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Atlas Athlete Pack



2021 Athlete Pack


Origami Camera Core Updated Rating Explained

Remember when mirrorless meant small and light, well those days are long gone... To ensures that all your new, heavy and expensive gear stays safe and secure, we've made a number of material updates to the 2021 Athlete Pack and Origami Camera Core.

Let's breakout exactly what this means and how it relates to various types of camera gear.



Added 2cm to height of Origami CC sidewalls


Loss of 2cm from camping section of pack is immaterial. Gain of 2cm to camera section is a material change in design. The increase in depth/height means tall lenses (6in / 15cm) can now be dropped-in instead of placed in flat.


Users can expect to store 2-3 more lenses in the 2021 Athlete Pack when compared to the previous version.



Increased Origami Camera Core pocket friction and density.


Friction is a key ingredient to the way the Origami Camera Core functions. Be sure to test out just how much pop and snap your the pocket has. We made significant improvements to friction and structure with new types of foam, the shaping of the foam (also called "skiving") as well as all the outer fabrics that connect everything to the pack and frame.


Users can expect the Athlete Pack to safely and securely carry heavier loads.



Doubled depth of divider foam from 5mm to 10mm. Add new sizes.


One of the updates I'm most excited about for 2021 is the new dividers. They are thicker, softer and even more pliable and come in a few new sizes too!

The other reason I'm so excited, if you currently have an Athlete Pack, you can update the rating of your pack simply by getting new dividers!!

Please see the section below for why you should get the new dividers and NOT upgrade your pack.


Users can expect camera gear to stay even more secure and be able to use fewer dividers. Works for all versions of the Athlete Pack

Camera Gear Examples:

We've spent countless hours organizing and arranging and thinking about all of the ways you will be using your Athlete Pack. These photos are representative of how you can expect your gear to fit.

Thanks to our friends at Sony & Canon for the loaners. We are waiting gear from Nikon, Fuji and others and will continue to update this page and gear spreads.

Camera Bodies

The increase in depth means that it's much easier to store gripped bodies in the Athlete Pack, but what about non-gripped bodies and smaller sets of gear.

+ Gripped Sony Alpha + Canon 5D + Canon R5 + Sony Alpha (non grip) + Fuji X100

In this photo above, we have an assortment of camera bodies arranged without lenses. As you can see, the depth of the Athlete Pack is still really shallow and works great with the smaller systems and sets.
**It's important to note the Nikon D850 with an RRS L-bracket attached will now fit in the Athlete Pack. This is one of the photos to come.


Let's take a look at a Sony kit with a gripped a7 iii body and 70-200 lens attached.

MLB00122A_1_1.jpg Grip Up
MLB00123A_1.jpg Shoe Up

The important thing to note in the above example is how much higher the camera body sits when hot-shoe up. Even though there is enough room, my recommendation is to put gripped bodies in grip side up.

If you slide the arrow back and forth you can see how much shorter the grip-up method is.

With the hot shoe up, the eye piece sits well above sidewalls and has a tendency to pop-off. Of note: **Without grip the eye-piece on mirrorless bodies goes well under the sidewalls.


MLB00027E.jpg No Grip
MLB00031E.jpg Grip Up

+ Gripped Canon R5 Kit with Canon R5 and 70-200 2.8 RF, 600 RF, 15-35 2.8 RF and Mavic Pro and remote.

In the next example, we've taken a gripped and non-gripped Canon R5 with a 70-200 RF lens and placed it at the bottom of the pack.

The thing to note here is that the depth of the Origami Camera Core has a slight taper and is tighter here due to the connection of the backpanel padding and zipper.

Putting a gripped body (of any type) at the bottom of the pack is NOT recommended. It will put too much pressure on the zippers. Please use your judgement when setting up your pack.

GM & RF Wides

Now let's get into the glass. The biggest change to camera gear in the next 12-36 months will be lens sizes. The long stuff is getting smaller and the short stuff is getting taller. Crazy right.

drop-in 6in tall glass

+ Gripped Sony Alpha with 70-200 2.8 GM, 16-35 2.8 GM, 12-24 2.8 GM and 100-400 GM

Just in case you missed it, the Athlete is still a super shallow pack and with the pack open like this you can expect tall gear to go above the height of the dividers and sidewalls. This is expected and normal. You will find that when the pack is zippered close there is a lot more room inside the Origami Camera Core than one can measure when it's open.

