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#191727 - 08/28/15 12:05 PM Osprey Atmos 65 vs Black Diamond Mercury 65
Danny303 Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/20/15
Posts: 3
Hello there! I was hoping to get some advice/input from you all, here is the situation.

I recently purchased the Black Diamond Mercury 65 and this past weekend took it on a little backpacking trip. Fully loaded with all my gear it rang in just over 33 pounds. I really enjoyed it on my trip, and had ZERO issues with fit, fatigue, or any other negative experiences with it. However on future trips I will have my camera gear, and could easily exceed 40+ pounds. So that's where my dilemma is. I've read several reviews talking about how the Black Diamond isn't great above 35-40 pounds, as the shoulder straps can create discomfort.

I've also read great reviews for the Osprey Atmos 65, and i'm wondering if that pack might be better for larger loads.

What are your opinions? Is the only way to know for sure to buy each and test each in the field with a heavy load? Is there another way to assess the situation? Or should I just keep the BD because i've already had good luck with it?

Thanks in advance for any guidance!

Best,

Danny

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#191729 - 08/28/15 01:42 PM Re: Osprey Atmos 65 vs Black Diamond Mercury 65 [Re: Danny303]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Get the scoop on your existing pack by loading it up and trying it. Might as well find out now. As to the Osprey, if you can get to a store and demo it with sandbags, hopefully with a salesperson who can fit you properly, that should tell the tale. IIRC the Atmos series are mid-weight haulers but they've expanded the line since I last looked at them.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#191730 - 08/28/15 02:52 PM Re: Osprey Atmos 65 vs Black Diamond Mercury 65 [Re: Danny303]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Pack manufacturers' websites have specifications for each of their packs which include the maximum recommended weight. Look that up and subtract 5 lbs. However, pack fit is a very individual matter, so it's better for you to test this number yourself.

As Rick suggests, before doing anything else, load your present pack back up with the added gear and try a hike or two, even if it's just a couple of hours around your neighborhood. Be sure to include food (or the weight/volume equivalent) for the longest period you'll be out, and a day's water (water is heavy!(. See if the pack remains comfortable for you! Remember that the reviewers aren't you!

When shopping for a pack, it's best to pack up your gear and take it to the store. Gear, food and water carry far differently than sandbags.

The most important aspects of a pack (I say this every time!) are fit, fit and fit. . The pack must fit you, must fit your gear and must fit and be comfortable for you to wear with your gear inside. Pack fit is almost as individual as shoe fit. For example, I can't wear Osprey packs at all--their hipbelts cause me considerable pain. Lots of people love Osprey.

As we often say here, Your Mileage May Vary!


Edited by OregonMouse (08/28/15 03:00 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#191735 - 08/28/15 05:40 PM Re: Osprey Atmos 65 vs Black Diamond Mercury 65 [Re: OregonMouse]
Danny303 Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/20/15
Posts: 3
Thank you both for the great advice. I figured the acid test would be to try each on and have experience with them, and I'm glad to confirm that here. I am going to try and get to an REI this weekend and see if I can't try out the Osprey.

It's great to learn that packs are that individual, because now I won't just assume reviews can be generalized.

The more I thought about it, the thing I like MOST about the BD is the pivoting hip belt. Because of this I think i'll probably stay with the BD, as they Osprey doesn't have this feature.


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#191736 - 08/28/15 07:38 PM Re: Osprey Atmos 65 vs Black Diamond Mercury 65 [Re: Danny303]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1342
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I'd agree with what the other two said. However, also take a look at the Osprey Volt 60 and Volt 75 (whichever will hold your gear - take your gear with you and load it up; don't trust sandbags, as they distribute wieght differently.) In my opinion, they are far superior to the Atmos Series pack, and handle weight much better. They're also much easier to get the fit right. The new Atmos AG series can be a little finicky to adjust properly - and if you don't, the thing hangs on your back like a tired three-year-old.

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#191737 - 08/28/15 09:29 PM Re: Osprey Atmos 65 vs Black Diamond Mercury 65 [Re: Rick_D]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
To follow up, agree that compact dead weight isn't a good pack preview tool. Luckily our REI has a barrel of sandbags (no monkeys) and pillows that combined can decently approximate a full load with the weight distributed where I'd typically concentrate it. Confess to being too darn lazy to lug my own stuff to a store.

At home, jugs of water and random clothing work well.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#191738 - 08/28/15 10:10 PM Re: Osprey Atmos 65 vs Black Diamond Mercury 65 [Re: Glenn Roberts]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 677
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
I'd agree with what the other two said. However, also take a look at the Osprey Volt 60 and Volt 75 (whichever will hold your gear - take your gear with you and load it up; don't trust sandbags, as they distribute wieght differently.) In my opinion, they are far superior to the Atmos Series pack, and handle weight much better. They're also much easier to get the fit right. The new Atmos AG series can be a little finicky to adjust properly - and if you don't, the thing hangs on your back like a tired three-year-old.


Much as I like the looks of the Atmos and had a discount to apply to one, I could not get it to sit right on me with several fittings and adjustments. I gave up and decided it was OK, but not an improvement on what I already have. Love the line about the tired 3 year old! Couldn't agree more with all said above. Fit is it.
_________________________
Charlie

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