I think I caught all of the edits. Here is a completely revised report. I would like to stick with a pack review, pending on if you think this revision is a drastic improvement, because it is so hard. Once the hard stuff is learned, the easy stuff should just be that much easier.
OSPREY STRATOS 34
BY JUSTIN POTTS
February 26, 2012
NAME: Justin Potts
HEIGHT: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
WEIGHT: 180 lb (81.60 kg)
Just recently have I been introduced to the backpacking community in 2011, but I fell in love with it, and I fell hard! Not a weekend goes by that I am not out in the wilderness somewhere. I have roughly 2,000 miles of hiking/backpacking experience over this last year mostly in Oklahoma's Wichita Wildlife Refuge. I like to pack light, with a base weight of 15 lbs (6.8 kg) but at the same time I like to be comfortable. I hike hard and fast to reach a destination, and explore after I make camp. I shall see what this turns into as I build my backpacking portfolio.
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.ospreypacks.com/
MSRP: $129.00 USD
Listed Weight: 2lbs 13 oz (1.28 kg) (For the size L)
Shipping Weight: 3lbs (1.36 kg)
The Osprey Stratos has the following Key Design Features:
Lifetime Manufacturer's Warranty
Hydration Compatible (bladder not included)
Ice Ax Attachment
Quick Stow Trekking Pole Loops
Large Zippered Main Compartment
Smaller Zippered Compartment with Internal Organization Pockets
Zippered Hipbelt Pockets
The Osprey Stratos 34 is designed to be used for day hiking and scrambling. It is on the larger side of day hiking bags, and offers convenient access/loading through the zippered panel loading design.
The Osprey Stratos is made of 210D double ripstop nylon and 420HD nylon pack cloth which has proved to be extremely durable and weather resistant which is great for flash showers that come out of nowhere. This pack is an internal frame pack. The frame is made up of a light weight wire peripheral hoop and two cross struts for additional load bearing and stability capability.
All of the zipper pulls are over-sized, reinforced loops providing easy use, even with gloved hands.
On the very top of the pack, there is a sturdy grab/haul loop sewn into the top of the pack as well as a small zipper that accesses a small mesh pocket that is suspended within the main compartment. The mesh pocket has a key ring, and is fairly large, but since it is suspended into the main compartment the more stuffed in it reduces main compartment size.
Moving down, there is the main compartment accessed via zipper. In the main compartment there is a divider that runs the full interior width and and three-quarters of the length. above that there is the suspended mesh pocket which conceals a hanging strap for a hydration bladder as well as a zipper that grants access to another hanging strap to suspend a bladder between the frames sheet and the trampoline style suspension. Finally, there are two hydration ports, one on each side, for preference, or running a dual bladder system.
Next there is a small quick release buckle to be used with the Ice Axe Loop at the bottom to secure an ice axe or some other tool.
Between the loop and buckle is a smaller exterior zippered compartment. I would say it is half the length and width of the main compartment. It is a fairly spacious pocket with two smaller mesh organization pockets within it.
And finally on the back of the pack at the very bottom there is a small zipper that accesses the rain fly. The rain fly, when pulled out, is tethered inside the pouch, and uses a drawstring to secure it over the pack.
Onto the sides:
Towards the top, there are two compression straps with quick release buckles, because the straps go over the zipper of the main compartment.
Lower there is a water bottle pocket on each side made of pretty tough mesh, and an elastic band at the top to retain contents. The pockets hold a wide mouthed Nalgene quite snugly. Also there are two compression straps, one on each side, that feature inside-out-compression. Meaning that the straps can be routed through, or over the top of the water bottle pockets.
Lastly on the bottom left side there is a elastic band for stowing trekking poles. Which is used in combination with a small elastic strap to stow trekking poles under the arm. Also known as Quick Stow Trekking Pole Loops.
The pack features an "Airspeed" suspension which means the frame is arched, and there is a suspended mesh backing, creating a gap for air ventilation. I find this style of suspension quite comfortable.
Both the shoulder harness, and the hipbelt are sewn into place, so make sure you spend the time to get a properly fitting pack. They are both padded well, rigid enough to be sturdy yet comfortable, and have mesh backing for breathablity.
The harness also has an adjustable sternum strap, with whistle built into the buckle, and load lifters on te top of the shoulder straps to dial in a specific fit.
As for pockets, there is one pocket on the right shoulder strap, it is quite small, but I find it useful for smaller items that I don't want to dig for in the hipbelt pockets. As far as the hipbelt pockets go, Osprey did great on these, they are the same material as the bag, not mesh, and run just nearly the full length and width of the hipbelt pads.
And Finally to wrap it all up, the hipbelt strap features an ergo pull adjustment strap, that spreads the tension through the whole pad, not just through the center.
The Osprey Stratos is by far my go to pack for short day hikes, long day to overnight hikes, and everything in between. I even carry my books to school in it during the week (which in Pharmacy school pushes the max load limit). I use this pack almost constantly, but for its intended purpose, as a day pack, I would say that I have used it on roughly 50 hard days of hiking including mostly trips to the Wichita Wildlife Refuge.
