Sheds water like a duck!
After looking at some of the reviews here I just couldn't resist sharing the technical qualities this bag displays, so enjoy the tale... I have used this bag everyday since the day I bought it as my purse/catchall bag. It proved its weather-resistant capabilities on a dayhike- turned- trail run down the side of a mountain in the pouring rain.
What started out as a lovely summer day turned into a vicious summer squall as soon as we reached the summit of the mountain where we were planning to camp. As the rain began hurling down, we decided to make a run for it--back the way we came, a short half-hour ramble up the mountain in the sunshine now turned desperatly goat-footed slippery descent back to the car.
Everyone gave me their cameras and cell phones because it was a summer day and they only had pockets, while I had my trusty Atom. We were wiping sheets of water from our faces and trying not to break our necks as we hopped over slippery rocks and picked our way down rougher spots and patches along the wooded, now dimly lit path back to the car lot. There were a few moments while I was running through the driving rain when I thought, there's just no way any of our stuff could survive this downpour, we were thoroughly soaked and wringing out our clothing, running through the mud.The Atom was just shedding water off it like a duck, but I was convinced the zippers would leak or the fabric would get saturated. NOT AT ALL!!! The inside of the bag remained dry and kept all our precious iPhones and cameras safe, since then I have barely taken the Atom off except to sleep. Truly the best bag ever! My friends make fun of me for being a Patagonia nut, but I think they finally realized why I swear by the stuff. Made with a conscience, designed to work hard, and oh yeah: guaranteed for life. Buy this bag. I'm tempted to buy another color but my black Atom still looks brand new after two+ years in constant use! And it also was returned to me (most recently) unharmed and with all of the contents intact recently after I left it in the dressing room of a thrift store, which renewed my faith in human decency...so maybe this bag will bring you luck, too!?!?!?! :))))))
Perfect No-Slip Sling Bag
Since using my bicycle more frequently for transportation and recreation, I wanted a smaller light bag that didn't slip around to my side or front when I stood up to peddle. This bag is perfect! It has a waist strap that, when not in use, can be tucked away. I haven't found the need to use the waist strap, because the bag doesn't slip when I'm riding. The multiple pockets are great. There's a netted zip pocket and elastic pouch in the main zipper compartment and a smaller pocket toward the back of the bag. The smaller pocket is felt lined. Items tend to cling to the inside of the pocket. If I use that pocket, I use it for smaller items that I'm taking with me "just in case," but probably won't need to access. There's also a small pocket on the strap that crosses the wearer's front. I think the description says it's for a phone. My phone is too big - I have a blackberry. But, it's no biggie, I use that pocket for my keys, so it still works out perfectly! The pockets are easy to get to, without taking the bag off. I purchased the bag in the purplish/pink color. Every time I wear it, I get numerous complements. Most people say, "I like your camelback." When I show them that it's a sling, they oooo and ahhhh! I love, love, love this bag. It's exactly what I wanted and needed! I've used it for about a month (at least 3 times a week) and it hasn't shown any sign of wear, yet. Hopefully, it will prove to be as durable as other Patagonia products!
After a two year search for the "perfect man-bag"'I think I have come pretty close with the ATOM. The fact that I can adjust the straps so it comfortably will lie on either my right or left shoulder is huge (My current bag the Swiss Army i sling fits on the left, which after two years of carrying I am really tired with this). I like the small pocket with the soft lining. It is the perfect size for my blackberry and wallet. The soft lining not only helps to protet my BB, but it also will not scratch it. The larger pocket is great too. It holds my sunglasses (case), flip camera, watch (if I don't feel like wearing it),a magazine, as well as tons of other things if I need a place to put them. My money clip hangs out safely in the small pouch on the sling. Lastly, My keys hang from one of several loops on this bag from a carabiner. Bottom line is that everything has its place. The only thing that I would suggest that patagonia could do to improve this is that with the large pocket, you could sew in some dividers to hold specific thinkgs like an ipod, a few pens, perhaps some change, a passport, pillbox, or other things. I just bought this at the Patagonia in SOHO (NYC). The people there were very friendly and helpful. I checked out LOTS of other bags before I went with this one. Tumi, Chrome, Cumpler, and Booq, Mountainsmith, and Jack Spade. at under forty bucks, there is little to no risk in this purchase.
This bag was awesome for our trip to Disney World. We were only a party of two adults, so we didn't need all the children's essentials, which would probably not fit in this bag. But for the two of us, it was so incredibly perfect. We fit: one water bottle, spray sunscreen, two ponchos, bag of trail mix, hand sanitizer, a hat, sunglasses, wallet, kleenex, and other small odds and ends. Best part of this bag is the front pocket on the strap. It doesn't fit an iPhone, but it was perfect for holding all of our cards and tickets, which we needed to access frequently throughout the day. I also like the small "secret pocket" behind the main zipper, where we stowed our more valuable things such as wallets. The straps are adjustable and the loose ends can actually be tucked away in the holes on the corner of the bag. The clip release for the main strap was very handy. But my boyfriend found the bag so comfy, he rarely took it off. I give this minus one star because the nylon straps faded in the sun a lot during our week-long vacation, much of which was spent in the sun. As a result, the bag looks a lot more aged, even though it is only a few weeks old. A more color-fast dye or something would've been nice to maintain the cute look of the bag (we got the white and teal-blue one).
