Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack Review
Backpacks. You either love them or inevitably grow to hate them if you pick the wrong one, and let’s face it, we all have a tale to tell when it comes to cheapo backpacks; not all things were created equal, you know! Hike.Mountain.Trail review the Osprey Stratos 24 backpack.
Osprey are without a doubt one of the best-known brands on the market when it comes to quality backpacks. They are one of the big hitters in this field, known for aesthetically pleasing, innovative and practical products…which is why I bought one of their packs; yes, I own this very pack (and in fact it is the one in the accompanying images!).
The Osprey Stratos 24 is – in my opinion – a very capable daypack, not too large that you feel like you are lugging around a mobile home, and not too small that it only just holds your flask and a biscuit (if broken in two!). If you are contemplating a fair hike over a good few hours then this pack is ideal.
The first thing that you’ll notice about the Stratos 24 is the innovative curved back panel section, incorporating Osprey’s Airspeed design, defined by Osprey as the ‘AirSpeed™ trampoline suspended mesh backsystem’. This keeps the actual pack off your back, and because of the curvature of the design it creates what seems to be a huge ventilation space between it and the backpack proper. This permits air to circulate around and through and helps in keeping your back cool; no sweaty backpack back here. It is of course fully adjustable and I really do like this feature. I found the backpack comfortable to wear, whether hiking on the flat or on a scramble section.
The hip belt is generously wide, and fits securely, with a decent zippered pocket on each side for keys, mobile phone…or if you’re like me, one of those small, squeezable concentrate cordial bottles!
Straps are all well-constructed and the shoulder straps are very comfortable, being well padded. Compression straps feel snug, and there is a handy pole storage system that lets you quickly stash your poles out the way when all-hands-on-deck are needed, such as a when you come across cheeky little scramble section. I also like the neat little emergency whistle which is cleverly incorporated in to the sternum straps.
Storage options are good and you can fit all the essentials that you would realistically need to take with you on a long day out. The main compartment is of a pretty decent size, and can easily accommodate things such as navigation kit, maps, sandwiches, an extra jacket, GPS, etc. You will also find the water hydration system storage pouch here too, and Osprey have given you a choice of sides to use when it comes to using your water hydration system, as they have included an exit hole on each side. Incidentally on the bottom of the pack there are straps for stowing a rolled up outer jacket, or a bed roll (do people still use those?); this then hangs neatly on the bottom of the pack.
I have read other reviews where comments have been made re the side pockets being on the small side. I disagree, and find that I can carry a good-sized bottle of water in each, which is plenty adequate for me on an average day hike.
The bottom of the pack is where you’ll also find the rain cover; yes, the Osprey Stratos 24 comes with its own rain cover (bonus!), and it’s great, even more so as mine is a bright green colour. Funky.
The top storage compartment is where I stash my emergency medical kit, survival kit, and emergency blanket, just in case; all this fits with room to spare.
Those of you who enjoy tackling icier climes on your climbs will be pleased to know there is a very handy ice axe stowing point on the side.
The weight of the pack when empty is reasonably light – but not the lightest in terms of similarly sized packs, and the materials used are of very high quality as you would expect from Osprey.
So, there you have it, my review of the Osprey Stratos 24 backpack based on my personal usage over the last 12 months; a great day hike pack with good storage and stowing options, decent levels of comfort, and easy access to the main compartment.
The Osprey Stratos 24 backpack is available to purchase at OSPREY.
There is now a new version of the Osprey Stratos 24 available (I must get one!).