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BikeHugger.com – Featuring Rev 1.5 – August 19, 2014

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BikeHugger.com – Featuring Rev 1.5 – August 19, 2014

August 19, 2014

Last month I entered the High Cascades 100 mile mountainbike race, in Bend OR. I don’t frequently race more than two hours, and as my participation in the Gran Fondo Leavenworth so thoroughly demonstrated, I am prone to bad cramping in such long, hot competitions. It’s not really the heat so much as I just don’t think about drinking as soon and as often as I should…

I looked about for the right pack, but it wasn’t until I was surfing the Osprey webpage that I found something that met my requirements for mountainbike racing, even though it’s marketed towards trail runners. The slim Rev1.5 pack (size S/M) weighs about a pound with the included hydration bladder and holds just 1 liter of water. The shoulder straps have some convenient but small mesh pockets that can fit gel sachets/flasks or energy bars, but the only other storage is a small zippered pocket atop the bladder compartment. Thin straps and elastic, mesh “webbing” hold the pack tight to your body along the sides of your chest, while two elasticized straps stretch across your chest. Once adjusted, the weight of the pack and water sits high, level with your shoulder blades. It moves with your body yet stays in place, and in hot conditions it doesn’t feel like it’s trapping heat and sweat all across your back…

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BikeHugger.com – Featuring Shuttle 32” – April 15, 2014

April 15, 2014

This bag arrived, so huge, it’s like a monolith to gear and travel being discovered. I placed it outside for filtered-light photos this morning. After the pug furiously barked at it, apparently concerned an alien intruder was in the yard, I thought the toddlers next door could pretend it was a spaceship from planet Osprey too!

You can stuff your courage AND all your gear in this hauler before your next big trip to race and ride. The Shuttle 32” / 110L is available from Amazon and a retailer near you for $299.95

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BikeHugger.com – Featuring Radial 34 – November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013

The new Radial backpacks from Osprey are designed to compliment the bike commuter, but the Radial packs have versatility that extends beyond cycling. I’ve had the Radial 34 ($160-170) for several months now, and I keep on finding new occasions to use it.

Living in the Pacific NW, whenever I come across a new “technical” pack I generally first consider whether or not it is “waterproof”. It turns out that nominal waterproof-ness isn’t the end-all-be-all for bags. Sure, my faithful Reload messenger pack has a waterproof liner, but a commuter bag like the Radial can keep sufficiently dry with just a lightweight rain cover. A commuter generally isn’t repeatedly reaching into the bag like a messenger would, so he doesn’t need waterproof and ease of access both at the same time. Those heavy-duty liners in messenger bags really add weight, while the Radial 34’s rain cover is a negligible mass…

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BikeHugger.com – Featuring Shuttle 32 – November 20, 2012

November 20, 2012

My passport has stamps from 23 countries in it; I even had to have additional pages glued in to make room for more stamps. Most of the time I was traveling with a big roller duffle. Well, just as my passport is set to expire next month, my roller duffle probably needs to be retired as well. After some research, I went for the Osprey Shuttle 32.

I feel that roller duffles are ideal for my travel for some specifica reasons. First, large capacity. I have to have enough room for wildly different attire needs. Clothes for casual, clothes for cold, clothes for the symphony, clothes for riding. My life is long dreary spans confined to the Seattle gloom, punctuated with escapes to ridiculous destinations. This isn’t flying down for a business lunch; I can’t remember ever not having checked baggage. Second, soft baggage with good zippers rarely pop all the way open like a hardcase can. And the compression straps provide additional security. I’ve had hard suitcases before, and they just get pounded and dented within a few trips. Sure, a roller duffle isn’t the best choice if you’re an 80yr old gran trying to smuggle a load of snow globes home to the lil nippers, but you can usually use clothes to pad the more fragile items within the roller duffle. A roller duffle also maneuvers on the wheels better than a lot of more squat wheeled bags/cases.

n addition to the reasons above, I chose the Osprey Shuttle 32 because of its quality of construction, sub-compartment size and placement, and large wheel size. The Shuttle 32 is built from heavy duty fabric with a sturdy internal frame. It has a number of external pockets to keep small items to which you might need immediate access, and zippered mesh pockets along the interior side and tongue that I use to store plug adapters, over-the-counter medicines, sewing kit, chamois cream packets, condoms, safety pins…standard adventurer kit. An improvement over my previous bag is the external access shoe storage. That way, dirty cycling shoes don’t need to cross paths with clothes. Lastly, the Shuttle 32 uses larger wheels than most other bags, which allows the bag to roll over rough surfaces much better. Large wheels can be fragile, and the wheels on my old duffle had the urethane tread chunk off. But the Osprey wheels have more of an interlocked hub, like inline skate race wheels.

Now I need to go to the passport agency.

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Bike Hugger – Flap Jack Pack – April 11, 2010

June 25, 2010

When Osprey asked if we wanted to take a look at their new packs, I thought we’d get a few of their hydration packs, (and we did in fact get one, the review of that is forthcoming) but the package also included the new Flapjack, a backpack-style laptop bag that’s the bee’s-knees.

With a padded laptop sleeve (here seen holding my iPad and a magazine—we like to rock both old-school and new-school media in the Hugger East Cost HQ) the Osprey Flapjack has been finding itself on a lot of my rides to town.

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