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Bicycling.com – Featuring Verve 3 – September 28, 2015

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Bicycling.com – Featuring Verve 3 – September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015
osprey verve

Osprey Women’s Verve 3 Pack
The Verve pack from Osprey has been around for a while, but never before in such a small size. The Verve 3 is the thinnest, most compact version of the pack yet, and will be ideal for women looking to hydrate on shorter mountain bike rides. Women’s design is prominent in the belt and chest construction, and the Verve 3’s slim profile means that it won’t get in the way as you’re shredding trails.

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Bicycling.com – Featuring Syncro 3 – March 20, 2015

March 20, 2015
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The Syncro 3 hydration pack was my first experience with Osprey, and I was super impressed by the smart, well-thought-out details on this pack.

The Syncro 3 is new this spring, and it fills a much-needed role in my bag repertoire: For most of my hourlong, weekday trail rides, wearing a full-on hydration pack feels like overkill. I can bring a bottle, but because I hate the feeling of fully loaded jersey pockets, I don’t have a good solution for holding a tube, hand pump, mini-tool, and my phone without a bag.

The Syncro 3 is a minimalist pack designed for shorter ventures like these. It holds 1.5 liters of water, and has two small compartments—a pocket in the front that’s open at the top, but taut enough to hold most flatter items securely; and built into the main compartment, a small, zippered “shove-it pocket.”

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Bicycling.com – Featuring Ozone 28” – March 6, 2014

March 6, 2014

Most of my travel involves packing both street clothes and riding apparel, and I often max out my carry-on’s capacity even before I try to wedge in a helmet and cycling shoes. I’ve long since resigned myself to paying for at least one checked bag. And if I’m going to pony up, I want the bag to hold a decent amount and still be light enough to hoist onto an airport-parking shuttle, maneuver into and out of cabs, and heave off the baggage carousel.

But when the Ozone 28”/80L arrived at my doorstep, I feared it would not be able to hold enough. Built more like a backpack than a regular wheeled suitcase, it’s constructed of lightweight nylon stretched around a minimal aluminum and injection-molded plastic frame. Because the main compartment collapses when empty, the bag doesn’t look like much even though its 80-liter capacity is the largest in the company’s ultralight Ozone series. (It also has two carry-on-sized roll-aboards, a day pack, and small shoulder bag).

Turns out my fear was groundless. As I loaded the Osprey up the first time, it seemed to expand endlessly, to the point that I began recklessly adding more stuff. Two pairs of pajamas? Sure! A second helmet. Why not? An extra winter jacket? You never know. But at four pounds, 14 ounces (empty), it never got too heavy.

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Bicycling.com – Featuring Rev 12 – January 30, 2014

January 30, 2014

The Rev 12 is a different sort of pack from Osprey. It’s part of a new line designed for adventure racing and ultra-light adventures when you don’t want to be weighed down with extra gear. The pack comes in two sizes and the smaller of the two, which I tested, has 610 cubic inches of storage space and weighs just 0.3 pounds (0.9 pounds with an empty bladder).

What I liked most was the way it contoured to my body. It uses Osprey’s traditional bladder, but has a back panel that is more supple than most. The wide waist belt sat just above my hips and took some of the pack’s weight off my shoulders. The shoulder straps are wide, well ventilated, and incorporate flexible material for a snug fit—Osprey calls it the BioStretch Body Wrap Harness. It works. The Rev also uses two sternum straps, which seems like overkill, but they did a good job keeping the pack settled, even as I bounced down rocky descents…

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Bicycling.com – Featuring Contrail 22″ – November 6, 2013

November 6, 2013

When I first received the Osprey Contrail 22″ carry-on, I thought it looked too small to accommodate all my usual clothing and gear. But its sleek design actually leaves more room inside than I expected. The spacious main compartment comes with a FlightLocker clothing organizer, which I found worked best for traveling with a few of shirts and pants. I removed it for more storage on longer trips. A zippered compartment on the back of the bag is perfect for shoes or other bulky items. Because of the curved base, and larger-than-normal wheels, the backside of the bag never dragged on the ground. This design also made the Contrail very stable and the wheels easily rolled over anything I encountered while shuffling through airports…