In terms of usage, you can expect tall (6in / 15cm) sized gear to fit. It's important to note that tall gear should be arranged so that there are no highs and lows. If you do not balance out your setup, your backpanel will have a dip. When balanced out correctly, the backpanel is designed to secure your gear. The fit will feel firm and secure and flush against your back.

+ Gripped Sony Alpha with 70-200 2.8 GM and 16-35 2.8 GM.  + Gripped Canon R5 with 70-200 2.8 RF and 15-35 2.8 RF

So how much is too much. As with the prior example, sometimes it's best to put lenses in flat. Keep in mind many of your tall lenses (16-35, 24-70) now get dropped in and this opens up a ton of room!

As such, a lens just a bit bigger like the Sony GM 12-24 2.8 could be okay to stand up, but my recommendation is to lay it flat and not stress out your pack or the connections on the lens.

Said another way, the Athlete Pack may not have enough room for ALL your tall gear all at the same time.

From Drones to 200-600

Big Glass & Video

+ Sony 200-600 GM with 1.4x Converter. Sony Alpha a9 ii with 16-35 GM 2.8 and Sony Alpha a7 iii with 20mm GM 2.8

The 2021 Athlete Pack works incredibly well with long telephoto zooms like the Sony 200-600. This lens can easily be stored with or without the teleconverter.

However, this lens cannot be stored with the body attached. In previous versions of the Athlete Pack you could get away with doing this, but not with the 2021 due to the increased density and friction.

The compromise here is that it's better to transport lenses this size with the body off and not stress the pack or sensitive connections between body and lens.

If you must have the body attached on a lens like a 200-600 then get the Adventure Pack. As you can see in the below photo, the workflow and access in the Adventure Pack is very different from that of the Athlete Pack.

+ Gripped Sony Alpha Kit with Sony GM 200-600, GM 16-35 2.8 GM + GM 24-70 2.8 GM + GM 100-400

PS: We made a point to keep lens hoods and rear caps on in most of these examples. The goal here is so you can get an accurate understanding of how your gear will fit. We however, did not include many lens caps for the photos, but do when we are transporting gear. Using your pack and not using front lens caps is not recommend.


Origami Camera Core

Features & Benefits

Origami Camera Core vs. Camera Cubes and Inserts

For anyone that has not used an Atlas Pack before, our packs don't have ICU's or camera cubes like the other camera bag brands.

In our opinion, these types of systems are expensive and poorly designed. All of your heavy camera gear is detached from the structure of the bag and the zippers keep the inserts in place via a "pressure fit".

In this illustration, you can see how access to gear is impacted by the pressure fit as the zipper line extends well beyond where camera gear is stored.

Pressure fitting results in a fundamental compromise to a packs' load carry ability and why none of the outdoor industry backpack companies design packs with pressure fitting to secure loads.

Moreover, from a photo standpoint, the workflow sucks as you have to constantly cinch the pack down or your gear slides around.

In this slideshow it's easy to see the benefits of the Origami Camera Core. Pulling up on the  tab shifts the space previously used for the drone to the camping side of the pack!  Genius! 



With an Athlete Pack, your camera gear is snug and secure and easily accessible without having to cinch the pack down. Said another way, the non-camera section is fully independent from the camera side and can be expanded and compressed down as needed.

This brings me to the second major benefit of our Origami Camera Core: all of the room you have for non-camera gear.

The volume for camping side is shown in orange and the volume for camera side is shown in blue.

In these next set of images, you can see how the Origami Camera Core separates the Athlete Pack into a front section (accessible from the top) for camping gear, and a back section (rear entry zipper) for camera gear.

In the top illustration, the Origami Camera Core is setup for maximum camera storage. The pack on the left is setup at the smallest size of 20 liters. The pack on the right is setup at the maximum of 40 liters.

In the second illustration, the Origami Camera Core is setup for maximum camping and there is less space for camera gear.


Atlas Athlete Pack

Measurements and Specs

Measurements and Specifications

The Athlete Pack is a 40 liters +/- pack. For the purpose of specifications, there is no practical difference in volume between the large and medium size packs.

On paper, the medium size pack holds slightly less camping gear than the large size pack.

For 2021 the Athlete Pack is available in two "shell/pack" sizes and "multiple" frame sizes. For the purposes of this section, we are only detailing the large and medium size shells/packs.

