Stratus Access 5500


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Stratus Access 5500
Manufacturer Granite Gear
Page By Erik Beeler
Page Type Nov 16, 2003 / Nov 16, 2003
Object ID 849
Hits 6089
Granite Gear thinks the Stratus suspension system is superior in every way to the traditional internal frame that uses a two dimensional plastic sheet and stay(s). When you try on a Cirrus, Stratus or Nimbus pack, this is what you will discover for yourself about our 3-D Composite Frame Sheet, Harness System and Pack Body:

3-D Composite Frame Sheet and Harness System

Even Load distribution

Stratus frame sheets are molded to follow the vertical and horizontal curves of your back, eliminating pressure on your lower back muscles.

Better Blood Flow and Oxygenation Through Your Back Muscles

The fit of the frame to the curves of your back puts less pressure on individual areas of your back allowing for increased blood flow and oxygenation to your back muscles.

Great Head-Room

The head-room pocket is molded into the frame sheet so you always have maximum head-room, no matter how the pack is loaded.

Perfect Fit for Men or Women

Four men's and four women's sizes of ergonomically sculpted belts and plus various sizes of frame sheets and shoulders straps, are available so you can expect a perfect fit whether you are short or tall, heavy or slender.

Light Weight

Since our frame sheet technology (carbon fiber for Cirrus and T-PEX for Stratus and Nimbus) allows us to eliminate the need for aluminum stays, our backpacks are the lightest internal frame systems available to carry heavy loads.

A Very Well Cushioned and Stable Ride

Dual density foam lamination in the shoulder straps and belts effectively cushions the load and absorbs shock.

No Hot Spots

A wrinkle free and smooth surface on the inside of the belts and shoulder straps eliminated hot spots.

Reduced Hipbone Fatigue

The exoskeleton belt design cups and evenly distributes the load over and around your hip bones.

This Pack Is In Tune With Your Natural Body Motion and Shape

The belt naturally rotates to follow and move with your hip motion. The shoulder straps automatically cant to match your shoulder angle for even load distribution.

Amazing Load Control and Stability

The Cruise Control hip stabilizing system allows the pack to effectively move with your natural body motion. This keeps the pack over your center of gravity and amazingly stable, for a degree of freedom of movement that must be experienced to be believed.

Innovative Front Loading Backpack Design

STRATUS Access pack features a front panel that zips open on both sides from top to bottom and an internal compression system designed to keep your pack contents stable and in place while on a rugged trail. The real beauty of the Access pack design is that it allows you to easily access a piece of gear from anywhere in your pack without disrupting the rest of the pack contents. Once you try the Access system, you'll be hooked! The Access pack also features an external arch system that will allow you to lash just about anything to the front of the pack.

1. Exterior compression system helps to compact your load and offers a convenient and secure place to hold exterior gear like sleeping pads, Crazy Creek® chairs, etc.

2. Durastretch middle panel offers a hidden stretch pocket to stuff gear into pack from the top. Zippers are easy to use and work smoothly when opening the pack front.

3. Interior compression system holds pack contents in place and compacts your gear. This system offers the same packing efficiency of a top loader, and is far superior to a traditional panel loader pack.


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Erik Beeler - Nov 16, 2003 6:59 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
When I was looking to replace my previous pack I tried on Arcteryx, Gregory and Lowe Alpine packs and the Granite Gear was the best for me. I have almost zero hips for the belt to sit on and carrying gear loads up to seventy pounds over 12000 feet killed my hips because I had to wrench the belt so tight to keep it up that it left bruises. Ouch.

The Granite Gear Stratus pack was the most comfortable pack I could find both in the belt design and the syspension. I have carried loads over 70 lbs for long hikes up in the RMNP with much more comfort than before. The hip belt pivots with your natural gate and keeps the load on your hips w/o threatening to pull you off balance.

I love the hybrid loading system. The panel system makes for easy packing as it allows you to pack any part of the interior not just bottom up. When you need to get at a particular item you can unclip and unzip open the panel and get what you are looking for even if it is down on the bottom w/o removing everything else! Nice.

One thing that could be better is fewer buckles. I don't know how they could do it but you have to unclip eight buckles and two zippers to get the panel open.

The two buckles that hold the lid down could be relocated at least. The others are used for compression and holding your gear in place. I don't mind the buckles because I like the panel loading so much. If you are looking for a light weight pack don't stop here but if you want a full featured pack that is very comfortable then this is one to think about.

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