Hydration packs have come a long way since 1988, the year that a young EMT named Michael Eidson invented the CamelBak by stuffing a pilfered IV bag into a tube sock and safety-pinning it to his back during a century ride. But while hydration packs are ubiquitous today, anyone who has ever attempted a a multi-day mountain bike trip can attest to their main shortcoming: most of them are too damn small. You can’t, however, say that about Osprey’s Escapist 32, which boasts a load range of 15 to 30 pounds.
The Escapist 32 is designed with mountain bikers in mind and if bikepacking isn’t your thing, it also makes for a great day hiking pack…
We’ll start this post out by saying on big, huge, giant thank you to all of those editors, bloggers and journalists out there who write reviews of Osprey Packs. We’re excited every time we see a new one, and we treasure your opinions. Every once in a while, we come across a review that strikes us — and we like to share those to make sure they get read as much as possible! This one in particular comes from Urban Velo, written by Urban Jeff. First of all, he says this:
I’ve yet to find a need for their All Mighty Guarantee, which seems to be one of the best in the outdoor industry, but it’s refreshing to know that my pack is covered for life.
And he continues…
One thing many companies try to accomplish but fall just short of is creating a backpack that allows air to pass between you and your pack. Osprey’s AirSpeed backpanel does this better than any pack that I’ve ever used. It uses a combination of stretched mesh which rests against your back and a curved, rigid panel with contoured padding to hold the pack away from your back. The packs main straps are also made with mesh and perforated foam to increase ventilation without sacrificing comfort.
And tops it all off with…
The size M/L Radial 34 measures 22″ x 15″ x 12″ and weighs just under 3 lbs. With such a lightweight design you might suspect its durability, but as I said earlier, Osprey packs are built to last. My Talon pack has been ridden hard and put away wet for years, seen its share of brambles and tumbles, and save for a smattering of mud stains, it’s still every bit as good as the first time I put it on my back. I have no reason to expect anything less from the Radial 34.
Here at Osprey, we’re incredibly proud of the product we provide — and we appreciate any and all feedback we get on that very product. With all of that said, here’s one last huge thank you and cheers to a great write-up!
Of course here at Osprey, we’d always choose to grab one of our packs and carry it with us to any destination, no matter how far off or close to home. But we’re always excited and flattered to know when others pack an Osprey for an adventure of any kind. In this case, the Osprey Quantum pack was picked by Bicycling.com editor Matt Allyn, who carried it with him to the Tour de France. Here’s what he had to say about it!
Prior to leaving for Corsica to cover the 100th running of the Tour de France, I was searching for a backpack that would suit my needs as a one of Bicycling’s videographers for the race. I needed to haul a 15-inch laptop and an assortment of production gear, including my DSLR, microphones, cables, and adaptors. That made the Quantum my top choice. The pack includes plenty of pockets to stow and organize my gear. The zippers have handy pull-tabs that made accessing the main compartment easy. The ridged back panel was comfortable and breathable even with the backpack completely full. The laptop sleeve has a 15.4-inch capacity and it held my 15-inch computer securely. An additional sleeve kept my iPad safe and I used the internal zippered pockets for smaller items like keys, a GoPro camera, and iPhone chargers. A few other travel friendly features: side compression straps to secure small loads, side pockets for water bottles, and a removable waist strap.
Our friends over at Pinkbike.com are serious about not letting adverse weather get in the way of a good time. As writer Colin Meagher puts it in this post, “My true love is epic XC and AM rides, and my riding starts in late fall for the simple reason that, during the World Cup race season, I don’t have much time to go mountain biking. My riding season really starts in November and I live in Seattle, which means cold, dark, and wet.”
Conditions like these may not be terrible by nature, but they can make for a challenge if you’re not prepared for the elements you’re sure to face. Naturally, then, Meagher is pretty attuned to picking out what will perform best — quite simply so he can do the same. Part of his round-up of 10 Suggestions to Beat the Chill includes our very own Osprey Syncro 20 pack. And here’s what he had to say about it:
Osprey would seem to be the new kid on the block for bike packs, having started making hydration packs only in 2009. Owner/lead designer Mike Pfotenauer designed his first pack at age 16 and founded Osprey Packs in 1974 in Santa Cruz, CA. Now their headquarters are in Cortez, Colorado, where they have ready access to a plethora of trails for testing. The Syncro Pack from Osprey is lightweight, streamlined, and has a ventilated harness – just the thing for all-day trail epics. The pack comes in three variations based upon storage volume: 10 liter, 15 liter, and 20 liter. All three feature a 100-denier triple-Ripstop ‘High Tenacity’ nylon body, a Lidlock helmet clip, a three-liter hydration bladder, a variety of pockets for storage, and mesh side pockets for quick-stash items. Notable details are Osprey’s magnetic sternum buckle for holding the bite-valve, and an integrated rain cover that was a key selling point for me. I opted to test the Syncro 20, reckoning that while it has a LOT of cargo space, it also comes with compression straps, allowing me to streamline the fit of the pack in the event I wasn’t maxing its capacity. It has a main gear compartment, a smaller pouch for important gear like phones and wallets, as well as medium and a small-ish zippered stash pockets for tools, etc. The rain fly unfurls from its own zippered pouch on the underside of the pack.
This is the Viper. Our hydration pack that’s perfect for mountain biking. But how do all its fun features work? Just ask Bike Rumor. They put together a “magical video tour” of the Viper 7, and we liked it so much we’re posting it here. The pack even gets used in the snow, proof of Bike Rumor’s commitment to putting gear to the true test.
We’re happy that the Raptor was considered the “bee’s knees” by bike site 29 Inches. “Something I found incredibly useful, sturdy, comfortable, and impressive during my riding time in 2010.” Cheers to that!
Read the whole review here.
Thanks to Bike Radar for their awesome review of the Talon 22! They even went as far to say this popular Osprey favorite is an “incredibly comfortable larger capacity pack for epic adventures.”
Here’s the full review:
The Talon’s well designed harness system gives a truly comfortable feel out on the trail. The deep hip belt sits snugly in position and it’s easy to ﬁx the weight to your shoulders with the looped adjusters.
The Ripstop fabric used for most of the body means that you’re not carrying extra weight before you pack up, and once you do ﬁll your pack, the proﬁle is still sleek.
The overall effect is that the pack feels like it’s wrapped round your core, so that it not only seems like you’re carrying less, but the load remains supple and moves with you.
The well thought out pockets include zipped numbers on each side that you can access without removing the pack, and a stretchy helmet/wet weather compartment.
This is the pack we’d choose for epic days, and it’s also available in a 20L size to ﬁt narrower or shorter backs. It has a hydration slot, but no bladder.
Remember that even though the Talon doesn’t come with a bladder, you can purchase one of our HydraForm reservoirs as an add-on!