Since 1973, Outdoor Products has contributed to the growth and enjoyment of the outdoor industry by offering gear such as their Stargazer 8.0 backpack, that’s rugged and affordable, making the entry into camping a little easier on the wallet, without having to compromise on quality. They recently sent us one of these backpacks to review, and their timing could not have been better. An unexpected road trip, plus a weekend camping trip gave us the perfect opportunity to put it to the test.
When the Stargazer 8.0 arrived, we handed it over to some seasoned campers (seems as though half the residents of Utah were Boy Scouts when they were younger), to gauge their initial impressions. While the lack of multiple attachment points beyond four D rings at the bottom might be a shortcoming for veteran campers, they may not be missed by a novice. Four zippers on the front provide quick access to commonly used items. Two horizontal straps with buckles provide compression and a bit of extra security, with two more vertical straps holding the top in place. There are bottle holders on each side, plus it will take a two liter hydration pack. The main compartment is a top loader with a cinch closure. Overall, the design is simpler than more expensive packs, but the quality of construction and materials seem to be equal.
At 44 liters, it’s sized for shorter outings, and also doubles as a weekend pack when traveling. We packed it for our road trip, and again for a weekend camping trip, and it kept everything organized, if a bit snug. Adjusting the Stargazer 8.0 for a good fit was easy enough, and both the waist belt and shoulder straps provided all day comfort for moderate to heavy loads. There’s no torso adjustment, but it fit a gangly teenager and stocky dad equally well. Although the back panel is designed for good airflow, temps were under 30 in Utah, and the low 60s in Southern California during our testing, so we can’t verify just how well it will keep you cool in the summer.
We found this backpack priced at under $80 online, which we felt was fair. Outdoor Products offers a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects, which adds to the overall value of the Stargazer 8.0 as well. If you’re looking for a first pack for yourself or one of your kids, this may be a good place to start. outdoorproducts.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Stargazer 8.0 Backpack for free from Outdoor Products, in consideration for review publication