Look what I came home with? (new pack)


Mar 1, 2012
So I made a quick to REI yesterday to return a few unused Xmas gifts and ended up coming home with this:


I have been rocking my REI New Star pack since 1993 and have planned on buying a new pack for about the last 4 years, but I kept finding other things to buy and since it still worked I never pulled the trigger. Well I finally did yesterday. I worry a bit about the long term durability of the AG suspension but it was so comfy in the store I decided to give it a shot. I've owned a few Osprey day packs and they have always treated me well so I have high hopes for this one.

I'll update this thread after my Yurt trip into the Uinta's this weekend.
I saw this pack at Scheels yesterday and tried it on...that thing is comfy.
I have never had a pack that hugs you like that one did...I'm sure it'll whisper sweet nothings in your ear as you hike too.
Great pick up!
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Nice.. You mentioned that you're worried about the durability of the suspension. Osprey warranties their stuff for life, so no need to be too concerned. My favorite pack is my Osprey too.
I'm really interested in what that AG suspension is like. The AG seems to add quite a bit of weight but I totally believe that an awesome suspension system can make that weight and more basically disappear in how it carries the load.
I just picked up an Osprey Aether a few weeks ago. Looks to be a really comfortable pack.
Nice pack Nick, Im about ready to ugrade packs, especially since I have new people with no gear coming up with me more often now. Its a toss up between osprey and a local brand. http://www.ula-equipment.com/product_p/catalyst.htm

I've never heard a ULA owner complain about their pack. I've been wanting to try a circuit for quite a while.

I think an osprey packs attact a different audience than ULA (at least this is my perception). ULA seems to be more about getting the job done as light as possible, without extras, and osprey seems to be about getting the job done with as many creature comforts as possible.
After a nice little weekend outing with the new Atmos I figured I would give a little review here. We headed up Friday morning to Boundary Creek yurt in the Uinta's and really lucked out with the recent storm. We were the 2nd group into the yurt since the storm so there was plenty of fresh tracks to be had.

The first thing I noticed when I started loading the pack is how much I am not used to pockets. :) My REI pack was basically a 75 L main compartment with a 5L lid, and I have been using it so long I knew exactly where I liked each piece of gear. The Osprey has so many different compartments that it will take a few trips to get my packing down. Careful packing and strap adjustment does seem to be important with this pack because it seems to get a little top heavy if not loaded correctly. I think this may be a function of the load of the pack being off of the back by several inches in order to allow the AG suspension to do its thing.

Once packed well however, it was easily the most comfortable pack I have work. I was 32 lbs. on the trail in. Overall it was a pretty short skin in (6.5 miles) and I had 0 issues with my shoulders, back or hips. Traditionally I see some very light bruising and rubbing on both my shoulders and my hips after a hike of this long, but had nothing on this trip. The pack was balanced well and really was a nice carry.

For the trip into the yurt we had access to a pulk sled, so I had my ski pack and all my avalanche gear on the sled. On the way out however we didn't have the sled. I stuffed my ski helmet into the main pack and strapped the ski pack (with shovel and probe) onto the outside of the Atmos. My ski pack itself is pretty heavy (over 4 lbs. dry) so I figure I had probably 6 pounds strapped to the back of the pack and a total weight of around 38 lbs. Because the majority of the trip out is light downhill skiing with just a few miles of skinning I wasn't worried too much about how the pack rode and kind of wanted to test the AG suspension with a little heavier and poorly packed load. With all of the weight on the back of the pack it was certainly top heavy and not near as stable as on the way in. The weight was much more pronounced as well, but with that being said, other than the balance of the pack it was still comfortable overall, and I had no issues in the 2 or 3 hours it took to get out.

Overall I was very impressed with the pack. It was hands down the most comfy backpacking pack I have worn. I would put its weight sweet spot around 25-40 lbs. Though I haven't yet carried it with a real big load, I would think the suspension would start to get overwhelmed if you started to get much higher than that. The overall quality of the pack also seemed pretty stout (zippers, fabric, straps, etc.), and was very much keeping with the Osprey design. Tons of pockets and compartments which will take some getting used to, but are pretty nice to have. I'm hoping I get at least a decade of good use out of this baby.

Sorry for the long rambling review, but there you have it.
great review. This is worthy of its own review thread in the review section! Got any pics of it in use?
Bumping this as I've been looking at the Catalyst a bit lately. Did you ever end up picking one up?
@Dave, did you try a Catalyst? I am considering the ULA Circuit. Like that it is local but it is about 8 oz more than my other choices. I wonder if the comfort is better and worth it.
I did. I bought it last spring. I’ve only used it lightly so far. I like it, but it is pretty wide and for a skinny guy, that can look odd. I also ended up picking up an REI garage sale pack in the 40L range late last year since the Catalyst is overkill for overnights.
Art I've carried a circuit for years and really like it. Its my big, load-hauling oack. If you pack light you can carry 9 or 10 days of food and a desert water load. Mine's wearing out and I'm planning on replacing it... with another circuit. What are your other options?

Also the circuit comes with a lot of useless stuff you can remove or cut off. You can easily get it below 2 lbs if that's your gig.
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