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Osprey Raptor 14 ReviewBest Hydration Pack for Mountain Biking: MTB Hydration Pack Review

Best Overall Hydration Pack for Mountain Biking

  • Storage 90% 90%
  • Comfort 100% 100%
  • Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Price: $150.00

Gear Capacity: 11.5l

Bladder Capacity: 2.5l

Weight: 800g

Dimensions: 20” x 9” x 9” / 48 x 22 x 25cm

What We Like: Top Notch Comfort and Organization

What We Don’t: Average Weight, Pricey

Osprey is one of the foremost names in the outdoor backpack industry, with Osprey packs dominating the hiking trails of the US and for good reason. Their technical packs ranging from small backpacks and hydration packs for day hiking to their through hiking focused backpacks are among the best on the market. Osprey might not be one of the brands that you immediately associate with mountain biking, but that is changing. The Osprey Raptor 14 is a hydration pack that draws on Osprey’s years of lessons learned from making technical outdoor packs and applies it to make one of the best hydration packs for mountain biking that we have ever come across.

The Osprey Raptor is also available in a 10l variant. The only differences between the two are that the 10l lacks the front quick access compartment and compression straps/storage that attach to it. The Raptor 10l weighs just over 720g. Both the Osprey Raptor 10 and 14 are also available in a women’s specific variant, the Osprey Raven.

Osprey Raptor 14

  • Storage 90% 90%
  • Comfort 100% 100%
  • Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

Top Notch Comfort and Organization

Cons

Average Weight

Pricey

Gear Capacity: 11.5l

Bladder Capacity: 2.5l

Weight: 800g

Dimensions: 20” x 9” x 9” / 48 x 22 x 25cm

CamelBak Skyline LR 10l

  • Storage 80% 80%
  • Comfort 100% 100%
  • Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Low Rider Technology is Comfortable and Stable

Best Water Flow in Test

Cons

Average Weight

Not Terribly Easy to Access

Fill or Clean Hydration Reservoir

Gear Capacity: 7l

Bladder Capacity: 3l

Weight: 995g

Dimensions: 8” x 8” x 15” / 20 x 20 x 39cm

Platypus Duthie AM 10.0

  • Storage 90% 90%
  • Comfort 100% 100%
  • Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

Best In Class Ventilation

Great Organization

Cons

Only Slightly Above Average Water Flow from Reservoir

Gear Capacity: 7l

Bladder Capacity: 3l/100 fluid ounces

Weight: 800g

Dimensions: 9” x 6” x 18” / 23 x 15 x 46cm

CamelBak MULE LR 15

  • Storage 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Low Rider Hydration Reservoir Positioning

CamelBak Bite Valve

Cons

Subpar Ventilation

Heavy

Gear Capacity: 12l

Bladder Capacity: 3l

Weight: 990g

Dimensions: 21” x 10” x 9” / 53 x 23 x 25cm

Dakine Seeker 15l 

  • Storage 100% 100%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking 60% 60%
  • Weight 40% 40%

Pros

Water Resistant

Tons of Storage

Comfortable

Cons

Heavy

Not the Greatest Reservoir

Gear Capacity: 12l

Bladder Capacity: 3l

Weight: 1340g

Dimensions: 19” x 12” x 8″ / 48 x 30 x 20cm

CamelBak Lobo 9l

  • Storage 60% 60%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking 80% 80%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Lightweight

CamelBak Big Bite Drinking Valve

Sale Prices

Cons

Not Much Storage

Subpar Ventilation

Gear Capacity: 6l

Bladder Capacity: 3l

Weight: 480g

Dimensions: 18” x 8.3” x 7.5” / 46 x 21 x 19cm

CamelBak M.U.L.E. 100 OZ

  • Storage 70% 70%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

“Everything You Need and Nothing You Don’t,”

CamelBak Big Bite Valve

Cons

Not as Comfortable as Some Newer Bags

Twist Off Water Reservoir Lid

Gear Capacity: 9l

Bladder Capacity: 3l

Weight: 620g

Dimensions: 17.9” x 8.7” x 8.9” / 45.5 x 22 x 22.5cm

Thule Vital 6l

  • Storage 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking 40% 40%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

ReTrakt Hydration Hose

Great Main Compartment Organization

Lightweight

Cons

J Shaped Zipper

Subpar Water Reservoir

Gear Capacity: 3.5l

Bladder Capacity: 2.5l

Weight: 540g

Dimensions: 8.7” x 3.5” x 17.5” / 23 x 9 x 44.5cm

Evoc Stage 18

  • Storage 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking 20% 20%
  • Weight 50% 50%

Pros

Top Notch Comfort and Storage

Cons

No Water Reservoir Included

Pricey

Gear Capacity: 18l

Bladder Capacity: Accommodates Hydration Systems Up To 3l (Not Included)

Weight: 965g

Dimensions: 8.25” x 17.3” x 4.75” / 28 x 50 x 12cm

Evoc CC 10l

  • Storage 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking 50% 50%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Comfortable

Stable

Great Storage and Accessibility

Cons

Average Ventilation

Subpar Water Reservoir

Gear Capacity: 8l

Bladder Capacity: 2l

Weight: 690g

Dimensions: 7.9” x 19.7 x 3.9” / 20 x 50 x 10cm

Storage

With a background in making large packs for technical hiking and climbing, you would expect the Osprey Raptor to get top marks in the storage and organization category, and it does not disappoint.