The refuge is an interesting place to hike. The backpacking area (Charon's Garden Wilderness Area) is more or less fairly flat with no real elevation changes. But it can change from hiking in a pasture, or meadow, to hiking on rock in a flash. And my favorite place is The Narrows, which basically a valley with a sandy bottomed creek. These are the typical places I hike with this bag.
Normally this pack is used to haul my climbing gear, water, and snacks for long days. Which means that the max recommended load of 30 lbs (13.61 kg) is pushed, if not exceeded on most hikes. Even with that much weight, the Stratos holds up nicely and maintains its comfort. The hipbelt is sewn on, and while some people do not like this style, I do not find any problem with it. The hip pads are well padded and the belt cinches down nicely to support the load. For precise comfort the load lifters cinch the top of the pack close to the shoulders transferring all of the weight through the frame and onto the hips. There are four very well placed compression straps, two towards the top and two towards the bottom. They cinch down tightly to secure the load, and keep it from shifting around. After it is all set and adjusted, there have been times that I forget I am even wearing a pack. On a more negative note the hip belt straps are excessively long, leaving almost 2 ft (60 cm) excess on each side.
I have abused this pack in every which way it could be (under normal wear circumstances) putting the Osprey Lifetime Anything Warranty to the test, but it has yet to fail in any way. The material just feels tough, and has stood up well to almost a year of abuse. I do not mind tossing this pack around, because it does not feel fragile in the slightest. This pack has been through briers and brambles, and scraped on rock squeezing through chimneys, but only shows minor signs of distress. Aside from a few scuffs, the material looks fine. The tough ripstop nylon has not torn anywhere, and no seams are showing any signs of unstitching or pulling apart.
Most of these trips have been fair weather, but there have been occasional showers during the hikes. The material is fairly water resistant. In quick passing showers I will not stop to pull out the rainfly, because water beads and rolls off nicely. In extended showers and when I have used the pack as a chair on wet ground, water seeps into the seams causing the material to turn darker in color, but has kept contents dry.
The zippers pull nicely, and smoothly. The big reinforced zipper pulls provide an extra bit of leverage for when the pack is stuffed to the brim, and also provide something to grab a hold of when using a gloved hand.
As for the ice axe loop and the stow-on-the-go trekking pole features, I have not used either of them, because I do not own an ice axe or trekking poles.
Finally, the pack has an awkward internal shape do to the "Airspeed" suspension. The arched frame almost seems like it cuts down usable space, and makes loading large items (i.e. a tent, sleeping pad etc.) difficult.
In summary, I love my Osprey Stratos 34, The internal frame provides additional support and rigidity. The Stratos has most, if not all, of the bells and whistles found on modern packs: hydration compatible, included rainfly with stow pouch, hipbelt pockets, and literally a whistle on the chest strap. My favorite feature of this pack is the numerous pockets for organization; the smaller pocket has pockets inside of it, two water bottle pockets on the sides, two hipbelt pockets, and a mesh pocket in the main compartment. The Stratos rides comfortably and has well placed compression straps to really cinch down awkward loads. This pack is a zippered panel load design, but it has a small mesh pocket hanging inside the main compartment accessed by the small zipper on the top to act as a comparable pocket on packs with a floating lid. All in all, a great pack for day hiking and overnight hikes.
What's Hot and What's Not
Things I like:
2. Amount of organization pockets
3. Zippered main compartment
Things I don't like
1. Extra long hipbelt straps
2. Could have more room
3. Zipper not full length
--- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "A. Buskov" <rescue@...> wrote:
> Here are your edits. As usual, please follow the standard editing convention
> EDIT: Change this
> Edit: Think about changing this
> Comment: Everything else
> In general, it is not advised that a new reviewers first owner review be
> over such a large piece of equipment. We discourage from using a tent, pack,
> hammock, GPS, sleeping bag, or other large (high dollar) item for the first
> owner review. Part of the reason is due to the nature of the report and the
> extensiveness that is needed to make such a report up to the standards used
> by BGT. It is usually advisable that the first review be over something
> small like a pair of socks, knife, dry bag, shirt, or something of the like.
> This helps the reviewer muscle through the first OR with relative ease while
> learning all the intricacies of review process.
> That being said, I'd suggest putting this review on hold until you get a few
> more reports under your belt. I would also suggest acquiring the help of a
> BGT mentor who can walk you through the process and help you with some of
> the missing information, as well as helping you get through the editing
> process easier. You can request a mentor by emailing
> In closing, while you have a nice start to an owner review, your report is
> missing quite a bunch of necessary information. I would suggest you look at
> the following reviews on other Osprey packs, as well as other notable
> reviews posted for more information on what should be included in a pack
> If you do chose to continue with your first report using this pack, please
> fix all the edits below and re-upload for additional edits.
