Field Tested: Atlas Athlete Camera Pack

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Chuck Graham

The Athlete camera pack made by Atlas has become an extension of my body. No longer do I fret about hiking in the dark to get back to my truck following a late afternoon shoot in a remote locale, wondering what that first light would look like in the mountains. Instead, I access the backpack compartment of the versatile camera pack and pull out my sleeping bag and pad, bivy sack, food, fluids and warm clothes. Better yet, I’m well-equipped with two camera bodies and four lenses. A tool to help maximize time in the field to take advantage of what nature is willing to throw my way? Yes, please.

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Courtesy Atlas

Chalk up the pack’s efficiencies to the Atlas “Origami Camera Core,” which allows photographers to reconfigure and shift space between the camera and non-camera sections of the pack. Letting out compression straps on either side of the pack (and pushing the Origami pocket in), allows more space for camera gear. Pushing it back out still allows the Athlete to retain small to medium sets of camera gear, but it transforms the Athlete into a 30-liter pack. That means carrying a heavier load that feels lighter, making photography in the field that much more efficient and enjoyable.

Channel Chuck Graham
Putting the Atlas to work shooting in Channel Islands National Park. Chuck Graham

So far, I’ve put the Athlete through its paces with many overnights in the Channel Islands National Park and in the nearby Los Padres National Forest. It’s proved durable over an eight-day, hut-to-hut trek; the padded, insulated compartments protecting my camera gear in the rugged snow-capped peaks of Uganda’s Rwenzori Range. The easy-to-access rainfly kept my gear dry in the teeming rainforests of Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park.

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Chuck Graham

The Athlete is loaded with handy top pockets that hold my external hard drive, wallet, cell phone, headlamp, multi-purpose tool, toothbrush, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc. Well-though extras include a sleeve for a small laptop and a bladder. All the essentials on hand, while still allowing for fluid mobility in far-flung locales.
[$395, atlaspacks.com]

Atlas Athlete
The versatile Atlas Athlete in Los Padres National Forest, with all the outdoor adventure photographer’s essentials. Chuck Graham

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