Osprey Stratos 36 Day Hiking Pack

Rock art in Mexico - Photo: Chris Marzonie

In December Osprey sent me the new 2010 Stratos 36 pack to evaluate and I have been using it ever since without complaints. One of the great things about Osprey is that they size their packs. For my torso height I am using the large Stratos 36 which provides 2197 cubic inches of space.  With this sizing system the suspension is optimized so the waist belt and shoulder straps are both positioned in the best location.

Breathable back panel

The pack uses a springlike frame and a breathable back panel. In the heat of Mexico the air flow over my back was fantastic.

The fit is fantastic. Last month I spent a full day trekking around the Sierra Madres in Mexico and my shoulders and waist felt great.

Load lifting strap

The Stratos 36 uses a modified top load system with a front panel that can be opened to access the main compartment. With a traditional top load pack I always find myself digging to the bottom to find what I need. In contrast, the Stratos 36’s front panel just unzips for easy access. There are two straps which help lift the main compartment load so it rides down on the frame.

Side view of Stratos 36

The side pockets are large and deep and held my Sigg bottle with no problems. The compression straps run over the pocket and add additional security when tightened.

The top flap has two pockets, one small and the other large, to help with organization. Additionally, there are two smaller pockets on the waist strap and one on a shoulder strap.

Ergonomic shoulder straps

The pack includes an ice axe attachment point and an innovative hiking pole attachment which allows the pole to be accessed while hiking and yes, it really works.

There is a sleeve in the main compartment for a hydration bladder and the pack has an integrated rain cover.

Integrated rain cover

All said, I have been very pleased with the pack’s performance and I look forward to many more days on the trail with the Stratos 36 on my back.



Tomas has lived in Colorado since age 5. Having grown up on the Western Slope of Colorado lots of time was spent in the Desert Southwest. Tomas' father introduced him to the love of 4 wheeling at an early age in the high mountains around Aspen, Colorado. While an avid Mountain Biker, Tomas and his Family enjoy adventures in the mountains and desert in the remote locations that can only be reached by 4wd. Day hikes are always a must when on the family trips. While enjoying outdoor activities he wants to share his love as a certified 4wd trainer and ski instructor. Tomas also enjoys caving and cave exploration. Tomas currently resides in Colorado Springs. 

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