Osprey Stratos packs have long been favorites for shorter backpacking trips. Now in a larger size to accommodate longer adventures, the Stratos 50 promises to win new fans with its unparalleled design and strong feature set.
The largest of the Stratos series, the Osprey Stratos 50 is a great ventilated option for overnighters, weekend trips or week long backpacking trips. Let’s take a look at all of its features.
We are going to turn the pack around and take a look at the suspension system in play here. So we have got Osprey’s Airspeed Suspension System. It is a really nice, lightweight and super breathable suspension system. You have got a tensioned mesh back panel and a light wire aluminum frame around the exterior of the pack. The tension mesh is actually suspended off of the back panel so you have got spacing between the actual backpack contents and where your back is going to come into contact with the pack. So you have got really good breathability, really good ventilation throughout this back panel, really good moisture wicking and just overall venting, so nice system in play.
We have got contoured foam shoulder straps. They are nice and padded shoulder straps and they have got a nice breathable kind of perforated foam here so you have got good breathability and comfort throughout all of the shoulder straps.
Down in the hip belt we have got that same system. You have got nice padded hip belt wings and they have got nice perforations in them, as well, to provide more breathability. And the mesh lining there is going to help to wick moisture and pull away any sweat that may build up. So you have got really, really nice padded shoulder straps and hip belt with a nice tensioned mesh back panel for optimum breathability.
Turn the pack back around. We are going to take a look at how we access the contents. So we have got kind of three access points with the Stratos 50. You have got a traditional top loading hood style backpack. So if we take off the hood we have got a nice, you know, spin drift collar up here. So just draw that cord back. And you have got a really nice wide, opening at the top there. Going to give you easy access to those items that are on the top of the pack.
Now the hood is removable so you can take that of and just use this spin drift collar as your top if you want to shave some weight. But that hood does provide a little extra protection for the contents of the backpack.
Another access point we have got here is the front zipper pocket. So this front zipper pocket you see opens up and you can actually access all the contents of the backpack directly from the front zipper. So if you don’t want to open up the hood and do all that hassle, you can access the contents from that front double zipper system. And that goes all the way around down to either side. So it kind of treats it like a suitcase almost. It is a big U shaped zipper. So a nice zipper system on the front of the pack.
We have also got a sleeping bag or a lower compartment on the pack. So down at the bottom here we have got a nice system in play. You can zip that up and open it up. I have just got a hammock in there right now, but this is a separated compartment so it doesn't, you know, work with or attach to the top compartment, this system here, this material is fully stitched in. So it is a completely separated compartment. You can’t really make them one compartment.
So still a nice feature, adds a little bit of versatility to it. You can keep some items down here that you may want to get a little more quick access to. So that is a nice addition.
Some other features we have got with the Stratos 50 include some removable sleeping pad straps so down at the bottom here we have got these two straps which you can attach here. You can lash a sleeping pad to the outside, use them as extra compression if you choose to or remove them if you don’t plan on using them. So nice versatility with those straps there.
A feature that adds a lot of value to the pack is the fact that it comes with a built in rain cover. So at the bottom here you have got a little tab that just says rain cover. It is a little water droplet. And you have got a zipper there. It is kind of a hidden zipper. And inside is a removable, detachable rain cover. So most packs you have to buy this separately as an add on. With the Stratos 50 it is included in the bottom of the pack, so a nice addition. It adds a lot of value to the pack.
Moving up we have got a nice tool loop with kind of a stowaway bungee here. So keeping with the streamlined design, that bungee is tucked away. But you can simply kind of take it out and it will come out of this little pocket here and you have got a nice bungee system that is tucked away, hidden nicely so it doesn’t get snagged on anything. If you are hiking on a dense forest train or if you are climbing it won’t snag up on any rocks, trees, et cetera.
On the sides we have got two mesh pockets, so stretchy water bottle pocket on this side here. And we have got inside out compression underneath. So on this pocket the compression is routed against the backpack to keep the contents nice and simple and secure. On this side we have got the inside out compression on the outside. So you can actually lash gear to it, keep everything nice and snug and secure so my trekking poles here are held firm by that inside out compression strap, so a nice system with the compression on the pack there.
We do have some hip belt pockets in play on the backpack, nice zippered hip belt pockets. You can store some small items there like head lamps, cell phones, anything you might want to get to quickly, snacks, granola bars, et cetera, really two good pockets there that give you some weather resistance and easy access to good items.
This pack is hydration compatible as well. So you have to an H20 port on the side here and there is an internal sleeve that allows you to stow a hydration bladder. It is not included. They are sold separately, but you can use them with this system, so a nice benefit to the pack there.
On the hood we do have multiple pockets. So on the back of the hood where we has got two pockets. One of them is fairly small. I have just got a lightweight jacket in there and a first aid kit. Bottom one is a little bit more sizable. So I have got a book in there now. You could fit some other items, maps, maybe some food, anything you might want to get to a little more quickly. And on the underside of the hood there is a mesh pocket for, again, some smaller items. If you want to keep your keys there or things you want to keep away, but not get lost in the pack, you have got a little pocket there as well.
Finally you have got a little bit more compression at the top of the pack. So you have got these two straps, one on either side, that come around to the front and they snap down and you can really use those to compress the load if you choose to. And the straps that attach to the actual hood can be used as compression straps as well. So you have got a nice strap there you can yank on, get some extra compression. And this system here you can also compress the load. So you have got really streamlined, really simple design and really effective at really compressing smaller loads or expanding to accommodate larger loads.
While being incredibly ventilated and breathable, the Osprey Stratos 50 is a great option for overnighters to week long backpacking trips.