For hikers and backpackers alike, a good backpack is one of those crucial elements that determine the course of the trip.
Carrying a good bag will ensure less strain on your back and make the journey easier for you.
Nowadays, most models feature convenient compartments to help organize your belongings. They also have large compartments that will carry all your necessary gears and essentials easily.
Today, in our Osprey Stratos 50 review, we’ll talk about a product that is a compact yet spacious backpack.
We have highlighted all of its essential features, which should clarify why this is a formidable companion to your trip.
Quick Overview Of Osprey Stratos 50
The Stratos 50 is Osprey’s take on creating an affordable yet functional backpack for all those casual backpackers.
Perfect for a weekend trip over short distances, this backpack will house all your necessary equipment and more.
Osprey is quite renowned for its high-end hiking bags that deliver the utmost comfort and satisfaction. The brand puts in some of its best minds to create an affordable backpack with premium features.
We would have to start with the AirSpeed suspension feature. Stitched within the straps and hip belt is a tensioned mesh panel to reduce the impact on your back when moving.
The padded hip belt keeps the bag firm against your back when moving up steep slopes. With the help of adjustable straps, the weight is evenly distributed around your back.
Given the strength of the bag’s Lightwire alloy frame, it has a maximum capacity of 35 pounds.
The frame uses Aluminum which itself is very lightweight when compared to other metals. As a result, the bag’s overall weight is reduced without compromising on strength.
Now, what’s a bag without compartments, right? Taking inspiration from some of Osprey’s high-end models, the Osprey Stratos carries an organized, compartmentalized design.
Besides the large pockets you’ll be using to carry your equipment, there are tiny compartments here and there for easy access.
For instance, there are zippered pockets on each hip belt to keep your most necessary items close by.
Moreover, much of the zipper designs make it easier for you to access without taking the bag off.
Imagine having to access the main compartment on a steep slope; what a hassle, right? The Stratos 50 features side zippers that offer easy access to the main section.
The key features of any product will give you a better idea of its specialties and characteristics.
Let’s check out what makes the Osprey Stratos 50 truly desirable.
AirSpeed Compression Straps
Osprey’s signature AirSpeed suspension system works wonders when traveling long distances.
The tensioned mesh does a great job of reducing pressure on your back muscles. Thanks to the micro-holes on the mesh, you will get fantastic ventilation and enjoy reduced sweat build-up.
What’s more, the adjustable straps let you adjust the height to your torso for comfortable maneuvering up and down rocky slopes.
This way, the bag won’t be swaying left to right when you’re making quick movements.
Trekking Pole Attachment
Osprey has gained quite the name with their former bags that feature a Stow-On-The-Go Trekking Pole Attachment.
The Stratos 50 comes with this attachment system, too, allowing you to secure your trekking poles to the bag to keep your hands free.
The backpack gives way for easy access whenever you encounter slopes or rough terrains as the trekking poles are placed near your shoulder straps.
The attachment system is straightforward to figure out and tightly hold your poles to avoid discomfort.
Internal Hydration Reservoir Sleeve
Trekking can be exhausting and often puts a strain on your body if you don’t ensure proper hydration. You will sometimes end up with backaches and fatigue because of the strenuous activity your body goes through.
Luckily enough, the Stratos 50 comes with an internal hydration sleeve that stores your water reservoir safely. Both the outside and inside of the pocket are well-padded to keep your fluid safe from external damage.
Also, the placement of the pocket keeps the reservoir stable without much movement and gives you easy access. This reduces the chances of spilling water across all your belongings.
If you’ve gone hiking before, you already know the immense amount of planning that goes into it. You have to account for all sorts of obstacles, including weather and climate. An ill-planned trip can quickly turn your trip into a massive disaster.
On the underside of the Stratos 50 is an integrated rain cover that can be easily accessed during times of need.
That at least crosses out your worries of the rain ruining all your belongings. The large rain cover can be removed from the underside for cleaning or drying purposes.
Even if it is wet from a rainy afternoon, you can still snug it back inside the tiny compartment without worrying about soaking your things.
Stretchable Mesh Pockets
Pockets are the only thing backpackers look for in a functional hiking bag. Having pockets in easy-to-access locations can prove to be a lifesaver in tight situations.
There are stretchable mesh pockets on both sides of this bag that expand once you begin to stuff your water bottles inside.
Large water bottles are a vital ingredient to a successful trip as it ensures proper hydration. This will make it easier for your body to cover large distances without tiring out often.
Since the pockets are made of a stretchy material, they can carry up to two large water bottles at ease, allowing you to make stops and fill your water reservoir less often.
Removable Top Lid
While the main compartment has a rucksack design, the opening on the top is covered with a removable top lid. Other than concealing the entrance of the backpack, it also has compartments on the inside for storage.
The pockets come with high-quality zippers and are easy to access and reduce the need for you to look into the main compartment for small items constantly.
Now you might wonder whether accessing the main compartment is difficult given the whole top-lid situation, but we assure you it’s not.
Well, it’s only because Osprey thought of this beforehand and placed a slashed side zipper. It allows you to gain direct access to the main compartment without having to take off your bag.
Zippered Hipbelt Pockets
If the numerous existing compartments aren’t enough for all your belongings, the backpack has a set of extra pockets right on your hips.
The padded hip belts each have zippered compartments to give you easy access to your most urgent items.
You will find the small pockets to be spacious enough to carry your phone and other slim-profile items.
- AirSpeed suspension maximizes comfort
- Tensioned mesh and padding reduces strain on your back
- Padding is well ventilated to reduce sweating
- Features and integrated rain cover that can be removed for drying
- Very convenient pocket placements for quick access
- Dual stretchable side pockets for small items and large water bottles
- Buckles are not very well-made
- The sleeping bag compartment is relatively small
- Capacity is too tiny for trips over 2-3 days
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between The Men’s And Women’s Models?
The chest straps are different for the women’s model, and it is smaller in terms of size.
Can I Fit A Tent Into The Bag?
While that may not be entirely possible given the main compartment’s space, you can hang it on the straps at the bottom.
It will keep your main compartment free for other necessary equipment.
Can I Stuff The Rain Cover Into Its Compartment When Wet?
Yes, you most certainly can. The rain cover compartment is made from a material that doesn’t let water pass through.
And so, once you’re done using the cover, you can pack it away into the bottom of your bag.
What Is The Max Reservoir Capacity It Can Carry? Does It Come Included?
The Stratos 50 can carry a reservoir of up to 3 Litres. The bag does not come with the reservoir included, so you would have to pay extra if you wanted one.
What Is The Max Capacity Of This Bag?
At max, the bag can hold up to 5 pounds extra over the mentioned 35-pound limit. However, you will risk damaging the reinforced stitching by putting additional pressure on the bag.
The Osprey Stratos 50 is truly a godsend for those of you looking to hike on a budget. By applying their well-tested features from the high-end models, Osprey has created the perfect balance between durability and affordability.
This backpack is perfect for anyone looking to go on a trip for 2-3 days over a relatively short distance.
One thing’s for sure; comfort is one area you will have no complaints about.
Nevertheless, please let us know if you liked our Osprey Stratos 50 review in the comments section.