There are new versions of the Osprey Atmos AG 50 and Deuter Futura Vario 50 + 10 launched recently. Here I put them side by side and compare. What do you think, which is better?
The two packs may look somewhat similar from the front as you realize from the pictures above, but see the suspension systems, they are very different:
What this is about
In 2017 the famous Osprey’s Atmos & Aura series were thoroughly modified when they introduced the so-called anti-gravity (AG) system in these packs. But now again, in 2018 they have made some changes and I blogged about the packs in my previous text. These packs are reviewed in my separate texts, so you have the Atmos AG 65 and Atmos AG 50 as well as the Aura AG 65 and Aura AG 50. Those are almost perfect packs now.
On the other hand, in 2018 Deuter has also launched a very modified versions of their famous Deuter Futura Vario packs. You can read more about the Futura Vario 50 + 10 in my separate review. There is also the corresponding version for women, the Futura Vario 45 + 10 SL, but their largest pack in the series, the 60 liters pack seems to be discontinued.
So here I compare the Futura Vario 50 + 10 and the Atmos AG 50. Perhaps I should have taken the Atmos AG 65 because of the following. The number + 10 in the name of the Futura pack means that you have extra 10 liters of volume when you expand the collar. This is the true volume because the lid is floating and it accommodates to such a change in the pack’s volume, and the pack looks quite normal with so expanded collar.
Now, comparing it with the Atmos AG 50, I put the Futura pack in a less favorable position regarding the weight because it has a 10 liters bigger volume but I shall take the total volume in the calculation of the volume-weight ratio. On the other hand, Atmos AG 50 has fewer pockets than its bigger cousin Atmos AG 65, and in this sense, the Atmos series is in a less favorable position.
All in all the comparison is a bit tricky and I shall also keep an eye on the features and parameters of the Atmos AG 65 pack.
Basic features – comparison
Here is the table with some numbers and just a few features. Please follow the links to see more details, these are great packs and there are many things to see.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Volume, cu in (L)
Hip belt pockets
Atmos AG 50
Payable Every Month
no & yes
Payable Every Year
3051 + 610 (50 + 10)
top, front, bottom
Based on these numbers and the details in my separate reviews, I would give the following score to the packs:
choose your plan
Atmos AG 50
50 + 10
Here is my thinking that resulted in those pluses and minuses in the table:
I think that there is no big difference here, both packs are with an excellent design and both have adjustable torso length. But it is fair to say that the Atmos pack comes in three different sizes and this includes different hip belt and torso size ranges, so this is a more user-friendly design.
The hip belt
The Atmos’ hip belt is a piece of engineering which is without a match on the market. There is no other model with the ventilated hip belt which you have here. It is also with the Fit-on-the-Fly system that allows several people to use the pack and adjust the hip fins position easily. So Atmos is far better here, a clear winner.
Though, have you seen that delicate and fine ventilation mesh on the sides of the hip belt? I am a bit concerned about its durability, imagine you walk through bushes and it catches some hard branches.
I do think that Deuter Futura Vario’s back ventilation is better. The gap between the body (and the mesh) from one side and the pack from the other side is quite fixed and rigid so you always have an optimal airflow in all directions. This is because of the spring steel frame. If you lean forward, the frame only tensions the mesh even more and the gap will never be compromised. You have the same system in many other packs, some of Osprey’s as well, like Exos and Eja.
In the Atmos’s anti-gravity system you have something beyond comparison really, you wear the pack rather than carry it. But the gap will change if you lean forward. The mentioned Osprey’s packs Exos and Eja have a better ventilation.
But all in all, one must admit that the AG design is totally cool, so I put the two packs on the same level with respect to this.
The Futura Vario pack has 9 pockets plus 1 where the rain cover is stored, while the Atmos AG 50 has 7. But note also that the Atmos AG 65 has 9 pockets, so it depends which size you buy.
There is a small issue here. Osprey Atmos AG series in EU comes with the rain cover stored in the top pocket on the lid, and you even have a sign for it on the pack. But as I understand, the pack is without rain cover on the US market.
I give + to both so there is no clear winner here. See some of the features in the Atmos pack:
- Its overall design looks really cool. Even if you dislike the AG system, you must admit that it is so delicate and unique.
- It has 3 different sizes to choose from, and this you do not have in the Deuter’s pack.
- There is an integrated flap in the Atmos pack for a lidless use.
- You have the Stow-on-the-Go poles attachment system. This is something I love and need on the trail.
- The hip belt ventilation is a piece of art.
But see also what you have in the Deuter’s pack:
- 9 pockets.
- 3 access points.
- Expandable collar for extra volume,
- The rain cover.
- Zippered upper side pockets.
- The divider in the Deuter’s pack is with a zipper so nothing can pass from the main compartment. On the other hand, in the Osprey’s pack the divider is just a shelf with toggles and small items can drop easily along its sides.
I guess one could also add yet another criterion here – awesomeness, and the winner for this would be the Atmos pack. But in my view, the Futura Vario is more functional.
Here, the Deuter Futura Vario 50 + 10 scores 29 liters/kilogram as compared to 26 liters/kilogram in the Osprey Atmos AG 50 pack. But taking the Atmos AG 65 gives 33 liters/kilogram so this is a close call indeed.
I would not give the advantage to any pack here, those are great designs, totally different but reliable and comfortable.
The price for the Osprey pack is currently in the range $220 – 240 while the Futura Vario pack costs around $230 but it comes with the rain cover. So both are expensive items and I would rather take points from both than give any. But they are close here.
What do you think?
So this was Osprey Atmos AG 50 vs Deuter Futura Vario 50, as you realize, my maths gives a small advantage to the Futura Vario pack, but I must admit that Atmos looks better.
But, if I take the Atmos AG 65, it will get a better score than the Deuter’s pack. Note, it has a better volume/weight ratio, and it has 9 pockets. What do you think about my arguments? Have I overlooked anything important? Please let me know, there is a comment box below.
You might want also to read my comparison of Deuter Futura Vario vs Osprey Aether & Ariel packs. Thank you for reading and have a nice day.