Yep, that is me in a rare selfie shot with my iPhone 13 Pro Max. On my back is the Osprey Stratos 24-liter daypack. It has been carried many times in the field, both on my daily hikes and when working.
There is much to like about this pack. It is well constructed. It is suspended off my back. Although that does not eliminate a sweaty back on warm days, it does permit significant air flow over my back and the suspensions system prevents chafing, which has been a problem with some packs I have worn.
It carries a 2-liter Camelbak easily in a pouch inside the rucksack. There is space for a couple of water bottles on the sides as well. Each will hold a one-liter Nalgene bottle.
But, it is not my perfect pack. The ruck has a bit of an odd shape and does not permit carry of much beyond the Camelbak. There is some room in the flat pocket on the front the pack and a small pouch on top for a few items.
It is plagued by my common issue with most civilian packs — there is no place to hang stuff on the outside of the pack. Military packs all have webbing and that provides space to hang some of the things I want to carry in the field, but do not want inside the pack. I want a place to hang Sera’s lead (other than the sternum strap). I want a place to hang a small pair of binoculars. I want to hang a camera sometimes, when I do not want it in hand.
So, as much as there is to like about the Stratos, it is not the solution I want.
Enter the Eberlestock FAC pack. It has webbing, is a little larger (with room for a radio inside), and has a good waistbelt. It does not have the suspension of the Osprey, but has a lot of padding on the pack and straps.
I just need to take time to outfit it and work out where I want to put things. Maybe I can get to it this weekend. Then I can carry it in the field a few times and test it.
In any event, I am still looking for the perfect pack.