The Good: Plenty of pockets for keeping it all organized in the woods. Nicely padded straps and belt mold well and support weight well.
The Bad: The sheer amount of straps is hard to keep organized and tucked away, it’s hard to access some of the pockets when the pack is full, so careful packing is important.
The Awesome: For the price, the backpack has plenty of features and a good amount of capacity. So load it up with all that gear and head out for some fun!
Taking a hike is a great way to get out of and connect with nature, but getting all your awesome gear to camp takes a huge amount of effort, and a special type of bag. Bags with plenty of storage compartments, enough capacity, and a frame system sturdy enough to distribute the weight. Many bags are built with lightweight materials, extensive features, and a price tag to match. But for the budget conscious hiker breaking into the sport or the college student wanting to get out without blowing all their beer money a bag like Outdoor Product’s Stargazer is a great pack. The 44L pack has a lightweight internal stay to help support the load and nicely padded waist strap and shoulders to comfortably distribute it. With plenty of pockets, a top load main compartment, and straps everywhere, it’s easy to secure gear and keep it all organized and close at hand. The main compartment can be accessed from above and the front to get all the way to the bottom.
We took this backpack out for a few nights in the woods, fully loaded with plenty of gear for camping in style. The loaded pack weighed in at about 45 lbs and had a place for everything we brought along. Keeping hydrated was easy with a hydration reservoir sleeve and two large side pouches for water bottles. The bag’s straps stayed comfortable all day long, with plenty of adjustments to move the load around when hips got tired. While it was a nice pack, the pads were bulky, and while the straps functioned well holding down external gear once fully loaded it was hard to access some of the pockets.
Overall, the Stargazer is a great starter pack with enough functionality to support plenty of adventures for years to come. For the price, it’s one of the best full featured pack we’ve seen.