Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack Review
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.