> Just recently have I been introduced to the backpacking community in 2011,
> but I fell in love with it, and I fell hard! Not a weekend goes by that I am
> not out in the wilderness somewhere. I have roughly 2,000 miles of
> hiking/backpacking experience over this last year in Oklahoma's Witchita
> EDIT: Wichita, not Witchita
> EDIT: You need to discuss more about your hiking style, and a bit less about
> where you've been or hiked. While those areas are key in providing knowledge
> about the terrain you've encountered, a style is more applicable and can
> more easily be understood by the reader. For example, are you a lightweight,
> or heavy packer? Do you prefer tents, tarps, or hammocks? Do you hike fast,
> or do you take your time? Etc.
> PRODUCT INFORMATION
> Manufacturer: Osprey
> Year of Manufacture: 2011
> Manufacturer's Website: <http://www.ospreypacks.com/>
> MSRP: $129.00 USD
> Listed Weight: 2lbs 13 oz (1.28 kg) (For the size L)
> Shipping Weight: 3lbs (1.36 kg)
> The Osprey Stratos has the following Key Design Features:
> Lifetime Manufacturer's Warranty
> Hydration Compatible (bladder not included)
> Ice Ax Attachment
> Quick Stow Trekking Pole Loops
> InsideOut Compression
> Integrated Raincover
> Large Zippered Main Compartment
> Smaller Zippered Compartment with Internal Organization Pockets
> Shoulderstrap Pocket
> Zippered Hipbelt Pockets
> EDIT: While you have a Product Information section, you're missing something
> in the way of a Product Description section describing what you see & feel
> about the pack. How does the material feel? Are there any pulled threads?
> Are any items incorrectly sewn? Are all the buckles & zippers functioning
> properly? Etc. In addition, while you mentioned the key aspects that the
> manufacturer noted on their web page, you fail to describe any of those
> items. For example; what is the Quick Stow Pole Loops? How does the
> integrated rain cover work?
> FIELD USE
> The Osprey Stratos is by far my go to pack for short day hikes, long day to
> overnight hikes, and everything in between. I even carry my books to school
> in it during the week (which in Pharmacy school pushes the maxload limit). I
> use this pack almost constantly, but for its intended purpose, as a day
> pack, I would say that I have used it on roughly 55 hard days of hiking.
> After it is set with a maxload of 30 lbs (13.61 Kg), it is easy to forget it
> is still right behind me. I have abused this pack in every which way it
> could be putting the Osprey Lifetime Anything Warranty to the test, but has
> yet to fail in any way. I carry this pack on most of my weekend. It has seen
> snow, light showers, and sleet but has kept its contents dry. I have
> EDIT: Change ".to the test, but has yet." to ".to the test, but it has yet."
> drug this pack up the rock on multi-pitch climbs and still has not torn.
> This pack also has a suspended mesh back panel to keep your back from
> getting lathered in sweat during the summer, and for winter use I stuff an
> extra layer in that area to block the venting. On a more negative note the
> hip belt straps are excessively long, leaving almost 2 ft. (60 cm) excess on
> each side. Also the pack has an awkward shape. It seems almost as if though
> it could have been formed different to give it a little bit more volume.
> EDIT: Please remove period after '2 ft' & "It seems almost as if though it."
> reads weird, please rephrase.
> Lastly, the zipper does not run the full length of the Stratos like other
> Osprey zippered entry packs do.
> Edit: It sounds as if you are saying this is a negative design aspect of the
> pack when in fact it may be a feature by the manufacturer on this specific
> pack. Consider rephrasing so as not to compare this pack with other packs
> that are not designed the same way. It is okay to mention this in the 'don't
> like' section below though.
> EDIT: With regard to the Field Use section in general, much more information
> is needed here. Your only real mention of use is with regard to the 55 days
> of hiking, and the use during snow, rain and dragging it up a rock. More
> information as to weather conditions, elevations, area conditions (thistles,
> cacti, etc.) and the like are needed.
> This pack like almost all Osprey packs is made of 210D double ripstop nylon
> and 420HD nylon pack cloth which gives it excellent durability and weather
> resistance which is great for those pop up showers in the mountains.
> Internal frame provides additional support and rigidity.
> Edit: Incomplete sentence. Consider revising for clarity.
> The Stratos has most, if not all, of the bells and whistles found on modern
> packs: hydration compatible, included rainfly with stow pouch, hipbelt
> pockets, and literally a whistle on the chest strap. My favorite feature of
> this pack is the numerous pockets for organization; the smaller pocket has
> pockets inside of it, two water bottle pockets on the sides, two hipbelt
> pockets, and a mesh pocket in the main compartment.The Stratos has
> EDIT: Space needed after 'compartment.'
> ample compression straps to really cinch down awkward loads, as well as load
> adjustment straps to fine tune its position. This pack is a zipper front
> load design, but it has a small mesh pocket hanging inside the main
> compartment accessed by the small zipper on the top to act as a brain.
> EDIT: ".to act as a brain"? Can you clarify on this statement as it doesn't
> seem to make sense
> EDIT: With regard to the Summary section in general, again much more
> information is needed here. You need to provide more examples of use, items
> you've packed, wear, comfort, fit, form, adjustability, etc.
> THINGS I LIKE
> 1. Durabilty
> EDIT: Durability, not Durabilty
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]