I have shoulder (left) issues and needed to find a bag to replace my purse. A sling bag seemed the obvious choice. I didn't want it to look too much like a backpack though. Nor did I want it to look too masculine. At the same time I am fairly casual and needed something that would fit my lifestyle. This bag TOTALLY fits the bill. It is the perfect size. Not too big, not too small. I love that the waist strap tucks easily into the hiding place on the back of the bag. The color (I got nickel) is beautiful and simple. It is well constructed and I love all the pockets. I use the small pocket on the strap to tuck my keys in since my larger smart phone doesn't fit there, but that is fine with me...having my keys at such easy reach is perfect! Also, I am 5'2" and a small build. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to tighten the bag down enough. But this wasn't the case. Although I had to tighten it pretty much all the way, it was plenty snug enough and sits comfortably mid back. It does not feel heavy at all and I almost forget I am wearing it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bag and will recommend it to everyone. I'll definitely get another as well. Thank you Patagonia for such an amazing product!
I owned the previous version, and used it constantly, as a handbag, for five years. Loved it!! One of my favorite features was the pocket on the front I used to carry a water bottle. The zipper to the main compartment started separating, so I looked for a replacement. Still, not bad after five years. Before I purchased this replacement, I knew that the front pocket was not on the new version. Now, I have several D-rings holding the bottle and I place it behind the front straps. This configuration is not as good as the pocket configuration...the bottle comes out when I don't want it to and is awkward to get out when I want to use it. One improvement in the new version is the main compartment pocket...it allows for separation of the contents, and that aids in locating items. The strap at the bottom was useless to me on both versions, but could be important to others. I'm looking forward to another five years of use, if I don't get too frustrated with the water bottle configuration. Regarding Patagonia, my husband and I seriously love Patagonia products. They are well thought out, meet our active lifestyle and are great quality. Some of the colors, especially for the woman's products, could be improved.
A Good Way to Downsize
I purchased the Atom because the zipper broke on my earlier model three-point sling pack. I considered shipping it back for repair, but I decided I really wanted a new bag, as I had been using this one exclusively for the last four years and it was looking kind of dingy and I was tired of the color. Also, I was carrying around a bunch of stuff that I didn't really need. I liked the Jacaranda color, and when I received the new Atom, was pleased to see that it had a smaller capacity. I cleaned out a bunch of non-essential items, and this new one fits just the items I need on a regular basis. The Atom doesn't have the big, flat, outer compartment that its predecessor did, which I found convenient for putting letters/mail in. But this one has an inner mesh pocket that can pretty much serve the same purpose. I'm glad they kept the small, zippered side pocket--it's the perfect place to always be able to find your keys. I like the grid pattern of the fabric, and the subtle tone-on-tone patagonia logo on the front. The only problem with the Atom? Already three of my friends have gone out and purchased the same bag because they liked mine so much!
Best Man Bag
I've never had a "man-bag" before but this made me a believer.
It's just large enough to pack a sandwich, water bottle, space blanket, camera, cell phone, etc. for a x-country ski. Comfortable to wear, not hot, rides well. Many good features but still needs a little tweaking.
I added a slide lock buckle to the shoulder and waist straps to prevent buckle creep. They were a bear to get on but worth it. They also keep the tag end of the straps from flapping.
I added a larger zipper pull to the main zipper. This eliminates the need to turn the bag to the front to see which pocket you are opening.
The cell phone pocket on the shoulder strap is worthless. Too small for an iphone and right over your collar bone so even if you have a small old fashioned phone as I do, it's in an uncomfortable position. Patagonia should eliminate this in favor of an exterior water bottle pocket.
These are all relatively minor changes/improvements. I'm looking forward to carrying my Atom "man-bag" on several overseas trips and on day hikes this summer.
I am a huge fan of this bag. It has served me well traveling all over Asia- sufficed alone for both a 36 hour trip to Delhi and a 2 day trek in the Himalayan. It *just* fits my iPad. And the pocket on the front strap fits my iPhone 4s securely (without case), but doesn't completely zipper closed. Enough room to carry: iPad, phone, charger, wallet, small umbrella, collapsible water bottle, sun glasses, papers and passport, scarf, cough drops and a few other small items. My only complaint is that occasionally the main zipper unzips and I don't notice because the bag is behind me. But I have been taking more care to make sure the bag is completely zipped and that seems to solve the problem. All in all a perfect bag. Great quality and fits a surprising amount for the size. Extremely comfortable fit and much more convinient to carry than a shoulder bag when hiking or navigating narrow/ crowded streets.
Perfect travel bag
We bought the Atom to use while traveling around South Africa and Botswana. We had larger duffles & backpacks for hauling most of our gear but wanted something small to carry stuff during the day. This little pack fit the bill. It is very light & comfortable to wear. The multiple interior and exterior pockets were perfect for keeping chapstick, sunscreen, lens cleaning materials and notebooks accessible. Inside it we carried compact binos, large sunglass cases, gps, phones and never felt like stuff was jammed in there. One of our favorite features are the outside straps. They are what convinced us to by this model over the other similar models. We strapped two jackets to the pack every day instead of wrapping them around our waists where they would have been in the way. We got a black one which I would recommend if you want to travel with a lower profile. It basically disappeared when it was on your back.