Osprey Stratos/Sirrus 26 | Tested and reviewed

The popular Osprey Stratos/Sirrus 26 has won our Gear of the Year Rucksack award for 2024. We explain what makes this hiking daypack such a hit within our team and among so many hikers.

from Osprey
RRP  £160.00
Hiker using Osprey Stratos with Gear of the Year award logo

by Ben Weeks |
Updated on

The men’s Stratos and women’s Sirrus hiking packs are some of the best-selling daypacks in the Osprey range. And we aren’t ashamed to say that we too have become dedicated converts, with the Sirrus and Stratos taking our Gear of the Year prize as the best hiking pack of 2024.

So what’s all the fuss about? Comfort is so key for a rucksack, and thanks to a full-perimeter wire frame and a plush, contoured harness, the Stratos and Sirrus carry extremely well. A suspension back system ensures ventilation is superb, while being fully adjustable for the perfect fit.

Osprey Stratos hip belt pocket
©LFTO

As you’d expect from Osprey, they’re also well-featured, with front, side, and hipbelt pockets, as well as inner and outer lid pockets. The front shove pocket is made from abrasion-resistant fabric rather than flimsy mesh and is accessed via a centre zip.

Osprey Stratos front zip
©LFTO

The pack is also fully kitted out with a hydration sleeve, trekking pole loops, pull-out raincover and dual side compression straps. You get plenty of other attachment points too, including Osprey’s ‘stow on the go’ loop for temporarily holding your trekking poles.

Osprey Stratos raincover
©LFTO

For hillwalking, it really does tick all the boxes, and being sustainably made from 100% recycled materials, it is a worthy winner of our Rucksack Gear of the Year accolade.

Gear of the Year 2024 winner

Pros

  • Proper male and female fits
  • Highly ventilated back system
  • Loads of practical features
  • Many volumes in the series

Cons

  • Some rivals are lighter

Why the Osprey Stratos/Sirrus 26 won Gear of the Year 2024

Fit

Osprey Stratos front view
©LFTO

Osprey was one of the first pack makers to develop gender-specific fits for men and women. So, compared to the men’s Stratos, the Sirrus has contoured shoulder straps to accommodate most women’s neck, shoulders and chest.

The hipbelt is also designed to wrap naturally around the curves of female hips. And the torso length is shorter too. But in addition, both the Sirrus and Stratos have easy-to-adjust five-point back systems that make it a cinch to get a perfect fit.

Ventilation

Osprey Stratos rear view
©LFTO

The Sirrus and Stratos rucksacks both feature Osprey’s excellent AirSpeed suspended mesh back system, which delivers very welcome airflow to stave off stickiness on hot and humid hill days.

A trampoline-style panel keeps the bulk of the pack away from your back, allowing plenty of ventilation. It’s superior to simple foam back panels and is a built-in feature that we’ve really come to appreciate, particularly when heading remorselessly uphill in warm weather.

Capacity

Osprey Stratos lying down
©LFTO

The Sirrus and Stratos 26 are classic toploaders with double-buckle lids – the ideal configuration for a hillwalking pack. We much prefer it to most top-zippered designs, as the lid can be cinched down or raised, depending on the load.

It also has a zipped access lower compartment with a floating liner, which helps keep contents organised and accessible. And size-wise, it comes in various sizes, but 26 litres hits the sweet spot for a summer hiking daypack.

How we tested

Our Gear of the Year award winners are, what we consider, the best products in their category that we've tested in the previous 12 months.

The products have all been used in tough real world conditions by members of our rigorous and experienced team.

Don't forget to subscribe to the Live For The Outdoors newsletter to get expert advice and outdoor inspiration delivered to your inbox!

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us