Anyone use a Osprey Stratos or Gregory z30 or North Face Alteo??

12:48 a.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I have been shopping around for a new technical daypack for some time now. I have narrowed down my search to The Osprey Stratos 26, Gregory z30, or The North Face Alteo 35.

There are pros and cons to each bag; I like the durability of the Stratos, and I am a sucker for top loaders, but the lack of some kind of pocket on the front kind of bothers me. The z30 looks nice, and has a shove-it pocket on the front, but the reviews I have read question it's durability. The Alteo 35 has a lot of features that I want, but is a bit on the big size for what I would need it for, and is expensive, because of the TNF name.

I was wondering if anyone has owned any of these bags, and could give me their personal review of them.

Thanks! :D

6:35 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I can speak to the Osprey since I have one.

In general the pack is more robust than I initially supposed it to be. I like that becasue I have done a fair bit of adventure racing using lightweight packs of about the same volume that were not very durable- they were built for light weight, not so much durability. The Osprey Stratos 26 seems to strike a reasonable balance between weight and durability.

I review equipment for a living so I am pretty fussy. The symmetry and workmanship on the Osprey packs is better than many vendors I see. The stitching is symmetrical, the patterns cut evenly so the pack looks "straight" I recently reviewed a pack for a website I edit for that was terribly out of kilter.

I'm a big fan of the back panel design as I am of the Deuter mesh back panel suspension which is similar.

I've never used the rain cover so I can't say much about it except it's there.

The zipper pulls are industry best. In general, I like it. Of the packs you listed I'd take a strong look at it.

12:20 a.m. on June 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for the info, Tom. Out of the 3 that I listed it is definitely the favorite. I have compared and contrasted them back and forth for a while now, and it continually comes down to just 1 complaint with the Stratos...Put a pocket in the front! I would even settle for somethign like the Kestrel has, anything, just put something there!! :D haha.

 

2:11 a.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Tom, 

Do you have any experience with the Exos 34? I am tossing around the idea of the Stratos 26 v. The Exos 34. Kind of debating if I need the extra capacity or not, ya know? Lol . Anyways, what is your experience/opinion on the Exos. :)

August 1, 2014
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