Osprey Raptor 14 2017 Mountain Bike Review

Osprey Raptor 14 2017

Reviews / Hydration Packs/Bags

Osprey 200,935

At A Glance

The Raptor is a very familiar sight on the trail, having adorned the backs of umpteen riders for a number of seasons. Various revisions have occurred over the years, yet this classic pack remains one of the most popular solutions to carrying kit and water on a bike.

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With a bunch of features to keep even the fussiest rider happy, the Raptor seems to have it all. An Airscape back panel maintains air flow and keeps things cool without trying to use a fancy suspension system, and the mesh Biostretch hip belt gives a secure fit around the middle. There is a three-litre capacity hydration bladder with a neat zip opening which also keeps the hose in place, whilst a magnetic clip holds the bite valve on the chest strap.

Pockets are everywhere, and those looking for simplicity may find it overwhelming. A main pocket is large enough to take jackets, tubes and a pump easily, the smaller front pockets can then be used for quick access kit. At the bottom of the pack features a smaller hatch which houses a tool-roll which can either be left attached or removed completely to do any major bike surgery required.

Outside of the main pockets is a helmet stash ideal for an open face lid with a neat pull through plastic bungee to secure it through a vent, or pull the whole fabric through for a full facer.

Outside of this is a further stretch pocket and clip closure for anything else you can think of, this also has a light clip to attach any illumination required. Like I said, lots and lots of features!

But I'm not done yet, the waist belt has two lightweight pockets for quick-draw snacking, a phone, or whatever you can imagine. Finally, compression straps keep it all in snugly in place.

The Raptor also is available in 10-litre size and various colour options.

On The Trail

Initially, the pack looks pretty small, but this is deceiving, as the 14 litres goes a very long way, and swallows everything you try and stash into it with ease. The space inside is divided up very cleverly to provide plenty of options for where to hide what, and I quickly fell into a system that worked for me, using the main pocket for a jacket, tubes and a pump.

The hip pockets were put to good use, and I found myself using these for snacks and a small multitool. On bigger days out I made full use of the tool roll system in the base. I have enjoyed that system so much, that the tools now stay in the pouch and it is transfered between any other packs I use.

With everything packed on board, and with the full three litres of water, it feels pretty heavy. Once on your back, however, it's very comfortable and the straps do an excellent job of keeping things from jumping around on rough ground. The wide waist belt helps here, but the general close fitting shape and weight being carried low in the bag add to the stability.

Helmet carrying works well, but I had no reason to use it, other than so I didn't lose my lid at a pub stop. If you need to carry two helmets then it'll certainly do the job, but I found more use for the carrier as an extra bit of storage if I took too many layers on a ride.

Ventilation round the back is good, but on hot days you are always going to get a sweaty back no matter what, so it's great to see Osprey haven't invested loads of time in a floating back system.

The quality of construction is very high, and Osprey proves again that they know how to make a good, reliable pack. One of the only design issues I had was with the magnetic bite valve holder. This would only be an issue for the tall, or wide shouldered, as the length of the hose isn't quite long enough to reach holder without moving the chest strap to the highest position. Other than this the attention to detail is next-level, with a clip, pocket and a zip for more kit than I own.

Overall

A great example of a feature-laden pack that actually works. I usually like a simpler design but I found myself using nearly all the pockets and secret stashes. Crucially the stability of the pack is excellent, and it can hold enough kit to go day tripping into the wilderness and come back alive. For those who like a place for everything, and everything in its place, this is a fantastic pack.

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By Ewen Turner
Ewen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.

Tried this? What did you think?