Hydration packs come in all different shapes, sizes, colours and configurations these days. You can choose to ride with a large pack and arsenal of gear for whatever may happen out on the trail or opt for a more stealthy approach and only carry the essentials in a small waist pack. Whatever your preference there is likely to be a pack that will suit your needs. Personally I like to keep most of my riding kit in one pack that I can use for most of my riding whether short or long.
The Osprey Raptor 10 is one such pack. It is big enough to carry all you need for a long epic day in the saddle, but is still small and light enough to take on shorter rides. With 10 litres of storage there is plenty of room to pack an extra layer or rain jacket with room to spare for a set of knee pads and your lunch. For shorter rides when I don’t fill the bag I like to cinch the volume adjustment straps to keep everything tight and tidy.
I recently put the Raptor 10 to the test while pre-riding and racing the Norco Canadian Enduro series at Blue mountain.
Reservoir and hydration
I sweat a lot. As a result I need to drink a lot of water. When racing, I don’t want to rely on aid stations for my water. This is the main reason I prefer to ride with a hydration pack. The Raptor comes with a 2.5 L baffled reservoir that helps keep water sloshing around in your pack to a minimum. The reservoir is easily accessible via its own compartment and the hose attaches conveniently to the shoulder strap via a magnetic clip.
Comfort and stability
Osprey has been making back packs for a long time now and are well known for their comfort. The Raptor continues Osprey’s legacy of comfort thanks to its BioStretch harness system. The shapely shoulder straps achieve a good balance of size and stretch that conformed well to my shoulders and distributes the load evenly. The straps and back panel are made using Osprey’s Airmesh material that allows for good breathability, stretch and a surprising amount of durability I can attest to having used other Osprey packs with the same material for many years.
When charging down rough and technical trails where moving your body weight over the bike is essential I never felt that the pack was a hindrance or noticed it moving around on my shoulders or back. When hitting jumps some packs tend to float off your back in the air before crashing against your back upon landing, which was a non issue with the Raptor. No matter what I loaded the pack with, everything stayed tight and secure against my back.
Capacity and storage options
The main compartment opens easily via two opposing zippers with nice glove friendly pulls. 10 litres of storage was plenty to carry all I needed for racing, but also enough room for my DSLR camera on practice day. The lined sunglass pocket was easily accessible for when I wanted to swap goggles for sunnies at the end of enduro stages. The outer stretch pocket is also great for quickly stashing a layer or pads before starting a climb. I could reach the hip belt pockets easily while riding which made eating the nutrition I stored in them a breeze. I also used the helmet clip to store my helmet’s removable chin bar before climbs.
Next level organization
The Raptor has plenty of organizational features. I really like that the reservoir does not share space with the main compartment which has a small mesh pocket within that is great for separating small items like keys or a wallet. The lined sunglass pouch is also key to help avoid sharing space with items that may cause lens scratches.
The standout feature, however, is easily the tool roll. Located in a zipped compartment on the bottom of the pack, an integrated tool roll has several different compartments made to house all your tools and or tire accessories. This is a great feature that keeps tools organized and clean and can save a lot of time hunting through loose items in the bottom of your pack.
Osprey Raptor 10's soft-lined sunglass pocket
An outer pocket is great for stashing sweaty pads or a helmet's detachable chin-bar
Hip pockets were easily accessible while riding.
After spending many hours with the Osprey Raptor 10 strapped to my back filled with water and gear it has come to be my go to pack for general riding. It’s large enough to carry everything I need for an all day epic, but not cumbersome when all I need is one litre of water and the tool essentials. I had previously been riding exclusively with a hip pack, but after spending some time using the Raptor I really appreciate that it stays put on rough trails and jumps instead of bobbing and moving around. I may pay a slight heat penalty for having my back covered compared to a hip pack, but the Raptor’s Airmesh really seemed to be the equalizer and made the switch back to the back pack worth while.
Osprey Raptor 10 has a suggested retail price of $190.00, including Osprey Hydraulics® LT 2.5L reservoir and removable tool pouch.