“The supremely ventilated, featured and durable Stratos Series receives a makeover that is more than skin deep for Spring 2017. Now featuring adjustable torso lengths for improved fit and comfort with updated aesthetics, the Stratos 36 is the go-to choice for everything from short day hikes to lightweight overnights in the backcountry no matter how far, or near. When the weather turns, fear not – Stratos keeps your gear and pack protected with an integrated raincover. Smartly organized pocketing keeps all your equipment where you need it, when you need.” – OSPREY website
Price: $170.00 as of 2.24.18 at REI, Buford, GA
Pros: WARRANTY!!, Made in USA, Quality, Craftsmanship, Tensioned mesh back system for an optimal ventilation, Two access points to the main compartment, Excellent price.
Cons: I miss side pockets on the pack body, but this is a personal preference
Weight: 3 lbs
Waterproof Material: Pack is not waterproof, but an integrated rain cover is a classy touch!
Manufacturer: Osprey Stratos 36L
Review Rating: ￼￼￼￼￼⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Results: This is a great hiking and backpacking pack. On my initial use, it met all of my interest in comfort, packability, quality and durability. The design of the Osprey Stratos packs is almost featureless until you take a closer look. However, when you put it to use, you find that this is actually quite good engineering on the designers part.
Lets just go ahead and get to the heart of the matter… NO SIDE POCKETS on the main body. Now I realize that not all packs are designed the same, but being an old schooler, that was my first takeaway. Where am I going to put my extra stuff that I like to pack to keep it accessible? There are two zippered pockets in the lid. A smaller mesh pocket and a large typical “brain” pocket at the top. I actually found these to be quite useful and held everything I needed. My initial impression is based on my 50L and 110L Kelty packs that have these pockets. I realized why I was buying a smaller pack. I CARRY TO MUCH STUFF! When I got home, broke out my gear and loaded this pack up, I found that I had room to spare and no need for these pockets. Additionally, Osprey has installed a very nice zippered back pocket and two zippered pockets in the hip belt. There are also two expanding mesh pockets on the side of the pack that will easily hold water bottles, snacks or whatever you choose to include. Note that these mesh pockets have compression straps that can be positioned over the pockets, or they can pass through the inside in case you want to cinch the pack.
Osprey has included two access points into this pack. Under that brain is a typical ruck sack type bag with drawstring. It is suitably sized and easy to access. Additionally, They have included a single side zipper that allows you to enter the pack with a minimal effort to obtain the contents from top to bottom. This access appears strong and is installed under a nylon flap which conceals the entry point.
There is also a zippered sleeping bag compartment on the bottom of the pack. There is no divider, so you can not access pack contents from this location. The sleeping bag compartment is small and would require a good compression bag to get your sleeping bag inside. This is something to consider prior to purchase.
Osprey has built in what they refer to as AirSpeed suspension. There is a tensioned mesh that is created by a by a wire built into an aluminum alloy frame. This is a wonderful ventilation system. I have now used this pack on a humid day and while normally sweating, my back was not sweltering nor was my backside soaked as normally happens with other packs that I have used.
The straps are comfortable and fit as I would expect of a pack of this caliber. There is an adjustable sternum strap with a built in emergency or alerting whistle. The straps have integrated smaller strapped designed for a drinking tube, but I found them suitably and strongly constructed to hold my Garmin GPS and SPOT communicator.
Hip Belt and Support
There is nothing exciting to report. Typical connectors and the belt adjust easily. It allowed the pack to ride on my hips taking the weight off my lower back.
The pack has removable compression straps under the sleeping bag compartment. Additionally, the pack is hydration system compatible and these components are sold separately. There is an integrated rain fly that is stored in it’s own zippered compartment for easy deployment. This pack also includes OSPREY Stow and Go attachment looks to hold trekking poles.
• – M/L: 36L (Note Osprey makes a smaller 34L version)
• Purpose: day hikes and over nighters packing light
• – M/L: 3 lb (1.36 kg).
• Max. size (l x w x d): 63 x 33 x 31 (cm)
• Twill Nylon, Nylon Rip.
• Integrated rain cover.
• Top lid access & front access.
• Dual zippered pockets in the lid.
• Separate sleeping bag compartment.
• AirSpeed trampoline suspended mesh system.
• Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment loops.
• Sternum strap with emergency whistle.
• Stretch mesh side pockets with InsideOut compression.
• Twin zippered hip belt pockets.
• Internal hydration sleeve.
• Side compression straps.
• Removable sleeping pad straps.
My initial use was a pleasing experience. I had plenty of pockets, my gear was accessible and I liked being able to easily story my trekking poles when not needed. I hiked approximately 7 miles over a rocky terrain and woodland forest around the 31 mile mark of the Appalachian Trail. The one thing I can say is that the pack fit like a good pair of shoes. Totally comfortable and I did not experience any chaffing or muscle aches/fatigue. This is most likely due to a properly fitted pack and downsizing from unneeded weight. Removing and re-donning the pack in the field was quite easy. Overall, I was very pleased with the experience. I am not an ultralight packer, so I do not see myself doing an overnight or longer trip with this pack. I do think it is quite capable for a person who desires to pack ultralight. I complete a lot of day hiking and volunteer in the forest as a Wilderness Ranger. I see this pack well suited for those trips. I am able to take normal hiking supplies and additional other equipment for first aid, emergency shelter and things associated with patrolling the forest.
Overall, this was a well researched product prior to purchase and thus far has lived up to my expectations. I see many miles ahead of me with this product.
Find your adventure and it will write your story,