Of note: we will offer a Small/Medium and Medium/Large frame and provide these details when appropriate.

Exterior size is fully dependant on camping gear volume. **Not final colorways. Exterior size of Athlete Pack is same as prior years.

The Origami Camera Core, when fully extended holds about 10 liters of camera gear. With the the Origami fold pulled out, it holds about 7 liters of camera gear.

You can expect the large and medium size Athlete Packs to hold the same amount of camera gear. The Origami Camera Core is the same size in both packs.

One other item to note is that the Athlete Pack is not a hard shell bag and there is a natural give and take between the camping and camera sections of the pack. This means you can overstuff the camping side and push into the camera core. This will impact the depth and ability to store the deeper lenses.

Already got an Athlete Pack?

Already have an Athlete Pack and thinking about updating, this section is for you.

I'll start with why you should update. If your kit looks like the gear shown on this page, the decision to get the 2021 version is easy and well worthwhile.

But what if you don't have all the latest and greatest. Many of us will have a mixed bag of gear for a long time.

If you only have a few of the new lenses and don't use grip, save your scratch and do a "firmware update" instead ;).

A firmware update means replacing your old dividers with the new dividers.

Swapping out your dividers will increase the rating of your Origami CC. This is especially true for anyone with the Sony 200-600 as the new dividers includes a full length divider option.

If you buy a used Athlete Pack on the secondary market and want to improve the rating and fit. Get the new dividers and a new hip belt. Remember, Atlas Packs are designed to last a lifetime and the warranty transfers with sale.

In terms of the camping-related new features and updates for 2021 such as MOLLE loops and connection straps for ice-axes and other accessories.

Generally speaking most of these updates / new features are secondary to the usage of the pack and should not drive your decision to update.

These and other details are broken out below...

The Big List of New Features and Updates for 2021

There's a lot to love and still yet to be revealed about the 2021 Atlas Athlete Pack. We will continue to fillout the details about the pack on this page while we work towards delivery. Of note: the next big update will include photos of the exterior of the packs in the various colorways. This information will not be available until May.



At Atlas Packs, all our packs are the same price and everything you need come included. This includes your hip belt (one), rain cover (one), dividers (full set = 13, frame (one) and of course the pack :)

NEW FOR 2021


A new side zipper (YKK Aqua Guard with sealed seams) has been added on the right side of the pack. When open, this zipper provides the user with full access to the CAMPING side of the pack. More details to come.



The hip belts have been updated to include MOLLE loops as well as sleeping bag/pad loops. Works with all versions of the Athlete Pack. More details to come.



Updates to the dump pouches (stored inside the hip pouches). For 2021, we have added an elastic draw-string. More details to come.

NEW FOR 2021


The 2021 Athlete Pack will be available in a total of three colorways. A new gray colorway in additional to the prior black and yellow colorways with small updates. More details to come.



The side pockets of the Athlete Pack (used for water bottles and tripods) have undergone a significant change. The bottom 1/3 of the pocket has a split layer that reinforces and protects against wear and tear from both inside and outside the pocket. It's important to note that there is a slight loss in flexibility due to the change in design, however users can expect the usage to be much improved. More details to come.



Removing the frame allows for an even smaller setup should you need. Especially helpful if you need to squeeze your pack in to a tight area. More details to come.



A new top access (on the inside of the pack) allows for access to the water bladder chamber in addition to zipper access from the side. More details to come.

NEW FOR 2021


The Athlete Pack is now fully YKK. All of the buckles have been updated as well as small changes to zippers. More details to come.



No change to the size or location of the laptop sleeve (still located in the camping section on the back side of the Origami CC). For 2021 the material have been updated to a softer felt on both the inside and outside of the sleeve. Fits laptops up to 16" wide and 1" deep.



The ATLAS logo on the front of the pack is significantly smaller and the colorway is tonal. You can expect the logo to fade out in the shadows and be somewhat visible in direct light. More details to come.

NEW FOR 2021


In addition to the MOLLE loops on the hip belt, a set of loops has been added to the top lid. More details to come.

NEW FOR 2021


A full set of loops for connecting ice axes, skis, snow shoes, etc, have been added. More details to come.

NEW FOR 2021


Loops have been added along the inside of the pack to allow for the attachment of a new line of accessories. More details to come.



The size of the Athlete Pack raincover is larger by 25%. This better accommodates the coverage of tripods when the pack is loaded out. More details to come.