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Old 05-24-2011, 08:07 PM
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AlgoesSailing AlgoesSailing is offline
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Location: Hartford
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Default Osprey Stratos 36

I have been looking for a better daypack for quite some time and recently a few retailers have been offering the Osprey Stratos 36 for just under $100. I received my Cactus green pack in the mail today. My first choice for a pack was the Osprey Atmos 35 but it has been discontinued and most retailers are offering my size at $160. I considered these two packs because each uses Osprey’s Airspeed suspension system which is more comfortable then any pack I have ever used: the same suspension is on my Atmos 65 that I carry year round. This suspension is so comfortable that I would hesitate to spend my money on any other pack. It is my opinion that Osprey took the great features of the Atoms line and improved all the so-so features to create an outstanding pack for this upgraded model. While the Stratos 36 is offered as a daypack, I will also use it as an overnight pack (I’ve already tested size with my gear and it is just enough volume). Since it is a daypack, the only negative I can find on this bag is that it does not have straps for a sleep mat. I usually pack my sleep mat inside my pack, but the straps are often useful for a wet tent or other wet/muddy equipment. As I have said, the Airspeed suspension is simply the best available both for breathability and support. The waist belt foam is now larger and more comfortable than previous models and has larger pockets, now I won’t crush my granola bar when I tighten it down. The stow and go trekking pole attachment system is a great feature and seems to have larger lanyards to accommodate poles more easily. An added pocket (cell phone) on the right shoulder strap and load adjusters that connect farther down the shoulder (increasing lift) are welcomed improvements. Osprey has done away with the very low volume stuff pouch and side pockets on the back of the pack and modified them to a zippered pocket and access panels. I always liked the stuff pocket on my Atmos, but a zipper is a good option as well. The compression top and bottom is great for pulling weight closer to your body and side mesh pockets hold a bottle and/or tent poles. The lid, with two zippered pockets, is fixed and not floating: though at 36 liters a floater is not necessary. What really makes this pack worth the retail price is the included removable rain cover and zippered pocket. I cannot attest to how waterproof it is, but I will follow up with that after I test it in the rain. This pack also has one ice axe attachment instead of two, which makes weight distribution much easier (I personally never carry more than one axe at a time.)
Our day hikes are usually all day and I carry enough gear for lunch and changing weather. The Stratos 36 easily carries the weight that other packs have failed to support. And doubling as an overnight pack, this was an easy choice for me. You can spend $60 on a day pack, then add $25 for a rain cover and still long for something better or you can buy the Osprey Stratos 36 and never regret the money spent. Plus don’t forget the “Almighty Guarantee: Any reason, any product, any era.”
BTW, Osprey packs doesn’t pay me for these great reviews, but I will gladly accept any packs that they would like to give me: they build fantastic products.
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