The bottom/front of the pack features a rollout tool kit pouch. We honestly found this to be one of our favorite features out of all of the hydration packs that we reviewed. Tools are something that you need quick access to when you need them, but not necessarily something that you want to have to dig through to grab a snack or something that you want sharing a pocket with your phone, and we felt that the Osprey Raptor’s rollout tool pouch is the perfect solution. Furthermore, the tool pouch even detaches from the pack for easier access to tools when performing more extensive trailside repairs, or maintenance in the garage.

The Osprey Raptor features a vertical zipper accessed quick access pocket on the front of the pack, perfect for storing snacks. There is a “stash” pocket on the top of the pack, where you can stash a phone, keys, and other items that you don’t want bouncing around with your air pump and spare tube in the main compartment. Unlike the CamelBak MULE’s “media” pocket, the Osprey Raptor’s stash pocket easily accommodates my Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which is a huge plus.

The main compartment features a wide, U shaped zipper and includes several mesh organization panels for storing things that you might not need access to on every ride, but that will not ride around in the pack for a year without being used.

Meanwhile, the Osprey Raptor still has a few tricks up its sleeve on the outside of the pack. A small stretch pocket on the extreme front of the pack can easily hold a light rain jacket, while a larger stretch pocket complete with compression straps can easily accommodate a chin bar or downhill knee pads. On some hydration packs, this is where you would stash a helmet as well, but the Osprey Raptor includes Osprey’s “Lid Lock” attachment, which uses a small, bungee strap and tab to secure your helmet. This means that the stretch pocket remains free for knee pads or whatever else you might need. And if you have a full face helmet, this can be secured using the compression straps.

Comfort

Osprey has a reputation for making comfortable packs and the Osprey Raptor 14 lives up to this reputation in full. The pack is built around a flexible, Atilon foam frame sheet, which is supposed to allow the pack to flex and move dynamically so that it hugs your body no matter what activities you partake in, while still giving the pack an actual shape of its own.

The rigid, mesh-covered “Airscape” suspension does a good job at promoting as much ventilation as you can get on a pack that needs to tightly hug your body. It also works in tandem with the new “wing-shaped” shoulder straps, which are designed to work best with the position that your shoulders will be in while riding. Together, these features help the pack hug your body so that there is no unwanted shifting, yet they allow for the pack to move dynamically with you so that it does not feel restricting.

The shoulder straps themselves are nicely padded without being overkill for a mid sized hydration pack, and the hip belt features stretch mesh zippered pockets, which provide additional storage, and a level of support that hydration packs with only a standard webbing hip belt lack.

Water Reservoir and Ease of Drinking

The Osprey Raptor is outfitted with Osprey’s 2.5l Hydraulics reservoir, although we found that the pack easily accepted a full 3l reservoir. 

As for ease of drinking, the Osprey Raptor’s Hydraulics valve does not provide the same amount of water per sip that you can get from CamelBak’s Big Bite valve. However, we have used this system during extremely demanding rides and never found it to be truly lacking.

Furthermore, the water that it delivers per sip is about the only area where the Osprey Raptor’s Hydraulics reservoir falls short. It uses a magnet on the chest strap to keep the bite valve easily accessible, and the angle of the bite valve relative to the hose makes it one of the easiest systems to drink from without unclipping the magnet. The valve also features a twist lock to shut it off.

Meanwhile, when it comes to refilling and cleaning the Hydraulics reservoir, it is among the best of any hydration pack that we reviewed. It uses a “pour shield,” which folds over and zips tight to close.  This results in a wide opening that is easy to fill from a faucet, refrigerator, or even a trailside spring. The wide opening also makes it much easier to get a hand in for cleaning purposes than the CamelBak Cruz reservoir.

The Osprey Raptor’s reservoir compartment is also one of our favorites. It is among the easiest to access, not requiring you to fold and hold the shoulder straps back and out of the way. Instead, the zipper actually extends onto the shoulder strap, and is extremely functional, while inside the compartment there is a small clip from which to hang the reservoir. The reservoir bag itself is reinforced with a hard panel on the side that faces your back, which helps it hold its shape and provide support for the pack whether it is empty or full.

Weight

Most riders who are opting to wear a hydration pack do not fall into the weight weenie category. That said, in a sport that often requires you to fight gravity before reaping her sweet rewards, less weight is just about always better than more. The Osprey Raptor is not exactly ultralight, weighing in a just shy of 800g.

Still, some of that extra weight is devoted to a more substantial suspension system and hip belt than lighter packs, which makes for a much more comfortable experience, as well as organizational features that add the quality of life that made us choose to wear a hydration pack for mountain biking in the first place. However, it is still weight that you will have to pedal uphill, assuming that you have to earn your turns.

What Did We Really Think?

Osprey has ventured into the world of mountain biking and it looks like they are here to stay. The Osprey Raptor is one of the best hydration packs for mountain biking that money can by. Speaking of money, the Osprey Raptor has an MSRP of $150, making it one of the more expensive hydration packs on our list. Furthermore, finding a year or two old model of it is more difficult than it is for some packs, meaning that you will likely have to pay near MSRP to make one your own. 

With all of that said, the Osprey Raptor 14 is an amazing pack, with a set of features that is unmatched, and we think that it is worth the money, particularly because it is backed up by Osprey’s “Almighty Guarantee,” which means it might be the last hydration pack you ever need.

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