transferred the technologies to Aether Plus line. So, if you are familiar with the older generation Aether AG 70, do not expect the same features from the Aether 65. All the features of the latest revision have been listed in the table above.

We would like to mention about the features transferred to the Aether Plus Line:

  • Convertible top lid to Daylite Daypack
  • Integrated FlapJacket protects gear when top lid is removed
  • Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment

From organization stand point; both products have two common accesses point to main compartment. Those are the top and sleeping bag compartment (removable divider). The Aether, on the other hand, has a third way to access to the main compartment. It has a J-Shaped zipper at the front. So you don’t have to dig all the way to center of the main compartment to access an item there. Instead, you can use this feature!

Osprey Aether 65 J-Shaped Zipper to Main Compartment Access
Osprey Aether 65 J-Shaped Zipper to Main Compartment Access

Check out the following video:

With the Osprey’s lates release, the winner of Osprey Atmos vs Aether comparison from the features aspect is the Atmos AG 65. You need to upgrade it to Aether Plus series to beat Atmos AG 65.

Durability

We have been using both products since the beginning of this year. We fully loaded them, camped and left them in bush and rough rocky floor. Yet, there is no sigh of wear or tear.

Colors Options

Atmos AG 65 offers following color options:

RIGBY RED

Atmos RIGBY RED

ABYSS GREY

Atmos ABYSS GREY

UNITY BLUE

Atmos UNITY BLUE

Aether 65 offers following color options:

DEEP WATER BLUE

Aether DEEP WATER BLUE

GARLIC MUSTARD GREEN

Aether GARLIC MUSTARD GREEN

BLACK

Aether BLACK

Conclusion for Osprey Atmos vs Aether Review

Who should choose Atmos AG 65: Backpackers planning short and long trips, loading up to 40 lbs, and seeking comfort & breathability & a feature-rich design.

Who should choose Aether 65: Backpackers packing 5+ days and hauling more than 40 lbs (up to 60 lbs), and seeking fully adjustable 4-season heavy hauler

Our personal preference is to go with the Atmos AG 65, we found it versatile / multi-functional backpacking backpack. Just for the longer trips or inclement weather, we use the Aether 65.

Women’s specific counterparts to the Atmos AG and Aether Series are Aura AG and Ariel respectively. Their fit and sizing are designed to fit a women’s body.

Finally, we would like to recommend checking our Best Backpacking Backpacks review. Basically, you will find price vs performance, weight analysis, comfort, fit/adjustability, and ease of use comparison for the most popular backpacks of the year.

We tried to explain all the details of the Osprey Atmos vs Aether as much as we can. We purchased these products and share our own experience with them. CampArest team is ready to answer any of your questions. Please feel free to get in touch via our “Contact Page”, in case of any question.

Reference: Osprey Backpacking Backpacks