The Stratos 24 pack stands out for its innovative back panel. This panel makes the pack one of the most ventilated packs out there. It also means the pack carries differently and does not fit as many things as efficiently as a pack like the Talon 22. Below are our first impressions. Check back soon for a full review.
The back panel is one of the most innovative and breatheable we have seen. Few other packs, if any, let this much air circulate. This design also means that sharp objects in the pack won’t poke into your back.
There is an innovative hiking pole stash system. This lets you quickly stash your poles if you get to a section where you need to use your hands.
The pack comes with a rain cover that stashes away into its own pocket. This pocket is ventilated at the bottom, which means you can put a wet rain cover or a wet base layer in there to start drying and not make the rest of your pack contents wet.
The side compression straps can be routed under or over the side mesh pocket. This cool feature lets you compress the pack and still have access to the side panel for a water bottle or other item.
In our First Look at the Osprey Talon 22, two things stand out: ventilation and extra super bonus features. This pack is for people who want clever features and are willing to pay a little extra and carry a little more weight. If you want the ultimate in lightness, check out the REI Flash 18 ($35), which is only 11 ounces. Or if you a looking for a balance of daypack that is lightweight but still relatively comfortable, check out the Deuter Speed Lite 20 ($89), which is about the half the weight of the Talon but also has fewer features and is much less comfortable for carrying heavier loads. For even more features and a truly innovative back design, see the review of the Osprey Stratos 24.
Every place that the pack touches you (back, hips, shoulders) has ventilated foam covered with mesh. Air can pass through the pack pretty much everywhere except the main compartments. This makes it ideal for warmer weather hiking.
The features list is impressive:
* Helmet clip tab
* Adjustable harness
* Hip belt pocket
* Blinker light attachment
Of those features, I may be among the few who use the tow loop. But I use it all the time when towing my mountainboard behind me.
Tips on Shopping for a Backpack
Shop at an outdoor specialty store
While big-box stores like Wal-Mart carry backpacks, you need to visit an outdoor specialty store to find a high-quality pack that’s going to fit comfortably and last a long time. Outdoor specialty stores not only carry the most comfortable, durable products, but they also have staff members who are trained to help you choose the right product that really fits. Of course, a quality pack will cost more, but I recommend that you spend a bit more on your pack, shoes and sleeping bag, because these greatly affect how good — or bad — you feel during a trip. Also, cheaper gear often falls apart more quickly, so, in the long run, you end up paying just as much with replacements. You can go to the websites of top pack companies like Gregory, Osprey and Deuter, and search in the “dealer locator” section for a store near you.
The Best Trail-Running Gear for Women
With the right apparel and gear, you’ll be ready for whatever weather you run into
Osprey Verve 4
This hands-free hydration pack holds two liters of water, plus it has room to stash a phone, some cash, and an extra layer.
Spring Picnic Party Prizes
Join us for fun, games and piles of PRIZES at our Spring Picnic Party on April 12th, 2012 from 10am to 11:59pm EST. Here’s what we’re giving away!
Osprey Poco Plus Series Carrier!
Head to the great outdoors with Osprey Poco Plus Series Carrier. Mama will love that it’s size adjustable, it has a hydration sleeve and is equipped with tons of pockets. And baby will appreciate that it’s super comfy with great ventilation and a built-in sunshade.
Osprey has come out with the Aura, a new women’s series in their backpack line that offers their great comfort in backpacking. This is an extremely functional pack with key features that make things easily accessible and adjustable to best fit your body. The Aura 50 is the perfect size for a day hike up to a few days of hiking. It is also a great pack for a day of ice or rock climbing.