Osprey’s Raptor 14 Hydraulic hydration pack is impressive because it has a collection of unique, well thought out features, notables being the wedge-shaped 100oz Nalgene Hydraform bladder and Airscape Suspension system.
Hydraulics refers to the bladders ability to remain flat against your body, even when filled thanks to a rigid rear panel that’s sculpted to conform to the shape of your back in the cycling position. The front side of the bladder has a plastic carrying handle that performs three functions: it protects the lower half of the drinking tube so it’s always in an optimized flow position free of pinching, it acts as a secondary support to retain the bladders shape and insure that perfect fit and also aid in filling by providing structure and a handhold. Add in Nalgene’s contamination resistance and you have one of the most effective, easy to use bladders available.
Airscape is a mesh outer covering on the back of the pack to keep direct contact to a minimum and provide a degree of cooling. By positioning the weight of the pack slightly off your back Osprey was able to add rigidity to the pack’s basic structure without affecting overall comfort and fit. This rigidity matched to the design of the bladder makes it exceptionally easy to pull out and put back the bladder in it’s compartment even if the pack itself is stuffed full of gear and food.
Just the features mentioned above make this one of the best designed and most comfortable hydration packs available but attention to detail in the pockets themselves make the Raptor 14 that much more impressive.