Osprey has made some changes to the Verve Pack Series. The pack still has styling and a fit designed for women specifically. The new Verve comes in two colors: Purple Passion and Platinum Grey. I will be reviewing the Platinum Grey color. This pack has red/orange upper straps, blinker light attachment and zipper for the front panel. This detailing makes the pack “pop”. The front of the front panel has a reflective leaf design, which I think adds a simple design detail that makes this pack stand out from others.
I took the Verve 7 pack out on a mountain bike ride that was just over three hours. The Verve was very comfortable; especially the back panel. At times I barely noticed I was wearing a pack. When I went to use the pack for the first time I noticed that the hipbelt was reverse threaded though the one end of the fastener. This was easily fixed by removing it from the fastener and re-threading it. My favorite feature so far is the added stretch pocket on the sternum strap. I was able to place my MP3 player in the pocket along with my lip balm. I could even access the controls of the MP3 player while it was inside the pocket.
Osprey Packs has been making some of the best packs in the industry for the last 37 years and the new 2011 Hornet 46 is no exception. The Hornet is on of the lightest packs Osprey has ever made at an impressive 22oz. for the 46L size. The features of the Hornet 46, according to Opsrey’s website are:
“These superlight packs have been stripped to the essentials for ultra-runners, adventure racers, peak baggers – anyone who aspires to move fast with minimal weight. Osprey technology still allows for great carry with features like a spacer mesh breathable backpanel, and vented stretch-fit harness and hipbelt. Speed friendly features are all on board, including stretch mesh front and side pockets, zippered hipbelt pockets, and energy-gel pockets on the shoulder straps.”
The Osprey Aether 85 is an outstanding pack that sets the bar in quality and features for the price. As with any feature-built pack, the extra zippers and tool ties add a bit more weight to the design but the trade off is absolutely worth every ounce. The Aether, along with all of Osprey’s packs have a very durable construction that shows almost no abrasion or wear after a solid three months of daily use on the trails of New Mexico.
I’ve been using the Manta on day hikes and more recently while paddling my kayak. I am so impressed with the fit and function of this pack. I have been consciously trying to drink more water, and the Manta has been a great help while active. The ease of use is the biggest factor. I can easily fill it before heading out. I have used it numerous times, and have not noticed any ‘plastic’ or off taste. The reservoir is made by Nalgene, and is BPA and PVC free. The the AquaGuard anti-microbial formula is designed to prevent bacteria and mold from developing. This appears to be working because the reservoir has not developed any mold, and the water still tastes fine. Keeping the water clean and tasting good is the easiest way to keep me drinking it.
The Osprey Elroy bag appeared on my doorstep this week and I was more than enthusiastic about its arrival. I have long wondered why pack makers did not delve further into the world of computer bags, messenger bags, or soft sided briefcases. Osprey has taken my desire for a useful office bag one step further with its new Resource Series of courier bags and backpacks. These bags are intended for the long hauls to the office and classrooms and are constructed using mostly recycled materials.
The Orb is part of a family of packs being offered by Osprey in 2010, called the 24/7 series. These packs can be used in the office and for playing after work. I will be sharing all the things I’m discovering about this attractive new pack.
This is a 12 L pack with almost all the adjustments and features you might find in a full sized backpack. The Orb features a semi rigid frame. The approximate measurements of the pack are are 12 in by 18 in. The shoulder straps are padded and have reflective material on them. These straps also have a breast strap that is adjustable horizontally and well as vertically. The waist belt is detachable and is about 3/4 inch wide.
The padding on the parts that touch my body are covered with a mesh cloth, it appears that may work well for ventilation. The pack has a double tabbed main zipper located at the top of the pack. A second single tabbed zipper opens a smaller pouch at the top of the pack. The zippers have a large loop attached to each tab making it easy to adjust the zippers while wearing gloves. This pouch contains a plastic snap hook for attaching a key ring, 2 small mesh pockets and a place to store pens or similar devices. The larger zippered area contains 2 sleeve pockets. The larger one can accommodate a 3 L Platypus hydration system with a dual port to the outside of the pack. This sleeve appears to be waterproof in case there is leakage from the bladder. This could help to keep the rest of the pack dry. I put my 13 in laptop in this sleeve when I was not carrying water there. The other sleeve is shorter and not as wide and is probably best for a pad of paper or something thin. There is a small mesh pocket at the top of the bag in which a cell phone or iPod could easily fit. There is another-zippered mesh pocket inside the main compartment. This pouch is tapered and is about 9 inches at the top and tapers down to about 5.5 inches at the bottom. The depth is about 5.5 inches. For a small bag it has ample compartments for good organization
Now in its 3rd generation and updated for 2010, Osprey’s Aether series backpack offers a lightweight custom fit for every outdoor enthusiast. After owning a 2nd generation Aether 60 for four years now, I was pretty excited to test the new Aether and see the differences in the 2010 line. The awesome folks at Osprey sent me a Magma colored Aether 85 to put through its paces this spring.
The Aether series is the Men’s counterpart to the Women’s Ariel pack designed for activities ranging from a short weekend trip to longer expedition treks. The Aether is one of the lightest backpacks on the market offering a custom-molded fit. The IsoForm™ harness comes in 3 sizes, S, M, and L and the IsoForm™ CM hipbelt comes in S, M, L, and XL. Anyone not already familiar with Osprey should know about the custom molding available from Certified Osprey Dealers that allows for the most comfortable fit you’ll find in a backpack.