The Osprey Stratos 26 review given here is about a lightweight 1.19 kg daypack with an excellent suspension system and ventilation.
Why the Osprey Stratos 26 – key benefits
- Bonus rain cover.
- Excellent ventilation.
Stratos 26 is a popular pack that has been around for many years, redesigned and improved in the latest version. This is a classic top-loading pack with the lid and collar underneath it.
The main compartment is what you normally have in packs, one simple storage area and with the water bladder sleeve. So the pack is hydration compatible and you have hose ports on both sides.
On the bottom section, you have one attachment loop for trekking poles or for an ice axe. Higher up is a bungee tie-off on which is there for the same purpose, and it can be stowed away when you do not need it. You can see in the picture below how it is used.
Removable dual straps are on the bottom, for a sleeping pad or tent attachment.
On the sides you have dual compression straps, the upper are with buckles and the lower with InsideOut feature.
On the bottom section, you have a separate pocket for the integrated rain cover.
The Osprey’s Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment is used here as well. It is designed to conveniently stow your poles when you are on the move and want to store them to have free hands for any other activity. See how it works in the picture below.
The suspension system
The suspension is really the best part of this pack. It is based on an aluminum LightWire frame and a tensioned trampoline style mesh. This is what they call the AirSpeed system, quite an appropriate name because it provides the best possible ventilation.
The space between the pack and the mesh is quite large so the air can escape in every direction. I have been using packs with such a ventilation for many years now.
The shoulder straps are covered with mesh, and underneath it, you have a die-cut foam. The sternum strap is adjustable and with an emergency whistle.
The hip belt is pre-curved, with sewn-in spacer mesh, and with Ergo Pull closure.
Note that the harness is not adjustable so you chose your size in the moment of purchase, see more in the specifications below.
The lid has two external zippered pockets one on top of another. On the hip belt, you have dual zippered fabric pockets, but their back is in fact mesh, I guess for some extra ventilation.
On the sides there are dual mesh woven pockets with InsideOut compression. This allows you to secure loads easily even when the side pockets are in use, i.e., through the pockets.
See the features of the Stratos 26 and the corresponding version for women Sirrus 26 in this video by Osprey (just disregard the part about panel access, this is a mistake, from a larger pack in the Stratos series):
Pros & Cons
This is my summary:
Osprey Startos 26 has received great reviews. On Amazon, the average rate from customers is 4.5/5.
I love the colors of this pack and really cannot make any serious objection. You will see in the comparison table below that it stands very good in comparison with some other brands.
- Purpose: hiking, mountaineering, cycling, running.
- Internal frame pack.
- Two sizes:
– small/medium (S/M),
– medium/large (M/L).
– S/M: 2 lb 7 oz (1.11 kg).
– M/L: 2 lb 10 oz (1.19 kg).
– S/M: 1465 cu in (24 l).
– M/L: 1587 cu in (26 l).
- Torso fit:
– S/M: 16 – 19 in (41 – 48 cm).
– M/L: 18 – 21 in (46 – 53 cm).
- Maximum carry weight: 20 lb (9 kg).
- Maximum dimensions: 24 x 11 x 9 in (61 x 28 x 23 cm).
- Top lid access.
- Integrated detachable rain cover.
- AirSpeed trampoline suspended mesh back system.
- Internal hydration sleeve.
– 210 D high tenacity twill nylon, 420 HD nylon rip.
– Aluminum peripheral frame.
- Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment.
- Removable sleeping pad straps.
- Upper and lower side compression straps.
- Single ice axe loop.
- Stowable bungee tie-off.
- Dual zippered hip belt pockets.
- Fixed lid with dual zippered pockets.
- Stretch mesh side pockets with InsideOut compression.
- Sternum strap with emergency whistle.
- Colors: 4, see the pictures.
- Warranty: Osprey’s All Mighty.
In the conclusion of this Osprey Stratos 26 review to stress again that the best features of this pack are related to its suspension system. It provides the best ventilation and this you might bear in mind if sweating is a big issue for you, or you need a pack for particularly warm areas. But the integrated rain cover makes it a great tool in the Alps or in any other region with a lot of rain.
Note that there exists the Sirrus series for women with the same basic features plus some extras in the design, introduced to fit women’s figure.
I hope the text has been useful to you. If you have any question or comment please use the comment box below. Thank you and have a nice day.