Osprey came to Interbike this year prepared to battle for booth supremacy, loading up its space with a plethora of new and redesigned gear, including two rad-looking hip packs. With its roots in backpacking and trekking packs, Osprey has a deep well of experience with fit and weight distribution to draw from, and all of its new and redesigned packs prioritize fit and weight distribution, but don’t skimp on the features.
Read on, and take note, we’ve saved the best for last.
Raptor and Raven | 10 Liter – $140, 14 Liter – $150 | 2.5 Liter Reservoir
The overall design stayed the same on the Raptor and Raven, but Osprey did revamp the fit and suspension system of both the flagship packs, as well as added a few other little updates. The shoulder straps on the Raptor and Raven now are heavily contoured for better fit around moving shoulders, and are also wider to help weight distribution and stability. The Raven, as a women’s-specific pack, is slighter shorter than the Raptor, with a more heavily contoured shape in the shoulder straps over the chest, and a more angled waistbelt to better fit a variety of hip widths and shapes. Both the Raptor and Raven will come in the usual 10 liter and 14 liter volumes. The larger, 14-liter-capacity version of the Raptor pack now has an updated organization system that will better hold a full-face helmet, and it also comes with a handy tool roll that fits in the bottom pouch of the pack.
Syncro and Sylva | 5 Liter – $120, 12 Liter – $130, 20 Liter – $150 | 2.5 Liter Reservoir
Another staple of the Osprey bike line up, the Syncro, got a face-lift and a new life-partner, the women’s-specific Sylva. Driven by a need for a larger-volume pack on longer rides, including hut-to-hut style overnight adventures, the Syncro is now available in a 20-liter version, as well as 12-liter and 8-liter versions. The new fit updates in the shoulder straps are carried over from the Raptor redesign. The mesh ventilation panel Osprey calls ‘AirSpeed’ appears on all models of Syncro and Sylva, and the metal frame helps transfer weight to riders’ hips instead of their shoulders. In very hot and/or humid conditions with a heavy pack, these two features might make all the difference. A separate water-bladder pouch helps keep your valuables dry in case of a leak. The Sylva is a new pack to the Osprey line-up, and it carries over all of the same features of the Syncro, albeit with the women’s fit techniques also utilized in the Raven. Both the Syncro and Sylva will come with rain covers, a welcomed feature for those of us who don’t shy away from long rides in bad weather.
Siskin and Salida | $100 – 8 Liter, $110 – 12 Liter | 2.5 Liter Reservoir
The Siskin and Salida (men’s and women’s, respectively) are brand new, and are designed to be do-it-all, jack-of-all-trades packs. Coming in either 8 or 12 liters of storage space, the Siskin and Salida have full-length front access panels to expose the innards of the pack. To avoid your carefully packed goods from spilling out on the trail, Osprey installed a ‘bucket’ of cloth over the bottom part of the pocket to keep things in check. The 12-liter versions will have wider hip belts and pockets to accommodate a heavy load. With a large quick stuff pouch on the outside of the packs in place of full-face carry-straps, the Siskin and Salida are best suited to ride where you may not need a lot of gear, but where quickly accessing an extra layer, a map or your squashed PB&J may be a main priority.
Seral | 7 Liters – $85 | 1.5 Liter Reservoir
Osprey could have come out with this a while ago; many companies are already on their second or third iteration of hip packs while Osprey is just releasing its first. But Osprey has been biding its time to fine-tune its creation to be exactly right, hoping to hit one home run instead of a couple bunts. The Seral is designed around a 1.5-liter water bladder, and was fussed over for years-- Osprey wanted to make sure the fit was exactly right and that it could carry its load in a stable manner instead of becoming a ‘Shake Weight.’ Osprey designers accomplished this with a few key features: the hip belt on the Seral is angled upwards, both to pull the weight into the body from the top of the pack and most importantly to keep the extra-wide hip belt above the movement zone of the legs for minimal interference. Cinch straps pull from the outside of the main body to help pull weight in and keep everything nice and tight. The massive side pockets account for a fair portion of the storage space, which further helps keep weight closer to the body where motion won’t have as much leverage to move things around. Shock cords on the outside of the pack’s main body are a nice touch, as is an included hydration hose magnet, with multiple attachment points, that keeps the full-length hose from flopping around everywhere.
Savu | 4 Liters – $55 | No Reservoir
Making just the Seral would have been enough for a lot of companies, but Osprey went all out and made a second new hip pack with an entirely different design focus. Borrowing all the same fit features as the Seral, the Savu is built around a dual water- bottle carry system, and Osprey has taken a pretty unique approach to its design. Early on, Osprey simply put two pockets on either side of the pack and called it good. However, its fit system uses cinch straps that pull from the outside of the main body, and in turn go over the outside of the bottle. Taking a bottle out while the strap is under pressure is not a problem, but putting it back in? Forget about it. Osprey came up with a surprisingly simple solution for this issue: They made rigid, but collapsable, bottle pockets. Each pocket is made of a rigid plastic strip that you can simply wrap into a bottle holder. Holding the end in place is a burly-looking snap, so it’s fairly easy to customize your pack to carry anywhere from zero to two bottles. At 4 liters, you might have to be a bit stingy when packing the Savu for longer riders, but for medium-distance rides when all you need are few tools, some snacks and extra water, the Savu might just be the ticket.