Osprey Pack’s classic mountain bike hydration pack is still getting better
words by Brandon Mathis, photos by Bee Alaine Mathis
Long lost friend
Sometime around the early 1990s mountain bikers started wearing water on their backs. It took a few years, but the rest of the market caught on, and by the mid 2000s the concept exploded. It’s no surprise that Osprey Packs, a long time pioneer of pack design, took the industry by storm establishing a line of hydration packs that created its own following. Years ago we put on an Osprey Raptor 10, and we fell in love. Somehow, some way, we lost touch with it. But now it’s back; new and improved, we love it more than ever.
The stuff we love
The Raptor 14 hits us with the Biostretch Hipbelt and harness. The zippered side pockets are sweet for go-to items. The pack comes with a wide mouth Osprey/Hydropaks three-liter reservoir that lives in its own sleeve. A large main compartment of the pack is easily accessible and has two sleeve-style organizers perfect for pumps. An almost incognito stuff pocket on the outside is good for cramming layers in on the fly. A glasses stash pocket is soft-lined so it wont scratch the lenses, and there are a few internal mesh pockets for holding small items neatly in place. A small side exterior back pocket is great for snacks and keys, cash and cards.
That’s a great idea!
One clever feature is the roll-out tool pouch that hides in a lower rear pocket, so when trail repairs are needed everything is in its right place and the kit keeps tools out of the dust. The LidLock helmet fastener is convenient, keeping your kit neat and contained and ready for the ride.
We are big fans of Osprey’s Hydraulics reservoir and bite valve, and they disassemble easily for cleaning. We’ve had a few bite valves tear on us, but thanks to Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee, they replace them with no questions asked. But the real reason the Raptor 14 gets our vote is the comfort and fit on the trail. A cell foam framesheet lets you bend and shift and rock and roll. Mix that with the Airscape, a high tech mesh ventilation back panel, and you are mad comfortable.
The Osprey Raptor is available in 10 ($130) and 14 liter ($140) capacity.
For more from Osprey and other gear profiles, visit Adventure Pro’s Gear page .