Osprey Stratos 34
Current Retail: $159.95-$160.00
Historic Range: $89.93-$160.00
|Weight||2 lb 8 oz / 1.13 kg||2 lb 11 oz / 1.23 kg||2 lb 14 oz / 1.32 kg|
|Capacity||2000 cu in / 32 L||2100 cu in / 34 L||2200 cu in / 36 L|
This is a well-made, well designed pack, designed to fit everyone from the slim lady to the more robust guy. It is the only pack I carried for 5 months hiking through SE Asia.
- Extremely durable
- Good sized hip belt pockets, easy to access
- Very light weight
- Comfortable to wear for extended periods
- Excellent air flow
- Quick and snug fitting rain protector
- Need to remove gear to fill water bladder
I first bought my Stratos 34 for a 210km, 3 day trail run on the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia. I was so impressed with the comfort under speed, for extended hours on consecutive days, that I decided to take only this pack for 5 months in SE Asia.
The pack fits really well, and can be adjusted for comfortable wear for a surprising range of builds. The chest straps are adjustable not only by tightening and loosening, but can be moved vertically for a more individual fit.
As far as comfort goes, few compare to Osprey. A lightweight but sturdy internal frame with the back net for exceptional airflow is complimented by well padded shoulder straps and hip belt. I believe few have tested this pack for comfort over extended periods and in various adverse conditions like I have. Hiking 60km days through the Australian bush, monsoonal Asian jungles and swollen rivers, and arid outback Australian desert trails, I cannot in anyway fault this pack for comfort.
Organisation of the pack has been well thought out. A small pack, the front zipper opening allows for quick access to gear, with generous side pockets, top pocket and front pocket. On extended journeys organisation and ease of access is important - the Stratos 34 does not disappoint. Whilst I carried it at capacity, which was ample, the pack sits well with even weight dispersion no matter how full you choose to fill it.
I would have to say the most exceptional feature of this pack is its durability. Made of lightweight materials, I have expected the pack integrity to fail long before now — but it just keeps performing. Incredible comfort over long distances and in extreme conditions, it is the perfect pack for the minimalist hiker over 3 seasons.
Of my travels with this pack, the solo 160km hike through dense Cambodian jungle which included swimming swollen rivers, slogging through thick mudpits, sudden monsoonal downpours, and a few inquisitive animals in extremely stifling heat and humidity was the most robust hike this pack has endured.
However, it has also been my pack of choice canyoning in Karijini NP, hiking Australian bush and mountains, multi day kayaking through the islands of Vietnam, and been my home for 5 months of constant use and abuse in SE Asia.
Designed to be a light hiker, it won't disappoint. For the more adventurous, minimalist hiker, this pack is ideal for anything bar an alpine winter, only because it won't fit all the gear you'd need.
The only downfall was having to remove gear to refill the bladder.
Anyone who needs an overnight hiking pack should buy this pack. Anyone who wants to hike endlessly through extreme conditions with a well thought out light load should also buy this pack. Quite simply, the best pack I have ever owned.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: I can't remember - haven't had to replace it for 3 years now.
This is for the 2017 revision of the Stratos 34. Currently it fits exactly what I bought it for.
- Very comfortable suspension
- Very well ventilated back
- Has a built-in rain cover
- Removable sleeping roll straps
- Other standard Osprey features, such as stow-on-the-go and a single ice axe/tool loop
- Could use some bigger external pockets I think
- The side bottle holders can be a bit fiddly to get your bottle into when the pack is full, but it should work
- Can't remove sleeping bag compartment divider
Fit: I got the Small/Medium, I had to fiddle with the torso length more than with my Aether as the hipbelt is less tolerant but still very comfortable once I had it dialed in.
Comfort: Overall it's very comfortable, very well ventilated, holds a decent amount of weight without feeling overburdened. (Haven't weighed it but it felt like maybe 30 lbs.)
Capacity: I can fit all my climbing kit (mainly anchoring and sport gear) as well as two pairs of climbing shoes plus some other extras. I can fit my keys/wallet/other random small items on the small front pocket, camera and headlamp plus another couple of small-ish items in the top pocket, and sunblock/deodorant/small medkit/snacks in the vertical zip pocket.
The sleeping bag compartment could hold a decent size bag, though if you get yours packed nice and small you could probably fit the bag and tent in the bottom, or bag + pad if yours fits right.
I use the sleeping bag straps to hold my rope.
Organization & Accessibility: The pockets are fairly easy to use. The inside is one giant pocket with a divider at the bottom for the sleeping bag compartment, though my biggest complaint is you can't remove this divider without some modification to the bag, which means you can only ever grab your gear from the top unless you reorganize to put some stuff on the bottom.
Aside from that it's all pretty well spaced, though the vertical pocket is slightly awkward, but nice when you get used to it.
Compression: There are two main compression points, top side straps and bottom side straps where the water bottle holders are. You could also use the sleeping bag straps as compression straps if you're not carrying anything on the outside.
Ease of Use: It's easy enough to use, though if I knew I couldn't remove the bottom I might have just gotten the 36 instead. That said the panel does open quite a bit, so it is rather nice and I don't really regret it.
Features: The biggest change for 2017 is the suspension update, and I've heard that many people who've had the older version prefer the new version much more. Aside from that the pockets got rearranged, though it still has the standard Osprey features.
Construction & Durability: It's an Osprey pack, it feels well made, and if I have any issues the warranty is one of the best. Not really much else to say.
Conditions: I've used this pack on short approach hikes to crags as well as carrying my climbing junk to and from the gym. I've yet to go on any overnight or longer hikes with this pack, though so far it feels like it would be just as if not more comfortable than my Aether 70.
I'll update my review when I take it on some longer treks.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $92 on sale and using cashback