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Bicycling.com – Featuring Momentum 30 – September 2013

September 14, 2013

The obsessive organizers at Osprey have, in the newly redesigned Momentum commuter series, a pack that lets you put everything—every single thing—in its right place. Of course, there’s a dedicated, padded pocket for your laptop, which will accommodate a computer of nearly any size, but that’s just the beginning. Inside the main compartment, there’s a second sleeve sized for an iPad or magazines, and four mesh organizing pockets for your work or workout essentials. A smaller front pocket contains still more organizing pouches for smaller items. A stretchy front panel will hold an extra pair of shoes, or spare jacket in case the weather turns. What’s that? You want more pockets? Well, don’t worry: There are two zippered pouches on the bottom, ideal for small items that you want accessible. There’s even a small zippered pocket on the right shoulder strap. If it rains, deploy the integrated, hi-vis rain fly from one final pocket on the bottom, and you’ll ensure that all of your carefully organized gear gets home dry. External compression straps control your load—especially helpful if your bag isn’t completely full. Of course, there’s also a loop for a blinky light.

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Bicycling.com – Featuring Quantum – August 21, 2013

August 21, 2013

Prior to leaving for Corsica to cover the 100th running of the Tour de France, I was searching for a backpack that would suit my needs as a one of Bicycling’s videographers for the race. I needed to haul a 15-inch laptop and an assortment of production gear, including my DSLR, microphones, cables, and adaptors. That made the Quantum my top choice. The pack includes plenty of pockets to stow and organize my gear. The zippers have handy pull-tabs that made accessing the main compartment easy. The ridged back panel was comfortable and breathable even with the backpack completely full. The laptop sleeve has a 15.4-inch capacity and it held my 15-inch computer securely. An additional sleeve kept my iPad safe and I used the internal zippered pockets for smaller items like keys, a GoPro camera, and iPhone chargers. A few other travel friendly features: side compression straps to secure small loads, side pockets for water bottles, and a removable waist strap.

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Bicycling.com – Featuring Spin 22 – August 7, 2013

August 7, 2013

Part of Osprey’s commuter line, the nylon-and-pack cloth Spin 22 (the number denotes a 22-liter capacity) is a trim pack that sits lightly on your back thanks to a mesh panel that allows ventilation between your torso and your cargo. It has a low profile shape, which makes it easier to check for traffic behind you. If you commute to a relatively casual office, this brightly colored pack will fit right in. Open the flap, and there’s a padded sleeve for your 15-inch laptop. In front of that is another large-ish compartment that hold other essentials. Although the pack has side-zip gussets that allow it to expand, if you are like me and commute with an outfit and toiletries, you will want to size up to the Spin 32: The 22 will hold flats and a tunic dress, and maybe one of those small, superabsorbent towels, but not much more. On the other hand, if you ride in your work clothes and only carry a laptop and lunch, you will be content. And organized: There are pockets of various sizes and pockets within pockets, so it’s possible to designate a place for your power cords, your phone, your wallet, pens, notebook, and so on. You’ll also find many tightening and clip-on options, reducing flapping and bulging but allowing a helmet or water bottle to hitch a ride. The closures are unique: The main flap doesn’t buckle, and instead features a wide plastic wedge that fits into loops spaced about an inch apart on the bottom of the outside—choose a lower loop for smaller loads, or an upper loop for larger ones. This system holds the pack shut securely, and is easier to open and fasten than a buckle. The zipper pulls are loops; and I once caught one on a drawer, with negative consequences. My only other quibble with the pack is the hook-and-loop fastener on the laptop sleeve: If I forgot to close it, it snagged almost any item I put in the front compartment.

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