Last Updated: August 4, 2022

Osprey Stratos 36 Review: Is It The Perfect Hiking Backpack?

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Osprey Stratos 36

The Osprey Stratos 36 is an excellent hiking backpack that pretty much ticks every box all hikers might need. Between its excellent features, awesome versatility, fantastic functionality, and carrying comfort, it is a hard backpack to beat. You will find a place for all your gear, it will be easy to access, and it is durable too! View Latest Deal

Have you been searching for an amazing hiking backpack that will make those long days when day hiking or on multi-day hikes that little bit easier? If that’s the case, then the Osprey Stratos 36 backpack might just be what you have been looking for.

A good hiking backpack not only needs to be durable but it also needs to be able to store all your gear in an organized fashion while having it all easily accessible. Then comes the comfort, if a backpack isn’t nice to carry, then what is the point in owning it? These are all the things we need to take into account.

Join me in this Osprey Stratos 36 Review as we take a deep look into this backpack so you can discover why it just might be the best hiking backpack for you.

Pros

  • Super comfortable to carry
  • Excellent amount of storage
  • Great organization and accessibilty
  • Durable build from great materials
  • Compression straps are included
  • Handy trekking pole loops

Cons

  • Could be a bit lighter

Product Rating

78Overall Rating
Materials & Durability
8/10
Comfort & Support
8/10
Features
8/10
Weight & Volume
7/10
Value for Money
8/10

Product Information

  • Best Use: Hiking
  • Bag Style: Backpack
  • Frame Type: Internal Frame
  • Adjustable Torso Length: Yes
  • Material: 210 denier recycled nylon
  • Frame Material: LightWire alloy frame
  • Number of Stays: 1
  • Suspended Mesh Back Panel: Yes
  • Pack Access: Top/bottom/side
  • Number of Exterior Pockets: 7
  • Hipbelt: Yes
  • Hipbelt Pockets: Yes
  • Sleeping Bag Compartment: Yes
  • Raincover Included: Yes
  • Reservoir Compatible: Yes
  • Dimensions: 27 x 13 x 13 inches
  • Gender: Men's

Materials & Durability

Osprey Stratos 36 Men's Hiking Backpack, Eclipse Blue, Small/Medium

When buying anything for use in the outdoors, the first thing everyone should ask is what is it made of and how long is it going to last.

There is no point in buying something that falls apart after a few uses, especially when it comes to hiking, so how does the Osprey Stratos 36 do in the materials and durability category?

Materials

The Osprey Stratos 36 Backpack is made from 210 denier recycled nylon all around. This is the material most backpacks of this type are made of as it is the perfect balance of weight vs durability.

210 D nylon is quite a thick fabric and it is naturally water-resistant too so you will be covered during a quick rain shower should you hike through one.

It won’t hold off the water for long though so you should use the included rain cover if the rain gets too heavy.

Being made from recycled nylon is a massive bonus with regard to this backpack as it provides the sustainable tick we all tend to look for these days.

To help you put the 210 D nylon into perspective, most expedition backpacks are made from 420 denier nylon, so it is one step down from them.

Durability

When it comes to durability, the Osprey Stratos 36 Backpack can pull its weight on the trail without any worries.

The 210 nylon can stand up to wear and tear with ease and the internal aluminum frame is tough as nails too.

If you are sure to look after the backpack, it will last you for years and years. The area to be cautious about is the bottom as this is going to deal with the most wear by being placed down all the time.

Comfort & Support

Osprey Stratos 36 Men's Hiking Backpack, Eclipse Blue, Small/Medium

Backpacks have to make carrying a heavy load comfortable otherwise we simply won’t use them, especially when hiking for 4 days through the wilderness.

How good is the Osprey Stratos 36 when it comes to comfort and support?

Frame & Backpanel

This backpack comes with an internal frame that is both lightweight and durable. The frame is excellent at spreading the load across your body so no one single point is overworked when hiking.

We have all been there when one hip or shoulder is doing too much work and it leads to issues further down the trail. Thankfully the Osprey Stratos 36 doesn’t have this problem.

The frame is then supported by a foam back panel which ensures the pack sits comfortably on your back while you hike. The back panel uses firm foam to ensure the center of gravity stays close to you for more comfortable hiking.

Sizes & Adjustable Torso

You can buy the Stratos 36 in two different sizes, S/M and M/L, according to your torso length, and getting the right size backpack for you is key to your comfort.

The size charts do make it quite easy to find the right size but be sure to follow them carefully.

Once you have selected the right size, you can then adjust the torso to fit you perfectly. This will ensure the ideal weight distribution and make carrying a full backpack as comfy as possible.

Shape

The Stratos has quite a slim shape to it that bends to your body and it is this that promotes natural movement on the trail.

