Atlas Fast Pack - SNEWS

Atlas Fast Pack


It's no surprise when snowshoe companies started making packs that their product would be ideally suited for avid snowshoe participants. The Atlas Fast Pack is all that and more. It's equally well suited for backcountry skiing and ski touring.

The Fast Pack we tested is a regular and has enough carrying capacity (2500 cubic inches) for all the essentials anyone might need on a long day trip. The other size, a tall, features 2700 cubic inches. Key features our testers liked included the pack's ability to carry both snowshoes and skis. This is important as on many backcountry ski trips our SNEWS test team finds snowshoeing up the most direct route to a summit more efficient. Once on top, we stow our snowshoes and ski down.

Having a two-liter Platy hydration system internal pocket storage is a big plus. So are the extra large zipper pulls that make unzipping this panel loader easy with gloved hands. Having internal frame support makes for a better ride and easier loading and unloading. An external compression panel is great for holding a shell parka that may need to come off and on as the weather changes. Enhancing the overall carry is a wide, comfortable waist belt, sternum strap, and a slightly bowed back designed to allow air to flow up and down along the spine.

Atlas sent two regular size Fast Packs for the test. Using the smaller pack proved fortuitous for our taller and lankier team member. He likes to wear a camera fanny pack with a day pack when skiing, which is seldom a good mix as the daypack typically pushes down on the fanny pack making it ride uncomfortably. However, wearing the shorter Fast Pack on a long torso, a camera fanny pack can be worn comfortably. Our shorter, stockier tester -- quit snickering -- found the fit to be good, but not ideal as the shoulder straps rubbed annoyingly under the arms while ski touring. A less bulky shoulder strap would have been preferred.

Overall though, our testers feel the pack is well designed, durable and quite comfortable for most uses.

SNEWS Rating: 4 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection.)

Suggested retail: $99 -- both regular and tall

For more information:



Indigo Rhide Pack

With all the ski packs on the market these days, it's tough to stand out from the crowd. The Indigo Rhide ($155) does so with two unique features: a hydration pocket for water bottles and a fast ski/snowboard carrier. At first glance, the Rhide appears to be a fairly normal more


Osprey Talon 33 Pack

Finding the perfect versatile pack is a dicey proposition. Even an ultra light, ultra minimal overnight bag is usually too big for much else. And versatile daypacks often lack the type of technical features that make the best light-and-fast overnight bags so successful. more


Ortlieb Velocity Pack

Ortlieb has a well-established reputation as one of the premier makers of waterproof bicycle touring gear. In recent years, the company has taken that expertise and put it into general use packs. The Velocity is a new waterproof messenger-style daypack with roll closure and more


Mountainsmith Lumen Camera Pack

Mountainsmith has long been known for the quality of the company's fanny and internal frame packs. So it isn't surprising the company has decided to produce camera packs…after all, that's how LowePro got started. This summer, the Golden, Colo., company began shipping its new more


Osprey Departure 60 travel pack

On a few recent summer trips of less than a week, the mantra of two SNEWS® editors was to rely on only bags that could be carried on to avoid checking (and, therefore, retrieving) luggage. Each was armed with Osprey's new 3,700-cubic-inch Departure 60 travel pack. We'll start more


JanSport Talus pack

JanSport, of late, has been trying to recapture some of its glory days when it was a pioneer in backpack design. Part of that initiative is the Cloud Ripper line of four daypacks for on-the-move pursuits, which includes the Talus pack. Looking like a mini-me version of a more


Marmot Diva technical pack

Women's gear has been a hot category in the winter outdoor market with apparel leading the way, and hardgoods close behind. While phenomenal progress has been made from outerwear to skis, ski-specific women's daypacks seem to have missed the last chair. Thankfully, Marmot more


Ivar Revel G2 pack

As journalists and video producers, our team members – both adult and those on our SNEWS® Youth Reporting Team – are constantly darting to and from different meetings, referencing files and carrying hard drives, packing up a carry-on for a business trip, or just filling a bag more