Right now, nobody is making better hydration packs for mountain bikers than Osprey. The Raptor 10 is the case in point. Besides the usual Osprey quality in materials and detailing, this 10-liter pack features a stretchy, breathable harness; hydration sleeve designed for fast loading (up to 100-oz); helmet stowage clip; and a cool roll-up tool pouch.
I see a lot of our tour participants carrying Osprey luggage. It seems to be a bag that can be over-stuffed, bulging at the seams even, but still holds up really well.
Fortunately for all of us, the folks at Osprey are always upping their game and innovating their bags with new features and materials. This means I get to test out what’s new, including the Osprey Ozone Convertible. I checked out the 22″ carry-on version.
This is a two-wheeled bag that has hidden straps in the back in a zipped pouch. These straps allow you to put it over your back and carry it like a large backpack.
Like many of their other bags, this has a zip-off daypack that attaches to the front. While I almost always carry a daypack during my travels, I have never traveled with it attached to the larger carry-on bag. So, while this feature is nice, it’s not for me. But I have seen other people use it as such, so you might find this to be useful.
Putting something under the tree is easier said than done when it comes to the person that seems to have it all. Assuming you don’t hate this person, check out this roundup of unusual and impressive gifts that will wow anyone but maybe Francis Buxton. (Yes, we just made a Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure reference. Deal.)
Got a friend who’s always on the go? This low-profile pack boasts a padded laptop sleeve, just-right organizer pockets and a sexy bonus feature: unzip the back panel and you can access your tablet without removing/spilling coffee all over it.
Before you hit the Black Friday sales this weekend here are some gear picks for those outdoorsy folks on your list. They certainly won’t be disappointed if you choose from one of the items below. Some of the items have made it on this list again from last year because I love them that much. Some of the items I’ve recently discovered and I’m so glad I did.
Osprey Talon 22
If you have a person on your list in need of a day pack, check this one out. This backpack is lightweight, but with the features that keep all of your gear organized and easy to carry. Here’s my review on the Osprey Talon 22
Looking for a gift idea for a hiker, backpacker, climber, skier… or maybe something special to suggest to someone shopping for you? I test a lot of adult and children’s outdoor gear and apparel every year for Backpacker Magazine and to review in this blog, and friends and readers ask me regularly for advice on buying gear.
So here’s my annual list of my top 25 favorite new pieces of outdoor gear and apparel—with links to my original reviews of these packs, boots, tents, jackets, and other gear—plus a new backcountry food my entire family loves, and a terrific book for traveling families. If you’re dreaming of big adventures in 2014, get busy prepping your gear for it.
Got a huge load to carry? The Osprey Xenith 88 and women’s Xena 85 are my top choices for hauling over 50 pounds.
I used this pack for my 2013 Appalachian Trail thru hike, and loved it. For backpackers concerned with minimizing pack weight, and carrying minimal gear, this pack is an excellent choice. Overall a great ultralight pack for multi-day backpacking trips. I would definitely recommend it!
The Exos is a great pack for minimalists going on multi-day hikes. The Exos’s smaller loading capacity makes strategic packing a necessity for the user — not a lot of space for extra knick-knacks.
The Exos doesn’t carry heavier loads as well as some packs, but if you can get your pack weight under 30 lbs, the pack does a good job of distributing the weight.