Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack Review

Cycling / Gear

This just in..the new Osprey Raptor 14 hydration pack kicks a**!

I’ve had the opportunity to put the Raptor through some backwoods testing over the last three weeks, and it has replaced my other hydration packs as my go to bag. So where should I start the review? I think I’ll lead off with the basic specs.

 

The Opsrey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack as seen on ems.com.

The Opsrey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack as seen on ems.com.

Osprey categorizes the Raptor line as their premium line of mountain bike hydration packs. The Raptor 14 has an overall pack volume of 854 cubic inches, or 14 liters. Water volume capacity in the bladder is 2 liters. It is the biggest of the three packs in the Raptor line from Osprey, and is designed to support a three hour or longer ride. Three colors are available- Screamin’ Green, Black, and Madcap Red (my choice and personal favorite).

Now that the objective part of the review is out of the way, time to start in on the subjective reasons why I love the Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack.

First impression of the Raptor: Solid construction and materials with a great eye for detail. Zipper tabs are well finished, fabric has a great look & feel, and the stitching is amazing. Little details like the proprietary helmet tab and reflective graphics jump out right away. One of the coolest features is the full length zipper on the top of the strap that allows you to pull the bladder without having to try and snake the hose through a tiny hole.  Putting the pack on, the straps and waist belt felt right. The Raptors have been reworked for 2013, and a lot of effort was put into making them better mountain packs. Osprey pays attention to the details and it shows in the revamp of this bag. Time to load it up and get ready to ride!

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After loading it up with water and gear: The first memory I have of the Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack was about fifteen minutes into the ride. I remember stopping at a trail junction for us to regroup, and being surprised that I hadn’t noticed the bag on my back at all. I usually spend the first couple of rides dialing and tweaking a new pack to make sure it sits right and doesn’t bounce around while I’m singletrack riding. The Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack just plain works. Straps that are well shaped and super ventilated just seemed to make the pack disappear in the tight stuff. The magnetic bite valve keeps it in an easy to reach position, and it is a no-brainer to get it reconnected.

Closeup

Being a bike mechanic: One of my favorite features of this pack is the removable tool pouch built into the lower pocket. This roll up style tool organizer is easy to remove for quick access when you need it. It also has a large expandable outer pouch that is great for storing a shell or fleece after the early morning chill has burned off. It also has a nifty tab on the back of the pack that makes adding a flashing tail light a breeze.

Tool Belt

In summary: I have used the Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack on three hour long mudfest in pouring rain, and half hour commutes on the road bike. After putting it through the paces I have taken a real shining to this bag and keep discovering more design features I love. I definitely understand why so many other EMS store guides swear by Osprey packs.  if you’re looking for a new hydration pack, I recommend adding this bag to your short list for you to make your own informed decision.

If you love the Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack Osprey, please leave a comment or tell me what you love about YOUR favorite hydration pack.

 

Jeff Juneau


Jeff is an avid cyclist who started his retail bicycle career 20 years ago after falling in love with trail riding. Racing mountain bikes soon followed along with countless miles on road bikes for training. Jeff is the Bicycle Technician at the Eastern Mountain Sports in Concord NH and is training for his first Ironman 70.3.

4 Comments

  1. July 9, 2013, 11:19 pm

    The Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration pack is a men’s 3 hour cycling and multi sport hydration pack. The Raptor 14 is the largest in the Raptor series. The Raptor 14 boasts a huge 100oz (3 liter) reservoir, which is great for long day rides and hikes. The pack has over 850 cubic inches of storage space. That much space is great for packing first aid, snacks, and energy GUs.

  2. July 9, 2013, 5:58 am

    This backpack is absolutely superb. I take it for my longer, road bike trips where I can carry the large kryptonite lock, some water (if I really need more – I usually keep the hydration pack out of the backpack unless I’m hiking, my bike can carry the water I need), and food and accessories. It is an elegant solution to portable storage. It’s got great ventilation so your back isn’t a reservoir of sweat and it’s got so many small features right that osprey stands out from the rest. This bag proved to me that they are a step-above camelbak. The hydration system is one thing, but having clever and smart design in a tight enough profile where it doesn’t completely shatter my aerodynamics on a bike is an amazing feeling. The quality is great and the color is very tasteful. Don’t hesitate to buy osprey – I know I hear camelbak all the time, but giving this a chance has really shattered my perception on big brand names.

  3. July 7, 2013, 6:59 am

    Then, to take convenience to whole new level, Osprey adds elastic pouches to the sides of the bag, perfect for Clif bars, and then a larger one on the outside of the smaller zip up compartment that is perfect for a thin rain or wind jacket. As if that wasn’t enough, there are elastic pouches built into the sides of the stomach straps that are perfect for housing your battery pack when riding at night if you have a cabled lighting system like I do that runs power to a light on your helmet. The shoulder straps also have a way to thread the power cable through so that you have a very neat and tidy wiring job. I do wish one of these pouches on the sides of the stomach straps had a zipper in it for putting more important items in it, such as a cell phone, or perhaps your keys so that you have easy access to items you may need, but don’t want to have to remove your bag to get at. And apparently they have already addressed this request of mine with their newest hydration pack, the “Syncro” model. My biggest complaint really then gets boiled down to them not having released the Syncro a year ago. The Syncro 20 specifically boasts larger storage space as well as an integrated rain cover and had this bag been available when I got the Raptor, I would have likely picked the Syncro 20 as it would be perfect for my long adventures and leading tours. Perhaps someone at Osprey will read this great review of the Raptor and send me a Syncro 20 to try out and review and I’m sure I’ll have some positive things to say about it since it seems they’ve taken the great features of the Raptor and added storage and an easy access secured front pouch and an integrated rain cover.

  4. July 5, 2013, 12:05 pm

    The Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack is the largest Hydraulic in Osprey’s Raptor series. As all of us know from watching Jurassic Park, a “raptor” is a bird of prey and a really cool dinosaur. But bird or beast, both are lean, quick and effective. Osprey’s Raptor series is no different. These hydration packs are built with an innovative suspension and ergonomic backpanel which cling to your back and stabilize your cargo. The Raptor does have a bike-specific helmet clip and a bike tool sleeve within the main compartment, but the built-in magnet for the bite-valve drinking attachment and 3L of water will surely satisfy trail-runners’ thirst as well.

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