You will be able to use your body as normally as possible and this means you can hike for longer, faster, and overall much more efficiently.

Hip Belt

The hip belt on the Stratos is excellent as it features firm padding but with a rather slim design. It takes the load off your shoulders a tad and gives you excellent support overall.

Being narrow, the hip belt doesn’t get in the way either when you are reading for things or carrying things using the attachment points.

Breathability

The back panel and straps on the Stratos are made to ensure that air can flow between your back and the pack. This ensures the moisture wicks off quickly so that you do not overheat and can enjoy your hike without being sweaty.

The straps are also built from breathable materials so they let all the moisture out quite well too.

Shoulder Straps

The shoulder straps on the Stratos are built with firm foam and are mesh covered. They are well padded, breathable, and sit comfortably on your shoulders under a heavy load.

Being thin foam actually provides better movement for your body and there is a sternum strap that will distribute the load evenly.

Overall, the Osprey Stratos 36 Backpack is great when it comes to comfort and support!

Features

Osprey Stratos 36 Men's Hiking Backpack, Eclipse Blue, Small/Medium

Having features that make your life easier on the trail is the key to having a good hiking backpack that you will also love.

The Osprey Stratos 36 Backpack is quite awesome when it comes to its features, and here is how.

Accessibility

The Stratos comes with one large main compartment which can be accessed from both the front and from the top too.

There is a zipper that runs down the center of the pack which means you can access things in the middle and at the bottom of the pack with ease.

It also makes loading up the pack from the front a lot easier and you make sure all your gear is well organized too.

The other access point is through the top under the lid which also has a mesh pocket for smaller items like chapstick or matches.

This means you can access things from the top and pack from the top too which makes life a lot easier overall.

Hip Belt Pockets

One of the most useful features on a hiking pack is hip belt pockets. The Stratos has a zipper hip belt pocket on each side which means you can keep things you need to access quickly to hand.

They are the perfect place to store things like a compass, snacks, and even a phone to take pictures with.

Mesh Side Pockets

There is a mesh pocket on each side of the Stratos which are great places to store water bottles and you can access them without having to take off the pack too.

You can also use these to strap in things like poles and other useful hiking tools too.

Sleeping Pad & Sleeping Bag Storage

The Stratos is designed for multi-day adventures and it comes with a dedicated sleeping bag compartment at the bottom and straps so that you can secure a sleeping pad to it with ease.

The sleeping pad straps are also removable so you can keep them out of the way when you don’t need them.

You can also use the sleeping bag compartment for other bulky items but you should remember it is not waterproof as the zippers leak.

I would advise putting your sleeping bag in a plastic bag or waterproof sack so it doesn’t get wet.

Trekking Pole Attachment

Osprey has added their own Stow-on-the-Go Trekking Pole Attachments to the Stratos. The are two straps hidden under the left arm which hold your poles securely out the way when you don’t need them.

The great thing is you can access your poles and use them without taking the pack off, so they are always ready.

Compression Straps

Another great feature of the Stratos is the compression straps which aid in keeping the weight of a full pack centered to make it closer to your center of gravity and more comfortable to carry.

Weight & Volume

Osprey Stratos 36 Men's Hiking Backpack, Eclipse Blue, Small/Medium

Every ounce matters when it comes to long hikes and the last thing you want is an overly heavy backpack to carry around.

It is all about a backpack that weighs as little as possible while having enough volume for all your gear.

How does the Osprey Stratos 36 manage?

Weight

The Stratos weighs either 3 lbs or 2lbs 14 ounces depending on the size you choose.

It is heavier than other backpacks in its class but a lot of this extra weight comes from its back panel which provides superior comfort compared to the others which I think is worth a few extra ounces.

Volume

The Osprey Stratos 36 is a 36-liter backpack that is the perfect volume for a multi-day hike.

It has enough space inside it to hold enough gear for up to 3 or 4 days which you might have thought you’d need a larger pack for.

If you use all the attachment points, you can carry more than enough gear in this great backpack.

Value For Money

Osprey Stratos 36 Men's Hiking Backpack, Eclipse Blue, Small/Medium

The Osprey Stratos 36 costs $166.55 which is about right for an average backpack of this class.

The Stratos is better than all the others though in my opinion, and therefore comes up trumps when it comes to value for money.

Between its comfort, durability, great features, and more, it is a great backpack that is worth every penny.

Rating

Scoring 78 out of 100 on our rating system, the Osprey Stratos 36 has done very well.

The pack is excellent across the board from materials to volume, comfort, features, and more. The only place it really lost points was in the weight category as it is heavier than most.

Verdict

Overall, the Osprey Stratos 36 Backpack is pretty awesome as a hiking backpack.

While it might be a tad heavier than others it more than makes up for this between its volume, comfort, durability, and excellent features that make hiking easier.