|Rating:||8.2 / 10|
|Value for Money||1.5 / 2|
|Comfort||1.8 / 2|
|Weight||1.4 / 2|
|Durability||1.8 / 2|
|Versatility||1.7 / 2|
I had been aware of the Osprey Stratos pack range for a number of years so when I recently had the opportunity to have a play with some of the smaller Osprey packs I was keen to see how the Osprey Stratos 24 stood the test. This is an interesting pack for a number of reasons with Osprey selling this as a ‘Men’s day hiking pack’ (the women’s version is the Sirrus range). For me this is an interesting term because even though I was testing this pack in its capacity as a day pack, I think it’s potentially much more than that.
I’ll start with the negatives first because I need to set the context in regard to the pack positives. First up the biggest negative of this pack is the weight. In fact at 1.25 kg its heavier than my Osprey Exos 48 pack (51 litre capacity) which weighs in at 1.18 kg; more on that in a moment. The other potential negative is that this pack has multiple pockets and while this allows you to stow things in particular areas, in doing so it reduces the accessible space that some of the more paired back, simpler packs have which I prefer.
This pack is also a one size fits all and while it has fairly decent adjustment, as a large male hiker that’s 188 cm tall I had to adjust the back frame to its limit. Any taller and I think it would be too short. With the average Australian male being under 180 cm that’s only going to be an issue for the extra tall males out there.
Now for the positives. This is where the reason for the negatives become obvious. For me this pack is so much more than a day pack. In fact the reason that this pack weighs what it does is because of all the features that are included. It even has a built in rain cover. The trampoline suspension system that I love so much is included with this pack which was a big surprise. Many of Osprey’s smaller packs come with the AirScape system and while that system performs very well and I love it on my Talon Pro 20 pack, I do love this trampoline type of pack framing more because on hot days it keeps your back so much drier particularly when carrying heavier loads. In addition, the waist belt and shoulder straps carry much more padding than you would expect in a 24 litre pack and this is why this pack is weighted to comfortably carry 12 kg which is a big load for such a small pack and greater than the majority of packs of this size.
A unique feature specific to this pack is the vertical rear zip pocket which replaces the stretch pocket common on many larger packs which is a reasonable size and a good option for storing things like rain gear or your jacket.
Many of the other features on this pack are typical offerings from Osprey. An adjustable sternum strap complete with whistle, side stretch pockets for water bottles, good sized weight belt pockets, stow-on-the-go trekking pole storage, ice axe storage strap system, and an internal water bladder pocket for those who like to use bladders. Colour wise this pack comes in green, blue, and black; very male centric colours but very popular. For the features on offer with this pack, the AUS $239.90 RRP is good value.
So what’s the final verdict? This pack is unique as far as day packs go and also heavy. It can best be considered as a small version of a full sized hiking pack rather than a back day pack given the features on offer. From my perspective the best use for this pack is for day hikes where you are carrying weight so if you only every carry a lighter load then it’s probably overkill. Most day packs are designed for typical day hikes and won’t be that comfortable or even capable of carrying a 12kg load whereas the Osprey Starts 24 does this well with this weight.
If you are carrying heavy and compact loads, then this pack is up there for choice.
You can purchase the Osprey Stratos 24 Men’s Pack online from Wildfire Sports
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AUD $239.90 RRP
Osprey Stratos 24 Pack in Eclipse Blue colour
Tim in wearing the Osprey Stratos 24 Pack – side view showing air gap on the suspension system
Chest clip showing whistle. The sternum strap slides up and down to the desired position
Osprey Stratos 24 back adjustment. This section can be moved up and down by means of a large velcro catch to shorten or lengthen the pack harness
Hydration pocket located outside the main pack. Add a hydration bladder of your choice
Rear pocket on back of the pack
Opsrey Stratos 24 hip belt pocket. there are two pockets, one each side
Osprey Stratos 24 – rear view
Osprey Stratos 24 showing small top pocket typically used for valuables
Side stretch pocket, typically used for water bottles
Osprey Stratos 24 stow-on-the-go trekking pole holder
This review was done with product provided for testing by the Australian importer of Osprey Packs