Can't decide between this and atmos 65....
Can't decide between this and atmos 65. Will be used for long distance backpacking, weight between 40 and 65 lbs. Any suggestions? primarily 3 season use.
In my opinion, I'd go Aether. When carrying heavier weight, the Aether will perform better than the Atmos. If at most you'd be carrying 45lbs, the Atmos carries like a dream, but carrying more than that on a regular basis, you may start to feel the weight.
The Atmos is also a fixed harness pack--if you are a Medium torso, Medium harness and Medium hipbelt, you'll be fine (or a L/L/L, etc...). If you aren't, then the pack wouldn't carry well if you had 20lbs in it!
The Aether, however, is designed to be a fitted pack--you pick your torso length and then if you need a smaller/larger harness or hipbelt, they are interchangeable. (If you needed to do that, you can do that through backcountry.com...) The hipbelt is also heat-moldable (which you get done at most outdoor shops at little to no cost). The heat-molding basically conforms the belt to all the nooks and crannies of your waist, causing the belt to move around less on your waist and transfer the weight more efficiently to your hips. The suspension is more burly so you can carry heavier weight and because of how fitted it can be to your personal shape, it will fit more closely to your shape and create fewer hot-spots.
The only bonus of the Atmos is that it is lighter weight in case you were aiming to shave some ounces from your carry. But again, if you deviate from the perfect M/M/M body type, it won't fit you well at all.
Hope this helps!