San Jacinto solitude and backpack field test

Since May 2017 my Osprey Stratos 36 has been my daypack and spent has many hundreds of hours on the trail with me. On the recent Spectre hike one of the loops for the hiking poles broke. Time to send it in for repairs.

Osprey has the ALL MIGHTY GUARANTEE under which it offers to repair packs. Several things needed attention on my pack in addition to the loop, so I sent it in. Within 10 days they notified me that a functional repair was not possible and they offered me a replacement pack. I accepted. The current version of the Stratos 36 has some design changes people complained about in reviews. I couldn’t wait to see if those affected me and within days of receiving it, I had to take the pack on an outing. Result: the pockets on the belt moved back and now can not hold my glasses anymore. Also, the zippers of these pockets are very difficult to operate with one hand. Otherwise, I am very happy with the pack.

I picked San Jacinto via the Marion Mountain and Deer Spring trails. Reports talked about lots of snow above 8,500 ft, but that snowshoes or microspikes were not needed. The reports were correct and from the junction of Marion Mountain and Deer Spring trail, there were only short sections on sun-exposed slopes that were snow-free. The snow was soft and I never got the spikes out. There hadn’t been enough traffic to form a recognizable route, so it helped that I am familiar with the trails. I used old GPS tracks for verification in a couple of spots to avoid unnecessary extra work. The climb from the hut to the peak was much easier with all the snow than the usual picking of a route through rocks. A simple walk up in people’s steps. I spent half an hour up there and had the peak to myself, not very common on this peak due to the tram. I met a total of 9 PCT hikers during the day.

A little tribute to the old pack:

One thought on “San Jacinto solitude and backpack field test

  1. Nice hike Uwe. I think I have the same pack, the red one I wore for the Spectre peak hike. I also find that the hip belt pocket zippers are more difficult to open one-handed than I wish they were, but otherwise am very happy with the pack after ~1 yr of use now.

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